Propensity to Selling Scale: Construction of a Short Instrument for Assessment of Propensity to Selling
Keywords:propensity to selling, sales performance, objective work criteria, scale construction
AbstractSales occupation is one of the most frequent in the job market, and selection of successful salespeople is typically among the highest priorities of their companies. Research aimed at explaining sales performance showsthat traditional psychometric predictors are limited in achieving this goal. Common constructs that are typically related to work behaviour, such as abilities or personality traits, typically show non-significant or low relations with sales performance. Taking that into an account, we developed a new measure for assessing one’s propensity for selling, based on motivational constructs that underlie successful sales job. In the first study, we developed an initial set of items and assessed its content validity using a sample of sales professionals. In the second study, we assessed the scale’s dimensionality, divergent and predictive validity. A sample of 99 contact centre agents were asked to describe themselves using newly developed items and measures of personality and explicit motives. Besides psychometric measures, the data on agents’ objective sales performance was provided by their employer. First, a unidimensional, three-item solution was shown to be the most appropriate in the exploratory factor analysis of initially developed items. Second, an aggregated result of these three items, representing a total scale score, showed to be largely independent of personality and explicit motives measures. Third, propensity to selling, compared to personality and motives measures, showed to be the most important predictor in explaining the variance of objective sales performance. The scale was labelled Propensity to Selling Scale, and its theoretical and practical implications were further discussed.