Here, at Bragona Scalabby Community you can associate with other Data enthusiasts face to face or online. Not only will you advance your skills, but also find an amazing team of like-minded people who will become your endless source of inspiration.
I came to Bragona as a last year computer science student for an internship, hoping to get some experience before starting my career, and now I have been working here for several months. Back then I was looking for direction, guidance, and I gained it to the full in this company. I have got opportunities to work with dedicated data professionals who are beyond compare in their field, and I am extremely grateful for it. This community has become my inspiration for both learning and teaching, as I was excited to give the same chance to someone else as I got myself. I was starting as a junior who didn’t really believe in himself, and these days I am working with the most challenging projects.
Let us tell you the story of how one of our clients grew up within a short period of time after implementing a CRM into their work.
The company we worked with is the official distributor of major foreign manufacturers of medical equipment. Top 10 suppliers of ophthalmic equipment. Their clients are every second clinic in the country.
The company has a strong team of employees: people are passionate about their work and take a responsible approach to it. But at a certain point, the personal qualities of the employees alone weren’t enough anymore. The more deals there were, the more customers the company began to lose. This was due to the lack of a systematic approach to work, “manual” transaction management in notebooks and opaque sales processes. Then there was an understanding that without sales automation and service, the company would not be able to cope further.
The technical director of one trading company talks about the experience of implementing CRM: why there was a need, how the resistance of employees was overcome and how it was possible to increase the number of successful transactions without expanding the staff.
There was no centralized customer base. The flow of information grew, it was necessary to store data about:
Internal processes related to the increase in the volume of transactions: approval of commercial proposals, installation of equipment, shipments, receipt of spare parts from the warehouse, and so on.
Initially, such information was stored in notebooks, external files, Excel, Word. But the company didn’t know how to process it correctly, systematize it, and use it for business. It was necessary to create a unified information system for all departments with the most detailed contact information.
Lack of transparency in sales processes and customer relationships. At what stage is the transaction and whether everything is going well, was assessed on a whim. The company needed an end-to-end process of the full cycle of the transaction: to understand where the transaction is, which people to connect, what is needed to direct the transaction in the right direction, sign a contract, and successfully execute it. There were no tools to control sales volumes. The employees themselves told the management what was going on inside the deal — it was their subjective view.
It was necessary to get a system for analyzing and monitoring the work of sales department employees. To do this, we needed tools that would allow us to track indicators and make adjustments. The company started losing deals and customers. Employees forgot to call, send a commercial offer, issue an invoice. As a result, the company was losing profits. It was necessary to improve the speed and quality of customer service: respond to requests in a timely manner, send documents, and do not forget about agreements.
The same number of employees — more deals
Prior to the introduction of CRM, the company concluded 1,600 transactions per year. After that – more than 1,800. The increase in the number of transactions occurred with the same staff size.
The cycle of transactions has become shorter. The company automated the processes of internal document management: they established a two-way exchange with Accounting module, part of the document management was transferred. We have fully integrated stationary and partially mobile telephony into the system. We have introduced services for e-mail newsletters, social networks, messengers, and adjusted reporting on the work of employees.
Before the introduction of CRM, each employee made about four hundred interactions per year. Now there are more than one and a half thousand recorded interactions with the results within the system per employee. The growth is more than three times.
We have received the highest profit for the entire period of the company’s activity
We have built end-to-end sales processes. Employees have moved away from notebooks, Word and Excel. The management always knows at what stage the transaction is, and can promptly connect additional employees to the task if difficulties arise.
We have created reliable financial statements. The CRM data and the “manual” data did not seriously converge at the initial stage. We have debugged this moment, and now reporting is conducted in CRM — there are no such problems anymore.
Employees began to work on processes. The processes in the company existed before, but they were fixed on paper and had a formal character: no one executed them. When the internal processes of the enterprise were transferred to CRM, it became easier to track the implementation and correct problem areas.
Employees began to earn more. Sellers have a tool to make more transactions. The more the manager has made a profit, the higher the income. As the number of transactions increased, everybody benefited.
I had an amazing educational experience at Bragona. When I initially joined their Risk Analysis program, I was not confident about the course. Soon I get to know that the program’s curriculum is up to date and the trainers are wonderfully helpful. I recently got placed in a famous company, where I discovered that everything I studied at Bragona has enabled me to perform my job responsibilities well.
I joined Bragona for the Data Science Full Stack certification program, and I found the curriculum to be very interesting and industry relevant. The training materials are well-made, and the best aspect is that they are always refining the main subject and introducing new stuff. While keeping us up to date on the fundamentals, the Bragona group keeps us informed about what’s new in the industry by hosting live and recorded webinars on a regular basis. In addition, I am able to settle my Bragona queries in a timely manner.
The use of CRM systems in companies providing professional services has recently become the norm, as the benefits of using them become obvious to everyone who, one way or another, have used this technology. To begin the practical application of the technology, it is necessary to carry out a project for the implementation of a specific system. One of these implementation projects and the results obtained after its completion will be discussed in this article.
