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Can salespeople use social media to enhance brand awareness and sales performance? The role of manager empowerment and creativity

Ashish Kalra (Department of Marketing, School of Business Administration, University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio, USA)
Omar S. Itani (Department of Marketing, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon)
Amin Rostami (Department of Marketing, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota, USA)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 20 February 2023

Issue publication date: 27 June 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

Although research analyzing the consequences of salesperson social media use in driving sales behaviors and performance outcomes has proliferated in the recent past, there are significant research gaps in the domain. Grounded in task-technology fit theory, this paper aims to propose a conceptual framework that integrates between previously disjointed areas of research and analyzes the relationships between salesperson social media use, brand awareness, creativity, manager empowerment and company performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey responses were collected from a multi-industry sample of 158 business-to-business salespeople. Structural relationships were tested using partial least squares structural equation modeling.

Findings

The analysis shows that salesperson social media use positively affects brand awareness. The relationship between social media and brand awareness is magnified with the increase in salesperson creativity. Findings also show that manager empowerment increases salesperson creativity. Finally, brand awareness positively affects company performance.

Practical implications

Sales organizations should focus on developing digital strategies, especially focusing on salesperson social media use to enhance company’s brand awareness, which in turn increases company performance. Moreover, sales managers should also follow empowering leader behaviors to enhance creativity.

Originality/value

The authors amalgamate salesperson social media use literature and branding literature by proposing salesperson social media use’s positive effects on brand awareness. This study also expands the knowledge by exploring the moderating effect of individual-level variables such as salesperson creativity on driving the effects of salesperson social media use.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to several anonymous reviewers and to Gina Chiodi Grensing for the help in developing this manuscript.

Citation

Kalra, A., Itani, O.S. and Rostami, A. (2023), "Can salespeople use social media to enhance brand awareness and sales performance? The role of manager empowerment and creativity", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 38 No. 8, pp. 1738-1753. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-01-2022-0056

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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