Leads are created within Sales Manager as their own entity, and are used to outline any potential opportunities there are regarding acquiring new Customers or Sales.
Leads don’t have any requirements to create, although the functionality is built to aid in recording and pursuing sales leads so you should utilize as much of it as possible.
The ID is automatically populated, and is used to distinguish unique leads.
The Lead Type drop down is populated with all available Lead Type Sub Forms, which are created within the Subform Configuration manager.
Estimated Size is used to gauge the value of a lead when there is minimal information, and Win Probability represents an estimated percentage of how likely it is to secure that sale.
Estimated Value is used when have enough information to estimate a dollar figure for the potential sale, and Closed On fields represent the dates the Lead could or did close on.
Consult the trellispark User Roles document for more information on these types of actions, and which user roles are responsible for these actions.
Sales Opportunities are created under Customers, and are used to outline any potential opportunities there are within the Customer for new Sales.
Sales Opportunities only require an ID and a Name, although to fully utilize the functionality it is recommended that you fill out all fields as accurately as possible.
The ID is automatically populated, and is used to distinguish unique opportunities.
A Sales Opportunity can be defined under a Customer, which must exist before a Sales Opportunity can be created. See Customers for details.
Value fields represent a dollar amount of the potential sale, closed on fields represent the dates the Sales Opportunity could or did close on, and Win Probability represents an estimated percentage of how likely it is to secure that sale.
Sales Strategies are created under Customers, and are used to outline strategies that could be used to earn a sale or to further negotiate an opportunity with a Customer.
Sales Opportunities don’t have any requirements to be created, although to fully utilize the functionality it is recommended that you fill out all fields as accurately as possible.
A Sales Strategy can be defined under a Customer, which must exist before a Sales Strategy can be created. See Customers for details.
Most fields within a Sales Strategy are text fields. The Strategy is essentially a notebook which allows the user to record thoughts and ideas on how to pursue a sale.
Accounts are created under Customers, and are used to record transactions for the Customer, as well as outlining any credit the Customer has with us.
Accounts only require the “Credit Locked” field to be created, although to fully utilize the functionality it is recommended that you fill out all fields as accurately as possible. This includes Transactions, which detail purchase history with this customer. A Customer specific account is not to be confused with Finance Manager accounts, which handle all sales, payroll, and other finance transactions for the company.
An Account can be defined under a Customer, which must exist before an Account can be created. See Customers for details.
Credit Limit and Credit Locked define the status for the customer’s credit, how much credit they have available to them and whether it’s available for use.
Transactions are automatically generated for invoices, when a Customer is required to pay for their services. They must also be manually populated when receiving a payment from the customer, or applying credit notes in the case of a billing error.
Customer Management begins with defining a customer. This is like a home page for the customer, containing main details that need to be entered before many other actions can take place.
A Customer requires an ID, Type, Legal Name, and Head Office Address to be created. It will also accept a date for when we started doing business with the customer, sales team/member, contacts, and pricing agreements.
Sales Team/Members will need to be created within User Administration before they can be selected within a customer.
Contacts can be created at the bottom of the Overview page, and can be used for things like creating orders, for the person who requested the order or delivery.
Active Pricing Agreements are unique to a Customer, and are required to process Orders, Service Requests, and Invoices. See Active Pricing Agreements for details.
In some cases, Customers will have clients of their own. These Clients are like customers, although they don’t have as much functionality associated with them.
A Client requires an ID, Type, and Name to be created. It will also accept a date for when we started doing business with the client, delivery team, service area, contacts, and address/contact information.
Delivery Teams will need to be created within User Administration before they can be selected within a client.
Active Pricing Agreements belong to Customers, and are used to specify costs of products when creating orders, invoices, or service requests. They are unique to each customer and link to an existing pricing agreement; this is what provides cost details.
The name and invoice method are required to create an Active Pricing Agreement, although to operate as intended it is recommended that you fill out all fields as accurately as possible. Specifically, ensure there are start and end dates as well as a Pricing Agreement to link to.
