The role of sales and marketing integration in improving strategic responsiveness to market change
The salesforce can be both a rich source of market intelligence and a key vehicle for implementing marketing strategy. Historically, in many organisations, the sales function operated in tactical isolation from marketing strategy. Increasingly, companies are exploring the advantages of integrating sales with marketing, an approach which has been positively linked with improvements in business performance. This study explores a specific aspect of the connection between sales and marketing integration and better performance; specifically whether the integration of the sales and marketing functions in business-to-business (B2B) organisations facilitates the development and implementation of successful new strategies in response to market change. Based on a pilot survey, a model is proposed, placing sales and marketing integration, characterised by both interaction and collaboration between the two functions, as an antecedent for excellence in gathering market intelligence, and then using it to react strategically to changing market conditions and customer demands.