Antecedents and performance outcomes of value-based selling in sales teams: a multilevel, systems theory of motivation perspective

  • Ryan MullinsEmail author
  • Bulent Menguc
  • Nikolaos G. Panagopoulos
Original Empirical Research


Firms are increasingly deploying a value-based selling (VBS) approach in their sales organizations to drive growth for new offerings. However, VBS adoption remains challenging, signaling that leaders need guidance to motivate VBS. Drawing from the systems theory of motivation, we examine motivational mechanisms at two levels—salesperson and sales team—to understand how to motivate, and benefit from, VBS. Using multisource data (i.e., salespeople, managers, archival performance) from 70 sales teams in a U.S.-based manufacturing and services provider, our findings illustrate drivers and outcomes of VBS. Specifically, we uncover a framework of salesperson, leader, customer, and team factors that help explain salesperson motivation for VBS. Importantly, we link VBS to customers’ adoption of new products to support VBS’s role for selling new products. Critical for sales team strategy, our model also integrates a team-level motivational mechanism to provide a comprehensive framework for salesperson and sales team motivations and outcomes.


Value-based selling Systems theory Salesperson motivation Sales teams New product selling Sales performance 



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© Academy of Marketing Science 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Business, Marketing DepartmentClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of ManagementKadir Has UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  3. 3.International Research FellowUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK
  4. 4.Marketing DivisionLeeds University Business SchoolLeedsUK
  5. 5.Department of Marketing, Ralph and Luci Schey Sales CentreOhio UniversityAthensUSA

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