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Sales unit knowledge leveraging mechanisms: A mixed method analysis of leveraging salesperson market knowledge

Edward L Nowlin, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


In this dissertation, the author examines the acquisition and utilization of the market knowledge from salespeople. The existing literature fails to identify what composes salesperson market knowledge and nor does it identify the mechanisms sales managers should use to access it. With this absence of guiding theory, the author conducted an exploratory qualitative study. The author found that salesperson market knowledge is composed of four components: customer, interactional, competitor, and environmental knowledge. The author also identified the mechanisms that sales managers could use to access, integrate, and utilize salesperson market knowledge calling it knowledge integrating mechanisms (KLMs). KLMs have four components: recognizing the value, probing for information, knowledge integration, and market knowledge deployment. The qualitative study also resulted in a theoretical framework in which the components of salesperson market knowledge impact sales unit outcomes mediated by KLMs. The outcomes included solution effectiveness, competitor responsiveness, and unit performance. In study two, the author tests these ideas using a cross-sectional sample of 257 sales managers in a business-to-business context. Although the results are broadly supportive of the predictions, they are also surprising, because they challenge the assumption that the presence of knowledge will actually impact outcomes in organizations. The author discusses the implications of these findings specifically for research on using salespeople as knowledge sources. ^

Subject Area

Business Administration, Marketing

Recommended Citation

Nowlin, Edward L, "Sales unit knowledge leveraging mechanisms: A mixed method analysis of leveraging salesperson market knowledge" (2009). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3386758.