Purpose – The purpose of this article is to provide a new conceptualization of a salesperson's customer orientation, as a multi‐dimensional construct. The authors aim to base their new conceptualization on extensive evidence from literature review, and synthesis of the review of literature. Design/methodology/approach – An extensive literature review of the extant conceptualizations and operationalizations of salesperson's customer orientation is first carried out. Based on the review and synthesis of literature, a salesperson's customer orientation with six domain areas is conceptualized, through several propositions in the paper. Findings – The findings of this study suggest that salesperson's customer orientation has six domain areas, namely, providing information to customers, understanding customer needs, fulfilling customer needs, creating and delivering customer value, sustaining customer satisfaction, and maintaining long‐term relationships with customers. Practical implications – The sales managers can now apply more specifically, any of the six domain areas of customer‐oriented selling, and understand the conditions under which a particular domain area is important for customers. Originality/value – Salesperson's customer orientation hitherto has been considered only as an application of the marketing concept. The domain of this construct, or its various sub‐domain areas were not clearly delineated so far in the literature. This paper clearly explicates the domain areas of the construct while defining customer‐oriented selling in the changed world of selling today.
Marketing Intelligence & Planning – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 27, 2012
Keywords: Salesperson; Sales force; Customer orientation; Construct; Marketing concept; Conceptualization
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