The role of the sales force in implementing strategy and developing and managing customer relationships: A grounded theory study of sales professionals in the wholesale auto auction industry

by Poteet, John Robert, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2011, 151 pages; 3486975


Salespeople in business-to-business (B2B) organizations, specifically wholesale auto auctions, are expected to develop strong, long-lasting relationships with their clients and customers to facilitate continuing business and sustainable profitability for their companies. However, it is the very strength of those developed relationships that exposes the salesperson's firm to lost business and/or customers if the salesperson leaves the company because those customers are targets for the salesperson's new firm. This study examined how those relationships are developed and are managed in six independently owned wholesale auto auctions to prevent salespeople from owning the customer while implementing the strategic goals of the organizations, including long-term customer retention. The research consisted of defining how salespeople in a specific B2B industry, wholesale auto auctions, develop their customer relationships, how they communicate the depth of those relationships to their managers and how company managers control and manage their sales professionals to prevent customer attrition if salespeople leave the company, especially to work for a competitor. A small purposeful sample was chosen because the research is exploratory in an attempt to understand the customer relationships developed by salespeople in six wholesale auto auctions. The research was conducted employing grounded theory, a qualitative approach well suited to exploring the lived experiences of the participants in the study.

AdviserPerry Haan
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsBusiness administration; Marketing; Management
Publication Number3486975

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