The start and end dates specify the period in which the Active Pricing Agreement is applicable. After the Active Pricing Agreement expires, it would need to be renegotiated and another created.
It is important to create a Pricing Agreement before an Active one, as the Active Pricing Agreement relies on a linked Pricing Agreement to supply all product and cost details. See Pricing Agreements for details.
Pricing Agreements are their own entity, and are used to specify costs of products when creating orders, invoices, or service requests. They are used to create Pricing Agreements for Customers. Pricing Agreements contain currency and effective date ranges, as well as Pricing Agreement Lines.
The name is required to create a Pricing Agreement, although to operate as intended it is recommended that you fill out all fields as accurately as possible. Specifically, ensure there are effective start and end dates as well as the applicable currency.
The effective start and end dates specify the period in which the Pricing Agreement is applicable. After the Pricing Agreement expires, a new one would need to be created.
It is important to create all applicable Pricing Agreement Lines before creating an Active Pricing Agreement, as the Active Pricing Agreement relies on a linked Pricing Agreement’s Lines to supply all product and cost details. See Pricing Agreement Lines for details.
Products very simply specify the name of a product, what type of product it is, and which sales taxes apply to the product. Products are used to create Pricing Agreements; they provide the name and type of the product where the Pricing Agreement provides the cost.
The ID, Type, Internal Name, and External Name are required to create a Product, although to operate as intended it is recommended that you fill out all fields as accurately as possible. This includes any applicable Sales Taxes, as well as standards, materials, or sub forms in the case that the Product requires more defining details.
The product is defined within the Product Manager page. A product must be created before a Pricing Agreement Line can be created. See Pricing Agreement Lines for details.
The ID is automatically populated, and is used to distinguish unique products.
The product Type is used to differentiate products from services, expenses, or charges. For example, service requests will most likely be requesting services as opposed to products, whereas Orders will request products instead of services.
Sales Taxes may apply to some or all products. They are defined within the Sales Manager configuration, and are applied by a simple check box.
Service Requests detail information about a request, such as how are we charging for this request, what service is the customer requesting, when and where would they like the service delivered, etc. These are used to connect delivery teams with customers to delivery a required service.
The ID, Active Pricing Agreement, Service, Contact, and Shift are required to create a Service Request, although to operate as intended it is recommended that you fill out all fields as accurately as possible. This includes the Service Area, any special requirements if applicable, and of course, Service Appointments – which detail the dates and times.
The Service Request can be defined under a Customer or Client. A Service Request must be created before a Service Appointment or Frequency can be created. See Service Appointments or Service Frequencies for details.
The ID is automatically populated, and is used to distinguish unique requests.
The Active Pricing Agreement is used to detail available services for the request and costs for those services.
Default Service Required will automatically populate new appointments or frequencies with the specified service.
Shift describes a time for when the appointments will take place. It will also populate appointments and frequencies with the specified shift.
Service Area describes what region the appointment would take place in. It will also populate appointments and frequencies with the specified service area.
Service Frequencies are very simply used to schedule multiple appointments at once. These are useful when the customer or client requires a weekly service, for example.
The Date Range, Appointment Time, Service Required, Units Ordered, Shift, and Requested Days are required to create a Service Frequency, although to operate as intended it is recommended that you fill out all fields as accurately as possible. Choosing the Service Area and a Delivery Team/Member if applicable will fully detail scheduled appointments.
The Service Frequency can be defined under Service Request, which must exist before a Service Frequency can be created. See Service Requests for details.
Date Range and Appointment Times specify what dates and times the appointments should be scheduled for.
Like the Service Request, all other fields will be used to populate the newly scheduled appointments. The Service, Units Ordered, and Shift, for example.
Service Appointments are used to schedule service deliveries for customers and clients. For example, you could schedule an appointment for a Massage.
