Chapter 15. Make the Sale

Having read this far, if you find all the changes we've covered a bit scary, I can't say I blame you. Just when you think you've got it figured out, here I am telling you that marketplace expectations are exponentially ratcheting up. Now, you're supposed to give each of a million customers personalized service in seconds. "Omigawd," you're thinking, "there goes lunch, forever!"

Stop and take a deep breath—because here comes the good news.

Highly sophisticated tools are emerging to help you stay ahead of the pack—if you have the real-time mind-set it takes to harness them effectively.

Your web site, as we discussed in Chapter 14, is the starting point. Online you need to match the best of bricks-and-mortar in every aspect, with service that is fast, responsive, personalized, friendly, customer focused, and brand consistent.

In this chapter we zoom out to consider other aspects of your corporate workflow. I want to show you how a focus on real-time data can transform your business in ways that drive sales performance.

Real-Time, Data-Driven Marketing and Sales

Have you ever heard a marketer try to explain what marketing is? "I'm in marketing," some dude tells his prospective grandmother-in-law. "I've heard of that," she responds, "but I've never been quite sure what it is, exactly. Is it like advertising?" Five minutes later he's still stammering on and she's wearing a puzzled expression.

Maybe this is why marketers and the agencies that support them spend so much ...

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