Imagine that you lived in a city made of steel and woke up one morning to discover the entire city had been turned to glass. Everything that had been opaque would be transparent, everything sturdy would be fragile. One false move, even the slightest slip and—boom!—everything around you could shatter.

Nowhere does this frightening image seem more real than in the realm of business-to-business commerce, where the Internet is recasting and remodeling nearly every existing relationship.

Although consumer marketers may have been first to launch Web-based, customer-centric initiatives, it is the business-to-business companies that have the most to gain.

They also have the most to lose by doggedly sticking with out-dated traditional market penetration strategies. In One to One B2B, marketing gurus Don Peppers and Martha Rogers argue persuasively that in the broad arena of business-to-business commerce, organizations will rise or fall on the basis of their abilities to cultivate one-to-one relationships with their customers.

In a series of richly detailed case studies, the authors paint vivid portraits of B2B organizations wrestling with front-burner issues such as channel complexity, customer valuation, account development, sales force automation, knowledge-based selling, and new modes of compensation.

And they squarely tackle the question of how much technology is too much, arguing that one shouldn't ask "How can you use technology to automate a relationship?" but ,rather, "How can you use technology to strengthen a relationship and make it more valuable over time?"

In One to One B2B, readers will discover the critical role a "learning relationship" plays in developing new and existing customers to their fullest potential, as well as strategies designed specifically to unlock higher levels of profitability, ensure client loyalty, and fight margin erosion in the face of intense global competition.

The result is an indispensable handbook on how to create and develop business-to-business sales and marketing techniques successfully in the bump and grind of the real world.