The Proactive Behavior of Younger Salespeople: Antecedents and Outcomes – Michael L. Mallin, Charles B. Ragland & Todd A. Finkle

Graphic 2014 Mallin, Ragland and FinkleThe purpose of this study is to model and test some of the antecedents (individual characteristics) and outcomes (selling performance) of proactive behavior among younger salespeople. Using social cognitive theory agency perspective, we extend the existing proactive behavior literature into the sales domain. We sampled 278 industrial salespeople and tested a model to confirm that younger salespeople tend to engage in proactive behaviors when they are intrinsically motivated, confident in the tasks of selling, and willing to take risks. Proactive behavior, in turn, resulted in our salesperson sample demonstrating high levels of behavior performance and job involvement. Our findings may help sales channel managers begin to assess the potential role of proactive salespeople within their sales organization. Understanding that proactivity (both directly and indirectly) impacts selling performance, managers might specifically attempt to identify salesperson proactive behavior characteristics during the interview process.


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