In business there are so many things to do and so little time to do them all. Well that’s what some people say. The bigger the company the more things appear to need doing. There are all those meetings to attend, those reports to write, the almost daily business reviews and the list goes on and on.
To a certain extent smaller companies are less hamstrung by bureaucracy but many also share the same challenges as their larger counterparts. Let me ask you a few straight forward questions:

If you are a managing director (or chief executive), chairman (or chairperson), or board member other than sales/marketing director please answer these questions:

– Write down the names of your top ten customers, when you last saw them, and when you next plan to.
– At your last board meeting how much of the time did you take discussing your customers?

If you are a sales and/or marketing director:

– How much of your time is used discussing business matters with your customers?
– When was the last time you spent as much time with customers as you do managing numbers?

If you are a sales person:

– How much time do you invest in customer research?
– In the last year how many unsolicited or proactive proposals have you discussed with your customers?

If you are a small business owner:

– How much of your time is invested in your customers?
– How do you measure customer satisfaction?
What you could do now that you have read this is to think about your answers. You might also want to think about what answers your colleagues would give! I have my own views and I will publish these next week and also advise you what the questions are trying to expose. However, I hope that you work out what your answers are and what they mean for your company before then.
I will leave you with some research of 3600 European sales people from Neil Rackham, author of SPIN selling.
– 94% thought customers were getting tougher to deal with
– 76% felt their offerings were being treated like a commodity
– but despite this, 88% said that customers were demanding more support and expertise than ever.
I feel sure you know where this SalesPulse issue is going, and that you know what the one thing you should focus on is.