With firms’ recent movement towards a data-driven culture, vast information on customer relationship and transaction history becomes available. This allows to broaden the understanding of salesperson performance by analyzing their actual behavior. Studies thus far have mainly focused on static attitudinal data. In this project, the dynamic effects of building long-term salesperson-customer relationships and leveraging transactional marketing elements are disentangled. Building up on a unique dataset covering eight and a half years of monthly sales records for 812 independent salespersons, individual sales trajectories are examined. Results show that the combination of relational and transactional marketing efforts improves salesperson performance. Thus, to achieve superior performance over time salespersons must achieve an appropriate balance between returning and newly acquired customers in the long run while maintaining a suitable mix of rather short-term transactional value propositions.

Authors: Margot Loewenberg, Markus Meierer, René Algesheimer