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Salespeople's value creation roles in customer interaction: An empirical study

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Researchers have called for the need to investigate the salesperson's role in customer value creation in the context of companies moving into service and solution businesses. Despite the indisputable importance of the sales function in the company's customer relationships and in value creation for these customers, relevant literature has not yet answered the question of what salespeople actually do when they create value for the customer in business interactions. By answering this question, this paper aims to shed light on the individual salesperson's role(s) in creating customer value. Based on an in-depth qualitative case study, shadowing salespeople of a full-service packaging provider during their work, four roles summarising the different ways salespeople can create customer value have been identified: the advisor, the broker, the secretary and the friend. Theoretical contributions lie in the integration of an interaction perspective into selling, highlighting the disregarded complexity of industrial selling.
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Keywords: CASE STUDY; INDUSTRIAL SELLING; INTERACTION; SALESPERSON ROLES; SOLUTION SELLING; VALUE CREATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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