Customer relationship management: from a buyer’s perspective in a B2B relationship

Every day companies needs to constantly perform in order to keep their customers satisfied, whether the targeted group is an individual or an organization. One method for doing this is called Customer Relationship Management (CRM). The focus of CRM is on the relationship between sellers and buyers, focusing on creating benefits for both parties and resulting in a long lasting and valuable partnership. The purpose of this study is to create a better understanding on how CRM is used in a B2B setting. In order to reach this purpose, research questions focusing on the process of selecting a supplier and the benefits of using CRM were developed. Using these research questions as a guide, relevant literature was reviewed which resulted in a conceptual framework that guided the data collection. In order to collect data, a qualitative, case study on one of the world’s largest truck manufacturer was conducted. Data was collected through two interviews with high positioned employees and through the use of documentation. Observing it from the buying firm’s point of view gave us the opportunity to see how they chose which supplier to start a relationship with, and how they are seeing their current suppliers and the CRM they being exposed to. The findings indicate that although CRM is creating several benefits for both the buyer and supplier, it is not used enough as it should be in order to maintain a healthy relationship. The research also indicates that when a large-sized global company is selecting which supplier to start a relationship with, a complex and thorough process is followed.

Author: Axelsson, Thomas; Olausson, Jonathan

Source: LuleƄ University of Technology

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