Develop a customer relationship strategy

Develop a customer relationship strategy that could be used in the selling process for a product or service. You may use the same organization or product or service (or both) that you have used for previous assessments, or you may choose a different one.

A relationship strategy focuses on customers, secondary decision makers, company support staff, and management personnel. The strategy should reflect the various factors that can enhance relationships, such as self-image, success measures, and desire to achieve a win-win situation. This strategy should also mirror the sales professional’s character and professional integrity and promote high ethical standards. Ultimately, the relationship strategy must contribute to a solid, long-term connection with customers and other key individuals.

Write a customer relationship strategy that addresses the following:

  • Create a profile or description of the typical prospect (target customer) for your chosen product or service.
  • Reflect on the role of this buyer or decision maker, as an individual or company representative.
  • Describe the typical buying motives of the prospect. What is the rationale for the purchase, and what is the need fulfilled?
  • Outline how prospects for the product are identified. Examples may include the use of a database, cold calling, referrals, or other methods.
  • Outline the process for qualifying prospects. Be sure to define qualified prospect.
  • Describe software tools you would use in managing customer relationships in the selling process. Provide your rationale for their application.
  • Examine the buying and decision making processes, along with the roles of the key players in the sales process. What roles or processes are involved in making a decision? What players are involved? What is the timeline for the process from initial contact to the close of the sale? A flowchart can be a helpful way to display this information, but a description works well, too.
  • Identify your sales presentation objectives and outline a sales approach. Keep in mind this should not be the pitch itself but should describe how you would go about making it.

Additional Requirements

  • Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
  • APA formatting: Resources and citations are formatted according to APA (6th edition) style and formatting.
  • Number of resources: Minimum of two resources.
  • Length of paper: 3-5 typed, double-spaced pages.
  • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point
  • Describe a target customer for a selected product or service.
  • Explain sales decision-maker roles.
  • Analyze how prospects for the selected product or service are identified.
  • Outline a sales prospect qualification process for the selected product or service.
  • Describe sales presentation objectives for the targeted audience.
  • Analyze a sales approach for the selected product or service.
    • Summarize the buying motives of a target customer for a selected product or service.
    • Discuss a process for selecting customer relationship management software tools and applications.

 

Prospecting

Because time is money and every minute is precious, developing a prospecting and sales forecasting plan can help any salesperson be more efficient. This plan requires that the salesperson develop a list of prospects using a combination of resources. Following the prospecting, the salesperson forecasts the potential sales volume that might be generated by new accounts for each product. Then, the salesperson must anticipate calls with potential customers when planning a sales route or a series of meetings during a particular time period.

Prospecting techniques produce a list of names that the salesperson must evaluate and qualify. This is an ongoing process and one that is an intricate part of the salesperson’s role. The use of technology to assist in evaluating information has allowed sales professionals to become more efficient in this process.

Today’s salesperson can select from any number of methods or combinations of sources for prospects. Sources include various association directories, Web sites, referrals, networking, telemarketing, educational seminars, cold-calling, and prospecting by others not in the selling organization. As with many other components of the personal selling process, prospecting methods should be chosen according to the major factors defining a particular selling solution. There is no single way to obtain results that is always most effective.

Customer Strategy

Developing a customer strategy is an important step in the consultative selling process. In this step, the salesperson creates an appropriate customer strategy, based on knowledge of the prospect. Inherent to developing an effective customer strategy is the need for a salesperson to understand buying behaviors and the various types of conscious and subconscious motives. Each customer has different perceptions and needs, which a salesperson must thoroughly understand in order to make a successful appeal to the customer.

Ang. L., & Taylor, B. (2005, July). Managing customer profitability using portfolio matrices. Journal of Database Marketing & Customer Strategy Management, 12(4), 298-304.Arnett, D. B., & Badrinarayanan, V. (2005). Enhancing customer-needs-driven CRM strategies: Core selling teams, knowledge management competence, and relationship marketing competence. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 25(4), 329-343.Beam, C. (2006, June). How to assess your sales pipeline. Consulting to Management, 17(2), 18-21.Raman, P., Wittmann, C. M., & Rauseo, N. A. (2006). Leveraging CRM for sales: The role of organizational capabilities in successful CRM implementation. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 26(1), 39-53.

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