Evaluating the Impact of Technology on Professional Sales: An Abstract


Marketing and Professional Sales

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Technological advancements, such as social media, have played a key part in the progression of professional sales as career and aided salespeople in building client relationships and achieving sales success. As one of the technologies often used within the professional sales role, social selling, the leveraging of social media platforms within the sales process, has served as a catalyst for the evolution of the sales process and has increasingly integrated into the role over the last decade. However, although social media usage has increased within the sales process, there are competing thoughts about the proper execution of the tactic, its legitimacy as a strategic approach, hesitancies in adoption as a whole, and resistance to training and resources spent on social selling within sales teams. This research will explore social selling’s place within the sales process and salesperson practices to address the technological changes in society. Through a mixed-methods approach, this research seeks to understand the role of social selling attributes throughout the sales process and discover how they impact salesperson value-creating outcomes including adaptive selling, customer orientation, and salesperson ambidexterity. By assessing social selling’s place within professional sales, researchers and practitioners can better asses social selling as a tool leveraged for content creation to forge relationships, communicate product or service offerings, and nurture the buyer-seller relationship. Contributions include highlighting what steps of the sales process social selling impacts, activities salespeople execute via social selling within the sales process, and the extent to which social selling belongs within the sales process. Exploring social selling integration into the sales cycle and using social selling methods has numerous possibilities for investigating future research, including salesperson self-efficacy, buyer/seller interfaces, value co-creation antecedents, relational selling impact, and social selling’s impact on value co-creation outcomes. Research within this area answers the call to establish an enhanced understanding of sales involvement within value co-creation and value exchange among stakeholders during the sales process (Ogilvie et al., 2018). Contributions of this dissertation include establishing a more robust understanding of seller interfaces as executed through social media, understanding aspects of social selling interactions that produce value on behalf of the seller, and gathering insights for salesperson perceptions of value gained via social selling.

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Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science

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