How to take care of and keep the client

Martis operates on the very competitive textile fibre distribution market. The company supplies yarn to manufacturers of various types of tights, socks, knitted fabrics and textiles.

This is a group of demanding clients who know their market very well and expect top quality service and consulting as regards the selection of the best products and technologies.

Reason for deploying the CRM system

Sales staff at Martis act as both consultants and product managers. It is they who inform clients about new products on the market and recommend the most appropriate products for a particular type of production. Sales staff also handle complaints. In order to control the many various activities, and systematise the work of the commercial department, improve efficiency and improve client care, the Management of Martis has decided to apply Microsoft Dynamics CRM in everyday operations.

-Although we had the system installed, we used it to a very small extent, as it was not adjusted to our needs. We needed to introduce a number of additional functions and modifications, so that CRM could become a tool that would really help us with our work - says Sebastian Matysiak, Manager and Project Manager of CRM deployment on the part of Martis SA.

Everything about the client in one place

How does CRM help with taking care of clients? It principally allows for gathering all the information related to a particular client in one place: phone and address data, information about the company, history of contacts, results of conversations, commitments and recommendations for the future. Furthermore, CRM makes all the data input by one sales person visible to other staff. Depending on the access rights, such data can be viewed by the Manager, Sales Director, the Management Board or, for example, Marketing.

-The CRM system improves information flow on clients in the company, and makes the data input by one person available to other staff, direct superiors, or management, depending on their rights. They can be used in many places at the company, for example in marketing when executing advertising campaigns, or at the customer service department. Moreover, in the case of a salesperson’s vacation or redundancy, the CRM system provides for the entire history of relations with the client - says Rafał Pogonowski, Director of Business
Intelligence Department at Bonair SA and Project Manager.

The fundamental litem in the CRM system is the client’s card – a form where each authorised person will find complete information about the client. -We added to it a number of functions needed at Martis, including the possibility of entering product parameters and market information. These are entered by the salesperson while obtaining data during the conversation with the client or during market exploration - explains Tomasz Kozłowski, CRM Team Manager at Bonair and Leading Consultant in the Project. -The information can be used by other departments at the company, e.g. for determining trends on the market. Depending on the needs, the data can be set in various configurations and, for example, compare prices of the same products at various competitors or suppliers. Entries are signed with dates, which allows for tracing changes in the price of a specific product or prices at a particular competitor in time.

Sales staff efficiency under control

At the end of each month, the sales staff prepares sales plans and dates of receivables for the next month. Such activities are also supported by CRM. The system also allows for introducing adjustments to the plans. This is done from the client’s view level, which is a very convenient solution for the sales staff. For example if, during a conversation with clients, particular arrangements are made, the salesperson enters them in the client’s profile, and CRM updates the present plans, records orders for the next month, or adjusts the receivables schedule. Owing to this, Martis’ Management can continuously view the status of orders or cash flow.

-Previously, the sales staff prepared plans in Excel files, and received data on their execution from the financial system SAP. They had to compare particular items to assess if there were any deviations and where. This took a lot of time, and mistakes still happened. Now, the plans are input in the CRM system, which automatically downloads relevant data from SAP. These are automatically compared and collected in reports – one can see the plan, execution and deviation - Sebastian Matysiak stresses the advantages of the new solution and its integration with SAP.

Each of the sales staff has access to their own plans, and the manager – to the plans of his subordinates. Management can see the plans of all the sales staff, divided into clients and products in the aspect of revenues. Management can view the present status of plan execution, but they can also see the initial plan and the adjustments made. They can also check the situation from previous months. Therefore, the effects of stales staff work are fully controlled.

List of tasks for the morning

In order for staff to focus on the key issues, CRM acts as their “assistant". When the salesperson opens the CRM system, the information panel appears with four key predefined sections.

Benefits of deployment

  • Improvement of information flow at the company.
  • Access to all information about the client in one place.
  • Better work organisation of the sales staff.
  • Supervision over task execution by the staff.
  • Improvements of relations with customers.
  • Automation of marketing activities.
  • Monitoring the execution of sales plans and incoming payments for invoices.
  • Support of cost invoices.

The first section contains the list of activities planned for a particular day, together with the list of overdue tasks. The second section provides the list of clients with appointments in the present week, while other sections contain diagrams of sales plans and the dates of receivables from clients, as well as the list of neglected clients, namely those with whom there was no contact in a specific time.

-The salespersons receive notifications on which clients they are to contact immediately. When contact is made and recorded in the system, the client disappears from the list. If the break in contacts exceeds another threshold, the sales staff receive an alert once a week with a list of clients to deal with. Exceeding the third threshold results in the list of neglected clients being sent to the manager with information on who takes care of a particular client. Therefore, it is easy to determine what is going on - explains Sebastian Matysiak.
-It may turn out that, for example, the client has suspended business and asked for contact in three months. Or that the salesperson is ill and his clients have not been allocated to another employee.

Work automation

Bonair has also introduced several other improvements to the CRM system. These include the automation of marketing campaigns for existing clients, e.g. mailings with information on the sale of goods from the warehouse to selected clients, or notifications about a meeting for clients. The CRM system provides for vast opportunities of performing such quick campaigns. It is also possible to prepare sets of company templates, with harmonised graphics, for various occasions, e.g. Christmas Cards, invitations to meetings, offers.

-Non-standard functions also include the opportunity for importing to the CRM system of mobile phone billings, as used by the sales staff. Owing to this, the billings are associated with client numbers recorded in the CRM and with sales staff numbers. The manager can verify which salespersons carried out telephone conversations with which clients - says Rafał Pogonowski.

Cost invoice flow

CRM also allows for keeping cost invoices in order. It is known where each invoice is at a particular moment, and what its status is. This has been achieved by introducing the electronic flow of cost documents.

-At present, the invoice goes to the reception, where it is scanned and recorded in the system. Next, it is sent to the department which verifies the correctness of the data entered, and allocates the invoice to the organisational units it refers to. This accelerates and streamlines cost document flow - states Sebastian Matysiak.

At Martis SA, CRM supports various activities. The major ones include streamlining information flow and the possibility of continuously monitoring activities and plan execution. -CRM constitutes a coherent source of information about each client – its orders, revenues, the margin achieved, which competitor it buys from and what it buys, whether it pays and how, whether it is delayed, and what problems there were with this client - lists Sebastian Matysiak.

For the Management, invaluable tools are the reports visible after starting the system at the panel with sales staff statistics. These are presented in the form of transparent diagrams, showing for example the activities planned and overdue for each salesperson, divided into types of contacts performed (phone calls, e-mails, meetings). Managers have access to statistics related to the employees of their departments. The Management Board can view the data of the entire organisation.

-But the most interesting is the management panel containing such information as volume, cost, sales and margin, divided into product groups and sales staff. It provides information on daily sales and those accrued in a particular month. Diagrams show, e.g., the margin on particular products and sales staff. Owing to this, one can see various dependencies, e.g. that we have high sales of a particular product, but small margin on it - says Sebastian Matysiak.

The reports allow for assessing the involvement of sales staff and their efficiency, on-going cash flow at the company, and market trends. What is important, owing to the fact that CRM is integrated with the financial system SAP and supplied by it, numerical data recorded by sales staff are verified almost on an immediate basis. One can be sure that the reports show accurate data.

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