ABSTRACT

Creating customer value is considered a cornerstone of a successful business strategy (Brandenburger and Stuart, 1996) and a path to high economic returns (Blois and Ramirez, 2006). As value-focused thinking is gaining ground in business practice and management research, recent studies on value-based business strategies (e.g. Adamson, Dixon, and Toman, 2012) have suggested that sellers who focus on identifying, quantifying, and communicating customer value are relatively more successful and profitable than those who apply traditional cost-and competition-oriented strategies. At the same time, industrial buying is also becoming more sophisticated. Instead of focusing on short-term economic returns, many industrial buyers seek the best available long-term benefits for their organizations. Some scholars, for example, Moorman, Ruddell, and Sims (2013), have even argued that the capability to conduct value-based selling will ultimately separate winners from losers in business-to-business (B2B) markets. Thus, there is mounting interest in the organizational sales capabilities needed to implement a value-based sales approach.