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Customer-centric Companies Will Win

I’m just returning from another Selling Power Magazine Sales Leadership conference. This is my third time attending one of Selling Power's conferences, and each time I leave with more enthusiasm for the future of the sales profession and the work we do here at The Brooks Group.

The watchword of the day was change. No surprise, right? Of course not. Change is everywhere and sales certainly isn’t immune to it.  As I weed through my pages and pages of notes, one thing is clear:

Tomorrow won’t be quite like today.

The key, however, is to avoid “change for the sake of change.” It’s going to be important – especially in this still-confusing economy – to be intentional in the ways you change.

Here’s what I mean…

Gerhard Gschwandtner, publisher of Selling Power Magazine (and the conference organizer), announced that he predicts that 2011 will be the year in which customer-centric companies win. He said that the best companies will be the ones that:

  1. Map their customers’ journeys.
  2. Identify the touchpoints along those journeys.

And then it's absolutely essential to ensure total, complete, unabashed, absolute customer-focus at each touchpoint. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about customer service, technical support, fulfillment, or -- our favorite -- sales. Anytime a customer (or potential customer) interacts with your company, smart business are confident that the interaction will positive.

So, the question is:

What are you doing to be absolutely, 100% sure that your customer interaction is of the quality they demand.

By way of example, we’ve made several major purchases over the last few months here at The Brooks Group, and I’ve asked the people in charge of those decisions about the process they went through. Each time, they said their decision boiled down to the way they were treated (notice, that’s NOT about the results they were promised or the solution they were offered).

Customer-focus has always been critical. But, predicts Gerhard, it will become even more important in the coming months.

How are your customers (and potential customers) treated? What can be done to improve it? Any best practices out there?