Leadership and High Performance in Direct Sales: A Critical Appraisal of Leadership Approaches and their Connection to Sales Performance in the Arena of Direct Sales.

Teasdale, David (2011) Leadership and High Performance in Direct Sales: A Critical Appraisal of Leadership Approaches and their Connection to Sales Performance in the Arena of Direct Sales. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

[img] PDF - Registered users only - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (1MB)

Abstract

Direct Sales (DS) is used as a means to sell products directly to consumers in a number of billion £ Industries. It differs from other direct-­‐to-­‐consumer selling such as Retail and web based selling, and business-­‐to-­‐business selling in a variety of different ways. The main differences that characterise the DS environment are 1) The teams of salespeople tend to be very large 2) the salespeople are predominantly self-­‐employed 3) DS environments are peculiarly fast-­‐paced, immediate and demanding. In addition to this, the industries that employ this sales method are subject to increased market complexity, competitiveness, economic uncertainty and consumers who are becoming more demanding and savvy. It is against this backdrop that leaders in DS are continually striving to achieve high performance.

This project seeks to understand what leadership approaches are prevalent in DS and which are likely to lead to high performance.

Findings from qualitative research undertaken with eight DS leaders from four industries, indicates that leadership is important in DS. Leadership is not just the preserve of apex leaders, but is also important in lower levels of DS management, and at different levels it exemplifies different behaviours. DS leadership is predominantly transactional with a variety of other different approaches employed as well. These include style and contingency approaches and components of charismatic and transformational approaches with some evidence of dispersed leadership.

In considering which leadership approaches are likely to impact on performance in DS I have considered; leadership theory in toto, including leadership research focussed on leadership in sales; the results of my research; and my own experience of working in the DS field.

I conclude that to obtain high performance DS apex leaders should disperse leadership to frontline managers and foster learning environments. All DS leaders should exhibit strong transactional behaviours and augment them with people-­‐oriented behaviours. There is persuasive evidence that transformational behaviours would enhance performance in DS. Apex leaders should eliminate onerous command and control systems and poor leadership behaviours and finally they should seek high performance sales-­‐leaders from high performance salespeople.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 15:24
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2016 03:49
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/25295

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View