Title: Self-efficacy beliefs and direct selling sales performance

Authors: Robert A. Peterson; Gerald Albaum; Victoria L. Crittenden

Addresses: Department of Marketing, The University of Texas at Austin, CBA 7.242, Austin, Texas 78712, USA ' Robert O. Anderson School of Management, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131-0001, USA ' Babson College, Malloy 211, Babson Park, MA 02457, USA

Abstract: In the context of personal selling and sales management research, self-efficacy has typically been studied as positively related, and usually antecedent, to sales performance. Thus, the more efficacious a sales person is, the more effort and persistence he or she is believed to exhibit in prospecting new customers, maintaining relationships with existing customers, and generating sales. The present study differs from prior studies of self-efficacy in that it explores: 1) whether a direct selling experience, in and of itself, can enhance business-related self-efficacy and personal life self-efficacy; 2) whether business-related self-efficacy and personal life self-efficacy in turn relate to self-reported sales performance and non-selling job performance. Data collected from current and former direct sellers indicated that direct selling experience benefitted business-related and personal life skills. Additionally, more current direct sellers than former direct sellers believed that their self-efficacy had been enhanced by their direct selling experience and that they were more successful as direct sellers than others in their company. Self-efficacy was significantly related to self-reported sales performance and performance on a non-direct selling job. The findings possess important practical as well as theoretical implications.

Keywords: direct selling; sales performance; self-efficacy; business-related skills; personal life skills.

DOI: 10.1504/IJADS.2020.110618

International Journal of Applied Decision Sciences, 2020 Vol.13 No.4, pp.448 - 463

Received: 19 Jun 2019
Accepted: 07 Sep 2019

Published online: 12 Aug 2020 *

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