Growing awareness that value for the customer is created in relationship between the supplier and the customer has consequences for sales and marketing functions, and businesses are increasingly experimenting with new organisational approaches and solutions. The purpose of this paper is to investigate organisational issues involved in implementing value programs in B2B firms and examine implications for managerial action.
After a literature review on value creation in business relationships, the authors illustrate the case of a large industrial business experimenting with organisational solutions to support value-creation processes in customer relationships.
The authors identify three issues management has to address in organising the customer interface: involvement of a variety of actors to access elements of effective customer-value solutions; supporting and orchestrating the interaction processes among those involved; and differentiation of the customer interface and sales approach to match the substantial differences in customer relationships.
There is a need for further, more systematic empirical studies of value-creation practices and solutions in how businesses organise the customer interface for value creation.
Coping effectively with creating value in customer relationships implies experimenting with novel approaches and solutions in organising the sales and marketing activities as open networked sales organization and requires specific managerial capabilities.
While creating customer value is generally believed to be positively related to the firm's performance and development, the organisational implications of focusing on creating value have been less explored. The original contribution of this work lies in zooming in on the organisational solutions to support the customer value-creation processes.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the commitment and collaboration of Fiorenzo Angelini and Davide Formica, managers at Cisco.
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