The term “Relationship Capital Management” has traditionally applied to the development and management of clients and prospects of an organization. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems have been in place for a number of years, originally designed to increase customer loyalty and thus allow for better opportunity and account management. However, these systems do not allow for identifying and managing all potential relationships within the company ecosystem that may affect an organization: customers, prospects, competitors, partners, influencers, media, human capital (or talent), and other third parties.
Traditionally, the focus of CRM initiatives has been on driving down costs and creating richer customer data. As organizations gear up again to drive top-line growth, the need for CRM solutions to focus on customer intelligence and account development increases.
Where relationship capital management has potential to increase the utility of CRM / SFA solutions: by improving sales effectiveness, via identification of broader range of contacts that may affect the sales process; and consequently, the identification of best practice strategies & processes to develop high value customers and market segments. For example:
- Extend the reach of customer care solutions by incorporating more comprehensive business development intelligence gathering; especially important in the development of vertical - specific applications (for the services industry, for example)
- Broaden the network of contacts beyond just prospects, and make inclusive partners, competitors, and other third parties
- Utilize customer intelligence to provide insights into prospect and customer – specific value propositions and appropriate communication strategies
Coming up: some strategies to fully leverage a relationship capital management system....