A prospect told me earlier this week that their company didn't have a centralized customer contact list. In the spirit of the season, the CMO sent a note to the sales force asking for customer names, titles and addresses to send a holiday gift. The thought was that this route would provide a backhanded way of getting the data.
Only it didn't.
So what can we learn from this lesson? Relationships are critical...inside and outside your organization.
Your sales force needs to trust that value will be gained by sharing customer data. Only when you share the data can you start to have conversations about how and where to strengthen relationships with clients.
If you don't have a customer contact list at the corporate level, chances are pretty good that your relationships are not where they need to be.
The good news is the holiday season presents a great way to start. Even though the CMO in my story above didn't hit the ball out of the park on the first try, seeds are being planted and will in time produce results.
So start trying.