Any serious attempt to create a system to help drive sales growth ought to start where sales “come from”, which is with customers. It is also probably worth mentioning that customers are always actually people. Even when the check is coming from a Fortune 500 corporation, the customer that made a decision to buy something was an actual person.
The full quote that I took the title from was by one of the Marriott brothers, who said “Motivate them, train them, care about them, and make winners out of them… they’ll treat the customers right. And if customers are treated right, they’ll come back.” It’s a great focus for building a successful business of any kind.
All too often when technology, management, and process analysis come together, we wind up with phrases like CRM, Contact Management, pipeline, funnel, quotas, retirements and so on. The phrase Sales Force Automation is an industry standard one, but I like to start any analysis of these systems with a reminder that at the center of it all should be customers and ways to make sure that we treat them right.