Corporate Relations: How To Value And Manage Them
Man is a social animal: it is a fact and has been scientifically proven in numerous studies, demonstrating how relationships are a primary need for human beings. So, why is the relationship yet to be correctly valued within the commercial context, bringing the building of ties with its protagonists to the center of the negotiation? In this article, we will try to do it, borrowing a concept well rooted in Chinese culture:”Guanxi.”Guanxi is a term in the Chinese language translated as “relationship” and embodies a concept that has governed Chinese society for centuries.
It is an intricate and dense network that regulates interpersonal relationships based on the exchange of favors and reciprocity, cultivated and nourished throughout life. This system embraces all relational spheres of the individual, from the family and friendship sphere to the professional one, and requires constant investment to weave new bonds. The commitment in terms of time, honesty, and dedication to weave these relationships are undoubtedly high.
Still, the value obtained in return is more elevated and often measurable in economic terms. We want to dwell on this last point: have you ever wondered, in the workplace, what is the economic value of an uncultivated relationship? Have you ever thought that an unmemorized contact or a forgotten phone call could be missed sales opportunities and, therefore, a financial loss? Have you ever tried to quantify how much a similar forgetfulness could cost you daily?
From Theory To Practice: The Tools To Manage The Relationship With The Customer
Lowered into the business environment, the Chinese concept of “guanxi” can be introduced with relational marketing, based on the company’s ability to develop and sustain quality relationships with customers and other key players, such as to guarantee benefits long-term for all parties involved. This corporate philosophy requires a continuous and integrated effort to coordinate the efforts of the various departments (marketing, sales, production, administration) towards common objectives and, therefore, implies that there is not only a relational network with the outside but also a well-organized one inside.
All very interesting, but can it be translated on an operational level, and how to do it? CRM (Customer Relationship Management ) is the tool par excellence for managing these complex relationships and the corresponding amount of information Inside lies the tangible corporate assets, which are the data of all the people who come into contact with the company: leads, customers, suppliers, and collaborators. None excluded because a supplier could one day become our customer, and a leader who today seems like a cold contact could tomorrow be the most important customer for our business.
Pinning down the information relating to each actor who revolves around the company and making it shareable between the various departments allows for a dense network of mutual relationships to be weaved. Why, then, is it not done? Years of business consultancy in improving commercial management have taught us that the primary motivation is no fast, simple and essential tool available.
The Chest Of Corporate Assets
With this assumption in mind, we have developed NetManager: a commercial platform that wants to help the user organize his commercial activity starting from the heart of it, i.e., the relationship. Unlike many CRMs on the market, NetManager is characterized by a single contact archive that does not divide the personal data contained by type of contact into physical sub-folders.
Inside it is possible to insert any level of communication (lead, customer, potential customer, supplier, collaborator, etc.), making it coexist with the others in the same container. Thus a supplier can be a potential customer simultaneously without duplicating personal data or losing information about the overall relationship with this contact. Relationship marketing thus becomes very simple, and the percentage of quality of the relationship is increased, thanks to the organized archiving of valuable information for maintaining it in the long term.
- personal and corporate data of the customer
- status of the deal
- level of profiling
- data of the interlocutors
- contact origin
- contact entry date
- archiving of documents (mailing, invoices, delivery notes, orders, estimates)
- notes deriving from telephone calls or interviews, even from agents who no longer collaborate with the company.