TALKING SALES 213: "Few companies have the data they need to build trusted relationships"

John Smibert

"Does your organisation have the data you need to build trusted relationships?"

A 'Talking Sales' discussion, John Bedwany with John Smibert

According to one of the world's leading authorities on authentic relationship management, John Bedwany, we are wasting our time trying to strategically build trusted customer relationships if we have not got complete and accurate information.

John BedwanyIn this video discussion with John he suggested that CEO's ask themselves this question: "Via the cloud can I press a button and know by company and by contact every touch point, every conversation had, every piece of collateral that was asked for by the customer, what their business needs are, what their IT needs are, what do they want to buy, when do they want to buy it and the level of trust?"

John claims "If you can't get that information in real time, you can't build trusted relationships".

Watch this short 4 min video - or read the transcript - to understand what the data issue is and how to address it. It could enhance your business relationships.

The sales productivity strategies discussed here should be of value to CEO's COO's, CSO's and sales leaders.


John Bedwany is the CEO of The Database Dept.  He is a thought leader and a disruptive thinker who helps his clients achieve extraordinary productivity in sales and marketing.

Subscribe to future videos           See previous 'TALKING SALES' videos here


John S: Hello, I've got John Bedwany with me again - welcome back, John!

John B: Hi, John!

John S: Hey, we've had some great discussions about all the challenges in sales and the challenges in marketing in a B2B environment. And great content, thank you very much, I think we've all learnt a lot out of it.

John B: Thank you.

John S: One thing that crosses my mind is in everything you talk about, particularly in driving a strategic approach to developing that trusted relationship and then getting it ready to hand it over to the salesperson, is you need really good, accurate data and it needs to be very complete data. In most organisations I go to, that's lacking, CRMs are incomplete and so on. Do you see that as a challenge?

John B: Absolutely. Let me put an analogy in play. Imagine going to a specialist, John, and he or she is going to give you some type of diagnosis and he or she only has part of the tests that you've done. Would you be comfortable to go into hospital and get yourself cut up?

Data 09

John S: Obviously not!

John B: So how respectful are we when we're talking to somebody in the marketplace, and a lot of the conversations, a lot of the touch points, a lot of the intel that we've gathered, the person that's communicating hasn't got that information. What type of impact will that have on your brand and the satisfaction of the person you're talking to?

John S: Disastrous impact.

John B: Correct, so here's what we see to be the solution. Step one, understand what data is important to you understanding the needs of the marketplace. It's not about just interrogate all data and see what happens, it's about understanding what are the key data points to be able to understand what your needs are.

John S: It makes sense from a strategic point of view; I need to know what I need to know.

John B: Correct. Step two, where is all the data? And that's where we laugh out loud, because we've been spending millions of dollars on CRM, millions of dollars on SFDC, millions of dollars on transactionally upfeed systems... A lot of times they're not integrated, and if they are, they're integrated once, and then the API's start to fall apart. So we need to know where all the data is, and you'll find it is across multiple data sources, so then from that understanding what the data sources are - where are they, knowing what data fields are important to you, you need an integration data quality tool that can consistently take that data daily, monthly - real-time, quarterly (it doesn't matter, it depends on the flow), cleanse it, dupes it, merges it and enhances it and gives you back, via the cloud, a single version of the customer experience.

John S: That makes a lot of sense to me. How many organisations are actually achieving pulling together all this data, the data they need, identifying what they do need and then getting it together?

John B: Very few. Put your hand on your heart and really go out to all these organisations... Very few. And here's the test.

John S: Before you tell me the test, let's go back. All the things you've been talking about rely on this data.

John B: That's correct.

John S: So if very few are achieving it, it doesn't matter how much you talk about strategically building trusted relationships and so on before we hand it across to salespeople, you're not going to be successful without that data.

John B: Exactly right.

John S: So, what's the test?

John B: Well, the test is simply this. Ask yourself one question as a CEO of a company. "Via the cloud can I press a button and know by company and by contact every touch point, every conversation had, every piece of collateral that was asked for by the customer, what their business needs are, what their IT needs are, what do they want to buy, when do they want to buy it and the level of trust?" if you can't get that information in real time, you can't build trusted relationships.

Businessman pressing modern social buttons on a virtual background

John S: That sounds like a big challenge.

John B: It's actually very, very simple; within two months it'd be up and running at a very, very small cost.

John S: Okay, so people need to invest in pulling all this data together in one form or another, or getting other parties to help them do it.

John B: Absolutely, absolutely. And it's a small investment for a major return.

John S: Okay, so relatively small investment. But forget about everything else we've talked about; unless they do it, it's not going to be successful.

John B: That's correct. Somebody has to do it for them, or they do it themselves.

John S: Okay, so that's the key message there for all the CEOs and senior executives out there. Don't put all the pressure on your people to follow a strategic approach to building relationships and so on, unless you're willing to give them the basic tool - which is data completeness, data accuracy - and have it at the fingertips so that you really can drive a trusted relationship with your client.

John B: Case in point, John, go back to the test question. Via the cloud, by company and by contact, do you have all the data? If the answer is no, you need to get it.

John S: So you CEOs out there, ask that question of yourself, ask that question of your systems and just see if you can get it. Because forget about doing all the strategic approach to building relationships in the marketplace, unless you've got it.

John B: Thank you, John!

John S: Thanks, John!


More discussions with John Bedwany:



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