Well worth an executive read. I have never seen such a clear explanation of how companies keep themselves from executing their strategy as well as they could or from achieving the competitive advantage possible, as Linda Sharp presents in her book Customer Relationship Intelligence. She carefully lays out the underlying symptoms of dysfunction in sales and marketing, the need for change in how these functions are managed, and provides a simple, practical solution. In my years in market research, I’ve seen how these issues can make or break a company.

Mike Kelly, President/CEO
TECHTEL Corporation

About the Author

Linda Sharp is CEO of Religence®, Inc., a customer-focused performance management consulting firm in San Francisco. Her highly experienced, multidisciplinary consulting team at Religence aligns marketing, operations, and finance to help clients unlock their competitive advantage in customer relationships and grow high-profit revenue. Religence helps clients understand where they stand with customers and how value is built—cause-and-effect. Religence clients execute their plans, manage in real time, and repeat success. Religence clients treat their customers better and make more money.

Sharp has run her own marketing firms for more than 30 years, observing success in marketing with a mathematician’s eye. The Customer Relationship Intelligence (CRI) Framework was born of her five-year odyssey to quantify marketing, and has resulted in a business process patent application and the formation of Religence to commercialize her discovery. Elements of the CRI Framework have been proven at a number of companies, but the overall framework is new. The CRI Framework links strategic planning to operational execution, and real-time customer relationship metrics to profitability. Her insight is that it is all about the customer relationship, that measuring relationship development is what matters for profit and competitive advantage.

A sales and marketing process innovator and integrator, Sharp created one sales and marketing process change after another, first integrating marketing tactics to help pioneer the marcom function, then integrating telemarketing and market research to pioneer a new use of Voice of the Customer (VoC) research. She understood early on that a company’s best potential customers were most likely its current customers. Now she has captured her insight about how marketing works and how to measure it, formalizing her approach to Customer Relationship Intelligence.

Sharp has worked successfully across many industries, with special focus on business-to-business in the financial services, high technology, transportation, energy, and environmental industries. Major company clients include Fireman’s Fund Insurance, Wells Fargo, Visa, U.S. Leasing, AT&T, AMD, Hewlett-Packard, Pacific Fruit Express, EPRI, Chevron, Brown and Caldwell, and Grace Sierra (a former W.R. Grace company).

A reoccurring theme for Sharp has been to help companies through the throes of massive change. If she has her way, another huge change is about to happen. She believes the CRI Framework will fundamentally change how people who work on the frontline with customers are measured and managed—and that it will take sales and marketing and customer service to a new operational level.

Sharp is an award-winning wildflower photographer and was the founder of the San Francisco Bay Area American Red Cross Disaster Information Task Force, which revolutionized the way the agency used volunteers.

Copyright © 2007 Linda Sharp

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