Preliminary insights in the marketing literature indicate that flexibility is important in marketing and sales processes and interaction. However, to date, marketing and sales management literature lacks an understanding of what flexibility in marketing-sales interfaces looks like, its potential organizational consequences, and potential boundary conditions. Using data from interviews with marketing and sales managers, this study explores the nature, outcomes and facilitators of flexibility at the marketing-sales interface. This study conceptualizes marketing-sales interface flexibility (MSIF) as a process of flexible cross-functional resource exchange and finds that MSIF has positive organizational outcomes (both in terms of performance and relationship quality), that MSIF is essential for firms when dealing with exigencies in turbulent environments, and that the utility of MSIF is conditioned by the speed with which MSIF is implemented. The research contribution is twofold. At a theoretical level, the study defines the construct for the first time, revealing MSIF's conceptual composition for examination, and develops theory regarding MSIF's direct relationships with key business outcomes, as well as likely contingencies that shape its importance. At a practical level, the study's framework offers a tool that managers can use to help build organizational success through enhanced flexibility in their marketing-sales interfaces.
- Marketing and sales interface
- Strategic flexibility
- Marketing and sales resources