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We’re in the process of cleaning a massive contact database in which 2/3rds of it is out of date, bad or just plain wrong. Unfortunately, cleaning it and maintaining it are two different things and require some process changes.

People don’t like change and I found that out this past week when I invited a small contingent of inside sales people to give me some ideas about how they work so we can better refine the sales process to accommodate them and still keep the data clean.

The opening salvo from one of the people was a nebulous question to create a debate rather than seek resolution; “What’s the difference between marketing and inside sales?” was the question. I expressed that inside sales was making the personal contact in most cases and marketing was a step away from that, but that inside sales was a valid marketing activity to be used.

That didn’t satisfy this person but ultimately we had to move on – the real purpose of the question was to to just side-track the conference call and it almost did, but my vendor helped out and began discussing the process. I then asked the original question I had asked but of another group on the call and they went through their working behavior and the system. This served as a model for the rest.

And ultimately I had to ask people to check their emotional tie to the discomfort I had created by changing thier database world but to stay open minded as things would be better, more focused, measureable and better integrated with all marketing campaigns.

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