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  4. Building a CRM Platform for B-to-B Transactions: Transformation of Know-How to Explicit Knowledge and Maximization of Organizational Capabilities

2015 Vol.2,3
Building a CRM Platform for B-to-B Transactions: Transformation of Know-How to Explicit Knowledge and Maximization of Organizational Capabilities

2015/05/11

Since the advent of the concept of customer relationship management (CRM), it has evolved and become widely used in businessto-consumer (B-to-C) transactions as electronic commerce has expanded. However, CRM has not attracted much attention in business-to-business (B-to-B) transactions. The importance of CRM is growing faster in B-to-B transactions than B-to-C transactions because of the advancement of information technology, the decision-making styles of customers, and the high levels of expertise required to handle the products and services being sold. CRM that puts undue emphasis on system building and data accumulation without clarifying relevant medium- to long-term scenarios, use cases, or the advantages of CRM would not be sufficiently beneficial and would likely fail. What is most important in building a CRM platform is to make it lead to actions. It should be a platform that enhances communication with customers and offers them value by prompting precise data-based actions with proper timing. Important points in building such a platform are (1) clarifying business strategies with consideration given to your firm’s strengths and product differentiation, (2) devising processes and scenarios aimed to enhance the advantages of the platform, (3) concretizing the advantages and use cases, (4) clarifying guidelines for system building, (5) having top-down and bottom-up building processes, and (6) thoroughly following the plan.do.check.act cycle. The advantages of a CRM platform gradually increase as it is utilized and are maximized only when data accumulation/updating, proper actions, and accumulation of results are continuously conducted. As the business environment rapidly changes and competition becomes fierce, the survival and sustained growth of B-to-B firms hinge on how value offered to customers is increased by transforming know-how (which tends to be buried within individual employees) to explicit knowledge and maximizing organizational capabilities.

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