The Appointment Time, Service Required, Units Ordered, Shift, Customer Contact, and Billable are required to create a Service Appointment, although to operate as intended it is recommended that you fill out all fields as accurately as possible. Choosing the Service Area and a Delivery Team/Member if applicable will fully detail scheduled appointments.
The Service Appointment can be defined under Service Request, which must exist before a Service Appointment can be created. See Service Requests for details.
Appointment Start and End times specify what time the appointments is scheduled for.
All other fields specify the who, what, and where for the appointment.
Businesses may have affiliates. Affiliates are other businesses that are paid to bring customers to the business. Affiliates may be paid on commission, have a salary, or use some hybrid of the two. Businesses should keep information about their affiliates so that they can be contacted, and paid, when necessary.
The name of the affiliate and an identification number should be recorded. These serve to distinguish the affiliate from other businesses. The business name should also be recorded, so that the business knows how the affiliate is normally referred to.
The affiliate’s status should be recorded. Affiliates may be in the process of negotiating their affiliate agreement, active affiliates, or inactive affiliates. Tracking the affiliate’s status will tell the business which affiliates they are using, and which ones they need to pay.
The name of the affiliate agreement that the affiliate operates under should be recorded. This information tells the business what rates they pay the affiliate, and keeps track of all the terms of the affiliate agreement.
Contact information for the affiliate should be included. This involves an address, telephone number, email address, and any relevant website accounts. The contact information makes it easy to get in touch with the affiliate.
Affiliate information should be maintained so that the business can keep in touch with its affiliates. Affiliate status, especially, should be tracked, so that the business knows how many affiliates are finding customers for it, and thus, how many new customers they should expect.
Members of the sales or delivery teams may make appointments with a customer, or the customer could ask for an appointment. Like a communication, this is an exchange of information; unlike the communication, it has not happened yet. Businesses should keep track of appointments to avoid giving a bad impression to the customer.
The time, date, and duration of the appointment should be recorded. This information tracks when the team member must be there, and how long it will take, preventing other appointments from being made in that time period. It also tells the team member when they must be at the appointment.
The team member and contact involved should be recorded. This tells the business who must be ready for the appointment, and who they will be meeting. The contact that the appointment is with may change what the team member must prepare, and where the appointment will take place.
Any unusual or interesting aspects of the appointment should be recorded. For example, the team member may have to arrive fifteen minutes early, bring a demo kit, or drive to a different place than normal for the appointment. These aspects should be recorded so that they are not forgotten.
Recording information about appointments will help the team member to show up on time with everything necessary. The team member is representing the business to the contact; as such, a good impression from the team member is a good impression from the business.
Businesses will have various contacts that they use for information gathering, information distribution, business influence, and service completion. The contacts may work for the business, or buy from the business. Businesses should record information about each contact to make it easy to get in touch with them.
The name of the contact should be recorded. The business should record their full name and their preferred name, to create and maintain a good relationship with the contact.
The contact’s status may be active or inactive. The business should track the status of each contact to avoid sending information to inactive contacts.
The contact type should be recorded. Businesses have and use contacts for lots of different things, and tracking the contact type sill allow the business to identify the correct contact.
The position that the contact holds may be recorded, if necessary. The contact’s position is useful because it records how high up in their business the contact is, and what they can be expected to do or know.
Contact information for the contact should be recorded. This should include an address, telephone numbers, email addresses, and relevant account names. Maintaining contact information helps the business to contact them when necessary.
Recording information about each contact helps the business to identify who they need, and contact them. Maintaining the information will prevent outdated contact information, or contacts, from being used.
In customer management, contacts are the people who work for customer businesses. The contacts may be secretaries, project managers, presidents, or other people that the business markets to, gives demos to, or receives orders from. The contact information may also be used for billing customers and shipping products. Tracking and maintaining the information helps the sales team to build a good relationship with the contact, making sales more likely.
Guarantors are people who guarantee that a customer can pay their invoices. The guarantor is given a credit check, and the business assigns them a credit limit. The credit limit is added to the customer’s credit limit.
