The interplay between market intelligence activities and sales strategy as drivers of performance in foreign markets
SourceEuropean Journal of Marketing
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Purpose Exporting is a popular foreign market entry mode, especially among small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The success of SME exporters depends on their ability to establish and maintain profitable long-term relationships with foreign customers. This study aims to propose that the development of an effective export sales strategy can contribute greatly toward this aim. The study also demonstrates that export market intelligence generation and export market intelligence dissemination activities are important drivers of export sales strategy. Export sales strategy comprises three dimensions, which are expected to have a positive influence on export performance. Design/methodology/approach The study uses survey data obtained from 168 exporting firms based in Greece, to test a set of research hypotheses. Structural equation modeling procedures are used. Findings Findings indicate that export market intelligence generation and dissemination activities support and facilitate the development of effective export sales strategies, tailored to serve individual foreign accounts. Furthermore, all strategic dimensions of export sales strategy demonstrate significant positive effects on export performance. Research limitations/implications The research underlines the importance of incorporating export sales strategy in studies that aim to investigate the drivers of export performance. Practical implications The findings also indicate that exporting firms must actively engage in market intelligence activities to reinforce their strategic decision-making process. Originality/value The study emphasizes the crucial importance of export sales strategy in achieving superior export performance. The study provides a theory-driven conceptualization and operationalization of export sales strategy and offers an empirical assessment of a comprehensive model that includes the key antecedents and performance outcomes of export sales strategy.