If you are an owner or manager of a business and are reading this blog, you are most likely moving on the Internet. And spend some monthly advertising budget, no matter, on SEO, contextual advertising, social networks or are placed in one of the commodity aggregators. Immediately I will voice the first main idea of the article - do not meddle in advertising until you have a normal sales department.
Yes, I agree, it is difficult to find good salespeople. Those who understand that a non-invoice cannot be paid. Those who do not decide for the customer is expensive for him or will be cheap to buy from you. And therefore I will not make a selection of conclusions at the end of the article, but I will immediately voice the second main idea of the article - do not expect that your sales department will include the brain, but simply enter the rules, CRM, scripts and quality control of service.
- Is everything so bad?
- Maybe it's all about motivation?
- You are wrong?
- What to do?
- Problem: ignoring requests
- Problem: the manager does not understand that the application must be responded quickly
- Problem: the manager forgot about the client
- Problem: managers do not need product usage photos and reviews
- Problem: the goods are sent to the client, and he is not even aware of
- What changed?
- Will this solve all the problems?
- What is this article for?
A bit of background
A year ago, I settled for the position of Internet marketer to the manufacturer of composite fittings.
About two weeks was enough for me to understand that I do not understand why I was hired. After a month and a half, I told the management that it was not worth spending on promotion, and the company did not need me. Because I saw the following:
- Managers do not identify the need and do not work with objections.
- The response to the application from the site may be several hours, and may not follow at all.
- If, based on the results of the application, the client is promised to send the materials (price list, KP, presentation, etc.), then the information can be sent to the client in a few hours, days, or not sent at all.
- If information or an invoice is sent to the client, they simply forget about it. It will be necessary - he will apply himself or pay the bill.
- The company has not worked out the logistics. Shipping cost is offered more than the competition. Because competitors expect delivery based on mileage in one direction, and our company takes into account mileage both there and back (that is, the client must pay for the return journey of the truck).
In short, our sales department worked as if we were monopolists. But we have a competitor in our region, and several strong competitors in neighboring regions, and across the CIS (where our contextual advertising is shown), they are not to be considered at all.
Is everything so bad?
Yes! For example, take the period from May 3 to July 13, 2018. 34% of applications that came from the site during this period were simply ignored. That is, a hot client left a request, and they didn’t even contact him. An additional 7% of the calls were made, but the client did not pick up / was busy. Repeated calls are no longer made.
"Who needs - he will call back" (c).
During this period, 84,500 rubles was spent on contextual advertising, plus small SEO costs, plus placement costs in the aggregator, plus my relatively good (for our region) salary.
Someone may argue, they say, the height of the construction season, the sales department just does not have time to process incoming requests. I sit in the same room with the managers, and such days, when the shipment goes one by one, and the manager has no time to even check the applications in the mail, can be counted on the fingers.
Or here is a specific example (at the height of the construction season), demonstrating that there is still free time. I inform the sales person that the mail is a letter with the application from the site. Instead of calling the client, he decides to discuss halal food with the assistant director. After that, he watches several videos on YouTube (and there is time for that) and only then contacts the client on request. When he learns that the customer is from Kazakhstan, he hints to him that it will be expensive for him to buy goods in Russia because of the delivery.
Paradox! The company spends on contextual advertising in Kazakhstan, and managers "discourage" customers from there to buy from us!
The same situation with the south of Russia. The owner of the company understands that the construction season is short, and it can be “stretched” by working with the southern regions. At one point, he comes to the office and says to include contextual advertising for the whole south. What happens next? Upon receipt of applications from the south, customers are told that it will be expensive for them to buy from us because of transportation costs.
But, first, if we are talking about a large order, we can afford to compensate the customer for shipping costs. Secondly, some of our competitors, who are still farther from the south than we, for some reason, do not have a distance to sell the distance, for example, to Krasnodar. As a result, after a couple of weeks, I simply turned off advertising in the south so as not to drain money.
For SEO, I also deliberately do not do many things, thereby slowing down the development of the site. I just do not see that at this stage it is necessary.
Maybe it's all about motivation?
Again, someone may argue, they say, managers pay little, so they do not try to sell more. For example, the most experienced manager of a company gets 5-6 average salaries of a region per season. The average annual monthly salary is 2.5 average salaries in the region.
At the same time, the manager does not forget to complain at any opportunity that he is not paid more.
How can a manager himself raise the average salary for the year?
- Watch out for orders during the construction season. Most of the sales in the off-season accounted for existing customers. Accordingly, the more new satisfied customers appear in the summer, the more sales will be in the winter.
- Work with the south of Russia, where the construction season begins to sway in February.
But during the season, bids are ignored, and according to managers, it’s impossible to sell to the south, so you shouldn’t even try. It is easier to hang out in social networks during working hours and complain that they do not pay enough.
For example, a large order came to us (the company had never shipped this quantity at a time). At the same time, the client declares that he is ready to take such a volume every month. What happened next?
- The customer asks you to send the CP with the calculation of the cost of goods and the cost of delivery to him by mail.
