Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 400–421 | Cite as

What makes strategy making across the sales-marketing interface more successful?

Original Empirical Research


Extant research on marketing strategy making (MSM) lacks process-based theoretical frameworks that elucidate how marketing strategies are made when sales and marketing functions are involved in the process. Using a grounded theory approach and data collected from (a) 58 depth interviews with sales and marketing professionals and (b) a focus group with 11 marketing professionals, we propose that MSM within the sales-marketing interface is a three-stage, multifaceted process that consists of Groundwork, Transfer and Follow-up stages. Our process-based model explicates the specific activities at each stage that are needed to develop and execute marketing strategies successfully, the sequence in which these activities may unfold, and the role sales and marketing functions may play in the entire process. Managerially, this paper highlights that successful strategy creation and execution requires marketing and sales functions to be equally invested in the entire process.


Sales-marketing interface Marketing strategy making Grounded theory approach 



We thank Michael Krush for his helpful comments on the earlier version of this manuscript. We also thank the two anonymous reviewers, and the editor for their guidance through the review process. The first author acknowledges the Dean’s Summer Research Grant at the Opus College of Business, and Research Assistance Grant (RAG) from the Faculty Development Center- both at the University of St. Thomas, MN for supporting this research. The first author also dedicates this article to the memory of his son Aamil.


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Opus College of BusinessUniversity of St ThomasMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.College of Business AdministrationUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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