One of our clients’ companies provided insurance broker services. The business was built on the fact that the company received from partners (insurance companies) lists of potential customers with contact details who either had expired policies, or customers could potentially be interested in insurance services. After receiving such lists, employees called clients and then acted according to the circumstances: they prepared calculations for clients, looked for the most favorable offers, coordinated them, organized meetings for concluding insurance contracts.
While the company was working with one insurance company and had 3 operators on staff making calls, it was possible to cope with the data flow using Excel tables. The manager divided the database between operators and collected the results at the end of the day. The fact that each operator recorded the results of calls in a convenient form was not a problem, since he made about 80 calls in one day. However, the manager already had enough work to do: divide calls between operators, monitor the execution of tasks and then process the results. Following a phone call, it was often necessary to calculate the cost of insurance for the client, coordinate the offer with the client, coordinate the time and place of the meeting for signing and paying for insurance. Sometimes the calculations made for the client were lost, and they had to be made anew. Sometimes it was necessary to clarify the information from the client several times, which was not the best way to characterize the smoothness of processes in the company. In general, the company coped with the tasks with the means that were available. And since the team worked together for six months, everyone worked together with each other, and eventually worked out all the internal processes, and brought the work almost to automatism.
Over time, the business developed, revenues increased, new partners appeared, supplying lists of potential customers. In order to carry out the increased volume of work, five additional operators were hired. After that, the problems began.
First, new employees needed to be trained. In addition to training in the technique of conducting telephone conversations, training in working with data was required. Each of the employees understood in his own way how, what, and when he needed to do, from which table to take a list for calling, and where to save the results of calls. In the end, the manager had to process gigantic data arrays daily and manually.
Secondly, there were suspicions about the poor quality of work of both new and old employees. The total amount of work performed naturally increased, but the increase was not proportional to the increase in the number of operators. Employees worked in shifts, customers who were not reached by one operator had to be transferred to other operators. As a result, it was extremely difficult to calculate who and how much work had been done over the past period: there was not enough data for calculations, besides, all calculations had to be done manually. The question arose about how many times each client was called.
Thirdly, problems began to arise with calls from customers. For example, the cost of insurance was calculated for the client, after which the client took a break to think about the offer. After a while, the client called back to purchase insurance. The employee who made the calculations could not be on the spot due to the shift work schedule, he could be busy, not in the office, or even could quit while the client was thinking. In this case, the operator had to collect all the information from the client again and make a calculation. The new calculation could differ from the old one, and as a result, the customer ready to buy, having spent his strength again, received not the desired product, but a new offer and left to think again.
Fourth, it turned out to be difficult to plan meetings. Either the operators themselves, the head of the company or the courier went to the meetings. One way or another, it was necessary to prepare documents for each meeting, agree on the time and place, and also determine the employee responsible for the meeting. From planning on the wallboard, they quickly switched to planning in an Excel spreadsheet, but this did not solve all the problems, since customers turned both directly to operators and couriers. Clients asked to change the time and place of the meeting, and they had to respond based on the current plan, and there was no single current plan. As a result, several meetings were scheduled at the same time in different places, and, conversely, different couriers went to the same place twice a day. As a result, customers expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that meetings were planned for a long time, and operators could not quickly answer questions about the time available for the meeting. In addition, the couriers’ working hours were not used effectively.
Against the background of growing customer dissatisfaction, employees also began to express dissatisfaction with wages. The company motivated employees with premiums, which were calculated as a percentage of insurance services sold, which required accurate calculations and taking into account which of the operators should receive a premium for the client. Conflicts began to arise since several operators could work with one client in turn, and as a result, it was not possible to understand exactly whose client it was.
All these problems piled up resulted in a constant staff turnover in the company. Employees left because of conflicts, low wages, and the lack of transparency of the motivational scheme. Incoming new employees were immersed in the ongoing processes for a long time and with difficulty. Under these conditions, the problem with data duplication (the same customers were called several times on different lists) became practically invisible. And at the same time, one of the company’s employees took advantage of the fact that all the lists of potential customers were available to all employees, and when he quit, he copied these lists to himself, and subsequently passed them on to competitors.
The company had had several options before they chose Bragona CRM. The choice was made in our favor, firstly, because the system met all the requirements, and secondly, because the system organically integrated into the existing infrastructure of the organization. The last argument in favor of Bragona’s solution was the opportunity to study the system in detail before buying, using the consultation option and the opportunity to rent the system.
After choosing the platform, the integrator company was selected, which implemented the system. After studying the requirements and processes, the integrator adapted the system and developed instructions for its use. The adaptation was reduced to the fact that screen forms, reports and user roles were configured.
After developing new work processes and implementing a CRM system that supports them, all employees of the company breathed a sigh of relief. If earlier training of new employees in the principles of work in the company took from 2 weeks to 1 month due to the lack of formal rules of work and many exceptions, then after the introduction of the CRM system, the course of a young fighter in the form of instructions on the system was read in 1 day. The very next day, the employee consolidated the acquired skills with practical exercises and after another day of work under the guidance of senior colleagues fully entered the working pace.
Due to the fact that each completed call was registered in the system, the productivity of each employee was calculated automatically by the system. On the main page of the CRM system, statistics on calls made for each operator for the current week were displayed. Every time, including the system, everyone saw their performance in comparison with the performance of colleagues, which caused a positive competitive spirit and increased productivity.