How do salespeople help make buyer’s resources available?

Zhang, AL
Baxter, RA
Glynn, MS
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The University of Strathclyde

Purpose of the paper and literature addressed There is great emphasis by researchers on the issue of co-creation of value across business-to-business buyer-seller relationships because co-creation is the source of much development of improved products, processes, and relationship value outcomes. Therefore an important issue for managers in a selling organization is how they can ensure good access to the resources of their buyers, as it is the interaction between buyer and seller and the resultant integration of resources that is the basis for co-creation. This paper deals with a closely related concern: how do salespeople facilitate availability of a buyer’s important and useful resources to effect positive outcomes for the firm? The study utilizes the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing integration and network concepts and the sales literature to identify a set of dimensions of the activities into which a salesperson should put his or her efforts in order to facilitate the availability of customers’ resources to the sellers’ firm and thereby aid value creation. The study then tests the validity of these dimensions through several steps. Research method The study first reviews the literature to identify six activities to test as dimensions of a “salesperson’s level of effort” in facilitating availability of the buyer’s resources to the seller. The researchers next interview senior company executives to further develop the dimensions and help identify measures. A survey then collects quantitative data and analyzes it using correlations and confirmatory factor analysis. Research findings After purification of some items out of the scales, the study’s measurement model has good fit statistics and the dimensions of the “salesperson’s level of effort” construct show good reliability and validity. The six dimensions are effort by the salesperson in: learning about the buyer; learning about the seller (their own firm); customer contact; providing service; selling; co-ordination. Main contribution The study develops a set of measures for level of salesperson’s effort in relationship development and the ability of the seller to access its buyer’s resources. By doing so, the study provides the basis for further research into relations between salesperson’s effort, availability of buyer’s resources, and relationship outcomes which research can assess in terms of value and performance.

Business-to-business , buyer-seller relationships , resources , salesperson’s level of effort
27th IMP Conference, Glasgow, United Kingdom
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