Date of Award

Summer 8-7-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)

Department

Business

First Advisor

Dr. Subhashish Samaddar

Second Advisor

Dr. Wesley Johnston

Third Advisor

Dr. Scott Inks

Abstract

Most B2B sales involve personal selling, which is expensive and collaborative. Problem solving and value creation, i.e., collaboration, are contemporary trends in sales and marketing. Little is known about how purchase decisions are made in large-dollar accounts, about what factors make B2B sales processes effective for both buyers and sellers, and about the roles senior managers play in the buying process. The motivation for this exploratory study is rooted in these questions. In addition, few studies have explored senior executive buyers’ perceptions of suppliers. In this dissertation, I use a robust secondary data set based on assessments of 23 suppliers by 889 buyers to examine buyer satisfaction with suppliers. The data set spans 27 supplier industries and 40 product and service categories. I use grounded theory-based qualitative analysis combined with quantitative analyses to assess seller performance. Specifically, I explore how the following elements of interorganizational B2B sales affect buyer outcomes: collaboration, initiator type, customer market segment, and product or service category. I also examine the effect of geography and culture (domestic versus international, and US North versus South) on buyer outcomes. The results show that sales collaboration is a statistically significant indicator of sales performance, and that the impact of collaboration varies by industry and product type.

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