If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner.
—General Omar Nelson Bradley
What do you do when you walk into your office? If you’re like most people, you turn on your computer and respond to the information that presents itself on the screen.
What you see on your computer screen matters, because it directs the course of your day. If you started in sales prior to 1990, you started your day with a customer list, a map, and some call plans. But anyone working in sales today starts off on the computer.
Several years ago, I began working with a major manufacturing firm that had recently implemented a new customer relationship management (CRM) system with all the bells and whistles. Reps could enter customer data from their smartphones, iPads, or laptops. Managers could cross-reference and analyze the data in a million different ways. Senior leadership and marketing could use the customer intelligence for strategic planning.
But there was just one problem: the expensive new system hadn’t improved the close rate one bit. So they brought me in to help them figure out why. The answer became obvious to me after I spent time in the field with the company’s top reps: the system captured the information that mattered to the company. But nowhere was there a space to record the information that mattered to the customer.
The top rep described it this way: ...