Adaptive selling would be influenced by the knowledge the salesperson has to do with types of the customers who have to be reached, the selling strategies he has, and the motivation that can be effective in altering the direction of the customers’ behaviors. In the article which we are about to give a review on, we shall see that a lot of pertinent research in personal and psychology of the consumer is something that can be studied much in order to come up with better adaptive sales strategies. This has been noted to advance the manner in which salespeople would be selected, trained, managed and compensated. This is exactly what the authors of this article have proposed.
Review of the Article
The authors of this article have begun by mention of the theories behind job performance. In that connection, there is the enumeration of the three major factors that would significantly affect performance. The first factor is role perception; the second is ability and then motivation. To start with the role perceptions, we shall see that they would influence the understanding on the sales personnel on the activities that have to be undertaken in the selling process, and how the very activities can as well be carried out. With motivation, this would significantly affect the volumes of efforts that would be expected in the performance of a given activity. Ability, on the other hand, shall greatly affect the quality of the efforts that have been dedicated to the sales operations. Having given an overview of the important approaches towards performance, the major objectives behind the writing of this article was to provide a framework through which research can be directed into increasing human understanding on ability which is a major component of performance (Weitz et al 176).
According to the authors of the article, ability is a very complex component towards an adaptive selling. They believed that ability is something crucial since it would be used as an indicator through which the salesperson can take the advantage and integrate the appropriate communication elements which are closely associated with personal selling. According to the article, it would be something appreciable that the salespeople come up with strategies through which they can carry out thorough market research on the specific customers, their specific needs and requirements so that they can be able to implement a workable sales presentation which is very effective. At the same time, they would be able to come up with observations on the reactions depicted by their customers and then come up with the appropriate adjustments towards satisfaction of their needs. In order to pass this message appropriately to the sales individual, this article has been composed of five sections through which an entire framework has been designed towards adaptive selling strategy.
The first section is an adaptive selling framework. This has been represented by a captivating diagram which presents the relevant information on the reader. This presents adaptive selling strategies, capabilities, selling effectiveness and adaptive selling techniques. This framework has been able to give major constructs that are closely associated with adaptive selling (Charness 5). The adaptive selling practice has been defined as an alteration of selling behaviors during the interactions of the customers and the seller through which the perceived information on the selling situation is a fundamental element in the entire process. For instance, the delivering of canned presentations has been outlined as a non-adaptive selling scheme. In that case, salespeople would only be adaptive only when they are able to use unique selling presentation for specific customers and altering this kind of behavior from one customer to the other.
The effectiveness of selling, the performance of the sales personnel across the selling interaction should not be considered as part of adaptive selling. This alteration of sales behaviors is what shall be referred to as adaptive selling, and would determine whether the model shall be effective or non-effective (Charness 5). The variables that exist in the selling market should also be in harmony with adaptive selling. For instance, the authors have outlined some important characteristics of the selling environment if successful selling is to be carried out. These characteristics occurring within the selling environment has been referred to as the costs for the adaptive selling that is to be done. Some of the environmental aspects that have a greater impact include the variety of consumers and their specific needs, the importance of typical or impulse buying done by the individuals and the resources that have been provided by the company to the sales individual.
This is to say, the moment the sales individuals have been acquainted with customers having similar requirements or needs, they would as well use the same methods and approaches, and therefore the sales individuals having the best approach would emerge the winners and achievers in the selling game. This would be the major reason why adaptive selling shall be of the greatest importance. However, the authors of the article have warned that the benefits found with adaptive selling might be substantial should the customers decide to make own firm purchasing decisions which will not be shaken by the sweet words of the salesperson (Alessandra 43). As well, sales individuals will be able to realize their greatest potential from the benefits of adaptive selling should their respective companies equip them with the necessary resources towards the practice.
The other important approach that has been elaborated in the article is sales management with an adaptive selling approach. This has been analyzed further through the use of flow diagrams which bring the information closer to the reader in a more comprehensible manner. This is to say that, the greatest intrinsic reward on the sales individual shall entirely depend on degree through which the very individual can manage his performance (Charness 11). This can also be monitored by the overall sales management of the specific company. In order to be in terms with the reader and anyone with prospects of becoming a great sales individual, the authors have given a rewarding proposition. In the practice for effective adaptive selling, the moderation would be brought about by the characteristics that exist within the selling environment. This would integrate the customers who are available for the business, the variety of the customers, the importance of every buy they make and the availability of resources in the company. There also a number of sources which can provide adequate motivation to the specific individuals performing the selling activities. The first motivation is the intrinsic orientation of reward, the willingness of the individual to succeed and the degree into which the salespersons have the capability towards the adaptive selling practice.
In order to be able to become a successful salesperson who practice adequate adaptive selling, the authors argue that the individual should be after information acquisition and knowledge gain. It is believed in the article that a gain in knowledge would increase management and promote adaptive selling. The appropriate knowledge on a specific domain has always been associated with having a substantial impact towards the performance in that given domain. Game playing has also been outlined as an adequate approach towards knowledge gain. This presents a great advantage on this domain.