- The manager promises to send information, but does it in 2 (!!!) days!
- Instead of the promised information with the total cost of the order and the miscalculation of the delivery, he sends him just the price list. Type it all yourself, man.
- After sending the letter about the client forgot, the manager did not even call him.
Even if he got it wrong or forgot what information he promised to send, a second call to the client would allow it to be revealed and corrected the problem. And this is the same manager who complains about his "low" salary ...
Or another example. The second of November, in the notorious off-season, when there are so few applications, at 9:18 am a notification mail arrives about the application from the site. There were no shipments on this day, there were few calls — a miser. In the office - two managers, and none of them for the whole day (!!!) never opened this notification. Then there were three days off, and it was only on November 6 that one of the managers - thank the gods - saw this application. Four days later, the client was finally contacted. Guess what he said?
Here the reader may have a logical question: "Why keep such managers at all?". Do not even ask, I myself do not know the answer.
You are wrong?
How many books and smart articles are written about client service, and, it would seem, everyone understands everything. But no!
For the construction industry I can say for sure: many manufacturers have a problem with sales. Not because there is no demand, but because they do not know how or do not want. I know what I'm talking about, I have considerable experience in the building materials industry.
Someone might now think: "My sales are growing from year to year, this is not about my company." Is not a fact! For example, in our company, the increase in sales in 2018 was 70% compared to 2017. Not bad, right? And could do more? Can! Examples of lost customers were higher, examples will continue.
Look at this increase can be different. Whether the sales department did their best, or in 2017 everything was even worse.
What to do?
Our company is trying to solve this problem by introducing regulations, CRM and control managers. The next step will be the introduction of scripts.
Even if you are lucky to find employees who want to sell, it is advisable to use CRM. She will allow to exclude a human factor and not to lose incoming applications.
Incidentally, there was an attempt to introduce CRM a year earlier. But it was not crowned with success, because the sales department supposedly has no time to fill it. This year, the system is introduced along with the regulations and KPI. Reluctance to work in CRM threatens with monetary deprivation or dismissal.
TexTerra provides a CRM implementation service.
Then I will tell you in the format “problem - example - solution”, with which we are trying to fight, and what we are doing for this.
Problem: ignoring requests
So, it is difficult for managers to notice an application at the post office, as a result, incoming leads are ignored. The example cited above.
What are we doing? According to the regulations, each manager must install Telegram and set up notifications from CRM. When an application arrives from the site, the responsible manager receives a notification in the instant messenger. Applications are no longer ignored.
Problem: the manager does not understand that the application must be responded quickly
Even if our sales manager saw the application, for some reason this is not a reason to immediately call a customer. Meanwhile, not everyone is ready to wait!
9% of clients who left a request on our website (from May to November inclusive) did not wait until they were contacted and eventually called themselves. Because they want to get answers to their questions here and now.
Another example. Incoming call. The online store of building materials is considering the option of dealership and asks to send a price list. So without waiting for the price list, the client sends a request through the site to remind about themselves.
Was our employee busy during this hour? Yes! I discussed with someone on the phone the order of the kitchen for his apartment. Did he understand that customers want faster response? Not. The problem was repeated many times.
One day, a client who asked to remake the invoice, and after a day received a "redo" reply (instead of the invoice itself, which could be formed in 24 hours), sent the manager a link to Brian Tracy's book "Effective sales methods". A shame!
What are we doing? In the regulations, we prescribe the regulatory response time to the application and the regulatory deadline for sending the requested information. Failure to comply with the deadline = failure to comply with KPI = potential deductions from the salary or dismissal.
Do not expect your employees to analyze their work and draw appropriate conclusions! Just think for them and set the framework in which they should work.
Problem: the manager forgot about the client
For example, in the summer we received a fairly decent order - for 65 km of armature. The manager in a telephone conversation promised to send information on the price and delivery to the mail. Then he hung up and forgot about the client. He did not send anything, did not call anymore. A large order went to someone from the competition.
Another example that happened in the off-season, when managers have plenty of time. The client asked to send samples - if he likes them, he will make a good order. After the samples were sent to him (if they were sent at all, I cannot verify this), the manager forgot about the customer. Get feedback is not interesting. We sit, wait until he turns.
And if he ordered samples in several places, he liked ours, but he stupidly confused and called the competitors, believing that he was calling us? Is it possible? Maybe! We were so called, confusing with our competitors.
What are we doing? We state in the regulations that every active transaction in CRM should have an actual task. Control over the presence of the task rests with the manager. Tasks are also created automatically based on the funnel stage where the transaction is located. Now the task will remind of the client, and its absence or non-fulfillment means that the manager has not completed the KPI.
Problem: managers do not need product usage photos and reviews
From the very beginning, when I came to work for the company, I said that I had to ask the clients for permission to photograph the building sites and get feedback. Even bought a camera specifically for this. But, apparently, the managers believe that I need this for the development of the site, and not for them. For the first 8 months of work, I visited "as many" 4 objects. And "whole" feedback was requested three times (one received).
