Impact of Sales Call Adaptiveness and Customer Willingness on Sales Call Length: A Cross-Country Study of India, China, Korea, and Philippines

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In this empirical study across four countries (India, China, Korea, and Philippines), we examine the impact of sales call adaptiveness and customer willingness on sales call length (duration) of salespersons in these four countries. Sales call length as well as sales call quality—although important constructs in sales—are still underresearched in the domain of sales management. Our study in these four emerging markets sheds new light on enhancing sales force effectiveness. Using survey data from 847 salespersons in four countries, we analyze using multivariate analysis, and our results suggest that sales force effectiveness can be enhanced by giving them the autonomy to decide the sales call length based on the prospect quality. We also demonstrate that salespeople indulging in sales-oriented behaviors may be detrimental to the long-term relationship with customers. Emphasis on relational sales approaches would reduce sales practices such as pitching products or services to unwilling customers. Our study also highlights the interactive role of customer willingness and sales adaptiveness. We found several inter-country differences across sales practices in four countries, which have several meaningful managerial implications.