Reutlinger Diskussionsbeiträge zu Marketing & Management 2011-11
Marketing and sales departments carry out two separate functions (Kotler et al. 2007, 1144); nevertheless, they must interact closely with each other, as both are essential parts for the marketing activities in each company. Each company has the goal to fulfill customer needs and also to match the company's sales target followed by financial success. The focus of this paper lies on defining the necessary terminology to analyze the subject matter, identifying the role of marketing and sales along the corporate value chain, understanding and modeling marketing and sales interfaces, identifying potential marketing-sales conflicts and suggesting resolution strategies taking a process-oriented approach. The topic is investigated from a theoretical perspective. Based on an in-depth review of the available body of literature a meta-analysis is conducted. First, an introduction to the theoretical foundations of marketing and sales in general is given. The terms marketing and sales are defined and it is outlined in which context they are used. Following, a literature review is given on the status of marketing and sales interaction in companies and an evaluation of the actual research status. Marketing and sales interaction is classified in two conceptual models to identify methods of addressing the status and characteristics. In a next step potential areas of conflicts between the two functions are identified and then proposals for solutions of potential conflicts are given. The last step includes also identification of key marketing and sales processes.