Marketing Letters

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 239-253

First online:

The embedded sales force: Connecting buying and selling organizations

  • Kevin BradfordAffiliated withUniversity of Notre Dame
  • , Steven BrownAffiliated withUniversity of Houston
  • , Shankar GanesanAffiliated withUniversity of Arizona
  • , Gary HunterAffiliated withCase Western Reserve University
  • , Vincent OnyemahAffiliated withBabson College
  • , Robert PalmatierAffiliated withUniversity of Washington Business School
  • , Dominique RouzièsAffiliated withHEC School of Management—Paris
  • , Rosann SpiroAffiliated withIndiana University
  • , Harish SujanAffiliated withTulane University

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Business-to-business firms are increasingly focusing on building long-term partnering relationships with key customers. Salespeople are often responsible for managing these relationships. To be effective as relationship managers, salespeople need to be embedded in both their firm’s and customers’ organizations. They need to have extensive knowledge of their customers’ business and also know and be able to leverage their firm’s resources to develop offerings tailored to their customers’ needs. Their companies and sales managers need to use different approaches to manage and support salespeople in this new role. In this paper, we examine some issues affecting the interfaces between elements of the embedded sales force and suggest some directions for future research and methods for examining these issues.


Sales force Relationship Embedded