Project approach to change the sales management system

    Reading a habr, I see many excellent articles written from a specialist position. Far fewer articles are published describing management experience at the junction of “people” and it. In my last article, I described my experience preparing data for analytic CRM. Based on the content of the comments to it, on New Year's holidays I got the idea that readers of the Habr might be interested in an article about why a tool such as analytical CRM might be needed, and what it can give to a particular leader.

    Situation description

    In 2011, I decided to try myself as a development director in a company engaged in the wholesale of auto parts.
    A few words about yourself
    Since 2007 I have been engaged in sales consulting. In 2009, my friends suggested that I take up crisis management at a cable plant in the Nizhny Novgorod Region. For four years, I managed to increase revenue by 7.8 times, increase return on sales from 8 to 19% and get tax preferences from the regional government.

    My task was to increase sales by at least a third during the year. So I put myself in the "valley of death."
    I had 3 options:
    • let it be as it is;
    • engage in micromanagement;
    • will be engaged in improving sales management processes.

    At the same time, I understood that the typical approach of "manual management" of the relationship between managers and clients will not lead me to success. I needed a tool that allowed:
    • track tasks
    • keep statistics;
    • effectively maintain a balance of efforts of employees between tasks to sell, knock out receivables and maintain good personal contact with customers.

    Gross mistakes made in this area would lead to either a drop in sales or an increase in accounts receivable. I did not want to plunge into the routine, solving pressing problems and forming the inevitable hemorrhoid of the consequences of momentary decisions. Such an approach would lead me to focus on anything but results.
    In general, the work assumed a sufficiently large list of management objects:
    • customer relationship;
    • range;
    • Brands
    • staff.

    I decided to start with a customer relationship. At the same time, from the point of view of lean production, to get the result, it was important for me to save my time and time of employees. After all, the business processes of sales in the company, in fact, were in-line production. I decided to make the transition from situational management to standard schemes, scripts that provide the necessary and sufficient results. Or at least introduce the idea of ​​this into the heads of employees. I needed to implement a project for the transition from spontaneous sales management to meaningful management.
    All information about clients, at the time of my going to work, as expected, was scattered and lost in the bins of fixed employees.
    I didn’t want to constantly collect data about clients and their potential from numerous tables, notes, notebooks, and then spend considerable time discussing and promising employees to double-check and collect the necessary information again.
    Also, I was not pleased with the prospect of engaging exclusively in micromanagement. I assumed that such an approach would not bring me significant results.
    The specifics of the business was that the market was clear to the company. The composition and structure of the customer base were known. The number of regular customers was more than one hundred per manager. In fact, each client had a procurement schedule. The task was to increase their share in customer purchases.

    Project planning

    For myself, I decided to create 3 documents: the charter of the project, the schedule of the stages of the project, the budget of the project.
    Project Charter Project
    Desire to build an effective and automated sales management system.
    Measurable project objectives and related success criteria
    • Increase annual sales by more than 30%. The criterion is the data of shipments.
    • CRM implementation. The criterion is the ability to use information about the history of relationships with customers to make management decisions.
    • Finalized project documentation. Criterion - working documents created during the implementation of the project are collected in electronic form.

    Project Assumptions / Risks
    • Ordinary performers do not want to change anything, they are not interested in optimizing business processes. At a minimum, they do not want to learn new things, they are afraid of the process of change.
    • The unwillingness of employees to learn new things is often caused not so much by their laziness as by the fact that the result of usual actions will begin to fail if significant changes are introduced.
    • If a person processes few tasks for clients, you need to achieve a change in his behavior and only then require him to work in CRM.
    • The process of entering data into CRM should be simple, it should contain only the information necessary for work. If they perceive it as a tool for regular spam and forced data collection, then it will not cause anything but annoyance.

    Project limitations
    • Finish implementation in 6-9 months.
    • The total budget of the salary fund should not increase by more than 10% of revenue growth.
    • The amount of costs for CRM should not exceed 100 TR
    • When choosing a system, you must apply the lion's share of the effort yourself, because the end user of the system is my employees and me.
    • The speed of work in the new conditions will increase to about the previous level, not earlier than 3-4 months after the start of the changes.
    • To raise / buy a seller is expensive / long, cheaper to reduce the number of his potential mistakes.

    budget The project budget was 100 tr, the costs were planned in the 2-3 quarter.
    Budget Expenditures
    • Buying crm
    • Refinement crm
    • The cost of additional employee motivation

    The schedule of stages of the project
    For myself, I formed the following action plan for the year:
    Identify key sales performance indicators (sales revenue, distribution quality, number of new customers)January 2011
    To distinguish the dimensions and components of these indicators in the context of customers, assortment and managersJanuary 2011
    Collect, consolidate and analyze sales information for the last 3 years (by customers, assortment, managers)January-February 2011
    Identify priority customers and determine the criteria for quality work with themFebruary 2011
    Build a performance monitoring system (analytical CRM)February - March 2011
    To establish work on the operational management of employees (setting goals, assistance in organizing work, motivation, control)January - April 2011
    Conduct systematic work to improve performanceMarch - December 2011
    Automate a customer relationship management system by implementing CRMApril - July 2011

    I put the goal at the forefront - sales volume, decomposed into sales by managers, customers, assortment, brands, and not specific templates in the form of instructions and regulations. Since the focus of attention would shift from my result to control behavior.
    The attention of managers I focused on weekly sales. Summing up the weekly results, we discussed what could be done better. I created an environment in which, having collected statistics, it would be possible to see what behavioral elements are effective and, thereby, concentrate only on what brings the result (how often to communicate with the client, determine what is really valuable for the client, etc. .).
    For work, I formed only five updated standards:
    • shipping regulations;
    • accounts receivable regulations;
    • product presentation script;
    • cross-sales script;
    • script to work with objections.