Through this game-playing, the individual will be able to analyze the needs, requirements and behaviors of the customers and hence problems and situations shall be dealt with accordingly. According to the authors, knowledge on different structures would be important determinants on the effective selling. There is also another proposition that categorized understanding of the selling situations that would be critical for the realization of an effective adaptive selling. Effective adaptive sales individuals would tend to categorize every situation in the selling arena in accordance to the sales models that have been appreciated by the individual. The article also outlines clearly that an effective adaptive selling would be in a position of increasing the available sales situations which have been embedded into the long-term memory of the individual (Anderson 65).
Category organization shall play a great role in adaptive selling. Both ineffective and effective sales individuals would always differ in the number of categories that are available to them as well as in the manner in which these categories have been arranged. Effective performers would tend to have hierarchical organized knowledge based on the information they have been acquainted with during the period of operation. Also, the effectiveness of an adaptive selling would increase the degree in which salespeople have been having hierarchical organizational knowledge. Another proposition is that the effectiveness of any given adaptive selling would increase with the procedural knowledge that is possessed by the sales individual. The skills of the sales individual in the acquisition of appropriate knowledge about the customers and the situations with the sales and how he or she would relate this information to the knowledge in his or her memory would eventually elevate his or her adaptive selling (Alessandra 47).
Motivation has also been seen as another component towards effective adaptive selling. Motivated behavior has been described to have three aspects. These are persistence, choice and intensity. Intensity would be attributed to the individual’s emotional and even physical efforts. With orientation towards the intrinsic rewards, it is clear that the intrinsic rewards will determine the degree of motivation to practicing adaptive selling. This brings us to the next important proposition. The adaptive selling practice would eventually result in the development of an elaborate knowledge for all the sales individuals. This means that salespeople would always go through some form of benefit analysis depending on the behaviors they have selected for their practice. The degree into which the salespeople have been motivated towards adaptive selling would definitely increase their capabilities which they would need towards an effective and workable adaptive selling (Anderson 36).
Compensation has also been noted to be a greater and essential tool towards adaptive selling. The continued use of this incentive compensation shall greatly reduce the intrinsic reward orientation and especially when the control aspect is applied properly. Self management has also been described as a key tool towards the realization of an effective adaptive selling. Through self management, the performance increases for the better as well as promoting the intrinsic reward orientation. The other important role towards the realization of these goals is through ensuring that the company employs all the specific roles in ensuring that there is a good condition of the employees so as to promote adaptive selling with specific salespeople. This can be achieved through encouraging lifetime employment so that the sales individuals can effectively learn and continue developing complex understanding of the society and the social settings in which the customers of the business shall be found. There should be slow promotions which dampen the existing competition within the employees. There should also be the accommodation of non-specialized career goals and paths so that the employees can be in a position of interacting with one another. Implicit strategies and mechanisms help to control the organizational philosophy instead of explicating control through supervision (Alessandra 67). There should also be collective decision making and ensure overall cooperation and intensive involvement.
In conclusion, personal selling would be the right approach if the greatest benefits and gains are to be realized with modern business practice. The personal approach towards effective selling should be the beginning point. The effective sales individuals would be required to alter their approaches towards selling operations. This would increase the interactions between the sales personnel and the customers hence increasing the percentage gains for the company. The article has been able to outline the facts towards effective adaptive selling for sales people. Recent researches according to the article have been following the dyadic approach. This is whereby sales individuals would be needed to adjust accordingly with the customers they are serving. Another important and yet significant approach is the contingency approach. This emphasizes on the necessity of tailoring the sales so that they can fit the selling situations. However, this approach has been unable to address the knowledge that has been acquired in the process. This article has thus stressed on the importance of knowledge since it is very critical in ensuring that people have been enabled in coping with the increasingly dynamic and complex market environment (Deci 45).
The article has suggested a number of constructs which are related to effective adaptive selling. These are strategy attribution, elaboration, and practice adaptive selling which can be used in evaluating sales management. There has also been an outline on the propositions that have been denoted in the article. This is to say, the paper has been able to come up with appropriate propositions which have been noted to give us a new direction into which we can achieve profound results with personal selling processes and carry out intensive researches that can promote the manner in which trading operations take place. The propositions also bring closer a newer approach which can be developed, and how the sales personnel may be motivated and made to develop a new and a higher level of capabilities. In conclusion, this article would be an appropriate tool for any single individual who is optimistic towards the improvement of his or her personal adaptive selling. This would see different organizations and businesses being able to realize their market goals.
Alessandra, Anthony. Non-Manipulative Selling. San Diego: Courseware, 1979. 43, 47, 67.
Anderson, John. The Architecture of Cognition. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1983. 36, 65.
Charness, Neil. ‘Components of Skill in Bridge’, Canadian Journal of Psychology, 33, (1988): 1-17.
Deci, E.L. Intrinsic Motivation. New York: Plenium Press, 1975. 45.
Weitz, Barton, Sujan, Harish, & Sujan, Mita. Knowledge, Motivation, and Adaptive Behavior for Improving Selling Effectiveness. Journal of Marketing. 50(1986): 174-191.