Adoption of digital sales force automation tools in supply chain: Customers' acceptance of sales configurators

Tommi Mahlamäki*, Kaj Storbacka, Samuli Pylkkönen, Mika Ojala

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Digitalization changes both buying processes and sales processes and, consequently, the dynamics and division of work between buyers and suppliers in the supply chain. This has major implications for industrial marketing and supply chain management. In this study, we analyze the impact of sales configurators, which are used to create valid configurations of market offerings that fulfill customer requirements. The usefulness of sales configurators can be investigated from both the sellers' and buyers' perspectives. In this research, we focus on the latter, and we specifically investigate the antecedents of customers' acceptance of sales configurators in a supply chain. In our analysis, we concentrate on system-level antecedents, which have been neglected by the existing literature. Our research yields better knowledge of how digital sales technologies can be used by customers for improved effectiveness and perceived value. The results demonstrate that ease of use and system adaptability contribute strongly to the perceived effectiveness, and eventually to the perceived usefulness, of sales configurators. Yet, surprisingly, perceived enjoyment is identified as having the most significant effect on perceived usefulness.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalIndustrial Marketing Management
Volume91
Pages (from-to)162-173
Number of pages12
ISSN0019-8501
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11.09.2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • Buying process
  • Configurators
  • Digitalization
  • Supply chain management
  • 512 Business and Management

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Competition economics and service strategy - Service and customer-oriented management

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