Organizations are increasingly emphasizing online sales channels (i.e., Internet sales) over traditional offline sales channels (i.e., salespeople). This research examines how training influences a salesperson’s ability to manage (and hence implement) such a technological change in the firm’s sales strategy. Drawing upon 37 field interviews, three dimensions of training relevant to change implementation are identified: timeliness, formality, and voluntariness. Data from a survey of 828 salespeople suggests that timeliness and formality of training have a positive effect on the perceived effectiveness of training in a change implementation context. Voluntariness was not found to be significantly related to perceived effectiveness of training. Training effectiveness in turn has a positive influence on the salesperson’s perceived ability to manage the change. Furthermore, perceived effectiveness mediates the effects of training timeliness and formality on the salesperson’s perceived ability to manage the change. Implications for the design of sales force automation and change implementation training programs are discussed.
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- Characteristics That Enhance Training Effectiveness in Implementing Technological Change in Sales Strategy
Trina A. Sego
Ajay K. Kohli