Are you still using WhatsApp for SALES?

This article gives us an insight on impact on organization using tools like WhatsApp for sales process.

Jugaad –  It is an Indian word for an approach where one knowingly chooses an option that tends to solve a problem without it being the appropriate or actual solution.

Sales is the most fundamental process in a business. Simply put: if you have sales, you have a business. In spite of the importance of sales in the success of a business, it is often seen that businesses do “jugaad” and cut corners when implementing their sales process. One outcome of this is that businesses fail to scale and grow due to ad-hocism and cost cutting in the planning and design of the sales process.

In order for any business to scale and grow it is necessary to identify and document the steps that are required to achieve predefined goals. These steps become the roadmap that team members must follow to reach their goal in the most effective way. When a roadmap is further refined over time, it becomes an established process. This is true for all business processes and is particularly true for sales.

Even when the advantages of adopting a process oriented approach are obvious, why do businesses fall into the trap of ad-hocism? Why do businesses take legal risks, financial risks and scalability risks by using streaming media tools like WhatsApp to close a sales opportunity?

There are two reasons for this:

  1. The “jugaad” mindset – when a business is willing to apply jugaad to its sales it implies that the business is ready to compromise its long term goals for short term profits; that the business is casual about its governance and diligence.

Businesses usually incorporate Jugaad mindset while selecting tools to implement business processes with the dent in mind caused due to common myths

Myth 1 – Business processes are meant for larger organizations only.

Myth 2 – Implementing business processes in a small team is an over kill of time and money

Myth 3 – Automating sales processes (or any business process in that matter) with technology is a costly affair.

This is the kind of thinking that restrict businesses to grow.

When we are driven by Jugaad the businesses succumb to free tools like WhatsApp to run business processes like sales

You may like to read – Why small team needs sales processes

You may like to read – How to benefit from sales automation

 

  1. Fear of Change – Often the effort businesses put in resisting a change is much larger than the effort for embracing it for profit. It is so strange that as businessmen, at times, we resist change so much. When businesses focus more on the disruption a change causes rather than the benefits it fetches, they resist change.

New will always disrupt old.

Good will always disrupt bad.

When we take the first step to abandon the random practices of sales with streamline processes – it is a mark of progress. A progress that is the outcome of a change.

 

WhatsApp being a common tool for messaging, has been a convenient choice for sales team to communicate. We keep telling ourselves how our customers are hooked to WhatsApp and hence is a logical choice to use it. This is perfect when it is just meant for communication. But that is no way the substitute to a step laid in the sale process.

How does sales process driven by tools like WhatsApp look like?

  • Attendance of your field force team on WhatsApp is in form of a message.
  • MoM reaches you and your clients on WhatsApp
  • New customer details are an image of the client’s visiting card. Which ends up being a contact in your and your sales team’s mobile
  • Order are booked on WhatsApp.
  • Approval of processing an order happens on WhatsApp
  • Your client’s communication is restricted to WhatsApp messages.
  • PjP and day’s reporting is in again a message in WhatsApp

There are many other steps like accounting, invoicing request, stock auditing etc. We have just taken the common few to address what it is like having WhatsApp for sales process.

Let’s understand it this way –

Wouldn’t it be good to have your office in your living room? You will save money and will be truly convenient for you. All your family and business matters will be at one place. And best of all, you can choose to manage them both at the same time. You even neutralize a lot of common expenses.

If this is so why don’t you find most of the organizations, even with small sales team, following this approach? You would have many logical replies to this.

Look at it closely and you could find the above situation similar to choosing a free tool over a business application.

 

What happens when tool like WhatsApp runs your sales process?

data loss - whatsapp for sales

  1. Your information is open – Your messages are not under your control in WhatsApp. It lacks the basic level of security that a business information demands. Imagine if your sales employee has to leave your organization, he goes with all the information in his mobile phone! All the information is in his  WhatsApp chat history!

WhatsApp does have end to end encryption of data but it is useless if someone else has the device. He can peep into any chat in WhatsApp.

  1. No insights from data – Data forms a very integral part of business intelligence. We have a client who was very happy with the sales; till he realised that the distributed sales across the geography is low. He had few locations that were performing for him but the spread of the sales was dismal. This insight was good enough to create journey plans for his sales team and increase the sales by 120%. He achieved this with his existing sales team. The only change was addition of salesMpower, an application to manage sales processes.

Businesses loses the ability to work at full potential when they fail to collect business data.  As rightly said – You can only improve things that you can measure. The kind of data mobility technology can provide is amazing. Using free tools like WhatsApp is like choosing to underperform.

  1. Adding redundancies – Businesses that understands the importance of historic data may employ someone to keep a tap of all the conversations on WhatsApp and organize it. They may even chose to get these data entries done by the sales team.

When this happens we not only add redundant work but also unconsciously say yes to a lot of non-productive activities

  • Today’s technology helps to collect seamless data on the go. Free tools don’t let us do that for business processes. When businesses get the data entry done not only it adds a recurring cost but also misses to opportunity to use the data in real time.
  • Technology eliminates lot of human errors. Data entered manually will have errors. Hence the insights delivered by that data will have flaws.
  • Business process implemented through technology is an automated process. On the other hand manual data entry will consume your time. Doing a data entry job with utmost perfection is a serious task and consumes a lot of time. It is for the business to decide where they want to focus.
  • When sales team has to enter the data we cut their selling time. This is a blunder businesses choose to do.

