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School of Business | Department of Management and International Business | International Business | 2012
Thesis number: 13110
Global sales channel strategies of technology intensive startups
Author: Jokinen, Katja
Title: Global sales channel strategies of technology intensive startups
Year: 2012  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management and International Business
Academic subject: International Business
Index terms: kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; pk-yritykset; smes; kasvu; growth; myynti; sales; strategia; strategy; menestyminen; success; teknologia; technology
Pages: 120
Full text:
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Key terms: startup company; SME; global; sales channel strategy; success factors; high-tech; technology
Abstract Objective of the Research This research explores the global sales channel strategies of technology intensive startup companies. By doing so, the study aims at narrowing the prevailing research gap in this area. Previous literature has primarily focused on large multinational corporation’s sales channel strategies and on mainly conceptual contributions. Thus, the sales channel strategies of technology intensive startups have received limited attention, especially in the field of empirical research. Technology intensive startup companies often lack the knowledge and resources to develop detailed global sales channel strategies and thus, fail to sell their products to potential customers effectively. Therefore, it was seen as important to contribute to this crucial area of research. Given this, the objective of this study is to evaluate what determines a successful global sales channel strategy for a technology intensive startup. Methodology This study is qualitative and exploratory in nature. The utilized research method is a multiple case study, where four Finnish technology intensive startups were interviewed on their global sales channel strategies. The interviews aimed at identifying sales channel strategy best practices and success factors. An analytic induction approach, also known as abduction, was used for this research. In this approach, the researcher first deductively builds up a preliminary framework from existing theory, which is later inductively refined as a final analytical framework based on the empirical observations. Findings and Conclusions Based on the extensive literature review and in-depth empirical research, seven factors were found to determine the success of a global sales channel strategy for a technology intensive startup company. The found success factors were the following: clear company vision and strategy, sales channel structure, sales channel choice, high product quality, intermediary selection and support, seller competency and customer understanding. Especially the linkage of the overall company vision and strategy to the sales channel strategy was seen as important for the success of the sales channel. This study contributes to existing theory by offering a holistic perspective to the sales channel strategies of technology intensive startup companies and by finding critical success factors in this area. The main managerial implication of this thesis is the notion that sales channel strategies do have an impact on a startup’s success, as the employed sales channel strategy largely defines how and through which channel members the products are sold. This is why the sales channel strategy related matters require a significant amount of managerial consideration. Keywords Startup company, SME, Global, Sales Channel Strategy, Success Factors, High-tech, technology
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