Title: Death of a salesman: birth of a knowledge broker

Authors: M. Bendixen; Y. Yurova; R. Abratt; M. Rawdan

Addresses: H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA ' H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA ' H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA ' H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

Abstract: Call centres have emerged as an important channel for the sale of infrequently purchased goods and services. The purpose of this paper is to examine the predictors of sales agent performance and their changed role in inbound call centres. Two independent samples were taken from a single inbound call centre, the first taken during a peak sales week, and the second from an off-peak sales week. PLS was used to model the relationship between agent tenure, selling time, administrative time and sales performance metrics. Agent tenure was found to have a limited effect on sales performance. Increased selling time and reduced administrative time increased both sales performance metrics. Both of these findings are contrary to traditional sales and call centre management theory. From these results it is apparent that adaptive selling techniques are required to deal with the reduced information asymmetry in the information age.

Keywords: call centres; information asymmetry; sales performance measures; operational strategy; sales agent tenure; selling time; administrative time; adaptive selling techniques.

DOI: 10.1504/IJECRM.2014.066877

International Journal of Electronic Customer Relationship Management, 2014 Vol.8 No.1/2/3, pp.1 - 14

Available online: 13 Jan 2015 *

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