By Victoria Dyke on Mon 26 January 2015 in CRM
24% of businesses openly admit their staff don’t have access to the right information.
I recently visited a business who considered themselves in this 24%. Whilst they had invested in ACT! as the solution to centralise their communications, only the minority of staff were using it. Resulting in their system quickly becoming an annotated (and glorified) address book.
The company had concluded that the main reason ACT! had failed to become a key business tool was because of the lack of integration to their Exchequer accounts system. Customer sales and account information (key information for a sales rep) was only available through direct interrogation of Exchequer. However, this was not possible on the road, meaning this key data was not readily available when dealing with customers. As you can imagine, frustrations within the sales team quickly developed.
If you have also invested in systems to manage your business processes, but in reality haven’t seen the benefits then there are a couple of key signs that the problem is that your systems just don’t talk to each other:
- Your team are opting for their preferred system i.e. the one that gives them the easiest access to the information they need
- Data is becoming out of data and out of sync
- Information is difficult to access, probably because it’s stored in the system that your team have chosen not to use
- Communication frustrations, internally and externally often occur, everyone is referring to different data in different locations with no real overview of what is going on
This is exactly what happened with the business I went to visit. Their disparate system resulted in the majority of staff using alternate methods and systems, as well as locally stored data. Ultimately this causes less visibility across departments, misunderstandings of current customer dealings and altogether disjointed or duplicated communications, particularly between the office and reps on the road. Not what they expected when they invested in new systems to make their business processes faster and easier to manage.
They needed more efficient management and control of key business information that can be effectively used by every department. If any of the above sounds all too familiar to you, you probably need this as well!
How is this achieved? Simple… choose a system that meets the requirements of all your teams. If your sales team need to log customer visits and process orders on the road, then this information also needs to be visible to your in office team. As soon as your systems become disjointed your team will opt for one or the other and stick with it, and you end up with key business data that is out of date and out of sync.
ProspectSoft CRM offers unparalleled integration to Access Dimensions, Exchequer, Pegasus Opera and Sage 50, eliminating the need to re-key data between systems, reducing errors and allowing you to make better use of employee time; from lead follow ups to order taking.