    Necessary tools

    I needed a tool to maintain discipline, which would allow me to engage in direct duties, and not correct the mistakes of managers.
    It was necessary to automate the work with the database of contacts, appeals, fix the customer's points of rejection of specific offers, understand the characteristics of customer segments, build a reminder system for sellers. This was important because customer information was duplicated, and managers did not record changes, in other words, it was impossible to say how much their understanding of customer needs corresponded to reality.
    I wanted to develop relationships with customers, stimulating sales with marketing shares to expand the list of purchased items. I needed a tool to analyze the customer’s experience with the company, allowing me to remember and understand the whole history of communication with the client, work with complaints, and personalize offers.

    Go / No-Go Decision

    A month after going to work, it became clear to me that the usual approach to sales would not bring about a qualitative change in the situation — sales were essentially incoming. Employees themselves could not answer the question of how it is possible to influence the procurement of customers.
    The micromanagement approach was also no good - there is no point in managing an inefficient routine.
    As for the process approach, it is good when the external environment is stable and understandable. I had to act in a new environment. I didn’t want to provoke resistance of the staff by bureaucratic direction “not quite there”.
    For myself, I realized that my original idea has the right to life - you need to identify consumer segments, define an assortment matrix for them, direct the efforts of employees to implement the plan for each client. And to manage this, CRM is needed.

    Project start

    A working group was formed, consisting of a business analyst, development director (that is, me), head of the IT department.
    The analysis and assessment of existing business processes of sales (transaction, shipping, pre-sale, work with accounts receivable, etc.) was carried out, reference books and customer information forms were unified, customer data was consolidated.

    Development of analytical CRM

    I cleared and consolidated the initial customer data in the Deductor program. I experimented with different types of analysis in relation to customers and assortment. As a result, I determined for myself the typical customer segments and the product line for them. Then I realized what data is missing for me to complete the model. My next step was to test the developed hypotheses. I myself talked with some clients and then formulated tasks for employees.
    A little later, a forecast model was created in the Deductor, based on which sales plans were set for priority customers.

    System selection and setup

    An analysis of market offers and the selection of a CRM system were carried out. Based on the average cost of licenses 10-15 TR it was decided to focus on open source and spend the budget on its completion. None of the paid CRMs, in my subjective opinion, made it possible to take into account the specifics of the wholesale company.
    Shortlisted vtiger, sugarcrm and openerp.
    For me, when evaluating CRM, the following parameters were important:
    • localization;
    • simplicity of the interface (usability by sellers);
    • functional logic;
    • the ability to configure the means of CRM itself;
    • the cost of an hour of refinement;
    • user community availability.

    As a result, vtiger crm 5.3 was selected.
    The idea of ​​improvements was simple. It was necessary for CRM to accumulate information about customers for making decisions, to be able to assign decisions to a group of clients / user groups, to fix the execution of decisions made, and, accordingly, there should be interconnections between them for generating analytical reports. Forms for assigning tasks to customers should be tied to the schedule of shipments.
    According to a fundamentally new CRM functionality are:
    • form of work with the schedule of shipments to customers;
    • form of work with the schedule of contacts with customers;
    • the form for fulfilling the plan for customers (to fill out this form, input data from 1C, processed in the Deductor, was used).

    The remaining improvements were local in nature. By the way, approximately 70% of the improvements required intervention in the program code.

    System training, preparation and launch

    A lot of time was taken from us by the transfer of information to the system. Often, employees simply could not fully describe their clients in writing. The biggest difficulties arose when filling out the “customer portrait” questionnaire.
    There were also many questions about client-based plans. However, after close collaboration and visits to customers, employees recognized that the numbers were real. An additional help in expanding the product line was sales representatives. Their task was to collect relevant information on the assortment of customers and targeted product presentations.
    The process of learning how to work in the system did not take much time - we developed a training program for managers and a CRM FAQ in advance.
    From the very beginning, I obliged employees to use vtiger, and further thwarted any attempts to refuse to use it. At first we conducted training, then I showed the nuances. And later set a strict standard for the completeness and deadline for entering information. The rules for working with clients were simple - if the actual value did not correspond to the plan by more than 20%, and there were no recorded objective reasons in CRM, the manager’s shipments did not go into his general plan.


    The main result - in 2011, revenue grew by 38%.
    • A single system was introduced that automates sales business processes (maintaining customer information, monitoring the implementation of a sales plan, automating the work of sales representatives, etc.).
    • All sales business processes have become transparent. To work on the entire life cycle of the client (potential, discrete, loyal), criteria for quality work were developed. The system made it possible to track which actions of employees lead to results and which do not.
    • Clients ceased to depend on managers; in case of illness of a particular person, his planned contacts were transferred to another manager. The statistics system made it possible to more evenly distribute the work among managers, their quality of work began to grow.
    • The schedule built into the system did not let us forget about the purpose of the contact. Its integration into the client profile allowed updating information on the state of affairs.
    • The frequency of customer orders increased, the average order amount increased.
    • Reducing the time to search for information allowed managers to engage in the promotion of priority products / brands, which led to additional sales.
    • I got rid of the need to summarize data from 1s to reporting in excel.
    • By setting time limits for entering information (the employee must report on the results of the work a week before 2:00 p.m. Friday), I got timely monitoring of work for the week and the opportunity to quickly discuss with the employees what specifically leads us to success.

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