The Importance of Effective Working Relationships Between Sales and Marketing

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The Oxford Handbook of Strategic Sales and Sales Management, 2011
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© Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved. This article examines the importance of effective working relationships between sales and marketing. It provides a framework for analysis and discussion concerning this important organizational relationship. It reviews current thinking on sales-marketing cross-functional relationships, identifies gaps in academic literature, and discusses a range of controllable and uncontrollable factors that may influence this interface. Many organizations are unsure how to manage the sales-marketing cross-functional relationship. The few empirical studies published to date examine the contextual conditions under which such relationships are enacted, e.g., the level of functional interdependence, power relations, and cultural differences. This article discusses the main types of variable that influence the effectiveness of such relationships. These include organizational structure variables, the types of interaction and communication prevalent in the cross-functional relationship, and key variables such as interpersonal trust.
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