Date of Award

Summer 7-20-2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Advisor(s)

Dr. Greg Marshall

Second Advisor

Dr. Rick Bommelje

Abstract

Listening skills are a fundamental construct in sales performance. Research has proposed that salespeople that listen perform better, Selling Power (2014). This research tested the validity of listening to performance at a Fortune 150 US-based, mid-western manufacturing corporation utilizing its domestic salespeople with an analysis of sales performance and listening, exploring performance from salesperson and customer perspectives. Research on the corporation was done utilizing salesperson performance with a survey on listening skills to the salesperson and from the customer perspective analyzing performance with listening. Salesperson performance reports were utilized for source information along with a survey to the corporation salesperson, the buyer of the purchasing organizations and the salespeople selling the product to the end consumer. A survey of its 284 salespeople, 3,500 store owners, and 8,500 store salespeople was executed. The social penetration theory (1973) was used as the primary theoretical base along with a secondary theory of the congruence theory (1966) were utilized to determine the relationship that salespeople with better listening skills should perform better than those that do not.

As corporations look to achieve maximum performance from their sales teams this dissertation reviewed literature on listening and its effects on performance and the relationship that the constructs have to performance. The purpose of this research was to provide a review and critique on literature written about listening and offer insights and conclusions that could lead to improved sales performance. The study aimed to seek the validity of focusing on listening with the study of performance.

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