Chapter 1: An exploration of sales activities from a service ecosystems perspective
Full access

Partially attributable to the evolution of selling orientations and advancements in technologies, salespeople must address increasingly dynamic changes in resources and the demands of broad actors. However, these changes do not necessarily alter what selling entails and how salespeople participate in value creation. This chapter explores sales activities using the holistic, institutional, and systemic theoretical foundation advanced by Hartmann, Wieland, and Vargo (2018). Our work identifies three core components that are foundational to all sales activities: (1) the establishment of mutual definitions of what is being reciprocally exchanged, (2) the establishment of the norms and representations that guide exchange practices, and (3) the establishment of relational norms, such as flexibility, solidarity, mutuality, harmonizing of conflict, and restraint in the use of power, to safeguarding relationships. The introduced theoretical foundation for selling also leads to novel insights and questions regarding sales processes, salesperson roles, generating new business, and maintaining existing business.