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For better sales, connect with coworkers

Date:
November 12, 2015
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
For successful salespeople, it's all about who you know -- particularly within your own firm. A new study finds that developing strong internal relationships leads to a significant increase in sales volume.
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For successful salespeople, it's all about who you know -- particularly within your own firm.

A new study, co-authored by a Michigan State University business scholar and published online in the Journal of Marketing, finds that developing strong internal relationships leads to a significant increase in sales volume.

The study of nearly 300 field salespeople is one of the first to investigate the effect of internal social networks on sales performance.

"Frankly, it's as important for salespeople to build internal contacts as it is for them to be effective in customer interaction," said Douglas E. Hughes, MSU associate professor of marketing.

In today's highly competitive global economy, salespeople essentially have become consultants who help clients solve problems. That job is easier if the salesperson can reach out to others in the firm, from engineers to marketers.

Successful salespeople use social network positions to their advantage, the study found. Political skill helps salespeople build relationships with co-workers who are well connected and influential. Extraversion helps salespeople serve as bridges among employees who are not well connected. This enables cross-fertilization of ideas and the generation of creative solutions to customer problems.

For firms, it's important to continue focusing on customer needs but also to foster connections among employees, Hughes said.

"As companies are hiring, training and managing salespeople, they can't ignore the importance of salespeople building these networks within the organization," he said.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Willy Bolander, Cinthia B. Satornino, Douglas E. Hughes, Gerald R. Ferris. Social Networks Within Sales Organizations: Their Development and Importance for Salesperson Performance. Journal of Marketing, 2015; 79 (6): 1 DOI: 10.1509/jm.14.0444

Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "For better sales, connect with coworkers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151112123704.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2015, November 12). For better sales, connect with coworkers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151112123704.htm
Michigan State University. "For better sales, connect with coworkers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151112123704.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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