Streamlining the Sales Office
Jack was thinking about the next marketing campaign, but wasn't sure where to start. He called Jill over to his desk.
"How many customers do we have?"
"I am not sure. I think we counted 87 at the last sales meeting." Jill usually had her finger on the company's sales pulse.
"And how many people do we speak to within each customer account?"
"It depends. With some as few as five. I think the most demanding is our largest account with 15 contacts. We are actually selling to them in four different locations independently, so we treat them as four accounts."
"And who services these four accounts?"
"Well, that is Billy, Joe, Jim and Bob. Bob is in today, should I call him over?"
"Good idea I need some input on how to develop our next campaign."
Thankfully, Bob was in the office that day. Otherwise Jack would have to wait.
"Bob - Jack and I are developing our next campaign and we need some input about your experience with your customer."
"Yes, Bob, can you tell us a bit about your sales activities, please?"
"Sure, I go to see our major customer maybe four times per year. They tell me about their problems and I note things down. I wish I had more time in the office, so I could catch up with Billy, Joe and Jim. They have so much info about the client it would be good to know more of. Before the major seasonal holidays I sit down and write them a personalised message. Sometimes it is on a postcard, sometimes an email. Email especially if we have something new for them."
"Do you ever get any response from these messages?"
"Not really. Obviously the postcards are appreciated because I write them by hand, but I never hear anything about the emails."
"Yes, it would be nice to know what they find especially interesting in our product lineup. This way we could focus on those products in our next campaign."
"OK, Jack, listen to this. I could do a round-robin call to all my clients and ask, but I think they would find it intrusive. How about a questionnaire?"
"Good idea, Bob, but this could be construed as slightly naive on our part."
"Anyway, Jill and Bob, we should already have the information here, no?"
"You are right, Jack, but I never get to see Billy, Joe and Jim. We are always in the office at different times. We just never get to speak to each other about client issues. I don't know where they keep their information."
At this point the conversation went quiet, until Jill said: "You know, I think we need a CRM system."
One month later the CRM system was installed and functional. Everyone agreed it had been worth it to learn how to use the new system. It turned out to be a little like Outlook, or in any case an addressbook on the web. Which is exactly what it is.
Jack was busy designing the page that would go out with the next campaign, from inside the CRM system, when he stumbled upon an interesting feature.
"Jill, come over here a minute. Do you know what this thing can do? If I put links to our website into the new campaign email, we can track which client goes to what page. It is absolutely brilliant. We won't need to do client questionnaires again."
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