This week I had the privilege of attending an educational session hosted by one of our partners, Apex Benefits Group at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS).  John Gause and his company are always thinking about their customers (me) and how they can bring value and thought leadership to them.  One session that truly struck accord with me was the live viewing of the Advanced Selling podcast hosted by Bill Caskey and Bryan Neale.   Bill and Bryan talked about old vs new and how the selling landscape has changed.  I really enjoyed the information on finite economics as that was a class I was too scared to take in college.

During the podcast, Doug Boles, the President of the IMS was invited to the stage and discussed the changes he has witnessed at the track.  Aside from the being the greatest spectacle in racing, the Indy 500 is a business and like all business, it has evolved.   From maintaining traditions like the balloon start, Back Home in Indiana, a yard of bricks, and bottle of milk to the winner to integrating new seating, technology and connectivity to fans, it was clear Doug  has a balancing act on his hands.

Doug Boles, CEO of Indianapolis Motor Speedway

What really hit me though was Doug’s insistence to know his customers, to know his fans.  He was comfortable adding new suites and modernizing the track, but uncomfortable changing the seats such that you couldn’t stand where you did when your Grandpa first took you to the track.  His passion and belief in his customers was transparent; after all, Doug routinely calls 10-15 season ticket holders on his way home from work thanking them for their support of the Indy 500.

After Doug concluded his remarks, I was lost in thought on how I could echo this ‘know your customer’ mantra into our business.  What became immediately clear was the requirement of a system or platform to track customers, interactions and relationships.  Without a customer relationship management (CRM) system like Dynamics 365 or Salesforce, I just do not see how you can do it?  And it’s not just about tracking leads and opportunities or when my next sale coming, it is tracking industry information on your customers, emerging trends in their market, it is tracking the information you need to know about your customers to bring them value and service them properly.

If you are struggling with your customer interactions or worse, losing customers over it, maybe you are asking the wrong questions and missing information on your customers?  While you may have a CRM, I would ask if it is enhancing the experience your customers get when dealing with your company or is it focused on enhancing your sales reps experience only?  CRM should be the conduit to knowing your customers and providing them a great experience with your business.

To learn more about how a CRM system can help you and your business, comment below and we can setup a time to talk.  I am always interested to talk shop about gaining and keeping customers.  In the meantime, I have some Salesforce configurations to sell to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but Doug – the discounted rate is only good if we implement in May (inside joke).

Cheers to knowing your customers,

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