The Shared Discovery Process
The other day Julie and I were visiting a local Sage ACT! small business client that had recently hired a new field sales representative and a new marketing person. The general manager knew that the Sage ACT! solution could provide more benefits for his new staff but wasn’t sure what questions to ask or were to start. We could tell it was time for us to ask intelligent questions and actively listen.
We asked the new sales person what his typical work day entailed and what would help in his planning and visits with prospects and customers. We interlaced the dialog with feedback on what is possible within the Sage ACT! contact management system, noticing that the visual and immediate feedback of actually seeing this information within ACT was clearly making a connection. We moved our conversation from the tracking of meeting and phone call notes to sale opportunities which was of long term interest to the General Manager. Sage ACT! has opportunity management capabilities that the marketing and salesperson grasped onto rather quickly, but I sensed the GM had something else on his mind. He mentioned he wanted to keep the initial process simple.
Keeping it simply smart and simple
The staff at this business client captures quick quotes by phone from prospects and customers in their agriculture-related businesses. Their front office has lots of sticky notes scattered here and there, and they struggle to share this information and get it into the hands of sales people for timely follow-up. So we kept asking questions and listening for indications of what really was simple, but also smart, for their business.
We started in mapping out an opportunity management solution that met their requirements and had ten steps. That was too many. So we further clarified the exact and required information they really needed. Ten steps went to seven, and then to four for a “New Prospect.”
Next we walked through a few real world examples after we showed the marketing person how to easily modify a custom quote table and input form. (Yes, this marketing person had the skill and understanding to make these simple customizations.) We now had a working example that was simple but smart in capturing what was important for sales.
The General Manager turned to me and said "Wow! Yes, that’s it!, simple and easy to enter the information we need." I replied . "and to help make our business work smarter..."
This is typical of how we collaborate in an open, friendly environment to design the best solution that fits your specific buisness. It may be a simple input form to capture prospect calls for sales follow up or a more structured and optiminzed workflow for a multi regional sales force looking to reduce the need for weekly call reporting on sales activity.
Feel free to look through our web site and business success with CRM blog or do a search.