The Sales Ecosystem


Levels of Connection and Interaction, Special issue of Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing; Deadline 20 Jan 2020

Title: The Sales Ecosystem – Defining and Exploring How Various Levels of Connection and Interaction Affect the Selling Process

Guest Editors

Lenita Davis , University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Pia Hautamäki, Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Dawn Deeter-Schmelz, Kansas State University


Technology has disrupted and changed almost every aspect of the interactions and connections that occur in the sales process. Geographical and spatial boundaries are now less of an issue when establishing and building relationships during the sales process. Theory and research which takes a comprehensive view of the interactions and connections whether it occurs between individuals and networks is necessary given the trends and relevant issues that exist in global sales and logistics. Using the Ecological System (Bronfenbrenner 1979) as a metaphor, it is possible to study five systems of interaction and connection that influence and create sales experience and ecosystem.

Microsystems – The interaction of direct contact or bi-directional relationships (i.e., the interaction between the sales representatives and their customers)

Mesosystems – The interaction between microsystems or multidirectional relationships (i.e., the interaction between the customer and other people in the sales representative’s organization)

Exosystems – This is the indirect connection with individuals and organizations that affect relationships within the microsystem (i.e., the interaction between the customer of your customer)

Macrosystems – The connection with macro-environmental elements that affect sales (i.e., the effects of large institutions on the sales process including government, economy, culture etc.)

Chronosystems – The pattern or the history of interactions over the life course of the relationship (i.e., the effects of relationship history on the sales process)

Inspired by work presented at the Global Sales Science Institute (GSSI) 2019 Conference, this special issue encourages researchers to develop theory concerning the interaction and connection that occurs at any of these levels. More specifically we are interested in how the level and characteristics of interactions in the “sales ecosystem” transforms buying, creates global business opportunities, affects the adoption and application of technical innovation, facilitates/hampers collaboration between marketing and selling operations within a global organization.

All research methods will be considered; therefore, research proposals can be focused on conceptual/theory development, qualitative, or empirical (including field surveys, modeling, textual analysis, or meta analysis).

Topics of Interest Professional selling, buyer?seller interactions including but not limited to:

  • B2B selling
  • Customer relationship management in a sales ecosystem
  • Customer engagement and retention in a sales ecosystem
  • Relationship building
  • Key account management
  • Sales negotiations
  • Comparisons or assessments of selling techniques and strategies
  • Adapting selling style to customer’s buying process
  • Adapting selling style to bridge cultural gaps between the sales representatives and their prospects
  • Challenges in co?creating cost?effective value propositions
  • Cross cultural comparisons on buyer?seller interactions and co?creation processes

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