It’s Time to Stop Playing Hot Potato with Your Customers


Remember the game “Hot Potato” when we were kids? Maybe you used a real potato? My friends and I liked to live dangerously and played it with a water balloon. It was great fun, but someone always ended up getting burned—or rather, soaked.

As my colleagues and I were chatting about who owns the customer, it made me think of Hot Potato. Searching for some critical piece of information about a customer relationship almost-always results in being passed to a person, or referred to a document or system.

Most companies operate under with the idea that sales, financial and legal operations teams are responsible for only their view of the customer.  This results in the data they capture for their individual use staying in their department silos—fragmented and inaccessible to any else who may need it.

Customer bases can hold up to 80% of any year’s revenue

Who owns the customer, or more precisely, the customer data, is an important question to ask. Without visibility into every aspect of a customer, reflected in the data on each customer, you’re shortchanging the company’s ability to enhance and improve that relationship going forward. And when it comes to driving more revenue from your customers, understanding those relationships can make or break your bottom line.

What many don’t know is that existing customer bases can hold as much as 80% of any year’s revenue potential. But with gaps in customer data, introduced by every department that touches the customer, it’s hard to know even the basics. For example, if you can’t easily discern what a customer has already bought, how you can determine cross-sell, upsell or renewal opportunities? And that’s only the beginning.  

It just doesn’t make any sense to put the onus of customer ownership on any one team or group of individuals. The great news is, just by changing your company’s thinking about customer ownership being a shared priority across the enterprise, you can ultimately affect the bottom line.

When everyone owns the customer, the company wins

At Pramata we believe in operationalizing the collection, management, and sharing of customer data. We create one source of truth for customers, what we call a commercial relationship system of record and then enable the sharing of that truth across sales, legal and finance. By its nature, this gives customer ownership to the entire company. And that’s game changing.

Case in point, with Novelis, a global leader in manufacturing, uses Pramata’s Commercial Relationship Operations Platform to enable them to realize greater compliance and profitability.

Companies that stop the game of Hot Potato, and create a commercial relationship systems of record to share it across to organization, are the companies that win.

There's a Lot Right About Being Left-handed

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As a left-hander, who is keenly aware that I live in a predominantly right-handed world, I am always on the look-out for validation that being left-handed doesn't mean I am flawed. I guess my Catholic upbringing where my darling well-intentioned grandmother tied my left hand behind my back when I was a toddler got to me. I knew then when my Grandmother and mother argued about the horrors of my being left-handed that something wasn't right about being left.

So, imagine my glee when I ran across a Facebook post on International Left-handed day. In fact, it's been around for 28 years. Who knew that left-handedness would be celebrated not denigrated?

Psychologists have recently hypothesized that being left-handed may be a sign of a strong right brain and, as such, superior language skills and creativity. Famous, smart people such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have proven this to be a strong possibility. And they're not the only ones.

Leonardo Da Vinci, Pablo Picasso and Michael Angelo left long-lasting impressions across the globe, and they too were left-handed. Martina Navratilova and Raphael Nadal have knocked out many a right-handed tennis star. Albert Einstein, Marie Curie (Nobel Prize winner) and Isaac Newton, all scientists have gone down in the history books. Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Rani Laxmibai and U.S. Presidents John F. Kennedy, Ronald Regan, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are all famous leaders that were left-handed.

But despite the fact many left-handers have been high achievers, still, in many parts of the world, there is still a strong bias against left-handedness. So, we must continue to celebrate to change the idea that being left-handed is in any way a bad thing.

Let's start with my Company, Pramata, who has nine left-handers, including our illustrious and expressive CEO, Praful Saklani who is living proof that left-handers are strongly right-brained, with over-the-top language and creativity skills.

Though my grandmother is no longer with us, I would proudly talk to her about the ingenuity and brilliance the left-handers at Pramata bring to the company. It's clear that there's a lot right about being left.