But after talking with some customer who wants to see examples of applications, managers ask, "do we have pictures of the use of our products there". And where will they come from if you have not worked in this direction? And even at this moment, the manager is not able to think that it’s time to start photographing objects.
What are we doing? We state in the regulations that we must ask each client for permission to photograph our products in action (or ask to send photos). Failure to comply with this clause = KPI failure. And for reviews - a request for a review CRM sends to the client automatically upon successful completion of the transaction. Here the manager doesn't even need to do anything.
Problem: the goods are sent to the client, and he is not even aware of
If we send a small order to a client in another city, then, as a rule, we do it by transport companies.
One of the managers, for example, reports the track number in the form of a screenshot, without even telling on which site to check the movement of cargo.
Consider one of the examples. The manager found the correspondence with the client, clicked "Answer" and simply attached a screenshot without accompanying it with any text.
What did it look like from the client? For some reason, the old correspondence comes to him, and he could not even notice the attached screenshot file. And what if he received an e-mail with the following text: "Your order has been sent. You can track it on the site by such and such a track number". Everything is clear, there are no questions. And really you can not just think about the banal convenience for the client? The fact that it is easier for him to go to the site from the letter and copy-paste the track number from the letter, and not to enter the 16-character number from the screenshot manually.
As a result, a few days later, when the order was already in the client's city, he asked us what was there with the shipment. I tried to explain to the manager why he, in this case, is wrong. In response, I heard "well, if the client is stupid ...".
Maybe the author of the article is stupid, but it seems to me that if your client does not know that his order has been waiting for him for a long time, then the stupid is not a client at all ...
What are we doing? We prescribe in the regulations a template for an informational message about sending an order, and we add the template itself to CRM. The manager can send the desired text directly from the transaction in CRM.
How our innovations will affect sales will be clear at the end of the construction season. Suppose that in two months of work on the new system, sales plans have been fulfilled, but this is not an indicator. This assessment can be given only for the period from May to August inclusive. During these months, according to the plan, we must sell no less than in the whole of last year.
But some progress is already noticeable:
- Incoming requests are no longer ignored.
- "Open" several new regions. In particular, the manager, who claimed that it was impossible to sell to the south, he himself made the first sale in the history of the company in Crimea.
- For the first month we received 8 reviews (all positive).
- There was at least some semblance of work with objections (but we still need to work on this, in terms of the introduction of scripts).
- They do not forget about the client after the incoming call and more or less quickly send him the requested information.
Will this solve all the problems?
Of course not! The introduction of regulations and CRM will not raise the desire to sell in your managers and will not make you think about the happiness of the client.
Inadequate responses to customers occur even after we started working in a new way. For example, an employee of a small construction company called and asked to calculate the amount of reinforcement on the foundation. After the call, she sent the size of the foundation plan.
So the manager is not enough to answer her almost a day, but also a completely inappropriate question. A person who wants to know how many valves he needs to order is asked about the same thing.
No regulations will force the sales department employee to listen to the client more attentively, read his letters carefully. The same manager failed the check from Yandex.Market, because he listened to a question from a secret buyer and answered not at all what was needed.
What can help in this case (besides replacing the manager, of course)? Permanent control and work on the bugs! It is not enough to tell managers what they should do - you need to listen to calls, read correspondence. This can be done either by a specially hired employee or by the head of the sales department.
Или эконом-вариант - при поступлении входящей заявки CRM может отправлять клиенту сообщение с e-mail руководителя и предложением писать ему, если заказчик остался чем-то недоволен. Так вы сможете получать обратную связь от разочарованных клиентов и исправлять эти ошибки в будущем.
Разочарованный клиент в этом случае становится вашим бесплатным тайным покупателем. Кроме того, он может выплеснуть свой негатив не на отзовиках, а в письме, которое увидите только вы.
Для чего эта статья?
Уверен, собственники и руководители бизнеса читают блог "Текстерры". First of all, the article is designed for them. I hope that at least someone will make these examples look differently at their sales department, be more attentive to requests and work on the service.
Yes, not everyone can afford, for example, free delivery to the customer. But everyone can carefully read the letters and give customers answers to their questions.
Everyone can call the customer after delivery and ask if everything is normal, if he is happy with everything. It costs nothing. We have introduced this practice in the regulations and this is reflected in a grateful response from the client. People like such a sign of attention.
I think everyone understands that a satisfied customer is not one sale, but also repeated sales, as well as recommendations to friends and acquaintances.
A lost client is not only a waste of a click on contextual advertising, but also a loss of potential repeat sales.
I will end with an example from my friends (also the production of building materials). When the only manager went on vacation, the marketer herself accepted the application. Speaking with one of the superintendents, she heard the following: “A few years ago I left a request on your website, so no one called me. I would never contact you if the customer did not insist on your company.
And how many construction sites did he have in a few years? How many times did he buy building materials until he got a customer who insisted on the company that caused the negative? The question ... Here it is, the price of the ignored application ...