Sound advice for IBMers: when you show up at a customer, be on the same page

by Volker Weber

So you have a bunch of pre-sales guys showing up to showcase Notes 8, Quickr, Sametime, Connections, Tivoli etc. etc. But before you do that, make sure you have all the people on the same page. How many users, what kind of legacy software, infrastructure, etc. It's not good, if you need to introduce yourselves to each other because you never met before. Not good. Maybe it's the "work from home" thing.


This does not only apply to IBMers. I deal with 3rd parties a lot across very different industries, and I am very often surprised how little they know about our business, and how much business they actually do with us.
How can you show up at a customer without at least running a report in your CRM system of choice to list all revenue/interactions with that client globally?

I cannot count the times I have told 3rd parties

Thomas Holzapfel, 2008-04-23

hmmm...looks like some of my comment did not make it past the preview...continued below:

'Are you aware of how we are working together on "X" in "Y", and how does that affect our relationship here?'

I have to say MS has been a positive surprise in that respect - they sure use their CRM system, and the "new team" was able to remind me of a comment I had made to the "old team" a couple of years ago.

Thomas Holzapfel, 2008-04-23

It's VERY frequent these days for the sales rep and the techie to meet on-site at the customer always looks poor.

This certainly isn't IBM specific; although it does happen a lot with them, especially when they meet IBM Partners in the same meeting.

Ben Rose, 2008-04-23

The least that folks should do is to meet off-site for a coffee and a discussion beforehand - meeting for the first time at the customer office is just not acceptable in my book.

Stuart McIntyre, 2008-04-23

alot of people meet onsite for the first time but there is a reason you meet ten minutes before the meeting outside on the parking lot.

Flemming Riis, 2008-04-23

In reality, most of my sales visitors are late anyway. They usually blame traffic, but I think it's because they are used to sitting at home and don't like missing daytime TV.

Ben Rose, 2008-04-24

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