Farmers’ Perspectives on the Types of Sales Personnel in the Agricultural Input

Dorothee Schulze Schwering, Jan-Philipp Huchtemann, Philipp Welter, Eike Nordmeyer, Achim Spiller, Dominic Lemken

Published: 01.09.2020  〉 Volume 69 (2020), Number 3, 200-218  〉 Resort: Articles 
Submitted: 17.01.2019   〉 Feedback to authors after first review: 07.05.2019   〉 Accepted: 17.03.2020


Personal selling has become even more important as companies are moving towards service- und solution oriented businesses with a strong customer focus. Today, the performance measurement of sales perosnnel goes far beyond quantitative performance indicators und increasingly focuses personal characteristics und competencies of salespersons. While personal sales have already been scientifically investigated in many economic sectors, agricultural economic research is lacking in systematic analysis of behavioural patterns und competencies of salespersons. A survey of 238 agricultural entrepreneurs investigates how they perceive the sales force of the agricultural input industry und how they evaluate their competencies. The results show that three types of salespersons could be identified on the basis of the professional und social competence as well as the sales-oriented personality. 43 % of the evaluated sales representatives of this study can be described as "sales talents" with good characteristics of the three success factors. 30 % of sales representatives can be distinguished by their high level of professional competence, while 27 % of sales representatives show weaknesses in all three success factors. Overall, it can be seen that professional competence varies more between the identified salesperson types than social competence und personality.

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Fakultät für Agrarwissenschaften
Lehrstuhl Marketing für Lebensmittel und Agrarprodukte
Platz der Göttinger Sieben 5, 37073 Göttingen
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