Have you ever had one of those moments when you have been struggling with an issue but just couldn’t seem to make any headway with it? Then, as you discuss the problem with your colleagues, someone says something that makes it all come into focus.
That is what happened to the folks at Blasius, Inc., a full service wholesale countertop fabricator with headquarters in Vassar, MI. With six sales reps servicing clients three states, there was an ever-growing mountain of information and logistics just waiting for an elegant management solution.
“I was in a management meeting lamenting the fact that I couldn’t find the right CMS (Contact Management System) for our company,” recalls Jon Blasius, part owner of Blasius, Inc.
“I had talked to one CMS provider, who wanted $7,000 per year for enough seats to accommodate our sales force and executive team. Vicky Rupprecht, my assistant, suggested we look at JobTracker to see if we couldn’t create a CMS module in there. My partner then suggested some things we could do to tweak it and, suddenly, a light bulb went off.”
No Need For Additional Software
The solution they came up with was to create a new activity in JobTracker which they named, Sales Call. “We assign that activity to an account and assign it to a rep,” Blasius explains.
“All of our reps have iPads so they can access account information in Moraware while on the road. The rep makes the visit and records notes of the visit in Sales Call. At the same time they can put in a request for samples, literature or marketing items, which immediately shows up in the Samples and Literature report for fulfillment.”
The really great thing about this arrangement is JobTracker is already utilized company-wide, which means all of the sales activity now automatically ties into the system, and that makes it accessible to all departments. “Everything is in there to track,” explains Rupprecht.
“Our sales people can request samples on the road and it shows up on our samples department’s calendar to get those samples. If we get a sample request by phone it shows up on the sales rep’s calendar to make a sales call and deliver them. It is a communication thing. We are using it to see where we have been. We like that the sales call ties to the account in Moraware, so anybody can see who was there last and what went on.”
Improved Communication = Greater Efficiency
Rupprecht says sharing the sales reps’ calendars offers other advantages that only a two-way flow of information between the sales reps and the home office could provide.
“If there is a request for the shop to make something special, or we have to make a delivery with our truck, we put it on the installers’ schedule, so they know they are hauling something for the sales team. If we need a sink picked up and we see the sales rep is in that area, it could save us a drive across the state. When the estimator is having a hard time communicating with someone and he sees a sales rep is in the area that day, he could ask them to swing in and meet with the customer face-to-face. It’s awesome!”
According to Rupprecht, there is still much to be learned by way of feedback from the sales team to tweak the features in the Sales Call module. Indications are, however, that it’s a winner. “I thought there might be a little bit of a hesitation where the sales reps would feel we were micro-managing them,” she says. “But, everybody’s on board. It is a very useful tool.”
Here’s one way to track sales prospects in Moraware JobTracker.
Want to know more? At Moraware, we make software for countertop fabricators. CounterGo is countertop drawing, layout, and estimating software. JobTracker is scheduling software that helps you eliminate the time you waste looking for job folders. RemnantSwap is a free place to buy and sell granite remnants with fabricators near you.