It’s like a ghost town here in the office this morning.  The past 3 weeks with our new BDEs, the office has been filled with their banter, questions, and, just their presence.  There has been at least one of them here at any one time while the others might be out at networking or on appointments.  It’s good for them to have a hot desk here in our office (couldn’t possibly be in the boy’s cave next door!) getting their feet under the table, coming in for product training, getting to know our systems and us and us, getting to know them.

As we, the Biscuit Basher, Secret Squirrel and Tinker are going to be their main points of contact, they need to know us and understand our strengths (and weaknesses although, I hate to say that as we are, all perfect…) to know who to call with any issue.   As someone with a long field sales history, I know, how important it is to have good support, and encouragement back at the head office.  Sales can be a very lonely place.  And what I mean by that is, you may be speaking to lots of people on any day but, you are working alone.  All that you do is completely reliant on you, unlike in an office, where you could lean across the table and discuss something with a colleague.  You are alone.

We want our guys and gals to know that if they are having a tough day, they can call us and we can brainstorm on a problem, encourage them if needed or just be a friendly voice on the other end of the phone.  Equally, if they need research done, emails sent out or information added to our CRM system, they know, they can rely on us.  We are their go to girls.    Today all 3 of them are out at networking meetings so it’s back to the silence.  We miss you guys……😊

The CRM system we use (CRM = Customer Relationship Management just in case the acronyms are confusing) is called Vtiger.  It’s a really great system although the online help is a bit hit and miss!  Three days ago, I put a request for information on their on-line web chat thingy. I must admit,  if there is an option on anysite to use a chat system, I prefer them to a phone call;  saves waiting on a phone for an hour as has been my experience in the past!  Three days later …..I have just got an answer asking me what can they do for me……..so I asked my question again…….and surprise surprise, they have gone,  again…….argghhhh. Oh well, its back to getting hot and bothered trying to find out how to do something myself.

What are the benefits of using a CRM systems in your business?  Ok, I can only talk from my side of things because I don’t know your business but I would think it’s pretty much the same for all of us in business. I think these are my top reasons

  1. Improved Information – an account of every transaction that happens between you and your customer in one place
  2. Collaboration – allows companies to move away from tools like spreadsheets and allow everyone to use the same format for reporting back. This means again more time efficient and easier visibility.
  3. Greater efficiency for multiple teams – with all the data in one place, everyone has access to the same data making it more time efficient for looking for what is needed.
  4. Accountability – you can see who is recording the information correctly. And avoid customer service to fall through the cracks. A well-implemented CRM system helps employees to understand their responsibilities to the customer through the CRM process.
  5. Improved customer experience – your customer will think his time is more important than yours, fact! Having all their history in once place means easy access to your records to then be able to answer your customer’s questions quickly and efficiently.
  6. Automation of Everyday Tasks – set up tasks that must be done and organise when it is to be done and then let the CRM system do it for you. You will have more time to concentrate on your next sale.
  7. Improved Analytical Data and Reporting – most CRM systems have the ability to pull off very detailed reports from how much time an operative has been on the system to how many leads were converted into customers and so much more! You can drill down to every fact you need for a detailed overview of your company’s performance.

Phew, that took a lot of thinking and typing.  I thought blogging was meant to be fun, not hard work!

Well, the sun is shining through our office window, cardigans off, cardigans on, air conditioning on, air conditioning off…….its the best workout I will have this week….Have a great weekend everyone, it’s supposed to be a good one!

Daily titbit, at last, the UK has a presence on the moon! 1991.  Helen Sharman The First Briton in space.  Miss Sharman, a former chemist for the Mars chocolate company, had won her place in space in 1989 after answering an advertisement she heard on the car radio – “Astronaut wanted. No experience necessary.”

She was eventually selected from over 13,000 applicants to be the British member of the Russian scientific space mission, Project Juno. She carried with her a photograph of the Queen, a butterfly brooch given to her by her father and a “space passport” in case her spacecraft is forced to land outside the Soviet Union.

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Image courtesy of http://news.bbc.co.uk/