The name, telephone number, and email address of a guarantor should be recorded. This information lets the business contact the guarantor if it becomes necessary.
The date that the guarantee starts, and the date that it ends, should be recorded. Knowing the duration of the guarantee lets the business apply and remove the credit increase as necessary.
The credit limit for the guarantor tells the business how much should be added to, or subtracted from, the customer’s credit limit. The date that the contract was signed on provides a record of the agreement, and a reference for where the paperwork could be found.
Maintaining information about guarantors tracks how much is guaranteed, and how to contact the guarantor. Guarantors are used to increase a customer’s credit limit and ensure that invoices will be paid.
Communications may be sent to or from a customer. Information about these communications should be recorded to track what was said and what was promised.
The communication should be given a name to identify it. The name should describe the purpose of the communication, such as ‘Information session: new trucks’.
The business should record if they or the customer initiated the communication. This information gives insight into the purpose of the communication, and the customer’s mind. A customer who initiates a communication about trucks, for example, may be more ready to buy than if the business initiated the communication.
The method of communication should be recorded. It could be a face-to-face meeting, a conference, a telephone call, an email, or some other method of communication. Appropriate methods vary by subject matter. Additionally, the method of communication tells how much effort the customer was willing to put into the conversation.
The team who participated in the communication should be recorded. This should be the team responsible for selling or delivering to the customer. Tracking the team involved tells the business who the communication occurred with.
The date and time that the communication started, and its duration, should be recorded. Tracking when the communication occurred will make it easier to reference. The duration of the communication tells how in-depth the communication probably was. Briefer communications generally involve less detail than longer communications.
Details about the communication include what things were mentioned, and what, if any, special offers were made. Details of the communication will help the team member and the contact to remember it, and record important information for later reference.
Recording information about communications can track what information and offers have been given. The business should always follow up on its communications to reinforce the message and the personal relationship with the contact.
Businesses should keep track of the people and organizations that buy from them. Information about these customers should be stored to make selling easier, manage requests, and send invoices.
Customer records should be identified based on a name and an identification number. The name helps the business to refer to them properly, and the identification number differentiates them from other customers with the same name.
The type of customer should be recorded. Businesses may sell to individuals, groups, small businesses, large businesses, and international businesses. Different categories will be needed for different businesses. The type of customer may help determine how much effort the business will put in – for example, the business is likely to spend more effort for a large business buyer than for an individual buyer, due to the volume of sales.
The customer’s status should be recorded and changed as necessary. Customers often start as C-level prospects. They want to buy something, but are not sure what they want or who they want it from. The business should not spend much effort on C-level prospects. B-level prospects have a vague idea of what they want and have moved closer to buying. A-level prospects are ready to buy, so the business should spend more effort on them. After this stage, customers may move into negotiations and become active customers.
If a customer’s invoices are not paid, they may be placed on financial hold. At this stage, the business should not receive more orders from them until the account is paid in part or in full. Customers may also become inactive after a period of time. Inactive customers should be approached – they wanted something from the business previously, and the business should determine what changed. If the business sells durable items, such as cars or furniture, it may not want to consider any customers as inactive.
The pricing agreement that the business has with the customer, and the date that it was signed, should be recorded. Pricing agreements detail what currency will be used to pay the business, and what pay schedule will be used. Recording the pricing agreement lets the business know when to invoice the customer, and what currency to use.
The date that the customer started buying from the business should be recorded for customer loyalty programs and affiliate agreements. The parent customer, if applicable, should be recorded for customer referral programs.
If the customer came to the business through a sales affiliate, the name of the affiliate should be recorded. This will ensure that the affiliate is paid appropriately, based on their affiliate agreement.
The sales team, delivery team, and service area for the customer should be recorded. This information tells the business who the customer normally deals with, and what area they operate in.
The invoice email lets the business know where the invoices should be sent to. Similarly, the invoice name tells the business who the invoices should be addressed to.
