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CRM in Action: Centralize Valuable Sales Data
For the rest of the May 2003 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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The Challenge: Bring customer data into a central repository to improve sale processes and forecasting. The Solution: J.E. Shireling Inc., a distributor of industrial fasteners, recently deployed Selltis to manage its sales team's complex sales and communication processes. J.E. Shireling's customers are large organizations with multiple locations and its sales representatives typically interact with multiple people at each company when making a sale. Prior to implementing Selltis's sales force automation software, each of Shireling's sales agents maintained a personal file of contacts and activities. Often each sales rep was using his own contact management applications. Data was unmanageable, with no centralized place to store customer information. Sales team members were unable to effectively communicate and collaborate on sales opportunities. "We essentially had islands of information that simply weren't manageable in our team-selling environment. We needed to bring it all together, making all data available to anyone, at any time," says Rick Poljan, president of J.E. Shireling. "Selltis solved the problem immediately. We were up and running on the system in less than 60 days, and saw results in just two weeks." The Payoff: Shireling collects information throughout the sales cycle and using Selltis centralizes that information to seamlessly link contacts with product details, follow-up activities, and recent communications. Shireling stores all the data in a personalized database that transparently synchronizes with a central server, so resources can be instantly accessed and shared across the organization. "One of the key features for us was Selltis's comprehensive reporting capabilities, which lets us see things we just couldn't see before," Poljan says. "We can track all activity, study trends, and generate opportunity reports." According to Poljan, one of the main benefits is that all data can be exported directly to Microsoft Excel for further analysis; that integration with Excel, and with Microsoft Outlook, allows Shireling to strengthen its sales processes while continuing to use the systems it already knows. Selltis has "dramatically improved sales and productivity," Shireling says.
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