Great Northern American Case Study

Topics: Sales, Motivation, Perception Pages: 6 (1877 words) Published: January 13, 2013
Great Northern American Case Study
Lekesha S. Rideaux
Professor Cheryl Molyneaux
Leadership and Organizational Behavior

The textbook defines perception as the process by which the individual selects, organizes, interprets, and responds to information. The Oxford dictionary defines perception as the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses; the way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted. Your perception is your reality, therefore statements such as, “the customer is always right,” hold true to a certain extent. What people perceive is what they believe, based on what they see, hear, and think. Perception affects decision making and the choices people make. This is why it is imperative not only for the salespeople of Great Northern American to understand how people form perceptions, but this is important for any person looking to build business relationships and loyal customers. Customer satisfaction is crucial to create business relationships and repeat customers. To be successful, salespeople must quickly identify opportunities and predict the changing needs and wants of customers. “Recent advances in customer equity research have rekindled the importance of understanding how customers form perceptions of satisfaction and quality (Blattberg and Deighton, 1996).” It is also essential for Joe Salatino’s sales force to understand that the drivers of customer satisfaction may shift over time. Things happen gradually and people’s perception may change. Why do consumers choose certain products to purchase over others? According to Don Shapiro, President and Founder of First Concepts Consultants, Inc, “People say yes because they see a high perceived value in what is offered for sale.” If perceptions of value are high, the more likely the sale will be made. “Closing the sale is primarily about raising the customers’ perceptions of value as high as possible (Shapiro, 2012).” This is where things like subscribing to prospects’ local newspapers and researching things they value come into play. “The average experienced and trained sales person does not go far enough in developing these things with their prospects. They do enough to be a good producer but lose sales they could have closed had they just done a bit more. They simply do not fully understand what is going on inside their prospects’ minds, everything that might affect the prospects’ decisions and what would increase the prospects’ perceptions of value the most (Shapiro, 2012).” Some statistics say the top ten percent of salespeople comprehend what goes on inside a perspective client’s mind, their understanding of how people form perceptions gives them a competitive advantage. Attribution is the method in which people use information to make conclusions about the causes of behavior or events. The ability to determine how people make attributions is a tremendous positive for the salespeople of Great Northern American. This element gives them an opportunity to take the information in order to convince perspective clients to make the purchase. The 30-person sales force of the Great Northern American Telemarketing Company works on commission and bonuses, therefore I believe the expectancy theory would be most appropriate for Joe Salatino to apply. “In the inquiry of behavioral issues related to sales force compensation, expectancy theory has enjoyed substantial popularity. The expectancy theory suggests that both the desirability of the reward or compensation (referred to as valance) and an individual’s estimate of the likelihood of attaining that reward (referred to as expectancy) are important determinants of a salesperson’s behavior. In the context of sales compensation issues, expectancy theory suggests that any method of compensation should (1) tie reward to performance, and (2) strengthen the salesperson’s perceived connection between performance and the reward received...

References: Chowdhury, J., & Massad, V.J. (1997). An eclectic paradigm of salesperson compensation: toward a comprehensive framework of the determinants of sales compensation modes. Journal of Marketing Management (10711988), 7(1), 61-80.
Learning Theories Knowledgebase (2012, November). Attribution Theory (Weiner) at Retrieved November 1st, 2012 from
Lewin, J. E., & Sager, J. K. (2010). The Influence of Personal Characteristics and Coping Strategies on Salespersons ' Turnover Intentions. Journal Of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 30(4), 355-370.
Shapiro, D. Why people buy: conclusions from 30 years studying prospects and salespeople. July 30, 2012. Retrieved on November 1, 2012 from
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