Awareness, action and context‐specificity of blue ocean practices in sales management

Awareness, action and context‐specificity of blue ocean practices in sales management Purpose – This paper aims to investigate the role of new value creation mechanisms in a company's sales strategy. Using value creation and strategic marketing as theoretical approaches, the study explores the underpinnings of blue ocean strategy (BOS) and categorizes ways in which BOS is reflected in sales management activities. The link to performance and the influence of contextual moderation are also examined. Design/methodology/approach – The article reports on a study on sales management in a 168‐respondent survey of CEOs and sales directors of Finnish companies across industries. The operationalization is quantitative, and principal component analysis with the varimax rotation method is used to examine the companies' approach to executing BOS and the firms are categorized using the cluster analysis method. Furthermore, the linkage to self‐reported business performance is statistically analyzed. Research limitations/implications – This study identifies four approaches to using BOS: strategic awareness‐building; customer‐specific solution orientation; enforcement‐orientation; and non‐employment of blue ocean thinking. While only the enforcement‐orientation cluster has superior performance to non‐users of BOS across the entire sample, there are surprisingly notable performance differentials within different combinations of contexts. Practical implications – The study points out that enforcing BOS at the level of action and implementation in sales management pays off. The findings entail that choosing between the identified BOS approaches and implementing them should be context‐specific. Furthermore, the development of skills is emphasized over knowledge management. Originality/value – For concepts primarily directed at managerial audiences, the theoretical foundations and empirical testability is often not the primary concern. This study presents investigative work geared at revealing the key factors underlying blue ocean strategies in sales management. The paper represents one of the first verifications of the link between blue ocean strategy and business performance. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Management Decision Emerald Publishing

Awareness, action and context‐specificity of blue ocean practices in sales management

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0025-1747
DOI
10.1108/00251741111163098
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to investigate the role of new value creation mechanisms in a company's sales strategy. Using value creation and strategic marketing as theoretical approaches, the study explores the underpinnings of blue ocean strategy (BOS) and categorizes ways in which BOS is reflected in sales management activities. The link to performance and the influence of contextual moderation are also examined. Design/methodology/approach – The article reports on a study on sales management in a 168‐respondent survey of CEOs and sales directors of Finnish companies across industries. The operationalization is quantitative, and principal component analysis with the varimax rotation method is used to examine the companies' approach to executing BOS and the firms are categorized using the cluster analysis method. Furthermore, the linkage to self‐reported business performance is statistically analyzed. Research limitations/implications – This study identifies four approaches to using BOS: strategic awareness‐building; customer‐specific solution orientation; enforcement‐orientation; and non‐employment of blue ocean thinking. While only the enforcement‐orientation cluster has superior performance to non‐users of BOS across the entire sample, there are surprisingly notable performance differentials within different combinations of contexts. Practical implications – The study points out that enforcing BOS at the level of action and implementation in sales management pays off. The findings entail that choosing between the identified BOS approaches and implementing them should be context‐specific. Furthermore, the development of skills is emphasized over knowledge management. Originality/value – For concepts primarily directed at managerial audiences, the theoretical foundations and empirical testability is often not the primary concern. This study presents investigative work geared at revealing the key factors underlying blue ocean strategies in sales management. The paper represents one of the first verifications of the link between blue ocean strategy and business performance.

Journal

Management DecisionEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 6, 2011

Keywords: Sales management; Value innovation; Business model transformation; Blue ocean strategy; Management strategy

References

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