Strategic Customer Management: Strategizing the Sales Organization
A revolution is taking place in the way companies organize and manage the 'front-end' of their organization, where it meets its customers. Traditional concepts of sales management, account management, and customer service are being overtaken by initiatives like customer business development, the strategic sales organization, and strategic customer management. This book aims to provide insights into how this revolution is unfolding and to provide a framework for executives and management students to address the issues involved. The book focuses on the transformation of the traditional sales organization into a strategic force leading the strategic customer management process in companies. Traditionally, the area of sales management has mainly been treated as a tactical, operational topic in the conventional marketing literature - simply part of the communications mix within the planned marketing programme. However, the emergence of major customers as dominant buyers in many sectors as a result of pressures towards consolidation and enhanced scale of operations, is changing the way in which sales issues are addressed in supplier organizations. The growth of new forms of buyer-seller relationship based on collaboration and partnering has encouraged organizations to reconsider the sales and account management operation as an important source of competitive differentiation in commoditized markets. Increasingly, sales is being perceived as a central part of business strategy and attention given to the challenges in better aligning sales processes with strategy. This has many implications for the design of the sales organization and its management strategy, which go far beyond the confines of conventional marketing views.
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