Does it help you visualize how cutting corners in not having a proper sales process actually costs the business!

  1. No provisions to scale up – Sales process automation will churn data and help you take informed decisions. This will in-turn help you focus on growth of your business. Sales processes needs a dry run to weed out any teething-problem. It is easier to polish the process with smaller team and then apply it to a larger one.

Free tools like WhatsApp does not let us customise anything. They do not have API for integrating with your business software. This is an important ingredient that a non-business tool would miss.

So what does it look like for a company who follows a proper business tool for implementing their sales –

  • Their attendance are time and geo stamped which cannot be rigged. There is no chance of bluffing one’s attendance.
  • The report of client meetings is organized and notifications are directed to appropriate person. Subsequent follow ups are also recorded to understand the TAT.
  • New customer details are entered and categorised. It is secure and can be accessed by authorised person only.
  • Your orders are time and geo stamped. The data against every order recorded to understand the customer’s buying pattern and to get other insights.
  • The orders are processed by the application. The processing and the delivery team are intimated.
  • Your clients get the order details like number and estimated time of delivery etc. Your client’s feedback can be captured as well.
  • PjP and other sales operations are managed and there is a clear idea on the accountability of each and every sales person with things like daily reports.

Does that sound like a progressive organization? Surely it does.

Businesses invest time and money to ingrain these processes and develop systems that employees can follow. They use technology to develop them. These systems not only smoothen up the operation but also reduces redundancies.

It is truly not difficult to understand the importance of having a proper tool for business sales. Else there is no harm in having your office, inventory and family all in the living room.

 

 

Mobile technology for managing distributed sales force

In this article we would look into how to use mobile technology to manage distributed sales force for your organization.

sales-force-automation-salesmpower-forcempower

What drives success to a distributed team of an organization?

This question may be very critical to answer and mamobility-solutions-to-drive-salesy end up turning into a manual if answered in detail. Though a general and an over simplified reply would be complying processes.

A small team of distributed field force can be managed over phone with manual reporting. Having a mandatory process that needs complying may seem an over kill. But that’s not true if you look from a business point of view. And we will explain now why we feel so.

Being the business owner or the sales head, the primary responsibility is to scale up. This approach keeps an organization in a constant growth path. One needs to be aware of the day to day processes. But being completely involved in it may keep you stranded in operations and hence losing the focus on growth.

This is where a process falls perfectly well. Today’s mobile technology is completely capable to implement a compliance process. Your on-field team needs to follow the process to complete a job in hand.

One of the challenges that a business with a small team may face is training. Thankfully the penetration of smart phones have been such that one is completely aware of the basic functionality of such devices. Such is the scenario that one is more comfortable operating a smart phone than a laptop. So the training is now restricted to only understanding the process and the way to use the mobile phone application to put that process into action.

Automation sales with mobile technology for a small team is necessary. The reason behind this is simple –

  1. When your team is small it becomes a perfect place to start implementing a process. This helps organisations to fine tune the process when the team grows big. Automating a big team directly has its own set of risks. If gone wrong may break the operations and involve financial loses.
  2. Automations can help you release a lot of your work load that can be taken care through the process. For example if it were required by you to check for the daily collection of your 10 sales men, by implementing an mobile sales-force automation you can directly see the report on your mobile. Just think if you have to spend time following up your sales men to get the report. And then structuring the report in a manner you want all by yourself. It is certainly take up more time than you plan to give it. An automation will do that for you and let you focus in what you really want to.
  3. If you are planning to scale up, it is important that you star with your current team. Automation will break certain ways that you use to follow without it. Not just your team but you as the head or business owner has to adapt it. It is also important for you to understand what kind of training is most affective for your sales team.

 

mobility-technology-form-managing-distributed-salesforce

For a large team, a field force automation is very important and very logical to understand. We have seen almost all organizations with big sales team works with a CRM. And that’s all what they have in the name of automation of sales.

We need to understand the process at one level is meant to add efficiency to the work being done. Process must be such that it accomplishes the work in hand and generates data for insight. The process is not fine-tuned if it slows the overall work in the name of data collection. The contemporary CRM adds a lot of clerical job for sales people. The sales people have to do a lot of data entry. This in-turn impacts their over-all sales time.

With our experience to install sales automation for large sales team, the best approach is to

  1. Start with the sales team of one department and then scale up to other departments. This helps to refine the installation process and speed up the installation in other departments.
  2. If there is addition of a new feature/functionality again start with one or two departments. Once streamlined then activate the feature for other department.
  3. If there are some very significant process addition it is better to simulate it over development instance with few mobile devices.

Mobile technology is quite an enabler when it comes to managing a distributed field force network of an organization. Big or small the impact of technology is significant.

We will be explaining how a simple thing like automating “attendance” into a compliance process for field force can impact your growth in business.

We would like to know your sales challenges. In case you want to know how our mobile solution can help you in managing your field force just drop your contact below and we will call you back.

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