I read an article on Yahoo Sports about Flames head coach Brent Sutter deserving consideration for the Jack Adams Trophy as coach of the year in the NHL. In the article Brent Sutter made a comment that I found very interesting:
“I believe there’s a certain way to play, and to win, in this league. I also believe you can’t deviate from that. Regardless of who you are. Sometimes it just takes a little longer to get the message across.’’
I dissected the quote and applied it to the sales industry; listed below is a snippet of the quote and how it applies to customer relationship management.
“In this league” – It is very important that an organization understands that the customer buying process has changed (Customer 2.0) due to the Internet, improved communications, web 2.0 and social networking; as a result, sales organizations need to change (sales 2.0) if you want to win over the Customer 2.0. The information age has put the power in the hands of the customer; as result companies need to adapt to the new “league” or they will be playing in the minors.
“There’s certain way to play and win” – Companies must play by the new rules of the game; if they want to win they can no longer dump the same data on all customers and expect them to buy their product. Companies need to introduce new sales and marketing 2.0 tactics that are focused on managing relationships with customers through effective communication. This includes collecting more information about the customer (360 degree customer view) and tailoring your product and services message specific to the needs of the customer while using the communication medium that works best for the customer: face to face, phone, webinars, social networks, web, mobile devices, etc.
“Regardless of who you are” – I attended a seminar this week entitled, “Increasing trade show ROI using online marketing tools” and one of the presenters used the term “punching above your weight” while talking about the importance of marketing automation. I thought that did a great job of explaining that every company needs to embrace Customer 2.0. The buying process has changed and you need to embrace the change or you will not win the sales 2.0 game.
“Sometimes it just takes a little longer to get the message across.” – Change does not happen overnight and this applies to the customer and sales organizations. It starts with the acknowledgement that the customer buying process has changed and as result your communication approach to the customer needs to change. Companies need to manage the relationship with the customers and not sell to the customer.