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B2B and CRM: Together 4 Ever

November 20, 2008  

What's B2B without CRM? Not much. Every smart B2B marketer knows that much of the process of converting prospects into loyal clients rests on customer service.

In a recent post at the B2B Marketing Confidential blog, Andy Hasselwander offered a way to craft a practical, tangible CRM plan for your B2B sales team to follow—by defining four components of the "CRM Value Chain." They are:

  • Marketing Management. Deciding who you are. This is your company's "marketing nerve center, where all core decisions are made about the customers and the brand," Hasselwander explains. "The functions of marketing management [include] product features, packaging, and value propositions," he says.
  • Outbound Management. Telling the world who you are. "The outbound function should entail communications (TV, radio, email, etc.); experiences (product [and] service); and influentials (the media … bloggers … etc.)"
  • Customer-Focused Branding. Targeting individuals. "I can't emphasize enough how important it is to think of the B2B brand as the collective set of attitudes and perceptions latent in the individuals inside the decision-making units at your firm's customers," he says.
  • Inbound Listening. Hearing what they're saying about you. There are five primary elements of listening, according to Hasselwander: sampling (tracking studies), chatter (Web or otherwise), engagement (two-way conversations), purchases (buying behavior) and loyalty.

The Po!nt: A good plan can boost your CRM. Using these four points as a model "brings together the core functions of both branding and CRM in a B2B context and provides a framework upon which to hang more complex ideas," Hasselwander concludes.

Source: B2B Marketing Confidential. Read the full post here.

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