Marketing Faculty Publications and Presentations

The Role of Salespeople in Value Co-Creation and Its Impact on Sales Performance

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This paper aims to examine salesperson skills, including listening, communication, and adaptive selling, that can enable value co-creation with customers and increase sales performance, while taking into consideration the contingent role of salesperson relationship-enhancing activities.


Survey and objective sales performance data were collected from 201 B2B salespeople in the industrial goods industry. The hypotheses were tested using PLS-SEM.


The results show adaptive selling, listening, and communication of salespeople positively impact the behaviors of salespeople to co-create value with customers. The results show that when salespeople co-create value with customers, they will have a positive effect on sales performance. Results show how value co-creation mediates the effects of listening and adaptive selling on sales performance.

Research Implications

Salespeople need to effectively listen to their customers to provide needed solutions by jointly working with them to co-create value. Similarly, a salesperson’s communication and adaptive selling skills have collective impacts that positively contribute to the value co-creation process. Results supplement previous findings in the literature by showing value co-creation holds a positive effect on sales performance at the micro salesperson level. The results offer additional support to the ongoing dialog on the role of a salesperson as a value co-creator.

Practical Implications

This study has identified several variables that engender successful co-creation by salespeople in B2B sales contexts. Findings demonstrate that salespeople who can adapt their selling approach, are good listeners, and can effectively communicate with customers can engender the value co-creation process with customers. The findings serve as a base to create professional guidelines about the skills and capabilities salespeople need to successfully execute a value co-creation process.


The study adds to the literature on value co-creation by highlighting three factors that can enhance the value co-creation process at the level of salespeople leading to better sales outcomes. This research adds the existing literature on the role of value co-creation in sales by empirically examining the relationship between value co-creation and sales performance at the salesperson level.


Original published version available at

Publication Title

Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing