Sales & Customer Relationship Management News & Articles
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- ‘Reference Customers’ and turning sales prospects into trusted relationships
While geared towards Enterprise B2B salespeople, this article makes a compelling case for the value of what the author calls ‘reference customer selling’ in sluggish buying markets, as opposed to the ‘solution based’ approach often touted as lending an edge in a lean economy. ‘Customer reference’ sales entails using the real-world stories, case studies, and best practices that are naturally created while working with clients with whom you’ve evolved from a supplier/seller into a trusted adviser role. These relationships ought to provide a wealth of experience that can be brought to bear during the sales and purchasing cycles, and these handles not only help move the sales process forward, but can also help define a different and more rewarding kind of business relationship during the initial stages of a deal.
- Hot Seat: The Demand for On-Demand CRM
Another article catering to enterprise-level sales teams, this piece from an online CRM (Customer Relationship Management) trade journal explores the emerging battle between hosted and on-site CRM software. CRM applications are used to guide corporate sales forces through the customer relationship life-cycle and thereby improve long-term sales performance and client retention. Although most CRM software provided by vendors such as SAP and Salesnet is designed to meet the same end goals – helping sales teams capitalize on opportunities to make well timed and targeted offers to existing clients for additional products and services – there are two very different ‘species’: hosted and traditional or on-site. The hosted variety works on an Application Service Provider ‘On-Demand’ model, where a corporate sales department essentially rents or pays as they go for access to proprietary software that resides on the CRM provider’s network. On-site CRM has been around longer than hosted CRM, and works like most traditional enterprise and desktop software: it is licensed and installed in the client’s facilities. In either case, as the various CRM executives quoted here point out, CRM software has been embraced by large sales operations for the value it adds to different aspects of sales and customer relations: from connecting ‘customer touch points’ across an organization to automating sales forces.
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