I once had a chat with the owner of a travel agency about how we could help his business become more efficient. In our meeting he explained his sales team took 15 minutes to work out the itinerary for every lead, and then would call the customer and spend 15 minutes proposing it.
He also knew: speed is key. The faster the response, the more likely a deal.
This is the sort of challenge we live for here at Tall Emu – by connecting to the travel systems, we could eliminate the 15 minutes of data entry and auto-price the itinerary. This would mean that leads could be handled faster and each salesperson could provide double the number of quotes in an hour. Alternatively, it would be possible to have half the number of sales staff processing the same number of leads.
He didn’t get it. I tried another way. “Do you think if I gave you double the amount of sales people, your sales would noticeably increase?” – of course, the answer was yes. “What if I gave you the extra people for free? Would you do it?” – of course he would… but he didn’t.
Are you missing similar opportunities in your business?
Do you pay your sales team commissions? In one of our clients, a full time staff member was required to calculate the commissions due to them from their clients, as well as those payable to each individual telemarketer. There were 6 sales staff, but it was complex as each employee had a different commission rate per product – as did the company with its clients!
We replaced Helen with a button. The button performed all of the calculations in the blink of an eye at 100% accuracy. As the company grew to 100+ staff, the button stayed. Commissions and invoices were still calculated in the blink of an eye – and the company didn’t need to hire another 10 or 20 “Helens” to keep up. Let’s say Helen was paid $20,000 per year. That’s not a bad saving – and that saving grew with the business. I don’t know what happened to Helen[*], but I am reliably informed that the button is still on duty 10 years later. Not a bad return on a $5,000 spend.
Do you follow up every lead? Another client had what sounds like the best problem in the world! Too many leads! They’d come in 24/7 into outlook, where the sales team would pounce on them. Then a different member of the sales team would pounce on them. And another. Hours would be spent trying to get in contact with people on the phone, only to be told “Sorry, not really in the market – it just looked cool on TV!”.
Meanwhile – real leads and business was slipping through the cracks. Come month’s end hungry salesmen would be trawling through their sent items and copying and pasting emails chasing up quotes. It was manual, paper-based, and uncontrollable.
We implemented Tall Emu CRM and centralised everything, starting with lead allocation. Brochures are now created and sent automatically based on current pricing. Each lead is now automatically followed up by email (saving over 10,000 manual email sends and I don’t know how many man-hours per month). The good leads are called. Respondents to emails are quickly allocated to salespeople and called. Everyone is followed up, automatically and once quotes are issued they’re followed up too.
Without hiring more staff sales went up. The company is one of our longer term customers, having automated and streamlined many more elements of their business.
Do you set targets and report on them ? Management of Targets and KPI’s and associated reporting is often time consuming but every business needs to do it.
Using Tall Emu CRM we can track every element of the business and set targets using our KPI reporting module. Any KPI you may imagine could be set up, reported on and delivered automatically to your inbox (or dashboard) making performance monitoring automated, efficient and inclusive.
We can take this often hated task, automate it and ensure it is done so management has visibility and the sales team aren’t burning time filling out paperwork.
There are other examples of efficiency gains. We have implemented automated calculation of trail commission for mortgage brokers, automated credit assessment (and debt collection), integrated with network systems and web based systems- even just exported data for others to use.
The point of this post is really to say – take a look at your business. Where are you wasting time? What could be automated? Think about the long term value for your business in getting it right and automated.
[*] Actually I do. Helen went back to the UK after her working holiday,but the article reads better how I’ve written it I think.