Customer Forum

No Phone Call is a Wasted Call

Keith (Workbooks Online) Posted: 2017-02-23 09:22


Did you know about our Success Clinics?

This forum post is discussed in our 'The importance of 'qualified out' analysis' Success Clinic video. 

A CRM system is a great central repository for information about customers, prospects, suppliers, and any other types of Organisations you may deal with.  Recording key information on organisation records enables staff from any department to get a good understanding of the customer, which helps you:

  • Sell solutions/products to prospects
  • Deliver day-to-day support to customers
  • Perform Account Management activities for customers
  • Targeted Marketing to prospect of customers
  • Upsell to existing customers

As explained in our CRM for Account Management webinar, compiling a profile of your customers is extremely useful for understanding who they are, what they do, and what you may be able to encourage them to do in the future.  This screenshot shows the Account Profile section of Atlantic Computer Services (an organisation record) in our demo database:


TIP: You can create a database that contains demonstration data.  How to create databases is explained here.

All the fields have been completed and are displayed together in a sensibly named “Account Profile” section, which provides instant visibility of key fields, that helps:

  • Sales staff see the Current Annual Spend, Potential Spend, and that Sprockets and Software are areas of interest for the future.  Sales staff can target these areas.
  • Marketing can send targeted newsletters because they know the client uses Widgets, but isn’t interested in Infrastructure.


How is this information recorded?

The short answer is manually.  It’s quite natural for staff to simply be familiar with their accounts because they’re on good terms with their key contacts, and may have worked with particular clients for several years.  However, if this information is stored in someone’s head, it isn’t going to be available or helpful for new starters.  It makes sense to use a common language throughout your organisation e.g. Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Finance etc.  If one of your Sales staff learns that the client is considering making a significant investment upgrading Software, they should update the relevant fields in the Account Profile (clearly if they feel the client is likely to buy in the short-term an Opportunity should be created and assigned to the relevant salesperson).

In summary, your staff need to be empowered and given responsibility for updating the Account Profile information because it helps them, and their colleagues perform their jobs with up-to-date information.  Whenever information is provided, or it makes sense to ask for information, make use of the phone call, email, face-to-face meeting, and capture the information in Workbooks.



Can I use this same technique to re-target “lost” prospects in the future?

Definitely!  It makes complete sense to record information about organisations you didn’t quite manage to secure as customers (because they may change their minds / situation etc.), but they may wish to purchase from you in the future.  

We recommend using this approach wherever you think it makes sense, which also works for Prospect Organisations.  As mentioned above, it makes sense to store this information when a salesperson loses a deal, and as mentioned in the The Importance of Qualified Out Analysis forum post, you can add fields to an Opportunity to record who you lost a deal to, and why, but you could also record this information on an Organisation record in custom fields such as:

  • Incumbent Supplier (a list of your competitors)
  • Current Contract Renewal date (the date when the current contract expires)
  • Current Contract notes (a multiline text field in which you record useful details)


How do I set this up?

The steps below guide you through how you can set this up in your own database. 

Step 1: Create the Report using a Template Report

Navigate to Start > New > Report > Create a report from a template report and select the template report named “Competitor Organisations”. It probably makes sense to also name it Competitor Organisations.


Step 2: Create Custom Fields

Navigate to Start > Configuration > Customisation > Record Type and select Organisations. You should then go to the Fields tab and add the three custom fields below

  • Current Contract Notes - A multiline text custom field
  • Current Contract Renewal date - A date custom field
  • Incumbent Supplier - A Dynamic Linked Item (DLI) custom field, that uses the report created in the first step



Step 3: Add Custom Fields to your Organisation Form Layout

Within the same window, select the Form Layouts tab and edit your relevant Organisation Form Layout(s).

You may wish to create a two-column section named Account Profile. To make it look the same as it does in the screenshot above, you’ll need to give the section a title and border.