The purpose of this paper is to understand marketing–sales–service (M-S-S) interface from the point of how social media marketing (SMM) platforms are prioritized and associated business-to-business (B2B) sales process influence. This study also seeks to understand whether effective triadic alignment is achieved between marketing, sales and service.
This study combines literature review and the analytical hierarchy process model. In total, 30 M-S-S managers of a multinational electronics firm situated in Africa and the Middle East participated in this study. The authors collected data from M-S-S managers during training sessions on marketing, sales, service alignment and SMM role in sales process.
In their drive for customer orientation and improved organizational performance, marketing, sales and service managers view understanding the customer as the most important sales process attribute. Considered second most significant sales process attribute is needs discovery, whereas approaching the customer is ranked the least important. From the ratings of sales process attributes evaluation and rankings of SMM platform alternatives, the results show a significant hierarchical influence of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter on sales process. The results also show an enabling influence of SMM activity on M-S-S interface alignment.
This study has a twofold limitation. First, it explored only one major B2B firm in the electronics industry. Second, only the African and Middle East settings are considered in this study. These limitations could be addressed in future research.
This paper provides practical insights into how M-S-S managers may leverage social media to enhance customer orientation and boost organizational performance. The use of SMM can help M-S-S managers of the focal firm to predict purchase behavior of customers more accurately and as a result effectively manage and improve sales performance. In that drive of using SMM-based competitive intelligence to deliver superior customer experience and enhance sales performance, B2B marketing-oriented firms can also leverage the interdependence (information sharing and involvement) in the M-S-S interface during the SMM activity to enhance triadic alignment.
This study contributes to the literature by developing a framework for modeling SMM influence on M-S-S and B2B sales process to deliver superior customer experience and drive business performance.
Enyinda, C.I., Opute, A.P., Fadahunsi, A. and Mbah, C.H. (2021), "Marketing-sales-service interface and social media marketing influence on B2B sales process", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 36 No. 6, pp. 990-1009. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-01-2019-0053
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