How familiar are you with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and the role that it can and does play in major account selling? If you're not, you'd better make a concentrated effort... SalesLinks HomeMentor Associates sales training and consulting services recommend this sitefaqdedicationsite map
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ISSUE 5, MAJOR ACCOUNTS BULLETIN:

Major Account Selling in High-Technology Companies

Jack Carroll
by Jack Carroll

Contents of this newsletter:

  1. CRM and major account selling—what's the buzz?
  2. Sales and Field Force Automation Magazine
  3. DCI's CRM conferences and exhibits
  4. C3i white paper
  5. CRM.Talk
  6. Computerworld quick study

 

1. CRM and major account selling—what's the buzz?

How familiar are you with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and the role that it can and does play in major account selling? If you’re not, and you are in the major account selling game, you’d better make a concentrated effort to get up to speed pretty soon. Because the CRM tsunami is rolling in and it’s a mighty big wave that will sweep a lot of deadwood out in its backwash. Make sure that you and your company ride the wave and not the backwash. Begin to reengineer all of your customer relationship processes especially your major accounts.

Why is CRM (previously known as Sales Force Automation) so important? CRM takes an integrated or holistic approach to customer relationships. It synthesizes (under a single software-driven system) the three principal areas of customer focused business processes: sales, marketing and customer service.

Hey, that sounds like the stuff of... Yep. Major account selling. As noted here often in the past, a good major accounts program is almost always staffed with customer teams composed of senior account representatives from each of these three areas:

  • Marketing creates researches, organizes and plans business solutions and opportunities.
  • Sales communicates the value of those solutions and opportunities to the customer and gets commitment to move forward with a relationship.
  • Customer service insures that programs and plans are properly implemented and the customer gets what they paid for in the bargain.

CRM rolls it all up into a single universe which includes the organization, planning, executing, measuring, and accountability aspects that have been the focus of major account activity. And, most importantly, it enhances each of them individually by integrating and automating all three into a single interlocking, measurable system.

CRM does for the sales, marketing and customer service functions in 1999 what the spreadsheet did for accounting in the early 1980’s. It doesn’t discover or invent new things to do but rather streamlines and optimizes the way they have been handled (or mishandled) individually in the past.

Back in pre-historic times (the 1970’s) there was a popular expression that highlighted this lack of cohesion: "Marketing doesn’t talk to sales, sales thinks customer service exists to do its dirty work, and customer service thinks that customers who call are a bunch of disgruntled troublemakers." In compartmentalized silos each was able to insulate itself and "ping pong" responsibility for the absence of customer satisfaction. With CRM, the silos have been detonated. Everybody plays the game out in the open, together. Customer focused and customer driven and most of all, accountable!

The business improvement process that results in successful implementation of CRM is so significant that it provides those who make it with that elusive and infamous benefit of "competitive advantage." The folks who do it well are going to beat the socks off of the folks who do it poorly or don’t do it at all.

There is a high profile consultant by the name of Jim Dickie in the CRM space that best summarizes the situation with regard to what you do about CRM. He says, "It’s not easy. It’s not cheap. And it’s not optional."

I have my own words of wisdom on the subject. Before you "CRM" your major account selling process, make certain that you have a major account selling process.

May we help you with major account selling?

Can we help you with any aspect of a major accounts keynote speech, strategy, or training in your company? Ask us for our recommendations or a needs analysis—no cost or obligation. Contact Amanda Hooper of Mentor Associates at 888-773-9712 or amanda@saleslinks.com for more information.

Valuable links on CRM:

2. Sales and Field Force Automation Magazine

The mother lode of CRM. The definitive monthly magazine online.
Nobody gives you the breadth and quality of CRM coverage of SFFA Magazine. And they put it all online for your education and pleasure. A SalesLinks Top 25 site. Enter through our door.
http://www.saleslinks.com/tss/25sfa.htm

 

3. DCI's CRM conferences and exhibits

DCI has led the pack for years in producing major conferences, exhibits, and events on CRM.
http://www.dci.com/crm/

 

4. C3i white paper

Cost/benefit analysis for technology enabled selling
http://www.c3i-inc.com/wp_cost_ben.htm

 

5. CRM.Talk

Free discussion list on aspects of CRM from Bob Thompson of Front Line Solutions
A forum to discuss Customer Relationship Management issues and opportunities. How to acquire, retain, and grow profitable customer relationships.
http://www.frontlinehq.com/crmtalk.htm

Also, from Front Line Solutions, a CRM survey
Share your ideas, challenges, and requirements related to partner and customer relationship management.
http://www.frontlinehq.com/survey.html

 

6. Computerworld—quick study

Multiple aspects of technology enabled selling.
Articles, tools, and case studies on Sales Force Automation and CRM from Computerworld.
http://www.computerworld.com/home/features.nsf/all/980406qs

 

MAJOR ACCOUNTS FEATURES

Major Accounts Bulletin archives:

  1. Welcome and overview
  2. Follow their buying process
  3. Geoffrey Moore's Chasm Models
  4. Selling styles in major account selling
  5. CRM and major account selling—what's the buzz?
  6. The five most important elements in major account success
  7. Incredibly valuable tools and resources

Subscribe to the Major Accounts Bulletin (if you don't already)

Jack Carroll's "Dirty Dozen"

Major accounts fitness test

Major account selling services

Jack Carroll's biography

Sales bibliography

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e-mail: Jack Carroll, Webmaster