Buyer versus salesperson expectations for an initial B2B sales meeting Article (Web of Science)


  • Purpose The purpose of this paper to explore the value creation expectations of salespeople and buyers for initial sales meetings and to investigate how such expectations align. Design/methodology/approach The authors applied expectancy disconfirmation theory and conducted a qualitative study among 12 B2B service salespeople and 12 buyers. The data includes 46 in-depth interviews collected during 2 separate interview rounds. Findings The authors discovered that buyers’ and sellers’ expectations differ and that buyers’ expectations are not reasonably satisfied. Buyers expect more business acumen, innovativeness, future orientation, long-term relationships and responsiveness to their specific situation from sellers. As salespeople´s salespeople´s expectations to create value for customers primarily stem from the solutions they sell as well as from their personal skills and behavior, there is need for sellers to focus on the gaps indicated in this study. Research limitations/implications The paper introduces expectancy disconfirmation theory to the B2B buyer-seller literature. Practical implications Identifying where expectations are being met and where they are being negatively disconfirmed can assist in hiring and training salespeople who are better able to meet, or exceed, buyer expectations. Originality/value The authors believe that these findings can benefit sales organizations in how they create value with new customers and how salespeople can align their actions with customers more effectively.


publication date

  • 2017

number of pages

  • 10

start page

  • 46

end page

  • 56


  • 32


  • 1