Digital transformation has changed customers’ buying processes. The same transformation has also challenged the traditional ways of selling and enabled renewal. Sales professionals need to develop their competences at an ever faster pace and more precisely to sell successfully both in traditional and newer contact channels. Up-to-date level of competence will support value co-creation with customer and boost customer experience.
We are interested in internal and external relations between two or more people/teams in the context of B2B sales. Examples of internal relations include a sales director’s relations with sales staff, the sales manager’s relation to the team of specialists the sales manager is leading as well as every professional’s own subjective perspectives e.g. self-direction and relationship to the other members of a sales team. In terms of external relations, we are interested in e.g. the relations between a sales manager and the buying company’s representative as well as the relations between selling and buying teams.
Fig. 1 Framework guiding the research group’s activities.
We are approaching the internal and external B2B relations and activities via four perspectives: leadership, interaction, emotions and attitude. Interesting research questions include e.g. how does leadership enable sales people to succeed, what kind of interactional skills are emphasized in a digitalized operating environment, what is the role of emotions in selling and buying, how sales manager’s emotional intelligence affects the successful leading of a team of specialists, how salesperson’s attitude towards using digital tools affects sales performance.