Silo’d Manual Customer Contact Systems Can Blow Holes in Your Revenues.
Overcome It with Sage CRM.
Sales are always important, but in these days of pandemic every sale can be critical. However, many companies continue to use manual systems to track sales enquires, and the revenue streams they imply. These systems, often held in closed silos of private PC data or even behind locked drawers, can lead to lost opportunities.
Sage CRM, integrated with Sage Accounts, offers an elegant method to harness the benefits of centralised control. While some people don’t realise it, Sage CRM fully integrates into Sage 50c, Sage 200cloud Standard, as well as Sage 200cloud Professional. What’s more, some Sage Accounts users may be unaware that Sage CRM is available almost at a switch of a button and for no additional fees (this varies by Sage Accounts software type as well as users’ individual contract, so check with your software provider).
But however it’s accessed, Sage CRM can supercharge customer relationships by automating manual processes that can result in increased revenues, customer loyalties, and cost savings due to increased efficiencies.
The Nightmare of Manual Customer Contact Systems
To see how manual customer contact systems can result in unwanted outcomes, let’s look at an example. Let’s say a prospective customer visits your company’s website. Interested in your products, they submit a request for quotation via the Contact Us email link on that same website.
If your business is using manual methods to track inbound customer queries, that email might be picked up by one of your sales staff. Possibly, they open an Excel spreadsheet sitting on their workplace PC, enter the name of the new prospect, email address and maybe a phone number. They’ll also note the action they’ve taken: in this case, they respond to the prospect with a detailed quotation created as a Word document and saved in their PC’s local Doc files. The sales person emails the quotation back to the interested party.
Job done. But is it? The problems with this manual approach, of course, can be numerous.
First, let’s say on the day following the quotation, your salesperson leaves the company. Because the Excel customer contact file is held on a local PC, as well as the quotation and any supporting documentation, their manager might never know about the outstanding quote, and therefore might not follow up with the customer to close the sale.
An even darker outcome is if your salesperson is a disgruntled employee. When leaving, they could destroy their entire customer contact Excel spreadsheet. Meaning: your sales pipeline data is lost forever.
The problem here, of course, is the fact that the salesperson’s files are independent from the rest of the company’s software systems and departments. Because they are independent, not only is this employee’s manager potentially unaware of a pipeline of possible revenue, but so too are other departments in the organisation. For instance, because manufacturing is unaware of the pending sale, they are unable to plan for it. Should the prospective customer place the order, manufacturing may discover they don’t have the stock required to fulfil that order in a timely fashion. Letting down a new customer is, of course, the last thing any company wants to do.
Overcoming the challenges in the above example starts with removing closed silos of data. Sage CRM, integrated with Sage Accounts, does just that.
Centralising the Process with Sage CRM
Let’s look at the example again, only this time we’ll replace the salesperson’s manual system with Sage CRM.
- When the original query is sent by the prospective customer, Sage CRM automatically creates a new customer contact record in a centralised location. The email request for quotation is still picked up by the salesperson, of course, but the difference is: silos of data have been eliminated. Instead, anyone in the business with authorisation to do so can access all customer contact records and associated communications
- The salesperson writes the quotation. The quotation is emailed back to the prospect. Sage CRM tracks that response and also provides a link for centralised access to the quotation document (as well as any follow up communications or subsequent documents sent to this prospective customer)
- Now let’s assume that the prospective customer becomes a firm sale. In the manual system, a number of similarly manual actions had to take place: manufacturing has to be sent the work order; all customer information has to be re-keyed into the Accounts system for invoicing and financials.
With Sage CRM: all customer data can be instantly accessed by manufacturing. Firm sales as well as all sales pipeline data is provided so that manufacturing can plan accordingly. Additionally, and because Sage CRM is integrated with Sage Accounts, customer data is automatically migrated to the accounting software for invoicing and subsequent financials. Data re-keying (and the possibility of error) is eliminated.
- Management reporting is also greatly enhanced. Our salesperson’s boss no longer has to ask for sales pipeline reports. Instead, that data is instantly available to him or her. Too, should the salesperson leave, critical data is no longer locked away in a silo’d PC. Instead, all sales data is available via the Sage CRM centralised dashboard.
Sage CRM eliminates most of the headaches associated with manual systems. No company can afford to lose a sale due to misplaced or silo’d data. Sage CRM, integrated with Sage Accounts, eliminates silos of data with a centralised system for increased customer efficiency, loyalty, and more revenues.
For more information on Sage CRM from DB Computer Solutions, contact us:
firstname.lastname@example.org 061 480980