In this age of tough, global competition, companies in business-to-business markets need to rethink the way they manage their customer portfolio and interact with their customers. Customer managers with mainly sales- or relationship-oriented roles cannot leverage their business relationships with customers who seek co-creation. For such co-creation relationships, companies need to install network-oriented managers who systematically create value and reduce risk together with the customer. This article distinguishes three customer asset management perspectives (i.e., sales, relationship, and network) that may be employed by customer managers at the supplier-customer interface. Following an explication of the evolving network perspective, it describes how firms can nurture the network perspective and the corresponding customer manager role in terms of mindset, context, and competence.
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