Introduction: excellence in sales and customer management Top 10 success factors for excellence in sales Sales as a topic that affects the entire company The relation between marketing and sales strategy Developing successful sales strategies Information management Customer segmentation Defining process goals for customer segments Designing sales processes Managing sales structures Support systems Leadership in sales Operational selling What sales representatives can learn from professional athletes Summary and outlook
Successful companies focus on different aspects of their business. Some focus on the strength of their brand. Others focus on technological product innovations, develop into “solution providers” or commit themselves to commodity, high-volume bu- nesses. Other companies open international markets. Personal sales relationships with the customer play a decisive role in all of the stra- gies. The sales department does not merely assume the role of a mediator between suppliers and customers: it actively creates added value for customers. It adds value for customers through consultation, special offers and projects, and it coordinates the performance of the company. It negotiates fair prices. It also receives support from the numerous e-marketing, classical advertising, direct marketing, telephone marketing, trade fairs and events channels.In addition it draws on comprehensive research rega- ing the customer. Sophisticated corporate strategies only function when the sales department utilises them in interacting with key customers. Any successful market implementation begins with the sales department.
Holger Dannenberg is Managing Partner of the Executive Board of Mercuri International Deutschland GmbH. Dr. Dirk Zupancic is Professor of Management at Heilbronn Business School, Germany, senior lecturer of business administration and head of the competence centre BtoB Marketing and Sales at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.
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