The customer’s credit limit tells the business how much the customer can owe. If the customer uses all of, or more than, their credit limit, the business should put them on financial hold and refuse further orders until all or part of the amount is paid.
The number of days in which the customer must pay its invoices should be recorded. This amount is generally in days after the invoice was sent. Recording this information tells the business when the customer must pay by, and when they are late.
The business may offer an early pay discount. This is a percentage or an amount that is deducted from the invoice amount if the customer pays in a shorter time period than necessary. The business should record how much of a discount is given, and how many days the customer must pay in to get the discount.
The fiscal year end and invoice period end of the customer should be recorded, if applicable. The fiscal year end tells the business when to sell to them, as businesses with excess budget will try to use it all up before the fiscal year ends, and other businesses look for new deals at the start of the fiscal year. The invoice period end tells the business when it should send off its invoices, if they are not sent on a per-order basis.
The customer’s telephone and fax numbers should be recorded, as well as its email address and website. This information helps the business to contact the customer.
Recording the orders, invoices, and account transactions of the customer helps the business fulfill the orders and ensure that they are paid for. Recording information about contacts within the customer’s business helps the business to get in touch with who they need to for generating sales. The sales strategy and sales forecast helps the business determine what to sell to the customer. Information about guarantors tells the business who to contact if the customer cannot pay their invoices. Recording communications, complaints, and requests from the customer lets the business know what information and offers have been provided to the customer, and why.
Customers are the reason that businesses operate. Recording important information about customers will help the business to build better relationships with them, and get more sales and referrals.
The business should record all complaints brought to its attention. Recording the complaints, and how they were resolved, gives the business a record in case the complaint arises again, and helps the business to build a better relationship with its customers.
TThe status of the complaint should be recorded. The complaint should be investigated and resolved, but legal attention may be needed.
The business should record the type of complaint, who made it, and when it was made. The type of complaint, combined with the date it was made on, allows the business to see if the problem occurs frequently. The person making the complaint should be contacted for more details.
The person who entered the complaint, and the date it was entered on, should be recorded. The person may be contacted for more information about the complaint.
Details of the complaint should be recorded. The details will clarify the cause of the complaint, and may help in resolving the complaint.
Recording the person who resolved the complaint, and the date that it was resolved on, allows the business to contact them if there are any questions about the resolution. Details of the resolution should also be recorded, especially any consequences if the problem occurs again.
Recording information about complaints will help the business resolve them. Keeping a record will allow the business to see if a complaint occurs frequently, in which case they should find a permanent solution.
In customer management, all real complaints should be dealt with seriously – bad reputations spread easily. Every real complaint should be met with a letter of apology, possibly along with a replacement or special coupon. Multiple complaints on the same thing should prompt the business to fix it, because popular use often puts products through more stress and situations than testing procedures. Some people, however, complain because it gets them discounts. These complaints should be ignored to avoid the business being labelled as an easy target.
Teams are the basic sections of an agile framework. They are the groups of people that complete work items. Information about each team should be kept on file to keep track of who controls the team, who is in the team, how to contact them, what type of team it is, what the team is for, and how quickly it completes work items.
The section explaining who controls the team should include the team manager and the team owner. This section is important because it keeps track of who needs to be informed or consulted if the team is changed, or if the team needs to change.
The second section should list team members. It should include the team member, their job on the team, and how many hours they are available to work with the team. This section is important because it keeps track of roles on the team, and how available the different team members are.
The third section should include different ways of contacting the team. It may include a telephone number, fax number, or email. This section should contain the information for the team manager, because they will be able to get in contact with the rest of the team. Furthermore, keeping track of the information for each member would be difficult and is unlikely to be used. This section is important because it explains how to contact the team, or its manager, when the team is changed.
The fourth section should say what kind of team it is. Examples of team types are portfolio and project governance teams, who prioritize work items at the portfolio and project level, and agile teams, who complete work items. The type of team is important because it records what level of work items the team can prioritize or complete, so it affects the type of work items assigned to the team.
