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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2007

Sylvain Senecal, Ellen Bolman Pullins and Richard E. Buehrer

Increasingly, salespeople adopt, or are being asked to adopt, and use a variety of technologies to increase their selling productivity and efficiency. Given this trend…

Abstract

Purpose

Increasingly, salespeople adopt, or are being asked to adopt, and use a variety of technologies to increase their selling productivity and efficiency. Given this trend, many researchers have begun to explore the question of sales force adoption of technology. However, little work has been done to consider what happens once this technology is adopted. The purpose of this paper is to report two studies that investigated if and why salespeople had different technology usage and if the extent of usage had an impact on their performance.

Design/methodology/approach

First, a qualitative study was performed to gain insights about extent of technology usage and the reasons that may explain differences. In order to test some of the research propositions that emerged from the qualitative study, an empirical study was conducted with 130 salespeople.

Findings

Innovativeness was found to be helpful in distinguishing between different technology usage levels across various technologies (internet, e‐mail, intranet, etc.). Results also suggest three potential antecedents of technology use, as well as a potential moderator of the usage to performance relationship.

Originality/value

This paper provides a research agenda for studying this important area. Further, the practicing manager will gain insight into some variables that help predict usage extent, and may provide better ideas on implementing and managing the use of technology by their sales force.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2011

Ellen Bolman Pullins, Michael L. Mallin, Richard E. Buehrer and Deirdre E. Jones

The Millennial generation (born after 1981) of salespeople is projected to become the apparent heir to replace top‐end Baby Boomers expected to retire at an alarming rate…

Abstract

Purpose

The Millennial generation (born after 1981) of salespeople is projected to become the apparent heir to replace top‐end Baby Boomers expected to retire at an alarming rate over the next five years. This problem poses a significant challenge in that buyer‐seller relationships will need to form between members of different generations.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a grounded theory style approach, the paper explores this intergenerational selling relationship development problem.

Findings

In addition to confirming that Millennial salespeople feel challenged by differences stemming from their age‐group, several strategies were identified for Millennial salespeople to overcome these challenges and effectively build relationships with their (older) customers.

Research limitations/implications

The study is qualitative and based on a limited convenience sample, but reveals the need to further pursue study in this area.

Practical implications

Managers can help younger salespeople develop strategies for managing older buyers. These strategies are establishing similarities, building credibility, showing dependability, demonstrating professionalism, and showing youthful enthusiasm.

Originality/value

The paper helps resolve the issue of whether understanding generational differences is important. Statistics show that increasingly younger salespeople will call on older buyers. The paper establishes that this is consistent with discrimination, SIT theory, rather than earlier work on similarities.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Richard E. Buehrer

Abstract

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 19 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

David A. Reid, Ellen Bolman Pullins, Richard E. Plank and Richard E. Buehrer

The study reported perceived sales interaction conflict (PSIC) as a construct in need of evaluation. As a first step toward validation of a PSIC measure, the study draws…

Abstract

The study reported perceived sales interaction conflict (PSIC) as a construct in need of evaluation. As a first step toward validation of a PSIC measure, the study draws perceptual data from a sample of professional industrial buyers. The researchers provide evidence as to the dimensionality of PSIC and its relationship to other variables characteristic of the buyer‐seller relationship.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2014

Concha Allen, Stacey Schetzsle, Michael L. Mallin and Ellen Bolman Pullins

The purpose of this paper is to determine the effects from perceptions of age disadvantageness when job candidates are interviewing with recruiters from different age…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine the effects from perceptions of age disadvantageness when job candidates are interviewing with recruiters from different age groups. More specifically, the authors examine the issues of intergenerational recruiting through the lens of social identity theory (SIT) and relational demography. Using these theoretical underpinnings, problems that result from dissatisfaction with between group inequities in the recruiting process are explored.

Design/methodology/approach

Using these theoretical underpinnings, problems that result from dissatisfaction with between group inequities in the recruiting process are explored. Results from a survey of 176 undergraduate students actively pursuing sales positions provide evidence that candidate perceptions are influenced by age of the interviewer.

Findings

The results support that sales job candidates do indeed feel disadvantaged when interviewed by older recruiters. Compared to interviewers from a more similar age in-group interviewer, the respondents felt a greater difficulty in establishing commonality and credibility and they felt the need to establish dependability, demonstrate professionalism, energy, and enthusiasm with an older out-group interviewer. Interestingly, sales job candidates did not feel lower levels of job confidence relative to the age-group of the interviewer.

Research limitations/implications

The study reflects the perceptions of sales job applicants sampled from only two universities in the same region of the USA. Generalizations outside of this job applicant population (i.e. major and geography) cannot be made based on this limited group of respondents. Additionally, outcomes were not explored in this paper, so there is no way to know with certainty that these feelings of disadvantageness translate to concrete differences in results, such as lower job acceptance.

Practical implications

From a recruiting/hiring managers’ perspective, they should be mindful that younger sales job candidates may feel uncomfortable or disadvantaged relative to age/generational differences. This could potentially even impact a recruit's desire to consider a company and accept a job offer, based on perceived organizational cultural differences. Educators need to prepare college students for the interview process. They should make students aware that they may feel the need to compensate for feelings that stem from intergeneration differences.

Originality/value

From a theory perspective, the study applies the SIT to a human resource and recruiting context to better understand possible recruiting barriers that may be particularly relevant in today's changing recruitment environment. This represents one of only a few empirical research efforts that has attempted to explain intergenerational recruiting issues relative to SIT. In addition to the use of SIT and relational demography, this paper introduces a unique context.

Details

American Journal of Business, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1935-5181

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Article
Publication date: 22 July 2019

Hoda Diba, Joseph M. Vella and Russell Abratt

This study aims to explore if and how business-to-business (B2B) companies can use social media to influence the buying process.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore if and how business-to-business (B2B) companies can use social media to influence the buying process.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses an exploratory approach into the existing literature related to the B2B buying process and its relationship with social media.

Findings

The study shows that companies in a B2B context can use social media as a means of influencing the stages of the buying process by means of using one or more of the seven functional blocks of social media.

Research limitations/implications

The findings demonstrate the relation that exists between each stage of the buyer process in a B2B organization and the functional blocks of social media. This study opens the door for further research into the influence of each of these blocks on the buying process stages and the roles involved.

Practical implications

This study identifies how social media’s blocks influence the different stages and how organizations can use that to their benefit.

Originality/value

Few studies have investigated the use of social media in a B2B context. However, not many have looked into the influence of social media in the B2B buying process and buying center. This study looks into the relationship between the buying process stages and social media’s functional blocks as related to the different roles of the buying center.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 34 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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