Building Business Relationships

Are you struggling to create and keep profitable customers? Columns for Sales and Marketing Management who wants to build business relationships.
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

How To Reduce Marketing-Sales-Service Overhead

A large percentage of your overhead is comprised of friction between marketing, sales, and service departments. These internal communications weight heavy on client acquisition costs and your ability to serve buyers need. Here are four strategies to reduce this overhead:

  1. Streamline communications between departments.  Instead of wondering what sales has done with leads provided by marketing, use a centralized system to track each customer as they move through your company. Customer relationship management (CRM) can provide returns in this area if properly implemented.
  2. Measure what matters in targeting a market of buyers.  Don't look at the number of leads generated or sales closed as much as conversion rates against dollar volume produced. Quality of buyers often represents effective efforts in communications between marketing, sales, and service.
  3. Map customer interaction points.  Understand where each prospective buyer is in your marketing and sales process, even beyond into their use of the service. Do this so you can plug leaks and automate expensive processes to solve more problems with less effort.
  4. Test against what is working instead of guessing.  Know your own best practices in marketing, sales, and service to thoughtfully improve how you provide for buying customers. Instead of feeling your way in each interaction, work from a baseline that is regularly challenged in measurable ways.

Companies who build strong client relationships know that every effort not generating revenue is taking away from profits. When marketing, sales, and service departments learn to work together they accomplish more for clients who gleefully pay for these solutions. Focus on the buyer by reducing interdepartmental friction and you'll reduce your overhead.

/ customer-relations | "business-strategy" /

Justin Hitt helps executives build profitable relationships with customer, employees, and strategic partners. He can be reached by phone at +1 (877) 207-3798 or on-line at

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Last update: 04/08/2004; 2:42:53 PM.

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