Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)



First Advisor

Danny Bellenger, PhD

Second Advisor

Wesley Johnston, PhD

Third Advisor

Denish Shah, PhD


Due to its role relative to company performance, the topic of sales effectiveness has been richly explored for decades. Academic researchers in the fields of sales effectiveness, organizational purchasing, purchase types, and market segmentation have identified the importance of understanding the personal characteristics of decision makers in business-to- business (B2B) environments. Most of the historic literature focuses on demographic characteristics, which has been deemed insufficient for understanding individual’s motivations. While there has been recognition of the opportunity for psychographics and lifestyle data in B2B purchasing, there has been limited empirical research. Employing a contingency framework informed by Weitz and utilizing sales and marketing activities as well as results for 2,710 dyads, this study posits that the psychographic and lifestyle nature of B2B purchase decision makers, as well as the buyclass category of the purchase decision, moderate the relationship between specific sales activities and sales effectiveness. The results from this empirical study identify that there is strong support for the moderating effect of the purchasing decision maker’s psychographic and lifestyle composition on the relationship between sales activities and sales effectiveness and partial support for the moderating effect of buyclass category on the relationship between sales activities and sales effectiveness. In addition, the results identify that the sales activities of the internal sales function, not the external “customer-facing” sales function, have greater impact on sales effectiveness. Furthermore, the results indicate that proactive sales efforts yield increases in sales effectiveness across all subgroups evaluated.