Article

Customer Relationship Management and the Sales Force

Thomas W. Leigh

in The Oxford Handbook of Strategic Sales and Sales Management

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199569458
Published online May 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199569458.003.0013

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

Customer Relationship Management and the Sales Force

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This article examines the role of the direct sales force as a core enterprise strategy and capability relative to the organization's customer relationship management (CRM) system. It discusses the CRM models implied by product leadership, cost leadership, and customer intimacy strategies. These CRM models provide a basis for defining the role of the sales force compared to alternative go-to-market channels in accessing and relating to customers. This article examines the role of the sales force for four customer archetypes: transactional, solution selling, relationship selling, and strategic partnerships. Market-driven companies are likely to be more competent in organizational learning about markets and customers compared to internally-oriented competitors. In examining this issue, this article discusses the role of the direct sales force concerning four specific CRM processes: market sensing, customer sensing, customer linking, and cross-functional spanning.

Keywords: sales force; customer relationship management; CRM models; product leadership; cost leadership; customer intimacy strategies

Article.  12070 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Marketing ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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