Chapter 26: The impact of the Internet on B2B sales force size and structure
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The central focus of this chapter is an examination of the effects of Internet-based information and communication technologies ('IICT') on B2B sales force size and structure. Over the last two decades, the Internet disrupted many classical models of B2B buying, selling, and the sales organization. New Internet-based developments like 'software as a service', cloud computing, social media, 'Sales 2.0', 'Sales 3.0' etc., continue to emerge at a dizzying pace, each transforming and/or improving the traditional functions of B2B sales agents and personal selling. Other disruptive events like the Covid-19 outbreak have only accelerated several key trends. In this chapter, we document the latest trends and present a conceptual framework and propositions for systematic study of how the Internet today is impacting key aspects of B2B buyer behavior and in turn what it portends for future B2B sales force size and structure.

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