The strategies to assess potential and realized customer value have received surprisingly little attention in management literature. The purpose of this paper is to examine potential customer value assessment strategies for business-to-business (B2B) firms and their special characteristics.
The empirical part of the study draws from an exploratory, two-part field study involving three pilot firms, and seven best practice firms in customer value assessment. The research design followed an inductive, discovery-oriented grounded theory approach. Primary data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with 35 business managers from ten B2B firms.
The study identifies three customer value assessment strategies adopted by firms in business markets: Emergent value sales strategy; Life-cycle value management strategy; and Dedicated value specialist strategy. These strategies highlight different ways of managing and coordinating organizational units in different phases of the customer value assessment process.
The study was conducted from the supplier's perspective and is context-bound to firms operating in B2B markets.
Managers need to select an appropriate strategy for customer value assessment depending on market and offering characteristics, and assign clear responsibilities for value potential identification, baseline assessment, and long-term value realization.
The extant literature on customer value lacks understanding on customer value assessment strategies. The present study identifies three strategies that illuminate the required resources and organizational units at different phases of the customer value assessment process.
The authors wish to thank the two anonymous reviewers for comments and insights regarding this paper. The research was conducted in the CLEANTECH SOLUTIONS project, funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation
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