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Sales-to-Marketing Job Transitions

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A commonly-occurring type of career mobility within organizations is the sales-to-marketing job transition (SMJT). Understanding SMJTs is important because: 1) Substantial differences often exist between sales and marketing roles, 2) Individuals and organizations can positively facilitate successful transitions, and 3) SMJTs convey both benefits and drawbacks to organizations.

Published in: Marketing
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Sales-to-Marketing Job Transitions

  1. 1. From: Sales-to-marketing job transitions (SMJT) are common in the field Johnson, Jeff S. and Joseph M. Matthes (2018), “Sales-to-Marketing Job Transitions,” Journal of Marketing, 82 (4), 32–48. https://doi.org/10.1509/jm.17.0279 1. Substantial differences exist between sales and marketing roles 2. Individuals and organizations can positively facilitate successful transitions 3. SMJTs convey both benefits and drawbacks to organizations Understanding SMJTs is important because:
  2. 2. From:From:  SMJTs can be helpful  Generate marketing strategies more grounded in the customer’s reality that are more effectively implemented  Reduce strain and improve interface between sales and marketing  Provide a career-advancement goal for salespeople  SMJTs can be harmful  Transitioned former salespeople may be too receptive to customer feedback resulting in overreactive marketing and reduced margins due to suboptimal pricing  SMJTs can be a disruptive influence on long-term relationships between salespeople and customers  Top salespeople could be mediocre marketers, depleting both functions Implications Johnson and Matthes (2018)
  3. 3. From:From:  Proper selection is critical for successful SMJTs  Assess salespeople’s marketing mindset and team orientation  Gauge their likelihood to proactively solicit feedback and gather information  Conducive company support is needed for successful SMJTs  Make transparent the company’s overall openness to/acceptance of internal mobility  Encourage communication with current marketers and provide easy access to relevant company data  Aid early-career salespeople in overcoming challenges resulting from increased pressure, job ambiguity, and company politics  Help later-career salespeople in overcoming potential losses in compensation, freedom, customer interaction, and excitement Findings Johnson and Matthes (2018)
  4. 4. From:From: Supplemental Slide: SMJT Qualitative Study Findings (from interviews with 56 informants across various industries) Johnson and Matthes (2018)

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