Monday, September 18, 2006

Keeping an eye on your customers and prospects

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Read or listen to any conversation about sales successes and the topic of 'knowing your customer' eventually comes up as a key skill that top performers display. Last Week on Russ Lombardo's SalesTalk radio show on Business Voice America Radio, the topic was "Drive Revenue and Retention Through Effective Response to Customer and Prospect News" with Simon Bradstock-Director of Product for Factiva SalesWorks.

It is a good overview of how Factiva is delivering some very valuable services to sales groups across various industry sectors. The conversation revolved around using services like Factiva SalesWorks to keep an eye on events occurring in the news that may create business opportunities and/or a threats- but it goes beyond that to address some core information delivery issues that sales, like other parts of the organization are dealing with.

A couple of items that i am working with clients on right now:

- Some of the recent focus groups factiva conducted pointed to the fact that high performing sales folks- are avid readers- like the self directed innovator- the right tools to make sure they capture all they need is essential. Tools that allow them to digest large amounts of information, can be delivered to them via existing systems like CRMs, portals, search, etc. or through their native information tools like for example a RSS reader. They must have options- mixing content from here and content from there- regardless of format or subscription model and today's Web 2.0 technologies allow companies to provide various options without a lot of added cost.

- They discussed Dynamic Account Planning tools which i think are a great productivity tool to provide sales teams- making the account planning process a living breathing process- i blogged about Account Planning in a Web 2.0 world back in July- and i am currently working on some very cool things with some my customers that i will try to share with you soon.

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