SFFA - Account Management

SFFA - Account Management - Jean I've re-written the column...

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Jean: I’ve re-written the column on account management. It seems far too long and thus probably needs considerable chopping by you. Hope the re-write contains good content – let me know if this is not the case. As always, thanks for ensuring the quality of the column. Best regards, Barton Account Management It is unbelievable how much time sales and marketing personnel can free up if they are able to spend their time and energy on revenue generating activities rather than on office administration. At a leading copier manufacturer, sales and marketing personnel gained 26 man days per year as a result of their sales and marketing automation efforts! At the core of these gains is a solid account management software, which is specifically geared towards reducing repetitive, time-consuming tasks thereby freeing up the sales rep to have more time to sell. Today’s account management software not only tracks account information and history but offers the sales rep the ability to track activities, manage leads, take orders and generate proposals all at the push, click or highlight of a button. Let’s look at account management software in action. Prior to account management automation, a lead might have come from a sales manager in the form of a printed report. Typically the sales rep would have qualified the lead, set up an appointment with the lead, and then made a sales call to the lead. Often the lead would request a quote, which the sales rep would prepare off-site (e.g., at home, at the office). Nonetheless, as a result of administrative inefficiency, the lead might have to wait several days for their quote while the rep gathered the necessary information to create the quote. Throughout this process, there was always the risk that a competitive sales rep might appear at the doorstep of the lead with the desired quote information in hand. With the availability of account management software, sales reps receive leads automatically via computer. Through the automatic lead qualification process mentioned in my column last month, sales reps know which leads are worth following up and which leads can be dropped. Sales reps make a sales call to the lead and through the magic of automation present the lead with a quote either on the spot or shortly thereafter. Due to advances in automating order entry, reps are now able to input product, price, shipping and other related information into their account management program which in turn seamlessly integrates with backend systems so that the rep can inform the customer of the financial terms, delivery date, etc.
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If the sale is more complex and requires a detailed proposal, a tool known as a proposal generator can be used to track a library of commonly used answers to questions which are inserted automatically into the proposal template. A proposal generator may be available within a CRM software’s account management module or as a third party add-on module. Two of the leading third party proposal generators are Pragmatech’s The RFP Machine
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SFFA - Account Management - Jean I've re-written the column...

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