Exploring salesperson learning in the client relationship nexus
06T10:25:20Z February 2014
Purpose - This paper aims to investigate the characteristics and parameters of salesperson learning within client relationships, thereby filling a noticeable gap in the knowledge of individual learning in a sales context. It also aims at advancing the discussion on the nature of learning and knowledge in sales and marketing.. Design/methodology/approach - A grounded theory approach is used to investigate salesperson learning in a relational context. Data collection methods include interviews with 36 business-to-business sales personnel, reflexive exercises and field observations.. Findings - The investigation shows that salesperson relational learning is personal, that it occurs in action, that it is contextual, natural, open-ended, and often unconscious. Antecedents of learning are personal dispositions such as openness to changing contexts and situated learning mechanisms; consequences of relational learning are personal methods of knowledge transfer as well as the transformation of the learner and the client relationship. Thus, a framework of salesperson relational learning is proposed.. Practical implications - Sales managers should emphasise the continuity of learning, train people in situ and minimise turnover of sales personnel. They might also do well to acknowledge how these alternative modes can complement traditional, more formal sales management methods.. Originality/value - This paper presents a grounded model that aids both researchers and practitioners in understanding salesperson learning in client relationships, thus advancing a new theoretical perspective on learning in sales and marketing..
Type of Material
European Journal of Marketing
Copyright (Published Version)
Status of Item
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License