The fifth section should explain what the purpose of the team is. This section should mention the type of work that the team should do and why the team was created. It is important because it creates consensus on the team’s purpose, and keeps track of what the team should be doing. What the team should be doing can be compared with what the team is doing, to keep it on track.
The sixth section should keep track of how quickly the team completes work items. It should include the team’s velocity, which is the number of points it completes per iteration, and the length of iterations that the team uses. This section is important because it keeps track of how much work the team is expected to do in a certain amount of time, and is used to plan iterations.
The information about teams should be recorded and edited whenever there is a change to the team. This allows the business to keep track of what the team is doing, and how the team is changing. This information can be used to assign work to the team, making sure that the right kind of work is assigned.
In Customer Management, the business is concerned with sales teams and delivery teams. Sales teams cover a certain area, which should be mentioned in their name. Team members generally work with specific customers and contacts. Other team members should be brought in if the normal team member is unavailable, or needs assistance with a presentation or something similar. Delivery teams perform a service for, or ship a product to, a customer. If the entire delivery team is not involved, team members should be assigned on the basis of expertise, as close relationships with the delivery teams are not as important. Both sales teams and delivery teams come into contact with the customer, so they should all have some customer service training, and know who to go to with complaints.
The “soft sell” is a sales technique that uses persuasion and a good relationship to generate sales. It avoids aggressive terminology, and focusses on why the customer needs the product. Soft sell techniques are more frequently used on businesses.
Sales people using soft sell techniques must be self-confident and able to talk to people easily. They should also be discerning so that they can determine what needs the customer has, and how they can best fulfill them.
Before looking for customers, the business must determine what benefits the product has for the customer. Benefits generally come from the features – “small” is a feature, “easy to store” is a benefit. These benefits should be connected to customer needs – “You don’t have much space for a stand-up vacuum cleaner, but this one fits on the top shelf of your closet.”
The salesperson must have confidence in the product and its ability to fulfill the customer’s need. A salesperson without confidence will be unconvincing. The salesperson must also be able to determine what needs the customer has, to decide which product and which benefits should be mentioned first. This is not done by magic – the salesperson should do research before making a call, and ask probing questions at the beginning of the call, which may be in person or via telephone.
At the beginning of the call, the salesperson should address the customer formally – Mr or Ms – unless the customer states a preference. The salesperson should request a few minutes to ask questions, until they know what needs the customer has, and what product would help them the most. Then they should say that they have an idea that will save the customer time, money, or fulfill whatever need is most prevalent, and ask for an appointment. Directly after asking, the salesperson should suggest a day and time within the next few days. Selecting a close date will reduce the chances of the customer changing their mind and cancelling the appointment.
The salesperson should avoid giving information about the idea or the product, unless the customer has enough time for a full presentation. If the customer only has a little information about the product, they are likely to dismiss it as something they have tried already, and ignore the benefits. Leaving them with the thought of saving time, money, or whatever else, will create interest for the appointment, which the salesperson should convert into interest in the product.
During the appointment, the salesperson should focus on the benefits of the product, and how it will fulfill the customer’s needs. Focussing on customer needs will also help the salesperson to fulfill their promise to the customer.
Soft selling focusses on creating a good relationship with the customer. It is generally good at generating repeat sales. However, it can take some time to generate initial sales, due to the focus on relationship creation.
The “hard sell” is a sales technique that uses forceful persuasion to generate sales. It can use aggressive terminology, and focusses on why the customer should buy the product. Hard sell techniques are more frequently used on individuals.
Salespeople using the hard sell technique must be assertive and aware of social situations. They should have self-confidence and be able to manipulate reactions. Hard selling techniques often involve putting people in a situation where they feel they have to buy something. Some techniques may be seen as unethical.
Sales are generally made in person, because it is a lot harder to refuse someone face-to-face than via telephone. In-store selling involves suggesting a product to the customer that would suit their needs, helping them select one, and escorting them up to the cashier. This can be seen as good customer service, but it is also hard selling because it makes it hard for the customer to decide not to buy the item. By helping the customer to select the item and walking them to the cashier, the salesperson is making it more awkward to decide not to buy.
