Balancing on a tightrope – combining sales of standardized equipment and complex solutions in project business

Research output: Other conference contributionAbstractScientific


Many project-based firms simultaneously offer tailored solutions as well as standardized equipment. As the sales logics for bespoke solution deliveries and deliveries of standardized equipment are very different, many project-based firms face a need to balance between two concurrent – and at times conflicting – sales logics. While large project-based firms frequently have separated their sales operations in two distinct functions, one for sales of large solution deliveries, and one for standardized deliveries, small and medium sized firms frequently do not possess adequate resources for establishing and staffing two separate marketing functions and need to find other ways to cope with this dilemma. Drawing on empirical evidence from a qualitative case study focusing on a medium-sized firm offering both tailored as well as standardized security solutions, we scrutinize how sales of both types of solutions is managed and how the two processes relate to each other. We show that the two sales approaches differ from each other in sales resources, stakeholders, time as well as the project business orientation. On the other hand, the two approaches also complement each other, especially regarding how the customers are identified and how they are supported.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages40
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication typeNot Eligible
EventEuropean Academy of Management EURAM2020: The Business of Now: the future starts here - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 10 Jun 202012 Jun 2020


ConferenceEuropean Academy of Management EURAM2020


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