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Integrating technology within the sales-service ecosystem: the emergent sales techno-ecosystem

Carlos Bauer (Department of Marketing, Culverhouse College of Business, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA)
John M. Galvan (Department of Marketing, Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri, USA)
Tyler Hancock (Department of Marketing, The University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA)
Gary K. Hunter (Department of Marketing, Analytics and Professional Sales, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, USA)
Christopher A. Nelson (Department of Marketing, Elon University, Elon, North Carolina, USA)
Jen Riley (Department of Marketing, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)
Emily C. Tanner (Department of Marketing, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 26 October 2023

Issue publication date: 12 March 2024

281

Abstract

Purpose

Sales organizations embrace technological innovation. However, salespeople’s willingness to use new technology influences a firm’s return on investment, representing a significant concern for the organization. These concerns highlight tensions regarding the tradeoffs associated with technology implementations. The purpose of this study is to offer insights that help reduce the complexities of sales technology (ST) by exploring the changing dynamics of contemporary business relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper synthesizes the ST literature using the service ecosystem perspective to propose the sales techno-ecosystem (STE) framework, providing new insights into organizational decision-making related to the ongoing digital transformation of sales tasks.

Findings

This synthesis of the ST literature with the service ecosystem seeks to clarify the impact of technology within the evolving nature of buyer–seller relationships by providing four unique perspectives.

Research limitations/implications

Perspective 1 reviews the sales-service ecosystem framework and develops the theoretical underpinnings and relevant terminologies. Perspective 2 summarizes critical aspects of the ST literature and provides foundations for future research in the STE. Perspective 3 offers a more granular view, explicating roles and contexts prevalent in buyer–seller–technology interactions. Perspective 4 provides a set of tenets and advances research questions related to each tenet.

Practical implications

The culmination of these four perspectives is the introduction of five key tenants designed to help guide strategy and research.

Originality/value

The paper advances Hartmann et al. (2018) service ecosystem paradigm by explicating critical aspects of its ST domain to generate insights for theory and practice.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to the editors and the review team for constructive and insightful suggestions throughout the review process. The authors are listed in alphabetical order to denote equivalent contributions. Since acceptance of this article, the following author(s) have updated their affiliations: Jen Riley is at the Department of Marketing, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

Citation

Bauer, C., Galvan, J.M., Hancock, T., Hunter, G.K., Nelson, C.A., Riley, J. and Tanner, E.C. (2024), "Integrating technology within the sales-service ecosystem: the emergent sales techno-ecosystem", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 58 No. 3, pp. 782-811. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-04-2023-0221

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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