The industrial salespersons play extremely important roles in selling their firms' offerings to the industrial buyers. Typical roles performed are, seller of products, order handler, service provider, information manager, participation in conferences or meetings, facilitator in management of new sales, entertainment of buyers, and establishing of relationship with distributors (Anderson 1992; Belasco 1966; Buskirk and Buskirk 1992; Christian 1962; Futrelll993; Moncrief 1986). The conceptualization of these roles has remained relatively invariant over the past three decades except for the delineation of roles and increased emphasis on service. These roles were conceptualized with a competitive view of the buyer-seller market (Arndt 1979; 1983). According to the principles of Economics, in competitive markets exchanges between buying and selling firms are carried out under the autonomous decision processes of firms and the market forces guide the allocation of resources and rewards to them through "invisible hand." In short, these roles were developed to enable selling firms to compete with buying firms for the yields of sales transactions. Little or no emphasis was placed on the management of long term relationships with buyers rather, buyer cooperation is assumed to emerge from the extent of its dependence on the seller.
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- Emerging Roles of the Industrial Salesforce in an Era of Long Term Relationships
Varinder M. Sharma