Date of this version
Purpose – The paucity of empirical research on the sales-marketing interface necessitates a detailed exploration of linkages that can forge stronger connection between these two functions. This paper aims to explicate the boundary conditions that may affect the role played by structure, language and process linkages in forging sales-marketing connections, and to identify additional linkages that may play an important role in this interface.
Design/methodology/approach – A total of 47 sales and marketing professionals across different organizations in diverse industries were interviewed.
Findings – The research finds that certain boundary conditions (e.g. organizational hierarchy, time horizon) may influence how structure, language and process linkages may operate in this interface. It also extends linkage repertoire by identifying two critical linkages: social and philosophical. Its managerial contribution lies in stressing the importance of: vertical and horizontal communication bridges; marketing’s flexibility; interpersonal relationships; and the philosophical bond between the two functions, in forging stronger connections.
Originality/value – This is one of the few qualitative empirical investigations of the sales-marketing interface. It broadens one’s understanding of sales-marketing linkages, adds to linkage repertoire, and extends the interface literature.
Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing