The phone call started like this—
Caller: "Hi Ken, I'm <her name is redacted to protect the innocent> and I'm your new account executive. Do you have a minute? I want to share with you all the great new stuff we have going on this year."
This call was from a local sports team and it wasn't bad for an opening line from the new sales lady. I understood this call was probably to get me signed up for their new membership program. I expected her to leverage the wealth of information the team had about me and try to get me to buy season tickets. I figured they knew I was a huge fan since they have been collecting data on me for at least 15 years.
Then there was that long, semi-angry letter I sent them several years ago when I cancelled my season tickets… wait, I digress.
Long story short, after several disappointed years away, my attendance began inching back up and I finally purchased a small 6 game package (for 4) last year in addition to some other tickets. I was ready to be sold.
Alas, the promising intro aside, the call went south pretty quickly.
It appeared that the only information she had about me was my name, phone number, and email address. I actually checked the caller ID to make sure the call was really from the team and not an outside marketing group.
Caller: "Are you familiar with our new membership program?"
Me: "Kind of, I was on your website a couple weeks ago looking at it. What's the difference between it and when I had season tickets?"
Caller: "Oh, you were a season ticket holder?"
Me: "Uh, yeah."
Caller: "When was this?"
The rest of the conversation was more of same—me reintroducing myself to an organization I have spent my hard-earned money with for 15 years. As the owner of a software consulting firm that specializes in
Please don't get me wrong, she was very nice. She was knowledgeable about their product and offerings, she was pleasant and engaging, and rallied well at the end of the call by inviting me and my wife (she knew I was married and my wife was also a fan by that point because she was listening) down to the ballpark. Solid close to the call with some open dates for a visit and then followed up with an email. She will probably get a sale from me.
I think about all the data the team SHOULD have in their database and I feel sorry for that new sales person. She was good but not having actionable data made her have to work all that much harder.
Let's think about it. I have been going to games since the mid 1990's, a previous season ticket holder for 4 or 5 years, same credit card used for almost all transactions, signed up years ago for their fan programs, lived at the same address for 20 years, active on Twitter commenting on the team, attend Spring Training every couple years, attended several invite-only Season Ticketholder events, and met/conversed with many of the executives in the Front Office. Even been on their newsletter distribution list for years, what a shame.
Now, let's focus on your business. Think about the information you have about your prospects and customers and then about the data available to anyone with an internet connection and a browser. Ask yourself some questions - What do your sales people really know about who they are interacting with? Have you provided them with the data that is locked away in your systems? Have you set them up for success?
Great process + a well-designed system + training = actionable data and a well-prepared sales person ready to meet your goals.
Do your sales, marketing, and customer service teams a favor,