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Designing the marketing‐sales interface in B2B firms

Wim G. Biemans (University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands)
Maja Makovec Brenčič (University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 10 April 2007

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores the marketing‐sales interface in Dutch and Slovenian B2B firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The study included 11 Dutch firms and ten Slovenian firms, with both samples as closely matched as possible. The firms were all manufacturers of physical products that operate internationally, but varied in terms of size and industry. Personal interviews with respondents from both marketing and sales were conducted, followed by interviews of a semi‐structured format.

Findings

In some firms it was difficult to identify the marketing‐sales interface. For instance, in small firms marketing and sales would frequently be combined in one individual.

Research limitations/implications

Since the paper is based on an exploratory investigation of 11 Dutch firms and ten Slovenian firms, the findings are only indicative. Follow‐up research might investigate a larger sample, different industries or different economic contexts. In addition, future research might study the relationship between marketing as an organisational capability and marketing as an organisational function or the development of scales to measure various aspects of the marketing‐sales interface.

Practical implications

The findings emphasize the role of developing an effective marketing‐sales interface in becoming a truly market‐oriented organisation. Thus, they can help managers to evaluate their own marketing‐sales interface and look for improvements as part of becoming more market oriented.

Originality/value

The findings describe how the marketing‐sales interface is organised and managed in B2B firms operating in different contexts. It positions the marketing‐sales interface as just part of a market‐oriented organisation. The findings help academics to understand the functioning of a marketing‐sales interface and assist managers in evaluating their own marketing‐sales interface and develop ways to improve it.

Keywords

Citation

Biemans, W.G. and Makovec Brenčič, M. (2007), "Designing the marketing‐sales interface in B2B firms", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 41 No. 3/4, pp. 257-273. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090560710728327

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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