2021 7.2 Research Review – edited by Jeremy Noad

26th April 2021 |   Dr Jeremy Noad

The research review aims to help readers keep up to date with recently published research on sales-related topics. The review highlights short abstracts of academically peer-reviewed research. This selection of published research is from a range of academic journals. In this edition, the abstracts include four themes that focus on sales performance, capability development, sales behaviours and sales automation.

Sales Performance

Using value propositions to create a market

Forward-looking firms are increasingly viewing markets as malleable and plastic systems that can be influenced. Hence, they are engaging in market-shaping to proactively augment existing business opportunities or to create new ones. One of the recurring themes in the emerging market-shaping literature is the importance of value propositions. Consequently, the purpose of this paper is to identify configurations of value proposition characteristics that are effective for focal firms engaging in market-shaping strategies. In our empirical study, we analyse market-shaping actions carried out by 21 case firms using fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis. We identify four characteristics of market-shaping value propositions: (1) enhanced resource integration and related support as the core content of market-shaping value propositions, (2) collaborative value-proposing process, (3) systemic and verified value promise, and (4) new representations used in communication as the design characteristics of market-shaping value propositions. Further, we show that even though value propositions can shape markets without displaying all four of these characteristics, none of these characteristics alone can create all the expected outcomes. Hence, we identify distinct configurations of value proposition characteristics that are successful in either changing the elements comprising the market system or inducing an overall system-level market change.

Nenonen, S, Storbacka, K, Sklyar, A, Frow, P and Payne, A (2019), “Value propositions as market-shaping devices: A qualitative comparative analysis”, Industrial Marketing Management.

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Dr Jeremy Noad edits our Research Review. As an advocate both of sales excellence and translating sales research into action, he has been our Research Review section editor since day one. A 25-year sales and marketing veteran who has worked with sales organisations on all major continents, Dr Noad guides and coaches sales leaders and their teams to transform sales performance and effectiveness. His present focus is on global sales effectiveness with a $20bn market leader. He completed his doctorate on improving sales performance at Portsmouth University.