Single versus multiple salesforce go-to-market strategy: the impact of sales orientation on conflict, salesperson-owned loyalty and buyer-exit propensity


Marketing and Professional Sales

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Purpose: Drawing on the organizational buying decision-making framework, the purpose of this study is to investigate how sales orientation (SOCO) affects buyers’ conflict, salesperson-owned loyalty and buyers’ propensity to end a supply relationship when selling firms use a single versus multiple salesforce go-to-market strategy. Design/methodology/approach: Survey data was analyzed with a sample of organizational buyers. Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling were used to analyze the data. Findings: Findings reveal that a selling firm’s go-to-market salesforce strategy moderates certain relational aspects of the buyer–salesperson relationship, consequently influencing a buyer’s decision to end a supply relationship. Research limitations/implications: Empirically, these findings indicate that the effects of selling orientation on conflict, salesperson-owned loyalty and exit intentions are not only based on the salesperson’s efforts but are conditional on the selling firm’s go-to-market strategy, particularly with the implementation of multiple salespeople selling to a particular industrial buyer. Practical implications: These results suggest that a salesforce go-to-market strategy conveys serious consequences on buying decisions. Given that a go-to-market strategy involving multiple salespeople impacts the buyer’s relationship with the selling firm to a greater degree, managerial oversight must remain present when selling firms decide to pursue such a go-to-market strategy. Originality/value: The empirical investigation of a salesforce go-to-market strategy is an original pursuit. Specifically, this study shows that while it is critical that buying and selling firms monitor buyer–salesperson relationships as the basis for supply partnerships, these exchanges are largely contingent on the selling firm’s go-to-market strategy.

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Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing

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