Attitudes of Finnish B2B-distributors toward digital guided selling tools
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Suomalaisten B2B-jakelijoiden asenteet digitaalisia ohjatun myynnin työkaluja kohtaan
The study focused on the Finnish B2B-distributors’ familiarity with and attitudes toward sales configurators – a type of digital tool that can be utilized in industrial selling contexts. The research was conducted as a cross-sectional questionnaire study concentrating specifically on distributor representatives in order to examine how the representatives perceive the use of sales configurators in a work setting. From the results it can be concluded that while most of the representatives have heard of and even used a sales configurator before, utilization of sales configurators within supplier distributor relationships is still somewhat uncommon. The distributor representatives’ attitudes toward sales configurator were very positive, however, suggesting that sales configurators are seen as useful tools for managing configuration related tasks. Some of the contributions of this thesis work are conceptual, as the conceptual model constructed in this study proposes several interesting directions for future research. First of all, this thesis work offers a categorization of beliefs into groups that follow simple rules of causation: that is, behavioral intention is determined by outcome expectations, outcome expectations by efficacy expectations, and efficacy expectations by internal and external control factors. Second, this thesis work can potentially help to explain the relationship of perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, and behavioral intention, by introducing new outcome and efficacy expectation constructs. Third, the dominant technology adoption model is questioned, as the role of belief salience has perhaps been overlooked by the current technology acceptance literature. Fourth, a new model is presented for categorizing the types of control beliefs according to the external and internal locus of control, as well as to the task-technology-human fit conceptualization.