“Sorry Harsha, I haven’t been able to get back to you this week. It has been a week in Documentation Hell!‘, John (one of our customers) apologized to me over the phone.
“What happened John?”, I probed.
“It is the same thing as always” responded John “We have had a new growth spurt from our existing customers on one side, my sales has under delivered already on new sales, when I go to meet the good ones for rate increases or growth they beat me up bad! I think that is why they say that CEO’s job is bad.”
“Slow down John. Let us take this on one at a time. Just explain this to me one at a time please. Maybe we can help make your life easier.
“Okay. No problems.
- Sales: We have a growth spurt with our existing customers and a slow down of new customers. I want to drive the sales team harder to get new, big customers. I have tried three CRM solutions and ALL of them have failed. Now we are merging spreadsheets from everyone. I have no true visibility into the sales pipeline and no forecast for my board. I am driving blind!
- Delivery: Account management is a burning issue. Whenever I meet my customers, they tell me that their information about the work done is different than the spreadsheet my team has given me.
- Visibility: On top of this IT tells me we have the best of breed systems on the floor. But when it comes to running the company I only have to hear it from different versions of spreadsheets. Then in my weekly call the data is all different when my management team gives me updates!
I am frustrated!”
“I can understand John”, I tried to calm him down. “Good news is that this is no different from many growing companies we work with. We saw so many ‘Spreadsheet Hells’ in our management consulting assignments that we come up with a structured approach of getting you out of this hell!
- Sales: Rain makers are hard to rein in! They do anything to beat putting data into the systems. Now if you want them to give you visibility you must simplify the sales data gathering and give them support to add data!
- Delivery: The main reason you and your customers are not in agreement at the end of the year because both of you are using two separate systems that don’t talk to one another throughout the year. The fix to the problem is to make the customer use the same measurement and system that you use.
- Visibility: IT is right! They give the best systems money can buy to the floor but you don’t need that data. What you need is a direct aggregation of the work done on a daily basis (without getting tampered/filtered by anyone else outside the system). Your management through the ranks should see the same information at different levels of granularity. Then your operations meeting will be better and you don’t your managers make a career out of information gathering and hording :)!
The key is a unified system that brings customers, sales, management, and the floor on the same platform and provide different views into the work that is happening in it!”
“You are absolutely right! But how do I get a unified product like this that can bring everyone in my organization together. I already have an ERP/AMS system????”
“Just join the Club!”, I said in jest and added, “We have created a product called ox zion, (A Enterprise Social Networking Platform) just for this purpose. Why don’t you drop by our office in Cleveland and we can talk about how it can fit your needs.” Click here to learn more…
About Vantage Agora:
Vantage Agora (VA) is a global provider of back-office solutions, social enterprise networks software products for operations excellence along with consulting services for companies in the insurance, finance, and healthcare sectors. As a SSAE 16 Type II audited company,Vantage Agora utilizes advanced data processing and quality control systems on a secured network to ensure efficient, comprehensive management of back-office functions such as accounting, financial and administrative tasks. Founded in 2004, Vantage Agora has offices in Cleveland and Dallas.