Monthly Archives: January 2016
Whether your goal is lining up one new customer a day or one a month, having a strategy to manage customer leads will save you time and energy. This is the second of a four-part series on CRM, customer relations management. Read the first part, “Getting the Most Out of a Lead”, here.
Organizing your leads in CRM, or customer relationship management, can be a chore, especially when you have hundreds of leads. Here are a few tips to keep your leads manageable.
Create Relationship Categories
Take a look at a handful of your existing leads, and think about how you know them. Are they former colleagues or strangers? Were they a referral from an existing customer, or did you gather their contact information from the internet? Come up with five or six categories that are not too specific so they can be used for different situations. For example, “Trade Show Attendee” is a better category than “AHR Expo 2015”, so it can be used for other trade shows you’ve gotten contact information for. You can always add extra, more specific information about the lead in your notes section. One piece of advice is to not use a number or code for a category — it’s one more thing to remember.
Keep ‘Status’ Updated
The status of a lead is important. You want to know whether the lead is likely to buy your service in the near future. Use “new” for leads you haven’t contacted. Then, change the lead’s status in your CRM system as their level of interest in your service changes.
Use “met”, “engaged” or “contacted” after the first contact and are still unsure if the customer is qualified to buy. Once you believe the customer is a possibility, use a status such as “hot”, “possible” or “future”. A lead that becomes a client can have their status updated to “active”, or simply move this customer’s information into your customer database. When a lead fizzles out, change the status to “inactive” instead of deleting their information — you never know if their situation will change.
Rate the Lead’s Quality
An easy-to-use rating system can help you sort through leads that have the same status. You can rank leads using a scale of 1 to 3, or if you have many leads, 1 to 5. A rating of “1” could mean that the lead’s company is young and unstable, or has a mediocre reputation. Whereas a “5” could be used for high-volume organizations with a highly respected reputation.
Assign Leads to the Right Employee
Every employee has his or her own strengths that should be considered when assigning leads. An employee with experience in fireplaces might not be best to pitch your services to plumbers, just as experienced employees might be better pitching your services to large corporate organizations. Randomly assigning leads is also an option, but your odds of landing a new customer increase when you can match your sales person to the right prospect.
Keeping your leads organized will make reviewing your leads less of a hassle. The Service Proz Solution contains a CRM module that allows sales staff to enter contact information for your lead. Within the module, staff can type notes after every contact or “touch” with the prospect. The system shows all this information in an organized layout, for both desktop and mobile viewing.
How do you organize your leads? Tell us in the comments section.
Focus on CRM, Part 1
Whether your goal is lining up one new customer a day or one a month, having a strategy to manage customer leads will save you time and energy. This is the first of a four-part series on CRM, customer relations management.
Not every referral will turn into a sale — turning a lead into a customer takes patience and constant contact. CRM, or customer relations management, software can streamline the process, keeping track of who contacted your lead and what transpired during that conversation.
Let’s start by talking about leads, and how to make the most of one. Every customer starts out as a lead, a person who either found your business or whom you found. This prospect might have filled out an online form, or you might have been handed this person’s business card by a friend, colleague or client. He or she might be within your target demographic and might need your service, but this hasn’t been verified.
When you get a lead, consider how viable this lead is. Some considerations:
- Does this person fit your demographic?
- Is this lead located in your service area?
- Was this lead given to you by someone trustworthy?
- What is this lead’s business reputation?
- How great a need does this lead have for your service?
After verifying the information and deciding that this lead can realistically turn into a client, it’s time to make contact. For most people, it’s easier and more effective to pick up the phone and make your pitch. In today’s business work, however, it might be more effective to use softer marketing techniques, such as sending the person an email with information about your service. You might add this person to your mailing list to keep them aware of your services and offers. Show this potential customer that you’re active in your business and that your business is worth investing in.
The CRM feature of the Service Proz Solution was built for service-based businesses to organize leads. The software allows managers to import leads and then assign leads to staff. Each time you contact your lead can be cataloged in the system. We call contact with a lead a “touch”. When this lead turns into a client, the system moves the contact information over to the customer section, keeping this record with it.
What do you do with your leads? Tell us in the comments section.
Deciding which crew should be going where can be a headache. Most schedulers’ desks are cluttered with post-it notes, and others have messy white boards covered with notes and arrows. Here are some tips on how to streamline your scheduling system.
The Service Proz app was made for small service-based businesses. Once the software is set up, the app’s many features will increase productivity and billable hours. Sign up for a free trial of the app, or contact us today to schedule an app walk-through.
1. Check the map.
There’s no point to zig-zagging across town. A good scheduler will assign jobs to crews that are relatively nearby. This can be accomplished by setting up zones within your service area, either by zip code, by location of streets and waterways (ie, east of I-75, north of Bixby River), or by distance around landmarks (ie, 10 miles around City Hall). You might want to take your crew’s habits into consideration, such as the location of preferred lunch spots.
The Service Proz app feature called Zip Codes and Zones will help reduce your business’ fuel consumption. You can set up zones by zip code and assign crew members to certain locations. Your scheduler will then only have the ability to code a work order to crews that are able to work that zone.
2. Group projects that will require similar equipment.
Carting around heavy equipment costs your company money in gas and in wear and tear of company vehicles, not to mention unnecessary time and manpower. A scheduler can assign a crew jobs that will require similar tools. A good rule of thumb is to write up a detailed work order, complete with a list of special items needed, so your scheduler knows exactly what needs to be accomplished on site.
Adding details about projects is simple using the Service Proz app. When writing up a Work Order, project managers can type details in the description field and include photographs of the site. Schedulers can access this information when planning the crews’ schedules, and the crew can also view the project details prior to the job.
3. Know your team’s limits.
Unless you’ve hired Superman, your crew can only work so many hours a day. Think about the project from start to finish when calculating a crew’s time. This includes loading and preparing the service vehicle at you facility at the start and finish of the day, along with loading and unloading equipment at the job site. Travel time to each destination needs to be accounted for, too. Schedules can also be padded with an extra 15 minutes at each site in case the crew needs to speak with a client.
The Capacity Calculator tool on the Service Proz app allows managers to determine how many jobs your crews can handle, based on the number of hours each project requires and the number of hours a crew can handle that day. The Service Proz app also manages personnel, so the scheduler knows when field techs are out sick or on vacation.
After several requests to fully integrate our mobile solution with the desktop version we have now deployed Apple Version 2.0.
The NEW enhancements for our Apple App.
- Better visibility and functionality from an Admin Level along with some enhancements at the Field Level.
- Admin Personnel in the field now can access any work order and Schedule a Work Order from anywhere. You can see your field level technician’s work load and adjust if necessary, directly from your smart phone or tablet.
- You can Unassign, Assign or Reschedule an appointment with just a few clicks.
- The Work Order Request feature received enhancements.
- The Picture attachment function has been improved and now the user can choose the resolution at which to save a photo within the app.
- Now the user can see Work Order History and Customer History from a smartphone or tablet. You now have the ability to perform full work order management and schedule a work order from a smartphone.
- Use Google Navigation for Driving directions within the app for easy mapping to appointments. Pull up directions for any appointment along with tracking the most efficient use of your technicians’ time and fuel costs.
All functions at the User sign on level are enabled from the admin level:
- Define exactly what your field level personnel can and cannot do inside the app.
Please call or contact us for a trial run and see how our solution is a perfect fit for your business software needs.