Many organizations worldwide use personality measures to select applicants for sales jobs or to assess incumbent sales employees. In the present dissertation, consisting of four independent studies, five approaches to strengthen the personality-sales performance linkage were studied. This dissertation shows that personality can be used to predict sales performance. Although different meta-analyses in the past 20 years have reported that Conscientiousness and Extraversion are predictors of sales performance, in two independent samples of the dissertation was found that Openness predicted sales performance. Possibly, being open and interested in new things is related to finding new customers. Findings further show that using a GFP score may be useful for selecting sales employees. If one wants to select personnel for rather specific and more restricted tasks, such as dealing with customers or doing administrative work, then the use of more narrow measures may be better. In order to ensure optimal predictive validity, both in practice and in research, it is important to clearly specify the sales performance criterion before the optimal personality predictor is selected. The results of the dissertation further assert the importance of emotion regulation for high emotional labor sales jobs. Also, when predicting sales performance, other-ratings of personality may be an alternative to self-ratings. Finally, adding a sales Frame-Of-Reference to a personality measure may have the potential to improve the predictive validity for sales performance. To further optimize the prediction of sales performance with personality measures, we suggest more focus on the nature of sales performance criteria.

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M.Ph. Born (Marise)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Department of Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Sitser, T. (2014, April 17). Predicting sales performance: Strengthening the personality – job performance linkage. Retrieved from