Value Orientation of Salespeople: Conceptualization, Consequences, Antecedents, and Contingencies
Lead The question of the salesperson´s role in delivering value to customers remains largely unanswered. The present research develops the concept of value-oriented selling and investigates how it supports organizations in gaining a competitive advantage. Background Understanding how firms´ marketing strategies can be effectively implemented has been a long-standing goal of researchers and managers alike. While value creation is widely recognized as the key to firms´ long-term survival and success and creating customer value is increasingly seen as the next source of competitive advantage, only little is known about how firms may translate their specific value propositions into performance outcomes. Although salespeople play a key role in firms´ efforts of implementing the firms´ strategies, it is still unclear how salespeople and their behaviors relate to effective implementation of firms´ value propositions. Objective The aim of this research is to understand how salespeople create value and how salepeople´s value creation relates to salespeople´s, sales organizations´, and, ultimately, firms´ success. This question will be analyzed conceptually and empirically, based on in-depth interviews with experts (e.g., salespeople) and customers and a quantitative investigation of salesperson-customer dyads. Relevance From a theoretical perspective, this research will integrate value, implementation, and personal selling research, enrich the value-based theory of marketing, foster our understanding of sales and firm effective-ness, and facilitate future research on both successful implementation of marketing strategies and salespeople´s value orientation. More managerially, this research provides key insights into how firms can effectively implement value-oriented strategies and transform and manage their sales forces so as to enhance sales effectiveness, gain and ensure a competitive advantage, and, thus, prosper in the future.