Antecedents and Consequences of Sales Representatives' Relationship Termination Competence

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Most firms have a number of unprofitable customer relationships that drain the firms' resources. However, firms in general and sales representatives in particular hesitate to address this problem and, ultimately, to terminate business relationships. This paper therefore aims to investigate the antecedents and consequences of sales representatives' relationship termination competence. Design/methodology/approach: A model of antecedents of sales representatives' relationship termination competence is developed and tested using a cross-sectional survey of more than 800 sales representatives. The impact of the constructs "termination acceptance", "definition of non-customer", "termination routines" and "termination incentives" on termination competence are analyzed using PLS. Findings: A sales representative's termination competence is positively influenced by greater clarity and wider dissemination of the definition of a "non-customer", higher prevalence of termination routines, and increasing degrees of termination incentives. Acceptance of relationship termination at the firm level does not appear to have a significant impact on sales representatives' relationship termination competence. In addition, termination competence significantly affects the value of customer portfolios. Practical implications: The findings suggest that managers should more actively consider relationship termination as a legitimate option in customer relationship management. In order to increase the value of a firm's customer portfolio, managers must not only provide a clear definition of the types of customers the organization does not want to serve, but must also implement termination routines within the organization. Managers also need to establish incentives for sales representatives to terminate relationships with unprofitable customers. Originality/value: This paper contributes to the currently scarce research on relationship termination by documenting results from a large-scale analysis of relationship termination
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing
Volume28
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)41-49
ISSN0885-8624
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Cite this

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title = "Antecedents and Consequences of Sales Representatives' Relationship Termination Competence",
abstract = "Purpose: Most firms have a number of unprofitable customer relationships that drain the firms' resources. However, firms in general and sales representatives in particular hesitate to address this problem and, ultimately, to terminate business relationships. This paper therefore aims to investigate the antecedents and consequences of sales representatives' relationship termination competence. Design/methodology/approach: A model of antecedents of sales representatives' relationship termination competence is developed and tested using a cross-sectional survey of more than 800 sales representatives. The impact of the constructs {"}termination acceptance{"}, {"}definition of non-customer{"}, {"}termination routines{"} and {"}termination incentives{"} on termination competence are analyzed using PLS. Findings: A sales representative's termination competence is positively influenced by greater clarity and wider dissemination of the definition of a {"}non-customer{"}, higher prevalence of termination routines, and increasing degrees of termination incentives. Acceptance of relationship termination at the firm level does not appear to have a significant impact on sales representatives' relationship termination competence. In addition, termination competence significantly affects the value of customer portfolios. Practical implications: The findings suggest that managers should more actively consider relationship termination as a legitimate option in customer relationship management. In order to increase the value of a firm's customer portfolio, managers must not only provide a clear definition of the types of customers the organization does not want to serve, but must also implement termination routines within the organization. Managers also need to establish incentives for sales representatives to terminate relationships with unprofitable customers. Originality/value: This paper contributes to the currently scarce research on relationship termination by documenting results from a large-scale analysis of relationship termination",
keywords = "Customer relationship management, Management strategy, Non-customer definition, Sales representatives' competence, Termination acceptance, Termination incentives, Termination routines, Unwanted customer relationships",
author = "Jens Geersbro and Thomas Ritter",
year = "2013",
doi = "10.1108/08858621311285705",
language = "English",
volume = "28",
pages = "41--49",
journal = "Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing",
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}

Antecedents and Consequences of Sales Representatives' Relationship Termination Competence. / Geersbro, Jens; Ritter, Thomas.

In: Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, Vol. 28, No. 1, 2013, p. 41-49.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Antecedents and Consequences of Sales Representatives' Relationship Termination Competence

AU - Geersbro, Jens

AU - Ritter, Thomas

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - Purpose: Most firms have a number of unprofitable customer relationships that drain the firms' resources. However, firms in general and sales representatives in particular hesitate to address this problem and, ultimately, to terminate business relationships. This paper therefore aims to investigate the antecedents and consequences of sales representatives' relationship termination competence. Design/methodology/approach: A model of antecedents of sales representatives' relationship termination competence is developed and tested using a cross-sectional survey of more than 800 sales representatives. The impact of the constructs "termination acceptance", "definition of non-customer", "termination routines" and "termination incentives" on termination competence are analyzed using PLS. Findings: A sales representative's termination competence is positively influenced by greater clarity and wider dissemination of the definition of a "non-customer", higher prevalence of termination routines, and increasing degrees of termination incentives. Acceptance of relationship termination at the firm level does not appear to have a significant impact on sales representatives' relationship termination competence. In addition, termination competence significantly affects the value of customer portfolios. Practical implications: The findings suggest that managers should more actively consider relationship termination as a legitimate option in customer relationship management. In order to increase the value of a firm's customer portfolio, managers must not only provide a clear definition of the types of customers the organization does not want to serve, but must also implement termination routines within the organization. Managers also need to establish incentives for sales representatives to terminate relationships with unprofitable customers. Originality/value: This paper contributes to the currently scarce research on relationship termination by documenting results from a large-scale analysis of relationship termination

AB - Purpose: Most firms have a number of unprofitable customer relationships that drain the firms' resources. However, firms in general and sales representatives in particular hesitate to address this problem and, ultimately, to terminate business relationships. This paper therefore aims to investigate the antecedents and consequences of sales representatives' relationship termination competence. Design/methodology/approach: A model of antecedents of sales representatives' relationship termination competence is developed and tested using a cross-sectional survey of more than 800 sales representatives. The impact of the constructs "termination acceptance", "definition of non-customer", "termination routines" and "termination incentives" on termination competence are analyzed using PLS. Findings: A sales representative's termination competence is positively influenced by greater clarity and wider dissemination of the definition of a "non-customer", higher prevalence of termination routines, and increasing degrees of termination incentives. Acceptance of relationship termination at the firm level does not appear to have a significant impact on sales representatives' relationship termination competence. In addition, termination competence significantly affects the value of customer portfolios. Practical implications: The findings suggest that managers should more actively consider relationship termination as a legitimate option in customer relationship management. In order to increase the value of a firm's customer portfolio, managers must not only provide a clear definition of the types of customers the organization does not want to serve, but must also implement termination routines within the organization. Managers also need to establish incentives for sales representatives to terminate relationships with unprofitable customers. Originality/value: This paper contributes to the currently scarce research on relationship termination by documenting results from a large-scale analysis of relationship termination

KW - Customer relationship management

KW - Management strategy

KW - Non-customer definition

KW - Sales representatives' competence

KW - Termination acceptance

KW - Termination incentives

KW - Termination routines

KW - Unwanted customer relationships

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JO - Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing

JF - Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing

SN - 0885-8624

IS - 1

ER -