Selling Centers and Buying Centers: Formulating Strategic Exchange Patterns

Hutt, Michael D.; Johnston, Wesley J.; Ronchetto Jr., John R.
May 1985
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;May85, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p32
Academic Journal
The purpose of this research paper is to offer the concept of organizational selling center as a framework for exploring the interfunctional nature of industrial selling processes. First, a foundation is established by highlighting the interfunctional nature of the industrial marketing strategy formulation process and defining the role that the selling center assumes in strategy implementation. Second, a classification scheme is proposed as a vehicle for defining different types of selling situations. Particular attention here is given to the selection of appropriate mechanisms for coordinating and controlling group selling processes across different strategy contexts. Third, key managerial and research implications are described. Strategic interdependencies exist between marketing and other business functions in the industrial firm. The need for a higher level of functional interdependence is a chief characteristic that distinguishes industrial marketing from consumer-goods marketing. An interactive exchange perspective suggests that the direction of organizational selling strategy is driven by the nature of both the buying and selling tasks. By adjusting the composition of the selling center to match customer requirements, the sales manager is better equipped to implement responsive selling strategies.


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