Industrial market sales processes are often long and protracted. These processes typically involve a "trial" stage when several competing options may be 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 are related to obtaining "adoption" (initial trial) and, subsequently, to effecting 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 intraorganizational diffusion of innovations. To this end the authors suggest a framework and research propositions for intraorganizational 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 of selling organizations. More effective management and control of these factors contribute to better key account management practices. Consequences of more effective intraorganizational diffusion create advantages for both selling and buying organizations. These advantages, in turn, lead to more profitable long-run buyer-seller relationships.
ASJC Scopus subject areas