Using two samples of salespeople, the authors investigate how a combination of general mental ability (GMA) and specific skills and capabilities (social competence and thinking styles) enables salespeople to reach their sales goals. The study finds evidence for an interaction between GMA and social competence. When combined with high social competence, high GMA leads to the highest sales performance; when combined with low social competence, high GMA leads to the lowest sales performance. In addition, the authors find interaction effects between GMA and a judicial thinking style. Salespeople with a high GMA have the most potential for attaining high levels of sales performance when combined with specific skills; when salespeople with a high GMA lack these skills, they may become the firm's worst performers.

Additional Metadata
Keywords cognitive ability, general mental ability, job performance, knowledge-based marketing, sales personnel, selling, shaping, social aspects, social competence, social skills, work skills
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1509/jmkg.72.4.44, hdl.handle.net/1765/12690
Citation
Verbeke, W.J.M.I, Belschak, F.D, Bakker, A.B, & Dietz, H.M.S. (2008). When Intelligence Is (Dys)Functional for Achieving Sales Performance. Journal of Marketing, 72(4), 44–57. doi:10.1509/jmkg.72.4.44