Working Paper

Understanding Effects of Customer Assignment to Outside or Inside Salespeople

Justin Lawrence

Michigan State University

Andrew Crecelius

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Robert W. Palmatier

University of Washington - Seattle

Apr 3, 2023


Uses two field studies and an experiment to assess two competing approaches to managing the shift toward online B2B buying: (i) cost-matching, or assigning less-developed accounts to low-cost inside salespeople and migrating them to the costlier outside sales channel once the account grows, and (ii) a relationship-driven approach that deploys outside sales to engage newer customers until the account can be migrated to inside sales.

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