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A CRM Litmus Test Question: Who Owns the Client Relationship?

by Tad Travis  |  July 6, 2015  |  Submit a Comment

The question: when discussing your company’s clients and prospects, what pronouns do you use?

I recall an interaction some time ago in which a sales account executive attempted to rally support for an urgent up-sell deal.

The representative used the phrase “my client” several times in an email to the extended account team and relevant SME’s. After several exchanges about how to best serve the client relative to the demands of the sales cycle, one of the SME’s asked the representative:

At what point do ‘your clients’ become ‘our clients’?

This question was somewhat rhetorical, but it’s an excellent one.  I recommend that you use it as a litmus test for assessing your teams’ abilities to build meaningful customer experiences with your clients.

If you find more “my” pronouns in your internal conversations than you find the pronoun”our”, then your teams haven’t figured out how interact as a cohesive team.  And your clients have likely discovered the same.

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Category: crm  

Tags: crm  future-of-sales  sfa  

Tad Travis
Research Director
1 year at Gartner
15 years IT Industry

Tad Travis is a Director in Gartner Research. He is responsible for managing the Sales Performance Management (SPM) sector of Gartner's CRM research practice. His research focuses primarily on SPM tools and capabilities to drive sales effectiveness and efficiency in all industries. Read Full Bio

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