Unpacking the relationship between sales control and salesperson performance: A regulatory fit perspective

Constantine S. Katsikeas, Seigyoung Auh, Stavroula Spyropoulou, Bulent Menguc

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    67 Scopus citations


    The literature examining the effect of sales control on salesperson performance is, at best, equivocal. To reconcile inconsistencies in empirical findings, this research introduces two new types of salesperson learning: exploratory and exploitative learning. Drawing on regulatory focus theory, the authors conceptualize exploratory learning as promotion focused and exploitative learning as prevention focused and find that salespeople exhibit both exploratory and exploitative learning, though one is used more than the other depending on the type of sales control employed. The results also suggest that the fit between salesperson learning type, customer characteristics (i.e., purchase-decision-making complexity), and salesperson characteristics (i.e., preference for sales predictability) is critical to salesperson performance and that salesperson learning mediates the relationship between sales control and salesperson performance (Study 1). Study 2 corroborates the findings using new panel data collected over two waves. The results of this research have important implications for integrating sales control, salesperson learning, and salesperson performance.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)45-69
    Number of pages25
    JournalJournal of Marketing
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - May 2018


    • Exploitative learning
    • Exploratory learning
    • Regulatory focus theory
    • Sales control
    • Salesperson performance

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Business and International Management
    • Marketing


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