Do I know you?

Do you know someone at my customer site? Can you introduce me?

Posted by Gia Lyons on November 6, 2007

One of my customers has the following pain point. I’ve IBM-ified it for easier understanding.

Facilitate Introductions to Clients – Who Knows Whom?

  1. Ron Espinoza, an IBM Seller, would like to establish contact with someone (or a named individual in particular) at Acme Corp., one of IBM’s customers.
  2. Ron initiates a ‘who knows whom’ search – “Who in IBM knows Natalie Olmos at Acme Corp?”
  3. The system responds that Simone Dray knows Natalie, and that Vijay Gupta and Heather Reeds know other people at Acme Corp.
  4. The system asks Ron if he wants to request more information from Simone, Vijay and Heather.
  5. He does. He figures that if he cannot get to Natalie, the other contacts might be the way “in”.
  6. Simone, Vijay and Heather receive a request for information and can choose to respond.
  7. Simone and Heather respond.
  8. Ron receives the responses and contacts Simone to help him establish communication with her contact, Natalie, at Acme Corp.

Now, the system will never be able to make Simone trust Ron enough to share her network, i.e., the details of her relationship with Natalie at Acme Corp. So, Ron and Simone hopefully already have knowledge of each other.

If Ron and Simone don’t have an established relationship, Ron could use his existing network to get “connected” to Simone, so that he can ultimately get connected to Natalie at Acme Corp (this is what Atlas for Lotus Connections can do for you).

If I could somehow leverage the customer contact information in Siebel, and display a visualization of which IBMer knows which customer – and the majority of IBM Sellers somehow change overnight from entrepreneurial, lone-wolf mavericks into people who readily share their precious customer contact information – then we might have something here.


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