Improving the Relationship between sales and marketing

Kenneth Le Meunier-FitzHugh, Nigel F. Piercy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the sales and marketing interface and to identify some of the elements that may influence collaboration between sales and marketing and provide a framework demonstrating how these elements may interrelate.

Design/methodology/approach: This paper explores the sales and marketing relationship through qualitative research using one‐to‐one, tripartite interviews with senior executives and sales and marketing managers of three, UK‐based business‐to‐business organizations.

Findings: The paper indicates that there are two types of factor that affect collaboration between sales and marketing. Those that are out of the control of sales and marketing staff – management attitudes to coordination, interdepartmental culture and structure and orientation, and four that are internal to the interface – inter‐functional conflict, communications, market intelligence and learning. The paper also identifies that senior managers play a critical role in influencing this interface.

Research limitations/implications: Improving collaboration in the sales and marketing interface should be a focus for senior managers. The paper is limited by the number of cases.

Practical implications: The factors identified may be used by organizations to improve collaboration between sales and marketing.

Originality/value: The identification of factors that may improve collaboration between sales and marketing, and provide a conceptual framework for further study. The paper increases the understanding of the sales and marketing interface by identifying two additional factors that may influence the interface – learning and market intelligence, and demonstrates how the various factors may interrelate to create improved collaboration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-305
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Business Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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