How has IT impacted the B2B sales process?
MetadataShow full item record
- Master Thesis 
B2B sales role plays a major role in driving the economy, and this industry has been experiencing major changes over the year with the advances in technology which allow for more cost savings and driving for more efficient ways of conducting sales operations. The objective of this exploratory qualitative research paper was to raise interest in the role technology plays in the B2B sales process today from the salesperson’s view point. It was further partly built on previous research on B2B sales and how this has developed over time. This study looks to broaden the existing research on how the sales process as a whole is being impacted by the use of communication technology and data collection and analysis technology. A second goal was to deepen the understanding of how technology impacts two specific parts of the sales process; communication and relationship building between the customer and the sales person. A third goal was to gain a better understanding of the differences between the field sales role and the virtual sales role, in order to gain better insight into the benefits and weaknesses of the use of technology in the sales process. The study included five research participants who have held both field and virtual sales roles in Cisco. Through qualitative interviews, it was discovered that virtual sales leads to a shorter sales cycle and a higher quality of service. The research participants attributed higher frequency of communication, flexibility, richer data sharing, ease of communication and information gathering to this conclusion. By understanding how salespersons perceive virtual sales in itself, but also how they compare it to field sales, organizations can get a better understanding as to where the strengths of each sales role lie, and leverage these strengths. Furthermore, better insight into how technology is used in virtual and field sales can further give insight into how technology can be developed, changed, and used, to work better for the organization’s sales force.