Lived Experiences of Salespeople Interacting with Sales Leaders Through Computer-Mediated Communication

Lived Experiences of Salespeople Interacting with Sales Leaders Through Computer-Mediated Communication

Author: 
Jane L. Williams
Program of study: 
D.M./IST
Abstract: 
This qualitative study, employing transcendental phenomenology, explored the personal experiences of technology salespeople who interact with their teams and sales leaders through computer-mediated communication methods. The study was conducted by personal interview or teleconference with technology salespeople working for a United States-based technology firm. Their responses were analyzed for themes that can provide insight into ways leaders can be more effective in communicating with virtual salespeople, and how leaders can improve the productivity of global virtual sales teams (GVSTs) using computer-mediated communications methods (CMC). The study findings suggest that sales leaders must be intentional in learning to be effective virtual communicators and lead by example when using virtual technology with their teams. The findings also show that organizational management should invest in support for both human and infrastructure resources, recognizing that virtual communication skills are different than traditional selling skills. Information technology leaders should understand that virtual tools are most effective when standardized across the organization. Human resources management should identify virtual skill sets and recognize those salespeople who excel in a virtual environment. Finally, virtual sales team members should take accountability for the success of the team, mentoring new members and providing proactive feedback to sales leaders on remote technologies and skills.
Dedication: 
To my parents, for instilling in me the love of education and the belief that I could accomplish anything in the world with enough persistence and drive, and to my doctoral cohort, who led by example, this work is for you. And also, this work belongs to my husband, who set aside his personal goals and desires many times to help see me through this effort.
Acknowledgements: 
I would like to acknowledge my colleagues, the salespeople who endeavor every day to master effective communication in a rapidly changing world. It’s not easy, and to those of you who are reinventing our methods of personal interaction in a global environment and succeeding, I give you my respect and admiration. I would also like to thank the University of Phoenix, my doctoral committee, and the entire for-profit university system for providing opportunities to people like myself who would otherwise be challenged to achieve their goals. It’s time to take on the traditional and tired higher education model, and I’m grateful to those who are blazing new trails.