Phil Gibson - Marketing | Building Brand Experience
Phil Gibson - Marketing | Building Brand Experience

Contact Management Across Channels

I'll save the lead management discussion for later sections but here I want to cover the routing infrastructure for managing contact profiles across your sales pyramid.  This integration effort is huge when you have 40-50 global distributors in addition to your own internal sales force.


The basics of a customer profile are simple: name, address, email, etc.  Getting access to these can be a challenge but once you have them, you will need to invest in marketing systems and business process so you can get this info to the right support person for follow up. 


While engagement issues are complex from the top to the bottom of your revenue pyramid, you have a lot more control on how you convey a contact and a lead event to your direct sales teams and their sales tracking system.  Your top accounts will cover single customer domains, i.e., and you are likely to have a sales force automation system or at least a spreadsheet to tell you who the sales people are that cover each top "assigned" account.  In this case, you only have one integration to manage so the cost of integration is not typically in question.


Transitioning from direct accounts to regional territories will require more development and finding ownership for the resulting leads will take some motivation.  Systems have to be fast and easy to use for these territory managers but again, you should be able to create one system for these users and provide it to the entire field.  These territory sales people have many demands on their time so the less overhead required to manage your system, the easier the acceptance.  They're in the business of making money through sales so your leads will need to provide this return.


The final and toughest layer to invest in are the myriad channel partners that you have.  Each one is likely to have a unique business process so the development effort can be cost prohibitive.  Leveraging the internet is critical for success with these users.


In an ideal world, you could use proximity or localization of your offers for every visitor if you could identify them by their access domain.  You could use a single system to provide this contact to any direct or channel partner in the business.  For example, offer a Siemen's visitor a company personalized Siemen's centric offer in German language when they access your information from the proxy.  You could deliver that event to the direct sales person automatically for follow up. 


Alternatively, you could provide this contact to one of your channel partners but there is the rub.  All companies use different systems for this management and the off the shelf solutions like can be too expensive to use for all of your global partners so a compromise is needed.  Some partners will be ready with resources to engage but more typically each partner requires selling and advocacy to join your eco-system.  This can be a lot of work and investment but it is another example of finding value across the functional (or corporate) silos. 





This Web site is aimed at capturing some of the basic concepts I use when creating integrated marketing programs and leveraging the internet.


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