Contextual Influences and the Adoption and Practice of Relationship Selling in a Business-to-business Setting: An Exploratory Study

Beverland, Michael
June 2001
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Summer2001, Vol. 21 Issue 3, p207
Academic Journal
Recently, a number of authors have argued in favour of a relationship approach to selling and sales management. Despite this call, there has been little in the way of research to identify the impact of adopting relationship selling at an organizational and tactical level. Based upon multiple in-depth interviews with experienced salespeople, we propose the conditions under which relationship selling is appropriate, and argue that relationships with customers evolve through a two-stage process that involves balancing short-term performance based behaviors with long-term relationship building behaviors. Findings cause us to argue that organizations adopting a relationship approach to selling require flatter organizational structures and need to foster more flexible organizational cultures.


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