Customer Relationship Management in Business Markets

Author(s): Rajkumar Venkatesan, V. Kumar and Werner Reinartz

Excerpt from the Handbook of Business-to-Business Marketing (Edited by Gary L. Lilien, Distinguished Research Professor of Management Science, The Pennsylvania State University and Rajdeep Grewal, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, US). Complete book available at

Customer relationship management (CRM) has its origins in business markets. This chapter covers the evolution of the strategic CRM literature from customer loyalty to the current state of the art for customer-centric organizations and interaction orientation. In this chapter, CRM is defined as the practice of analyzing and employing marketing databases and leveraging communication technologies to determine corporate practices and methods that maximize the lifetime value of each individual customer to the firm. Next, parallels are drawn between B2B and CRM research. The chapter also discusses the implications of CRM findings for business markets and recognize the challenges in applying CRM to business markets. Overall, the objective in this chapter is to spur interest among CRM researchers to recognize the unique aspects of business markets in their strategic frameworks and empirical models.
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