Networking for sales success in overseas government markets The case of US companies doing business in Africa

Networking for sales success in overseas government markets The case of US companies doing... Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between sales networks and effectiveness in overseas government markets with a focus on overseas home‐country officials, and local key government officials. Design/methodology/approach – A random sample of American firms and their affiliates that have engaged or are engaged in project contracting with African governments was surveyed to collect data for the study using a mail survey. Findings – Connectedness to home‐country overseas actors is positively associated with network connections involving key government officials. This local network connection, in turn, has a positive effect on sales effectiveness. Research limitations/implications – The study is limited to bidding on projects and selling to government agencies in the African context. More research focusing on different industries and markets are needed to increase knowledge regarding the effect of network connections on international sales effectiveness. Practical implications – The practical implications of this study include the need for international sales managers to engage in networking involving their home‐country official overseas as well as local government officials. Therefore, exporting advocacy is important. Also, the education and training of international sales people should emphasize the concept of sales network. Originality/value – The study extends understanding regarding the network approach to international sales in government markets. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal incorporating Journal of Global Competitiveness Emerald Publishing

Networking for sales success in overseas government markets The case of US companies doing business in Africa

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1059-5422
DOI
10.1108/10595420710833561
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between sales networks and effectiveness in overseas government markets with a focus on overseas home‐country officials, and local key government officials. Design/methodology/approach – A random sample of American firms and their affiliates that have engaged or are engaged in project contracting with African governments was surveyed to collect data for the study using a mail survey. Findings – Connectedness to home‐country overseas actors is positively associated with network connections involving key government officials. This local network connection, in turn, has a positive effect on sales effectiveness. Research limitations/implications – The study is limited to bidding on projects and selling to government agencies in the African context. More research focusing on different industries and markets are needed to increase knowledge regarding the effect of network connections on international sales effectiveness. Practical implications – The practical implications of this study include the need for international sales managers to engage in networking involving their home‐country official overseas as well as local government officials. Therefore, exporting advocacy is important. Also, the education and training of international sales people should emphasize the concept of sales network. Originality/value – The study extends understanding regarding the network approach to international sales in government markets.

Journal

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal incorporating Journal of Global CompetitivenessEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 1, 2007

Keywords: Networking; Overseas trade; Sales territories; Sales management; United States of America; Africa

References

  • Social exchange theory
    Emerson, R.M.

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