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Paper info: How do Salespeople Help Make Buyers' Resources Availible?


How do Salespeople Help Make Buyers' Resources Availible?


Annie Zhang, Mark Glynns and Roger Baxter

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 27th IMP-conference in Glasgow, Scotland in 2011.


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Purpose of the paper and literature addressed
There is great emphasis by researchers on the issue of co-creation of value across business-to-
business buyer-seller relationships because co-creation is the source of much development of
improved products, processes, and relationship value outcomes. Therefore an important issue for
managers in a selling organization is how they can ensure good access to the resources of their
buyers, as it is the interaction between buyer and seller and the resultant integration of resources that
is the basis for co-creation. This paper deals with a closely related concern: how do salespeople
facilitate availability of a buyer’s important and useful resources to effect positive outcomes for the
firm? The study utilizes the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing integration and network concepts
and the sales literature to identify a set of dimensions of the activities into which a salesperson
should put his or her efforts in order to facilitate the availability of customers’ resources to the
sellers’ firm and thereby aid value creation. The study then tests the validity of these dimensions
through several steps.
Research method
The study first reviews the literature to identify six activities to test as dimensions of a
“salesperson’s level of effort” in facilitating availability of the buyer’s resources to the seller. The
researchers next interview senior company executives to further develop the dimensions and help
identify measures. A survey then collects quantitative data and analyzes it using correlations and
confirmatory factor analysis.
Research findings
After purification of some items out of the scales, the study’s measurement model has good
fit statistics and the dimensions of the “salesperson’s level of effort” construct show good reliability
and validity. The six dimensions are effort by the salesperson in: learning about the buyer; learning
about the seller (their own firm); customer contact; providing service; selling; co -ordination.
Main contribution
The study develops a set of measures for level of salesperson’s effort in relationship
development and the ability of the seller to access its buyer’s resources. By doing so, the study
provides the basis for further research into relations between salesperson’s effort, availability of
buyer’s resources, and relationship outcomes which research can assess in terms of value and
Business-to-business; buyer-seller relationships; resources; salesperson’s level of effort