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Sales-as-practice: an introduction and methodological outline

Sales-as-practice: an introduction and methodological outline There are strong indications that sales practices are currently being redefined from the ground up and that many of the inherited conceptual models of selling will not hold into a future that is defined by new selling techniques and technologies. This paper introduces a research perspective that can provide an important source of insight into how sales work and salespeople are currently being reconstituted: the sales-as-practice approach. In common with ‘practice turns’ evident in other business literature, such as the recent marketing-as-practice or the by now well-established strategy-as-practice approach, sales-as-practice requires of researchers to develop a sensitivity towards salespeople's ways of doing and being in social and material contexts. While acknowledging potential limitations, we identify some significant benefits of adopting this approach for our conceptual understanding of the sales domain, particularly in understanding persistence and transformation in sales practices, in paying attention to the role of material objects in configuring these practices and in appreciating the role of such practices in producing salespeople's ways of being. Moreover, we argue that becoming more closely acquainted with sales professionals' lifeworlds can aid in bridging the perceived divide between academic and practitioner knowledge in our domain. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management Taylor & Francis

Sales-as-practice: an introduction and methodological outline

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References (71)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2014 Pi Sigma Epsilon National Educational Foundation
ISSN
1557-7813
eISSN
0885-3134
DOI
10.1080/08853134.2014.913972
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

There are strong indications that sales practices are currently being redefined from the ground up and that many of the inherited conceptual models of selling will not hold into a future that is defined by new selling techniques and technologies. This paper introduces a research perspective that can provide an important source of insight into how sales work and salespeople are currently being reconstituted: the sales-as-practice approach. In common with ‘practice turns’ evident in other business literature, such as the recent marketing-as-practice or the by now well-established strategy-as-practice approach, sales-as-practice requires of researchers to develop a sensitivity towards salespeople's ways of doing and being in social and material contexts. While acknowledging potential limitations, we identify some significant benefits of adopting this approach for our conceptual understanding of the sales domain, particularly in understanding persistence and transformation in sales practices, in paying attention to the role of material objects in configuring these practices and in appreciating the role of such practices in producing salespeople's ways of being. Moreover, we argue that becoming more closely acquainted with sales professionals' lifeworlds can aid in bridging the perceived divide between academic and practitioner knowledge in our domain.

Journal

Journal of Personal Selling & Sales ManagementTaylor & Francis

Published: Jul 3, 2014

Keywords: practice theory; practice-based studies; sociology; sales; qualitative research

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