Unintended Consequences…

I got a call this morning from a well intentioned fellow from the large Midwest baby bell asking me which service provider I was using for voice, data, and long-distance.  I was a bit taken back by the call because we are already a customer of his company.

So I asked the sales guy if he had access to a CRM system that his company provided him. He assured me that he in fact did.  So I asked, did you look up my company in your system before you called me?  A big pregnant pause ensued and a sheepish delayed answer came forth – “no I did not.”  He further explained that his company’s CRM system is out of date and much of the customer data is inaccurate or non-existent.

Think about what happened to this company in the course of a 30 second conversation:

  • Deteriorated their brand reputation with an existing customer
  • Unnecessarily wasted a sales professional’s time
  • Deferred any potential up sell with an existing customer
  • Opened up an existing customer’s mind to competitive options

Rest assured this sales professional then went on to make several more calls and some portion of those folks experienced the same thing.

When you set your sales team off on a mission to close new customers, make sure you first arm them with a list of your existing customers.  For a multi-billion dollar firm to not have their CRM system in order is inexcusable in today’s online world.  Notice I didn’t say it was easy, just inexcusable.

If you are sending your sales teams into battle without the proper data – stop and think about what you are doing to them and what you are doing to your company – unintentionally of course.

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