Sales Buy-In of Marketing Strategies: Exploration of Its Nuances, Antecedents, and Contextual Conditions



Date of this version

Summer 2009

Document Type



Sales-marketing interface, buy-in


This study uses a qualitative research design with the grounded theory method to explore the multifaceted nature of sales buy-in—that is, the sales function’s belief that marketers’ proposed strategy is appropriate and has merit. Based on 49 in-depth interviews with sales and marketing professionals, the findings indicate that obtaining sales buy-in consists of four key components: (1) objectivity and rational persuasion, (2) sensitivity and responsiveness to reality, (3) involvement in strategy creation, and (4) positioning for success. The findings also show that three organizational-level factors play an important role in determining sales buy-in: (1) eliminating interfunctional walls, (2) bridging the cultural divide between sales and marketing, and (3) developing interfunctional relationships. Last, sales buy-in depends on two contextual conditions—hierarchy and strategy absorption time.

Published in

Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management