Amir Zakaria Marketing Branding Agency | Sales-marketing interface
Sales-marketing interface (SMI) research aims to understand the interdependence between sales and marketing in order to successfully develop and implement marketing strategies. Extant SMI research has emphasized the fact that sales and mar keting are the two primary customer-facing functions (Rouziès & Hulland, 2014), which means they are the two primary revenue-generating functions within an organization (Malshe & Sohi, 2009a). amir zakaria, nazli monajemzadeh, اميرذكريا, امير ذكريا, نازلي منجم زاده
Sales-marketing interface, SMI, marketing , sales, marketing strategies, customer-facing, customer, revenue-generating, strategy development, strategy execution, sales personnel, marketing fucntion, marketing- sales integration, amir zakaria, amirzakaria, nazli monajemzadeh, اميرذكريا, امير ذكريا, نازلي منجم زاده
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Sales-marketing interface (SMI)

Sales-marketing interface (SMI)

Sales-marketing interface (SMI) research aims to understand the interdependence between sales and marketing   in order to successfully develop and implement marketing strategies. Extant SMI research has emphasized the fact that sales and mar keting   are   the    two    primary    customer-facing functions  (Rouziès & Hulland, 2014), which means they are the two primary revenue-generating functions within an organization (Malshe & Sohi, 2009a). In a business firm, sales and marketing are customer-facing functions that perform distinctly different activities (Homburg & Jensen, 2007; Kotler, Rackham, & Krishnaswamy, 2006). Existing literature suggests that in a large number of organizations, marketing is typically responsible for strategy development (e.g., building a consistent brand image) and sales is responsible for strategy execution (e.g., closing the sale in the field) (Biemans, Makovec Brenčič, & Malshe, 2010; Matthyssens & Johnston, 2006). A consistent theme within the sales-marketing interface (SMI) literature is that sales and marketing personnel often find it challenging to work well together. Strategies coming from marketing receive lukewarm reception from field personnel (e.g., Biemans et al., 2010; Cespedes, 1993; Dewsnap & Jobber, 2000; Guenzi & Troilo, 2007; Rouziès et al., 2005; Smith et al., 2006), who often view such strategies as being ineffective, lacking merit, and/or disconnected from reality (Strahle, Spiro, & Acito, 1996). Consequently, achieving strategic and operational alignment within SMIs is challenging for many firms. Scholars suggest two main pathways through which marketers may forge stronger support from field sales personnel: (a) enhancing sales- marketing communication, collaboration, and integration (Le Meunier- FitzHugh & Piercy, 2007a; Smith et al., 2006) and (b) reducing the conflict and other disconnects between the two functions (Cespedes, 1993; Guenzi & Troilo, 2006; Matthyssens & Johnston, 2006).

While insightful, the current understanding of how sales and marketing may overcome the various challenges they encounter to achieve strategic and operational alignment is not fully developed. Extant SMI research overwhelmingly samples from firms that embody the ‘living apart together’ SMI configuration (Biemans et al., 2010). This configuration is characterized by a structure wherein sales and marketing have their own identities and well-defined roles and responsibilities, which leads to coordination, collaboration, and integration challenges within SMIs (Homburg et al., 2008); however it differs significantly from the other three configurations found in B2B organizations (Biemans et al., 2010). Specifically, firms with a ‘hidden marketing’ configuration are characterized by a lack of separation between sales and marketing functions, with sales-related tasks making up most of the strategic and tactical activities. Firms exhibiting a ‘sales-driven marketing’ configuration are characterized by a nascent marketing function that is trying to establish its foothold in the organization and is mainly engaged in sales support activities. Finally, firms with a ‘marketing- sales integration’ configuration are characterized by an SMI dynamic wherein both functions work collaboratively, share information, and appreciate each other’s role in the organization. Since each SMI configuration is characterized by unique functional separation and task responsibilities, communication and information sharing patterns, and collaboration and coordination dynamics, scholarly insights related to the strategic and operational alignment practices gleaned from existing research have limited generalizability for a vast number of firms that do not match the ‘living apart together’ configuration.

Reference 

  • Rouziès, D., & Hulland, J. (2014). Does marketing and sales integration always pay off? Evidence from a social capital perspective. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 42(5), 511–527.
  • Homburg, C., & Jensen, O. (2007). The thought worlds of marketing and sales: Which differences make a difference? Journal of Marketing, 71(3), 124–142.
  • Homburg, C., Jensen, O., & Krohmer, H. (2008). Configurations of marketing and sales: A taxonomy. Journal of Marketing, 72(2), 133–154.
  • Kotler, P., Rackham, N., & Krishnaswamy, S. (2006). Ending the war between sales & marketing. Harvard Business Review, 84(7–8), 68–78.
  • Biemans, W. G., & Makovec Brenčič, M. (2007). Designing the marketing-sales interface in B2B firms. European Journal of Marketing, 41(3/4), 257–273.
  • Biemans, W. G., Makovec Brenčič, M., & Malshe, A. (2010). Marketing–sales interface configurations in B2B firms. Industrial Marketing Management, 39(2), 183–194.
  • Matthyssens, P., & Johnston, W. J. (2006). Marketing and sales: Optimization of a ne- glected relationship. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 21(6), 338–345.
  • Le Meunier-FitzHugh, K., & Piercy, N. F. (2007a). Does collaboration between sales and marketing affect business performance? Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 27(3), 207–220.
  • Strahle, W. M., Spiro, R. L., & Acito, F. (1996). Marketing and sales: Strategic alignment and functional implementation. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 16(1), 1–20.
  • Strahle, W. M., Spiro, R. L., & Acito, F. (1996). Marketing and sales: Strategic alignment and functional implementation. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 16(1), 1–20.
  • Matthyssens, P., & Johnston, W. J. (2006). Marketing and sales: Optimization of a ne- glected relationship. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 21(6), 338–345.

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