Handbook of Business-to-Business Marketing
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Handbook of Business-to-Business Marketing

Edited by Gary L. Lilien and Rajdeep Grewal

This insightful Handbook provides a comprehensive state-of-the-art review of business-to-business marketing. It supplies an overview and pioneers new ideas relating to the activity of building mutually value-generating relationships between organizations – from businesses to government agencies to not-for-profit organizations – and the many individuals within them.
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Chapter 17: Customer Relationship Management in Business Markets

Rajkumar Venkatesan, V. Kumar and Werner Reinartz


Rajkumar Venkatesan, V. Kumar and Werner Reinartz Customer relationship management (CRM) has its origins in business markets. Business markets have long adopted key account management (Shapiro and Moriarty 1984) as a way to recognize individual customers who are valuable to a firm and to allocate resources to ensure satisfaction and retention of key accounts. Business markets have always faced the challenge of managing individual customers and customizing marketing, products, prices and sometimes channels to each customer’s preferences (Narayandas 2005). Somewhat parallel to the trends in business markets, general marketing strategists recognized the value of customer relationships (Sheth and Parvatiyar 1995), the need to be market oriented and customer centric (Day 2006; Jaworski and Kohli 1993) and the potential of measuring and managing individual customer profitability (Reinartz and Kumar 2003; Rust et al. 2004; Venkatesan and Kumar 2004). In this chapter we track the evolution of the strategic CRM literature from customer loyalty to the current state of the art for customer-centric organizations (Gulati 2010) and interaction orientation (Ramani and Kumar 2008). We define ‘CRM’ as the practice of analyzing and employing marketing databases and leveraging communication technologies to determine corporate practices and methods that maximize the lifetime value of each individual customer to the firm. We draw parallels between B2B and CRM research. We also discuss the implications of CRM findings for business markets and recognize the challenges in applying CRM to business markets. Our objective in this chapter is to spur interest among CRM researchers to recognize the unique...

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