Relationship management: a sales role, or a state of mind? An investigation of functions and attitudes across a business-to-business sales force

Iain A. Davies, Lynette J. Ryals, Sue Holt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Commentators suggest that the business-to-business sales role is changing and evolving into relationship management. Previous research indicates that a relationship management role is very different from ‘traditional’ sales, and that it may require a different attitude on the part of the relationship manager. This research explores attitudes towards various aspects of relationship management across an entire international business-to-business sales force in a service industry context. We find that attitudes towards relationship management do not in fact align with job role. A cluster analysis reveals three attitudinal types of sales persons: Self-Directed; Team Leaders; and Strategic Sellers. Our findings suggest that some individuals may have attitudes that are inappropriate to their roles, and that attitudes should be taken into account when selecting relationship managers.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1049-1062
Number of pages14
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Volume39
Issue number7
DOIs
StatusPublished - Oct 2010

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Sales force
Relationship management
Business to business
Managers
Seller
Management roles
Cluster analysis
Team leaders
Service industries
International business

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Relationship management : a sales role, or a state of mind? An investigation of functions and attitudes across a business-to-business sales force. / Davies, Iain A.; Ryals, Lynette J.; Holt, Sue.

In: Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 39, No. 7, 10.2010, p. 1049-1062.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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