Sales-as-Practice: An Introduction and Methodological Outline to Study Sales Work

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Title: Sales-as-Practice: An Introduction and Methodological Outline to Study Sales Work
Authors: Geiger, Susi
Kelly, Séamas
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Date: 29-Apr-2014
Abstract: There are strong indications that sales practices are currently being redefined from the ground up and that many of the inherited conceptual models of selling will not hold into a future that is defined by new selling techniques and technologies. This paper introduces a research perspective that can provide an important source of insight into how sales work and salespeople are currently being reconstituted: the sales-as-practice approach. In common with 'practice turns' evident in other business literature, such as the recent marketing-as-practice or the by now well-established strategy-as-practice approach, sales-as-practice requires of researchers to develop a sensitivity towards salespeople's ways of doing and being in social and material contexts. While acknowledging potential limitations, we identify some significant benefits of adopting this approach for our conceptual understanding of the sales domain, particularly in understanding persistence and transformation in sales practices, in paying attention to the role of material objects in configuring these practices and in appreciating the role of such practices in producing salespeople's ways of being. Moreover, we argue that becoming more closely acquainted with sales professionals' lifeworlds can aid in bridging the perceived divide between academic and practitioner knowledge in our domain.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Journal: Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management
Volume: 34
Issue: 3
Start page: 223
End page: 231
Copyright (published version): 2014 Pi Sigma Epsilon National Educational Foundation
Keywords: Practice theoryPractice-based studiesSociologySalesQualitative research
DOI: 10.1080/08853134.2014.913972
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Business Research Collection

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