اثرات متفاوت فن آوری بر داخل در مقابل نیروهای فروش در خارج برای تسهیل افزایش مشتری مداری و هماهنگی مغتنم
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|20985||2012||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6522 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 65, Issue 7, July 2012, Pages 929–936
This paper presents a study designed to examine outcomes of different workplace structures. Specifically, using a sample of 156 sales organizations, we review how sales force structure, eLearning, and technological tools can influence coordination and the level of customer orientation within an organization. While current literature touts the benefits of an outside sales force, our results suggest that this type of structure, when coupled with eLearning and technological tools, leads to even greater positive outcomes of an outside sales force. By utilizing different forms of technology in conjunction with an outside sales force, this research offers a new dynamic technological environment to further improve salesperson performance.
A number of researchers have pointed out the significant changes occurring in the sales function with Ingram, LaForge and Leigh (2002) proclaiming “the sales function is in the midst of a renaissance — a genuine rebirth and revival (pg. 559).” These changes are driven by a number of factors including the need for all areas of the organization to operate more efficiently, changes in customer demands and the use of multiple channels (Piercy, 2006). One response from a sales perspective has been to re-think the way the sales function is structured with one such change being a move towards increased utilization of inside salespeople (Gessner and Scott, 2009). US Census data shows that from 2002 to 2007 the number of firms engaged in call center activities increased from 3344 to 3519 with a corresponding increase in employees from 348,253 to 419,657 and sales from just over $11 billion to just over $14 billion. There has also been a continued transition from transactional selling to more relational or consultative sales approaches. Restructuring the sales function by using more inside salespeople, while being effective with regard to reducing costs, may lead to a decrease in the enhancement of customer relationships that are an antecedent to positive financial outcomes. However, Lawrence and Hubbard (2008) suggest that inside salespeople can effectively build rapport with customers and propose one way to do this is via the utilization of technology and business intelligence tools. As this re-structuring occurs, however, there is likely to be a blurring of the traditional roles between inside and outside salespeople. For example, Marshall and Vredenburg (1991) acknowledge that inside salespeople are increasingly engaging in sales related activities previously done by outside salespeople. As this occurs inside salespeople may be less willing to engage in tasks that support outside sales reps. Accordingly, as the sales force is restructured there may be a greater need for interfunctional coordination between inside and outside salespeople as well as within and between other units in the organization as is the case in hybrid channels (Webb and Hogan, 2002). Here again, technology is likely to be useful. This paper is designed to investigate how sales force structure (i.e., the use of inside and outside salespeople), customer orientation, and interfunctional coordination are inter-related. eLearning (continued education regarding technology and the use of it in a sales context) and technology tools (actual tools that are used to interact with customers) are proposed as tools that can impact the ability of inside and outside salespeople to act in a customer-oriented manner and enhance interfunctional coordination. In addition, the study is set in a broader framework that includes customer relationship performance and financial outcomes. The study should provide useful insights to sales managers who are interested in restructuring the sales function to take into account the potential cost savings emanating from using an inside sales force but who do not want to lose the benefits accruing from the use of outside salespeople. The research contributes to theory in being one of the first that explicitly investigates the way technology can work for both inside and outside salespeople in the enhancement of internal (customer orientation, interfunctional) and external (customer relationship management, financial) outcomes.