I’m a baseball fan (as hard as it may be these days). I played a lot of baseball when I was younger and now just watch from a safe distance. Baseball players are a funny breed. Superstitions, nicknames and pranks are all part of the clubhouse culture. To this day, I still have to put my right shoe on first…not sure why, it’s just one of the sports gifts to me.
One of the other things intertwined with baseball, even more so today, is the use of data in the decisions that are made during games. As a pitcher, I used to hate getting close to the 100 pitch mark because I knew the coaches’ questions would start coming: How do you feel? Are you getting tired?
They knew exactly when I’d start wearing down. The signs to look for – pitches getting up, breaking ball not as sharp. I always thought they pulled me because of what was happening in the moment, their feel for the game, years of experience. Not unlike great account managers who can read people and feel their way through situations. It’s just a natural gift, right? But the real answers came from hours of preparation and analysis. These guys had collected and analyzed data on every opposing batter – batting averages versus right or left-handed pitching, ability to hit pitches in every part of the strike zone, ability to hit with runners in scoring position. You name it. They had analyzed every piece of available data to better predict when things might go terribly wrong for me. And much to my disappointment, they were usually right.
As strategic account managers, we utilize publicly available information on our customers to help us isolate a business challenge, determine their future strategies, or uncover industry key success factors. But wouldn’t it be valuable to have even deeper insights on how our key contacts were likely to respond to new offerings, understand how they view us relative to our competitors, and know what they truly value and are willing to pay for? Collecting information on the customer perspective and effectively analyzing it can help us understand what pitch we need to throw to get the third out.
Senior Vice President, Strategic Accounts