Michelle D. Steward, Wake Forest University
Beth A. Walker, Arizona State University
Michael D. Hutt, Arizona State University
Ajith Kumar, Arizona State University
This article explores the process that salespeople follow in coordinating the activities of ad hoc team members during high-opportunity customer engagements in the business market. Depth interviews were conducted with salespeople and a survey was administered to sales managers from a Fortune-100, high-technology firm identify the processes involved in the coordination of expertise.
The study reveals that higher-performing salespeople are more likely to (1) consider relational as well as technical skills when matching team members to customer requirements, (2) attract their preferred experts to the team, and (3) define the appropriate time in the sales cycle to initiate contact with the customer and deploy the team to the customer organization. Key implications for account management are detailed.
This article is based on research collaboration with a CSL member firm. The paper is forthcoming in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science.