My Grandfather was incredible at sales. His energy, insight, and personality paired with his fanatical obsession to build and maintain strong relationships ensured his clients success. As a result, he was consistently a top seller and took home numerous sales awards throughout his career.
But, like many sales professionals, patience was not a virtue. Business math and numbers did not interest him, his primary activity was always focused on building relationships with his customers.
On the surface, he wasn’t wrong. Sales’ core function should be building and expanding relationships leading to more closed deals, not running numbers and sifting through data.
I sometimes daydream about working with my Grandfather. I wonder what he would think about Sales leaders dealing with an overload of data given to him and his team. I picture an analyst handing him a spreadsheet full of numbers and saying, “See, it’s all right here! This is your million-dollar pipeline!” I can picture his eyes glazing over, and the thoughts running through his head saying, “why do I care about this, and how is this supposed to help me close deals?”
Again, his reaction is not wrong and after politely nodding and smiling through a long-winded explanation, he would take the report and “file it away” so he could “review” it later.
This story is why it is ludicrous for vendors to pitch Customer Data Platforms (CDP) as a Sales platform. No self-respecting seller wants to spend their valuable time standing up a CDP and all the related technologies necessary for success. It is precisely this reason that organizations need to make the correct decision and not force Sales to take on that responsibility. Rather, Marketing, and only Marketing, should own CDP Strategy. Because in the end Marketing is influenced by Data, and data drives decisions that puts the organization in a position to succeed.