Sales channel integration after mergers and acquisitions: A methodological approach for avoiding common pitfalls

Robert W. Palmatier, C. Fred Miao, Eric Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article addresses the integration of sales channels after mergers and acquisitions (M&A) by appraising the strengths, weaknesses, and biases associated with the four most common frameworks for evaluating sales channels (sales management, historical performance, strategic fit, and customer choice) for their appropriateness in a post-M&A context. The authors develop a methodological approach that uses a balanced-scorecard framework to guide managers through the sales channel integration process, and then apply this approach to the merger of two industrial firms' sales organizations across 21 territories. In so doing, they reveal various pitfalls and propose and test some analytical corrections. Longitudinal performance data support comparisons across the different evaluative frameworks; in particular, the sales management and customer choice frameworks provide the most insight into channel partners' post-integration performance. The results support the premise that channel integration can be improved by accounting for factors unique to the M&A context and using an approach that triangulates multiple perspectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-603
Number of pages15
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Volume36
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Affiliation bias
  • Balanced-scorecard
  • Joint ventures
  • Manufacturers' representatives
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Sales channels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing

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