B2B Sales and Social Media
by Charles Hofacker
Special issue of Industrial Marketing Management; Deadline 1 Feb 2021
Author: Jens Geersboro
Industrial Marketing Management
Call for Papers
B2B Sales and Social Media
Deadline for submission: February 1st, 2021
Overview and Purpose
The widespread use of social media in business markets has triggered the restructuring of the sales processes and transformation of the ways salespeople operate (Rapp et al., 2013; Agnihotri et al., 2016). Social media, in the sales context, refers to “any social interaction enhancing technology that can be deployed by sales professionals to generate content (e.g., blogs, microblogs, wikis) and develop networks (e.g., social networks, online communities) (Agnihotri et al., 2012, p. 334). Notably, IMM remains at the forefront of ‘social-media driven sales research’ as scholars continue to examine the role of social media in B2B sales (Ancillai et al., 2019).
Despite the attention that social media in B2B sales has received, salespeople remain infrequent social media users and academic literature keeps reporting a low average of social media use by salespeople (Bill, Feurer, & Klarmann, 2020). Salespeople are also challenged to broaden their tools (e.g., social media analytics) so that they develop selling-related narratives (e.g., social media posts) and assess internal and external actors many of whom are not customers or prospects (Hartmann, Wieland, & Vargo, 2018). At the firm level, facilitating conditions such as training and support for social media use are absent (Ogilvie et al, 2018), and businesses often lack proper digital marketing strategy involving different forms of social media (e.g., paid, earned, and owned) (Vieira et al. 2019).
B2B sales research, therefore, needs a better understanding of how social media may offer salesforce different pathways to reach more buyers, enhance customer engagement, and generate economic advantage for businesses. This special issue in IMM aims to provide a platform both for empirical and theoretical research on the “B2B Sales and Social Media.” Topics/research questions that may be examined include, but are not limited to:
- Social Media Analytics: Social media analytics techniques that can be used by sales organizations to support their sales force; the impact of intelligence gathered through social media analytics for driving sales performance.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Social Selling: The integration of AI and social media for sales enablement; the ethical implications of AI-enabled social media selling.
- Human Touch: Identify and prioritize social media objectives for salespeople so that organizational structures and processes are well aligned with their social media use
- Social CRM: How the integration between sales-based CRM and social media can enable managers and salespeople to build meaningful customer relationships.
- Online Social Capital: Social media use in creating online social capital for salespeople; the accrual and appropriation of social capital from their online social networking efforts.
Manuscript Preparation and Submission
Manuscripts should comply with the scope, standards, format and editorial policy of the Industrial Marketing Management. All papers must be submitted through the official IMM submission system. When you get to the step in the process that asks you for the type of paper, select SI: Sales and Social media. All papers will be reviewed through a double-blind peer review process. In preparation of their manuscripts, authors are asked to follow the Author Guidelines closely. A guide for authors, sample articles and other relevant information for submitting papers are available at:
All queries about the special issue should be sent to the Guest Editors (see below).
Raj Agnihotri, Dean’s Fellow and Director of Ivy Sales Forum
Iowa State University, E-mail: Raj2@iastate.edu
Babu John Mariadoss, International Business Fellow
Washington State University, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Agnihotri, R., Dingus, R., Hu, M. Y., & Krush, M. T. (2016). Social media: Influencing customer satisfaction in B2B sales. Industrial Marketing Management, 53, 172-180.
Agnihotri, R., Kothandaraman, P., Kashyap, R., & Singh, R. (2012). Bringing “social” into sales: The impact of salespeople’s social media use on service behaviors and value creation. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 32(3), 333-348.
Ancillai, C., Terho, H., Cardinali, S., & Pascucci, F. (2019). Advancing social media-driven sales research: Establishing conceptual foundations for B-to-B social selling. Industrial Marketing Management, 82, 293-308.
Bill, F., Feurer, S., & Klarmann, M. (2020), “Salesperson social media use in business-to-business relationships: An empirical test of an integrative framework linking antecedents and consequences.” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 1-19.
Hartmann, N. N., Wieland, H., & Vargo, S. L. (2018). Converging on a new theoretical foundation for selling. Journal of Marketing, 82(2), 1-18.
Ogilvie, J., Agnihotri, R., Rapp, A., & Trainor, K. (2018). Social media technology use and salesperson performance: A two study examination of the role of salesperson behaviors, characteristics, and training. Industrial Marketing Management, 75, 55-65.
Rapp, A., Beitelspacher, L. S., Grewal, D., & Hughes, D. E. (2013). Understanding social media effects across seller, retailer, and consumer interactions. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 41(5), 547-566.
Vieira, V. A., de Almeida, M. I. S., Agnihotri, R., & Arunachalam, S. (2019). In pursuit of an effective B2B digital marketing strategy in an emerging market. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 47(6), 1085-1108.