Account Management Needs

Discrete manufacturers like Cleveland Tank share much in common with Repetitive manufacturers.  They both make physical products but the biggest  differences lie in the way Account Reps work with new and existing customers , Bid and Quote Customers on new projects typically  over a long complex sales cycle.

Cleveland , like most prospects in this segment have Account Reps that are road warriors.  An Opportunity for them is typically a Project (unique agreement)  to produce a specific custom or modified product.   For Cleveland it is to design,  engineer and produce fuel tanks for fleets of commercial equipment.  The exact quantity and frequency of orders can be defined at this early stage, but may not be, as clients will continue to re-use the product over time. 

Cleveland’s Account Reps spent a lot of time  on site with their clients ,  but  did not have an effective method to intelligently choose which clients to visit, and how often.  The decision about how to visit can be built on pending Opportunities, total sales volume and client support issues, all tracked in Salesforce.

How can we Help?
  • As projects are identified  new products will require design and engineering  specification changes and iterations. Every team in the company – Sales, Design, Engineering, even Production – needs to  collaborate.  Salesforce provides a 360 Degree view of the Account and Project to the entire company.
  • Salesforce  Opportunity Management – We will build out a well defined process that tracks each step from the identification of a project,  until the customer approves the design, OK’s samples, negotiates and signs a contract. •Using  base salesforce views we can show data regarding last visit, sales volume (assuming we are integrating with their ERP), and product mix.
  • Use base activity management and mobile experience, we will record every interaction – Calls Emails,Trip outcomes, and record next steps.
  • Mobile Experience will be key. We should be talking mobile from the first conversation – start with how reps communicate trip outcomes, understanding that most of the time the answer will be “they don’t”. (see below)
  • USING Salesforce MAPS, we can put this function on steroids!  Maps would be a game changer for these reps
  • Finally, Workflows and Approvals can help our prospects to alert and confirm trips, outcomes or Opportunities for their leads and customers.
Questions to Ask
  • Are you doing ANY CRM activities?  (Tracking Calls, etc.)  IF so, how?  (CRM, Spreadsheet, Outlook).  I bet they hate it if they do!
  • How do you decide when (and who) to Visit?  Is there any data analysis when trips are scheduled?
  • How do you report meeting outcomes?  How do you communicate next steps?  Do you need other resources to help?  (Event coordinators, category managers, etc.)
  • How much of your business is New Clients vs Existing Clients
  • How do you collaborate within the company?  (Quip, Chatter, etc.)
  • Is there any kind of analysis between Visits and Sales?