Door-to-door calls are frequently made. A door-to-door salesperson can use guilt to motivate people to buy – either by claiming financial or job problems that the sale would help, or by asking about problems with their technique. The first one involves telling the customer that they need this sale for a certain reason. The reason should be consistent throughout the presentation, but poses a problem with repeat customers. The second involves asking “What did I do wrong?” after a decision not to buy. Claiming that the customer would buy if the salesperson had made no mistakes can induce the customer to change their mind. A sense of guilt can also be generated through the salesperson pretending that they bargained hard with their boss to present a special offer to the customer. Guilt is an effective sales strategy because it produces an aversive emotion (guilt), but leaves a clear way to eliminate it (purchasing).
Making it easier for a customer to buy is another strategy. This one may involve preparing an order form with the customer’s information on it, or something similar. The customer feels obligated to make a purchase once they see that their information is already filled in, but order forms are quick, easy, and cheap for the salesperson to prepare. A more extreme version is to send a letter telling the customer that they will be sent the product unless they respond. In this case, the customer has to work to avoid the purchase.
Hard selling concentrates on making the customer feel like they have to make a purchase. It can generally generate sales fairly quickly. However, there are fairly few repeat sales because of the lack of relationship and sometimes forceful sales method.
Couriers deliver products and letters for the business. Businesses should keep track of the couriers they use so that they can determine which one is best for a certain shipment.
The business’s policy about the courier should be recorded. This describes the circumstances in which the courier should be used. Recording this information helps the business to decide which courier it should use for a shipment.
The courier’s pricing should be recorded. This tells the business how much it can expect to pay for shipments of varying size. The pricing is also important for unusual situations that have not been outlined by the business’s policy.
Contacts within the courier’s organization should be recorded. These contacts should be the courier’s local offices. This information will allow the business to contact the courier if it needs a pricing clarification, or if special arrangements need to be made for a package.
Recording information about couriers lets the business determine which courier is most appropriate for a shipment. Keeping the information current records how much the business will have to pay to have the shipment delivered.
Customer management may involve multiple kinds of requests. If the requests are small, such as a request for information contained within a pamphlet, the business does not need to analyze them. Larger requests, such as a request for proposal or request for quotation, will need analysis proportional to their potential cost and importance to the business. The business should focus on the potential return on investment from fulfilling the request.
The request should be given a name, so that the business can refer to it effectively. The type of request should be recorded. The main request types are information, quotation, proposal, qualification, tender or offer, documentation, and application. Recording the request type makes it clear what format of reply is necessary, and what the reply should include.
The request status should be recorded. The request is received by the business, and should be analyzed before a decision to proceed or abandon the request is made. Should the decision be to proceed, then the business should also record when the response is sent out. Tracking the request’s status allows the business to see which requests they are responding to, and which ones require further analysis.
The salesperson who received the request, and the date it was received on, should be recorded. This information tells the business who to ask for clarification of the request. The date that the reply is due should also be recorded, so that the business can reply to the request on time.
The business should estimate the sales value, response cost, operations cost, and operations risk of replying to the proposal. This will allow the business to determine if responding will be worth the effort. The probability of the response causing a sale should also be estimated.
The business should summarize the request. This allows the business to quickly review the most important parts of the request.
The competitors for the request, and any critical success factors of the delivery and sales, should be recorded. The business’s advantage and approach should also be recorded. This information allows the business to examine the positive and negative aspects of responding to the request, and determine the best course of action.
The response process should be recorded. This should explain how the response will be sent, and what guidelines should be followed. This information ensures that the business responds in the proper way, so that the response arrives.
Any responses sent should be recorded. The response name lets the business identify it, and the salesperson name records who is responsible for the response. The response’s status should begin as a draft, and should be completed, approved, and then sent. Bad responses should be abandoned. Should the draft be sent, the date that it was sent should be recorded to show that it was sent before the due date.
