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Management article
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Reference no. AMSJ19-44
Published by: Allied Business Academies
Originally published in: "Academy of Marketing Studies Journal", 2015
Length: 13 pages

Abstract

The purpose of this exploratory study was to measure to what extent salespeople have integrated social media types (LinkedIn(TM), Twitter(TM), etc) in the various steps or stages of the personal selling/sales process. Using a table developed by Andzulis, et al (2012), a questionnaire was developed based on the table, pretested and revised. It was loaded on Google Forms(TM) and the URL was included in an email message sent to former students, who were asked to send it on to other salespeople they knew, thus creating a snowball sample. This study looked at the social media activity in a small geographic region to ascertain the utilization of various social media applications throughout the sales process. While this study has limitations based on the length of the questionnaire, the sample size and the geographic region of the participant pool, the results tend to support what other researchers in this area have reported. It appears that there is greater use of social media networks in the earlier stages of the selling process than in the latter stages. The focus seemed to be on monitoring customer comments, both positive and negative, and sharing company news (successes and community involvement). Several significant results at α ≤ .10 were identified for the basic demographic variables. More significant results were identified by social media network used and by type of customer/market served. However, given the non-probability method and low response rate, the above findings cannot be relied upon. Further research is thus warranted.

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Abstract

The purpose of this exploratory study was to measure to what extent salespeople have integrated social media types (LinkedIn(TM), Twitter(TM), etc) in the various steps or stages of the personal selling/sales process. Using a table developed by Andzulis, et al (2012), a questionnaire was developed based on the table, pretested and revised. It was loaded on Google Forms(TM) and the URL was included in an email message sent to former students, who were asked to send it on to other salespeople they knew, thus creating a snowball sample. This study looked at the social media activity in a small geographic region to ascertain the utilization of various social media applications throughout the sales process. While this study has limitations based on the length of the questionnaire, the sample size and the geographic region of the participant pool, the results tend to support what other researchers in this area have reported. It appears that there is greater use of social media networks in the earlier stages of the selling process than in the latter stages. The focus seemed to be on monitoring customer comments, both positive and negative, and sharing company news (successes and community involvement). Several significant results at α ≤ .10 were identified for the basic demographic variables. More significant results were identified by social media network used and by type of customer/market served. However, given the non-probability method and low response rate, the above findings cannot be relied upon. Further research is thus warranted.

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