Testing an Enhanced, Process-Based View of the Sales Process
This paper proposes that traditional process-based frameworks of selling may be underspecified given three realities affecting the sales role today: (1) longer sales cycles, (2) an increased customer demand for total solutions, and (3) a shift from a product- to a services-centric economy. An argument is offered that suggests that there are additional, plausible phases in the modern sales process that extant frameworks of the sales process have yet to fully consider. The paper then develops a research model to test key portions of this framework. "Downstream" sales behaviors and outcomes of these behaviors are thus the focal point of the enhanced framework, with behavioral outcomes operationalized via the subjective value inventory, a well-validated instrument on interpersonal negotiation style. Data collected from key account managers (n = 211) for a large services-based, consultative selling organization are used to test the model. The results show an encouraging pattern of relationships within the model. Furthermore, a robust amount of variance in sales performance is explained given both self-reported and objective measures. The paper concludes with a summary of contributions and limitations as well as suggested directions for future research.
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management
Plouffe, Christopher R.; Nelson, Yvette Holmes; and Beuk, Frederik, "Testing an Enhanced, Process-Based View of the Sales Process" (2013). Department of Marketing. 32.