Research Output

The Sales Process Practice of Food and Drink SMEs - A Holistic Conceptual Framework: Steps, dimensions, barriers and enablers.

  Purpose –The research examines the sales process practised by SMEs, and barriers and enablers that hinder and support effective selling practices from the selling organisation’s perspective in Scottish-based Food and Drink firms.

Design/methodology approach - – The paper adopts an interpretivist perspective with qualitative data gathered through face-to-face semi-structured interviews. 20 people involved in selling activities were interviewed from 15 SMEs across Scotland. Thematic analysis established key findings regarding the sales process practice.

Findings – Five themes emerged that affect the operationalisation of the selling process: the owner manager has considerable involvement in the sales process, SMEs with some degree of sales knowledge take a more systematic approach, SMEs lack awareness of how CRM technology can assist them, power is tipped in favour of the buyer and, the geographic location of the SME places constraints on how SMEs conduct business

Research limitation/implication – Thematic analysis was chosen over other more traditional methods due to the lack of relevant quantitative data. The phenomenon of the research and research methodology means that it will not be possible to repeat this study and replicate its findings. However, the process that has been adopted does provide a basis for future research.

Originality/value - The paper identifies areas where future research is required in the field alongside suggestions where policy makers and government business agencies might focus intervention to assist SMEs improve delivery of the sales process and selling effectiveness

  • Date:

    30 November 2012

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Edinburgh Napier University

  • Library of Congress:

    HD28 Management. Industrial Management

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    658 General management


Douglas, T. & Omar, M. (2012). A Holistic Conceptual Framework: Steps, dimensions, barriers and enablers



SMEs; sales process; effective selling; food and drink sector; effective selling;

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