Design of the sales model after takeovers in the IT market
An empirical analysis of customer benefits, employee satisfaction and cost structures
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg
Takeover, Mergers and Acquisitions, Post Merger Integration, Relationship Marketing, Sales, Customer, cost structures
In the IT market, takeovers are a proven strategy for IT vendors to improve their market position. To achieve its market-related goals as an IT vendor after a takeover customer relationships must be maintained and expanded. However, during an acquisition, companies are to a large extent internally oriented to promote the integration of the merged companies. The sales force, as an intermediary between the IT vendor and the customer, plays an essential role in this context. Despite this high practical relevance, the design of sales models in the context of company takeovers for the IT market has received little attention. This thesis addresses this issue.
The objective of this research was to illustrate how corporate takeovers of IT vendors can be made customer-oriented with the help of the design of a sales model. To obtain a comprehensive picture, the sales force of an IT vendor was examined from the perspective of its customers, management and employees. With the help of a choice-based conjoint analysis (CBC), the customer benefit of a sales force could be determined for different aspects.
The main finding of this research is that the sales force should align to segments. After takeovers, customers have different expectations of the IT vendor and its sales force. It is necessary to identify segments and align the sales model with these segments to meet these expectations. This became particularly evident in the case of the products from the IT vendor. Depending on the products requested, customers expect differentiated support from the sales department.
The conducted research gives suggestions for practice and theory. The examined sales models are relevant for practice. Also, it provides decision support for the selection of suitable sales models according to customer benefits and cost aspects. From a theoretical point of view, the work contributes to a better understanding of the concept of the sales model and the design of the sales model after company takeovers. From a methodological point of view, the use of CBC for determining the benefits of a sales force is worth mentioning, as this approach represents a further application of CBC.