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Title: Facilitating sales processes in industrial markets : managing intra-organizational diffusion of innovations
Authors: Kim, Namwoon
Srivastava, Rajendra K.
Keywords: Post-trial sales
Intra-organizational diffusion of innovations
Technological products
Buyer-seller relationship
Issue Date: Aug-1996
Series/Report no.: Marketing Working Paper Series ; MKTG 96.074
Abstract: Industrial market sales processes are often long and protracted. These processes typically involves a "trial" stage where several competing options may by tested. Then, a smaller set of products may be bought in greater quantities for use. Hence, the central marketing problems in industrial (or business-to-business) markets for technological products is related to obtain "adoption" (initial trial), and subsequently, to effect diffusion of the new product or technology within the buying organization. In the context of technology-based product-markets characterized by compression of technology cycles, it is imperative that vendors of such products develop appropriate strategies to speed-up both trial adoptions and subsequent organization-wide purchases. Unfortunately, most research on diffusion of technological innovations in business organizational settings is devoted to initial adoption. The importance of post-trial sales in business markets underscores the need for research on intra-organizational diffusion of innovations. To this end the authors suggest a framework and research propositions for intra-organizational diffusion of technological products based on five sets of variables: characteristics of buying organizations, buying center dynamics, buying organization's environmental characteristics, product characteristics, and the competitive environment selling organizations. More effective management and control of these factors contribute to better key account management practices. Consequences of more effective intra-organizational diffusion (e.g., lower transaction costs, reduced risk, enhanced loyalty) create advantages for both selling and buying organizations. These advantages, in turn, lead to more profitable long-run buyer-seller relationship.
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