Creating ambidextrous sales organizations by resolving the hunting−farming paradox

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

Abstract

Managers face an important strategic paradox in managing sales organizations: How to resist over-reliance on existing customers ("farming") and short-term performance to the detriment of finding and developing new customers ("hunting") for crucial long-term growth. Proper balance of these activities is referred to in the literature as ambidexterity. This study aims to resolve this hunting–farming paradox. Based on the extensive literature we identify sales capabilities that develop sales ambidexterity (cross-functional coordination, opportunity seizing, and incentive management) and once developed, make ambidextrous sales organizations more efficient (training). Survey and archival performance data related to 208 firms provide a test of the conceptual model of antecedents and consequences of sales ambidexterity. The results confirm that the identified capabilities, as well as several of their interactions, create ambidextrous sales organizations, which, in turn, increase sustainable firm growth rates, as anticipated. Training mitigates efficiency losses that can result from sales ambidexterity. The managerial implications of the findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Eventconference; Presentation in research seminar series of management school of Radboud University Nijmegen; 2014-03-06; 2014-03-06 -
Duration: 6 Mar 20146 Mar 2014

Conference

Conferenceconference; Presentation in research seminar series of management school of Radboud University Nijmegen; 2014-03-06; 2014-03-06
Period6/03/146/03/14
OtherPresentation in research seminar series of management school of Radboud University Nijmegen

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