The integrated use of social media, digital, and traditional communication tools in the B2B sales process of international SMEs

Sara Fraccastoro, Mika Gabrielsson*, Ellen Bolman Pullins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social media and digital tools are gradually changing the way firms market themselves. Understanding how these communication tools are used by sales functions within business-to-business (B2B) markets could clarify the dynamics underpinning the sales process in an increasingly technology-mediated world. This paper explores how social media, digital, and traditional sales communication tools are leveraged during the three main phases of the B2B sales process within international SMEs. The article's grounded-theory approach illustrates that social media can be particularly helpful in engaging international prospects. Digital communication tools seem to be most prevalent in the persuasion phase, whereas more traditional communication tools still prevail in customer relationship management. However, there seem to be some important potential boundary conditions, including relationship culture, location proximity, technology innovation/resources, and strategic importance of the customer that affect the way international SMEs use different communication tools during a sales process. We develop a framework for understanding the B2B sales process flow with sales communication tools included for international SMEs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101776
Peer-reviewed scientific journalInternational Business Review
Volume30
Issue number4
ISSN0969-5931
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • 512 Business and Management
  • B2B sales process
  • Digital communication tools
  • International SMEs
  • Social media
  • Traditional face-to-face selling

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The integrated use of social media, digital, and traditional communication tools in the B2B sales process of international SMEs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this