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Language: English

Investigating Sales Management Role in Commercial Returns: Enhancing the changes of cusomer needs


Università di Verona - LogiMaster
Sales Management Returns Management Reverse Logistics

The business-to-business competitive environment is dramatically changing, and firms need to learn how to keep up. Manufacturers must attempt to deliver incremental value to enhance business relationships and to do this they have to satisfy customers' present needs and anticipate future and latent needs. Moreover, the shifts from transaction to relationship and from product to service are becoming always more evident as key success factors in the markets. In such a context, sales is gaining importance in the organizations shifting to a more strategic and cross-functional activity. Among the several strategic elements to be considered in this changed sales paradigm, we choose to focus on one in particular which is becoming increasingly more relevant: the process of returns management that touches numerous functions within a firm. The main objective of this research is to analyze how returns management influences the selling process and how it is perceived across different business functions. From an explorative prospective, a qualitative research was performed to fill in the gap around the phenomenon. We adopt an inductive approach using a multiple case study, interviewing 13 senior managers from five firms of the shoes sector. The main findings show how returns management seems to have an important impact on the selling process because it allows firms to put the customer at the center of their organizations, to improve customer service and after-sales service, and to enhance the relationship through a consultative and/or partnering approach. Most importantly, returns management is becoming an integral part of solution offering.


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