Article


Social media in B2B sales : Why and when does salesperson social media usage affect salesperson performance?


in Industrial Marketing Management , 96

par Bowen, Melanie ; Lai-Bennejean, Christine ; Haas, Alexander ; Rangarajan, Deva

2021 - 166-182 p. | En anglais

The importance of social media usage by B2B salespeople has been well documented in the sales literature. In particular, a B2B salesperson's use of social media to prospect for customers and adapt their sales approach have primarily been shown to explain sales performance. However, an increasing body of literature in the sales domain has called for B2B salespeople to be ambidextrous by engaging in service activities aimed at helping their customers. We argue that by giving B2B salespeople an opportunity to communicate directly with their customers, social media is used by salespeople to proactively service their customers and hence can play a critical role in driving sales performance. Drawing from the Task-Technology Fit theory, we develop and test a conceptual model in which B2B salesperson social media usage affects salesperson performance indirectly through value-oriented prospecting and proactive servicing. Additionally peer social media usage was a key moderator in the relationship between B2B salesperson social media usage on the one hand and value-oriented prospecting and proactive servicing on the other hand. We test the model with data from 171 B2B salespeople and find that salesperson social media usage relates positively with proactive servicing and value-oriented prospecting. While we did not find support for the relationship between social media usage and adaptive selling, we did find support for the impact of all three sales activities salesperson performance. In addition, results show that peer social media usage has positive moderating effects on the B2B salesperson social media usage and value-oriented prospecting/proactive servicing relationships.

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