Although sales control has been identified by previous literature as an effective tool to promote salesperson commitment, unclear categorization of the focal variables makes existing findings confounding. This paper aims to provide more nuanced understanding about the relation between sales control systems and salesperson commitment by categorizing sales control into outcome control, activity control, and capability control. Moreover, we explore the moderating role of behavioral uncertainty, which includes sales cycle uncertainty and behavioral content uncertainty. Using a sample of 208 salespersons in China, we find the following results: (1) sales cycle uncertainty weakens the positive impact of outcome control on salesperson commitment and the negative relationship between activity control and salesperson commitment; (2) behavioral content uncertainty strengthens the positive link between outcome control and salesperson commitment and the negative impact of activity control on salesperson commitment; and (3) both sales cycle uncertainty and behavioral content uncertainty strengthen the positive relationship between capability control and salesperson commitment. This research enriches knowledge about sales control systems and offers insights into the important contextual role of behavior uncertainty that has been largely ignored by prior research in the sales force control literature.
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