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Chapter 7. Transforming Customer Contact... > Business Forces Driving the Need for...

Business Forces Driving the Need for Selling-Chain Management

How do you help buyers and sales reps complete the purchase of complex products over the Internet? This question and several other market issues are driving the interest in selling-chain applications: the rise of self-service, the excessive cost of presales support, the increasing cost of order errors, changing sales channels, increasing product complexity, and the rise of mergers and acquisitions.

The Rise of the Self-Service Order

Sales process complexity is increasing as customers demand higher levels of service, faster turnaround, and more options for customized products and services. During the early 1990s, the concept of mass customization first appeared in the marketplace, giving rise to the concept of a "market of one." Consumers want what they want, when they want it, and they want it packaged uniquely to meet their individual needs. In this new market, companies must reexamine their sales procedures for ease of use. For example, for years, Citibank captured a significant share of the college student market for credit cards simply by making it easy for students to obtain credit, whereas the competitors made it difficult.


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