Telecom business unit Gen-i is encouraging other companies to go down the hosted customer relationship management (CRM) path to boost staff productivity and save costs.
At the recent Cloud Computing Summit in Auckland, Gen-i sales operations and strategy manager Brent Eddy said the company is using cloud computing to help its 400 sales staff achieve targets.
He says it has developed powerful hosted applications to improve sales performance, and plans to develop further aspects of CRM in the cloud in future.
“Client data is no longer within our domain. It sits within the cloud in North America or anywhere else there is a satellite hub where that data may go,” says Eddy. Gen-i’s cloud provider is Salesforce.com.
Eddy says the company has built a cloud application on the salesforce platform called Sales Pipeline Forecast Management, tell salespeople how many sales they need to get commission.
“We take real time billing data and contact data. This is uploaded on a nightly basis and we put this [data] in a graph where they go on the actual sales to date.” Data is then compared with original targets.
“This gives our sales people real value because at any one time they know exactly what they need to do to see commissions. If they’re falling short of their targets the gap is visible for them and their managers,” says Eddy.
The company is using CRM to manage customers as well. “We’ve used client manager to manage as many as 30 clients. Sales people can keep abreast of their contact records. This means our conversations with clients are relevant and we’re not asking clients to repeat what they’ve told someone in the sales team six months ago.”
As a result, the company has improved its view of its customer delivery system.
“We’re using some powerful analytics to get sense of client contact maps and levels of satisfaction.”
Eddy says another “powerful application” Gen-i has created using CRM is commissioned claims.
“We’re careful not to make that appear a marketing stick, but the net effect is our sales people pay a lot of attention to their input of opportunity data into our system.”
Debt collection and procurement teams are also using case management to manage their own portfolios and activity within CRM.
In the future Gen-i wants to automate more business processes. “There are tangible business benefits from removing the cost of server processes and technologies that we can gain.”
Eddy says the cloud computing journey hasn’t always been easy for Gen-i due to migration issues off legacy systems in 2006. However, it is now saving money. “You need to make cloud computing easy for your business. Invest in staff training and uptake.”