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US University Studies NZ Salespeople

Kiwis and Canadians: 'Let me use my abilities!'

Aussies and Norwegians: 'Don't tie me down!'

U.S. and U.K. Sales Teams: 'Show me the money!'

In a major new study of sales motivation conducted by US-based Baylor University and Behavioral Sciences Research Press, Kiwi salespeople were found to be more similar to Canadian salespeople than to salespeople in the U.S. or U.K. The study will be presented in November, at the 2003 annual convention of the Society for Marketing Advances, in New Orleans, Louisiana.


"Opportunity to use abilities" was rated highest by Kiwi and Canadian salespeople, while U.S., U.K. and Singaporean salespeople were more money- motivated. "Freedom to do new and exciting things" was also important to Kiwi salespeople. Money was ranked fourth.

The study also found that many salespeople in New Zealand see their sales careers differently than salespeople in other nations. Almost 11% of the Kiwi salespeople sampled said they see their sales career as a necessary, but temporary, stop-off along the path to management. In this regard, they are like salespeople in Australia, Singapore and the U.K., but very different from salespeople in the U.S., Chile, Norway and Sweden. "Salespeople in the US tend to see management as a step backward because they can make more money in sales," said Dr. Jeff Tanner, co-author of the study.

Service What about service? Service was not the principle force driving salespeople in any of the nations sampled. 13.6% of the salespeople in the U.S. said service was of primary importance. "Kiwi salespeople were the only group that even approached that level of service orientati alespeople in the U.K. and Norway," added study co-author, George W. Dudley. Australians scored mid-way among the nations at 8.6%.


"The implications of the study are serious and far-reaching, especially when it comes to the increasing globalization of business in general, and multi-national sales management practices in particular. The cultural differences in sales motivation we found helps explain why so many made-in- the-USA sales management practices aren't more effective in other nations," said Dr. Tanner.

"The results of this study reflect how cultural and societal forces shape the drive to sell differently, in different countries," Dudley said. "We found some factors influence sales behaviour in New Zealand, but not other countries. For example, the study found Kiwi salespeople to be more driven by "lifestyle considerations" than money as an end-in-itself. So, sales executives shouldn't try to motivate Kiwi sales teams with money alone. Yet, I suspect most do -- especially U.S. sales organizations operating in New Zealand. When they try to manage Kiwi salespeople using U.S.-based sales management programs and training procedures they are in danger of producing sales mutations unable to sell comfortably in either culture."

Noted behavioral scientist, George W. Dudley at Behavioral Sciences Research Press in Dallas, Texas co-authored the study with Dr. John F. Tanner, Jr., Associate Professor of Marketing at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business. Dudley and Tanner used the Sales Preferences Questionnaire (SPQ) to ask 40,996 salespeople across nine nations what drives them to sell. SPQ is a psychometric test used worldwide to measure attitudes towards new business development. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, United Kingdom, United States, Sweden, Singapore and over 1,700 salespeople in New Zealand were included in the study. Dudley and Tanner expect to update their multi-national study of sales motivations study on an annual basis. Contact Details: John F. Tanner, George W. Dudley:

More Information t An extended version of this release is available from the authors. Both authors are available for phone or email interviews.

Behavioral Sciences Research Press ( is a small, but highly respected research-oriented organization with a large international reach. The twenty-five year old organization is well known for innovative scientific (psychometric) research projects including many with sales populations, worldwide. Baylor University ( is the oldest private university in Texas. U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review and The Financial Times rate Baylor's Hankamer School of Business as one of the top business schools in the United States.

SOURCE: Baylor University

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