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What, if anything, can make George W. Bush seem like something other than an election-stealin' doofus? The answer: CRM, of course.
For the rest of the March 2001 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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Recently, former House Majority Leader Newt Gingrich wrote in The Wall street Journal that for the new Bush administration to succeed, it should fully utilize technology to make government processes more efficient, and thereby, more satisfactory to those who actually pay the bills--the taxpayers.

Might we build upon the honorable Mr. Gingrich's idea, and suggest that because of the dubious circumstances of Dubya's election, our new tongue-tied leader should quickly utilize the technologies of CRM, and become a super salesman. His immediate goal should be to sell those millions of angry, disillusioned Americans who question his legitimacy as president on the idea that yes, Dubya is our man.

Sure, closing this deal will require considerable skill. And the competition is going to be tough. Already another salesman, Reverend Jesse Jackson--a man with established sales contacts--offers an interesting coup d'etat theory that is selling like hotcakes in certain segments of the American customer base. But with the right sales tools, marketing automation and a responsive call center, Dubya, the American super salesman, will most certainly win the love and respect he so richly deserves.

Exactly which CRM technologies will Dubya need to better manage his relationship with the American voting customer? Well, let's start with that lifeline of the mobile salesman, the Web phone. Because calls from Big Oil or Bob Jones University must never go unanswered, Dubya should be connected 24/7 through multiple channels. With this multifunction Web phone, when sales manager Dick Cheney needs to instruct him on sales strategy, the White House is just a phone call away.

Dubya's phone will also provide e-mail and Internet access at the touch of a handheld button. If, for instance, Dubya gets a DUI en route to a sales appointment, he can pop off a quick e-mail to George Sr. and Bar, requesting assistance. The successful salesman is the connected salesman, and Web phones deliver that connection.

Dubya should also have the latest in marketing technology, not only to get his message across, but to fully understand the real desires of the voter. For instance, when trying to sell Americans on the wisdom of handing over the keys to America's wilderness lands to his buddies at Exxon, he might be wise to do a few Web-based surveys and some advanced customer profiling. Such efforts might help him understand that voting customers don't really want to buy an Exxon Valdez replay in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Finally, no super sales effort is complete without an effective contact center to field calls from customers. Dubya should staff his center with dedicated Bush loyalists such as Katherine Harris, Antonin Scalia and Sandra Day O'Connor, who can answer customer questions and build loyalty. Undoubtedly, this contact center will be inundated with calls from voters saying that what they ordered on election day is not what they actually received on inauguration day. Fulfillment queries such as these present a ripe opportunity to upsell Americans on Dubya's legitimacy. Perhaps Justice Scalia can explain that he, not the caller, knows what's best, and that, in time, the caller will become accustomed to the delivered product. He should also explain that due to special circumstances, there are no refunds or exchanges.

Sure, with the clear majority of voters behind Dubya's opponent, the American super salesman has his work cut out for him. But though he stands alone before a suspicious populace, with CRM, he will surely be up to the challenge.

He had better be, because there are some deals that even the Supreme Court can't close for him.

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