Relationships First, Sales Tech Second

No matter how sophisticated sales technology gets, it simply won’t work unless you combine it with “real” relationship-building skills and common sense.  Sometimes it’s the gap between well-intentioned marketing staff and uninformed salespeople which can create havoc in companies. And annoy your customers.

It’s all very well having a database, templates and automated emails. However if they are not carefully utilised, they’ll detract from the very thing we want to improve on – the customer’s experience with our company. For instance, I know of a training organisation whose junior telemarketer had made less than complimentary comments in the “notes” field on the database when he was speaking to a client on the phone, who – some months later – just happened to be sitting alongside him when he opened the notes records. Goodbye Mr Happy Customer.  Er.. oops.

Then of course, there’s the ability for anyone to abuse the power of email and tarnish a company’s image for years. I recently received an email blast from a team-building company. Unfortunately, the e-marketing company sending out the newsletter to their client base had duffed up the unsubscribe option – if anyone asked to be unsubscribed, their email was then sent out to everyone on the list, not just to the return address. This resulted in everyone receiving about 20 or 30 emails in a few minutes – including me. Personally, I found it … sadly hilarious reading all the confusion. There was one woman who took major exception to the scores of emails she received and in a rage wrote a rather impolite email back to the company, not realising that many of the other 10 000 people or so were going to receive it too. Seriously bad move on her part. I’ll never forget her name nor the foul language she used.  Eish. Cringeworthy.

Relationships first, sales technology second. Better still, synergise. Get the balance right. All sales technology we use must focus on the value it adds to the client relationship as well as to each of us on a personal level and our sales organisation.

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