Recording information about requests ensures that the business responds on time to the appropriate requests. Recording any responses allows the business to track the progress of the potential sale.
Businesses should track the opportunities that it pursues with its customers. This needs to be done in more detail for larger and more important sales. The sales opportunities should be considered realistically, to provide an accurate depiction of the future sales that the business can expect.
The sales opportunity should be given an identification number and a name. This allows the business to identify the opportunity easily. The name of the salesperson associated with the opportunity should be recorded so that they can give updates on the opportunity’s status.
The type of sale should be recorded. The type of sale tells the business what kind of product, service, or charge they are trying to sell to the customer. For example, the business might be trying to sell a laptop, or a consulting service.
The sale’s status should be recorded. A sale should be drafted, then the business should follow up with the customer (also called chasing). The sale may be closed, put on hold, or lost. Recording the status of the sale allows the business to see how far along the sale has come, and determine when it is likely to be closed.
The probability that the business will get the sale should be estimated. Similarly, the business should estimate the value of the sale, the cost of the sale, and the date that the sale will be closed. This information tells the business the chances of it achieving the sale, how soon it should occur, and approximately how much the business will profit from it.
The actual value, the date the sale was closed, and the cost of the sale to the business, should be recorded. This information tells the business how accurate the estimates were, so that they can correct for inaccuracies in future estimates. The cost of the sale tells the business how much they made on the sale, and can be used when deciding whether or not to pursue sales opportunities in the future.
Recording information about sales opportunities allows the business to track what sales it is likely to get. This information can also be used to decide if the business will pursue a new business opportunity, based on estimating accuracy and what the sale costs the business.
Businesses may develop sales strategies to use with customers. Sales strategies help the business decide which products they will try to sell to the customer, and what method they will use to sell the products.
The sales strategy should be named so that the business can refer to it easily. The salesperson associated with the sales strategy, and the date that the strategy was prepared, should be recorded. This will allow the business to discuss the strategy with the appropriate salesperson, and use the most up-to-date sales strategy.
The status of the sales strategy should be recorded. The strategy should be planned, reviewed, and accepted or rejected. Should the strategy be accepted, it should be implemented and completed, or put on hold or abandoned. Tracking the status of the sales strategy tells the business what sales strategies are currently in use.
An overview of the sales strategy should be given. This should include the most essential information, so that the business can quickly look over the strategy.
The customer’s needs and wants should be recorded. This will allow the business to evaluate which products will suit the customer, and thus, which ones it should try to sell them. Any critical success factors of the strategy should also be recorded, so that the business makes sure to include them.
The business may have competitors for the customer, or for the specific needs and wants that the business can fulfil. In this case, the business should record the names of the competitors, and information about their products. This will allow the business to offer added value or cheaper products, making them more likely to sell to the customer.
The method of decision making that the customer uses, and the business’s relationship with the customer, allows the business to determine the best way to sell to them. The decision making method tells the business who they need to have a good relationship with to get the sale. The relationship records how good of a relationship the business has with each contact required for the decision-making process. Recording this information tells the business who it must improve its relationships with.
The business must decide which approach to take when trying to sell to the customer. The approach will take into account the customer’s needs and wants, the critical success factors, and any competitors. It should be prepared in accordance with the customer’s decision-making process, and the relationship that the business has with each member in this process. The approach should explain the best way for the sales strategy to proceed.
Recording sales strategies helps the business determine how to sell products to its customers, and which products to sell. Changing the information as necessary will help the business see which sales strategies are closest to succeeding, and which strategy should be followed first.
This application helps you to maintain contact with your affiliates, in order to maintain a good relationship with them.
Consolidate contact information – Knowing how to contact all your affiliates helps you to regulate your online advertising efforts.
Address and resolve complaints – Tracking the status of complaints helps you to resolve them quickly, and to the satisfaction of all involved.