Inside salespeople rely on four main strategies when it comes to using social media in their roles to engage with customers.
Inside sales strategic social media use leads to higher levels of customer digital engagement and, ultimately, performance.
Firm digital technology resources may shape the effects of inside sales strategic social media use.
The nature of inside sales has shifted, increasing in autonomy, importance, and scope. Moreover, buyers are changing their preferences from face-to-face interactions to virtual-based relationships, leading to a future full of opportunities for inside salespeople using social media. The practitioner literature suggests that inside sales represent the sales business model of the digital era and a distinct strategic selling approach. While there has been a recent surge in theoretical research on inside sales, extant research fails to explore how and why inside salespeople uses social media as a critical tool. Research on social media use in sales has neglected to consider the growing role of inside sales, where sellers lack the opportunity to meet with customers face-to-face and must routinely rely on remote communication to interact with customers. As such, we use a grounded theory approach to investigate the “lived experiences” of inside salespeople at the intersection with social media in sales. Emergent from our findings is a framework depicting: inside sales strategic social media use → inside salesperson-customer digital engagement → inside sales performance. We also find that firm digital technology resources serve as enablement factors that shape the effects of the social media strategies that inside salespeople use.
Chaker, N.N., Nowlin, E.L., Pivonka, M.T., Itani, O.S. and Agnihotri, R., 2022. Inside sales social media use and its strategic implications for salesperson-customer digital engagement and performance. Industrial Marketing Management, 100, pp.127-144. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2021.10.006
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Industrial Marketing Management