Managing Positive and Negative Trends in Sales Call Outcomes: The Role of Momentum

Irene Y. Nahm, Michael J. Ahearne, Nick Lee, Seshadri Tirunillai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Existing research treats sales performance as a series of discrete, independent events rather than a series of sales attempts with intertemporal spillover across these attempts. This research examines whether there are systematic short-term trends (“momentum”) in sales performance. To do so, the authors use the clumpiness approach to examine the existence of sales momentum in a high-frequency call-level data set obtained from two call centers of a large European firm. They further investigate the effect of positive (negative) momentum, or the positive (negative) deviation from the long-term expected performance on subsequent sales performance. Exploiting the differences in the social environment of the call centers, the authors find that the social working environment mitigates the harmful effect of negative momentum and sustains positive momentum. Further, they demonstrate that calls made midday, early-week, and late-week boost performance by mitigating the adverse effects of negative momentum. The findings suggest that monitoring sales performance can help managers detect momentum and use timely interventions to enhance sales productivity. Managers can also leverage momentum by creating a more social working environment to optimize overall salesperson performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© American Marketing Association 2022.

Keywords

  • momentum
  • personal selling
  • sales force
  • sales performance
  • social influence

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