Thomas J. Steenburgh

Thomas J. Steenburgh

Ralph Owen Dean and Professor of Marketing

Research Interests/Areas of Expertise

Business-to-Business Marketing and Sales, Negotiation, Professional Selling, Sales Force Management, Strategic Account Management, Entrepreneurial Selling  

Subject Areas




Dean Steenburgh is an expert in business-to-business marketing and sales. He believes in the power of collaboration between academics and business leaders to explore novel research ideas and solve real-world problems.

Awards & Accomplishments

Dean Steenburgh is a member of the Senior Advisory Board of the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management. He sat on the editorial board of Marketing Science, was an Associate Editor of the Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing, and is an ad hoc reviewer of academic articles published in high-impact sales and marketing journals.


Prior to coming to Owen, Dean Steenburgh served as the Richard S. Reynolds Professor and Senior Associate Dean of the Full-Time Program at the Darden School of Business. He had previously served as the Senior Associate Dean of Faculty Development and the Senior Associate Dean of Executive Education and Lifelong Learning, and he was the course head for first-year marketing. Before joining Darden, he was on the faculty at the Harvard Business School where he developed electives and led executive education courses in business-to-business marketing and sales. Dean Steenburgh is a co-founder of the Thought Leadership on the Sales Profession conference, a unique event that brings together leading academics and senior business leaders to discuss cutting-edge ideas and practices in sales.


Dean Steenburgh’s research has been recognized with the Neil Rackham Research Award for its long-term impact on sales practice. His article “Adding Bricks to Clicks: Predicting the Patterns of Cross-Channel Elasticities over Time” won the Louis W. Stern Award for making a significant contribution to the literature on marketing and channels of distribution. Has written articles for the Harvard Business Review on sales compensation and selling new products, and his HBR article “Motivating Salespeople: What Really Works” won the Wachovia Prize for Research Excellence. Dean Steenburgh has written numerous case studies that are taught in leading business schools around the world. His case study on Hubspot won the Case Center Award and is part of the HBS Premier Case Collection and the Case Center Classic Case Collection.

Research Interests

Dean Steenburgh’s research analyzes the effectiveness of sales and marketing strategies. His work has shed light on topics such as whether lump-sum bonuses motivate salespeople to work harder or play timing games with their orders and whether firms should use sales and marketing actions to manage their earnings. He frequently speaks about his research at academic and company-sponsored conferences and has been a featured speaker at conferences run by the Sales Management Association, the Strategic Accounts Management Association, the Marketing Science Institute, the Institute for the Study of Business Markets, the Money Management Institute, and Siemens One.


PhD, Marketing, Yale, 2004

MA, Statistics, University of Michigan, 1992

BS, Mechanical Engineering, Boston University, 1990