A shorter version of the following article was published as a Focus Feature in the Jan/Feb 2014 issue of ‘THE PORTAL‘ magazine (The Journal of the International Association of Movers).
You spent months looking for the right software program for your moving business, painstakingly allocated a budget to pay for it, spent weeks or even months in implementation, paid for training & customization only to have it rejected by your sales and dispatch staff. The new software was labeled as “complex”, “unnecessary” and worse, “not useful in booking moves.”
Chances are you have experienced resistance like that from your team first hand, and if not, you have likely heard about one too many failed software projects from your friends in the industry.
There are several software programs in the market that are made for movers with a multitude of features and flexible pricing options. They all help you book moves, dispatch crews & trucks and bill your clients. So how do you know which software program is right for you?
Let’s say you did your due diligence and you are confident that you picked the software program that is just right for your needs. Does that mean your staff will accept it too? One way to ensure adoption is by making its use compulsory for your staff, but will it be effective? A good software program must provide reports with the big data that the owners and managers need to make decisions. But wait. What about the little data that your staff must input first? If your staff doesn’t truly buy into the new software program, what are the chances they will enter all the little data that is needed to make the big data meaningful? You may be familiar with the equation that is famous in software and all technology; Garbage-In = Garbage-Out.
Buying the right software program and fostering software adoption are two entirely different challenges. However, they do go hand-in-hand in getting you the return you will expect on your collective investment of time, efforts & money.
As a recognized CRM expert providing vertical CRM solutions in the mobility & moving industries, we are here to answer difficult questions like the ones above in this article and share tips that will help foster adoption. We work with owners, managers, CIOs, CEOs and end-users alike in companies of all sizes globally. We know what works for them and what doesn’t. We will address your software challenges in this article by entering into the minds of the end-users (your team) and give you deeper insights into what they are thinking, how you can help them, and what you must demand from your software program.
“I’d rather be booking moves.”
That’s super! You are blessed with sales reps that are unstoppable; they have a fire in their belly to bring in new business. When your sales reps say they’d rather be bookings moves what they really mean is they want to do the work that leads to bookings.
Let’s imagine Mr. Joe Bloe just called your company seeking a move estimate. Does your sales rep have to switch back and forth between several disparate tools, such as your team calendar to check availability, take notes on move size, use their calculator to work out estimates and then enter data in the software program all with Mr. Bloe on the phone? If so, then what is it that your moving software is doing for your sales rep, if anything?
Also what value are you getting out of it as the owner or manager? Do you know your sales pipeline? What about your sales conversion ratios? What about neglected leads and lost business? Doing sales without a good CRM system is sort of like driving without a map on a highway that has no traffic signs to show the distance to your destination at regular intervals, with no alerts warning you about closed roads and no guidance on detours. Sure you will eventually get there, but the question is could you get there sooner and more efficiently?
“The program is too complex. I cannot find what I want, when I want it.”
When your staff tells you the system is too complex it could mean one of two things; One: they didn’t get sufficient training on the product or Two: the software is indeed too complex. How do you tell the difference?
When your staff tells you the program is too complex (but insufficient training is the real reason) look for small clues: they say there are “too many” features, or they don’t know where to “start”. Training issues can be resolved easily with additional training from the vendor. Look for a vendor who will not limit you on the amount of training your staff will need. Every user is different. Some learn quickly and others need more time. Insufficient training is really not a major issue; you’d rather have to deal with a training problem than live with the consequences of betting on the wrong horse.
A truly complex software is however an entirely different beast. Let’s say our Mr. Joe Bloe calls back a week after getting an estimate from your company. Does your rep have to navigate to a contacts screen hidden deep in some menu and then search for Mr. Bloe by his full name? What if they can’t find him by name, can they search by his phone number? Are they able to instantly see important data such as his move date, past conversations, or how Mr. Bloe heard about your company, or what they quoted him last week? Are they able to see all emails sent to Mr. Bloe next to his move information?
How is the handover from sales to operations? Are your Ops users able to take over seamlessly after the sales rep books a move? Are they able to see the conversations and notes just as easily? Can they monitor availability of workers and trucks days or weeks out in the future? Are they able to quickly print move contracts and job summaries for the crew? Is your operations team able to upload and download important move documents within the program or do they use Google Docs? What about closing out completed jobs? Are they able to record actual hours worked and any additional charges so that you can do your job costing and run payroll reports?
A good program will have a clean, intuitive user interface making it simple for even non-savvy users to find what they need when they need it. A complex program is the exact opposite. So how do you know where in the spectrum your system lies? Ask your sales rep to create a new lead and a move estimate. Your rep should be able to create a new lead from whichever screen they are working on in the system and complete the estimate in two or at the most three clicks.
Sales reps are ‘people’ people (by nature and by training). They need to be talking to clients and managing client relationships in order to book more moves. They’d rather not be maneuvering through a maze of menus and screens, and filling out long forms in the system.Similarly, ask your Ops team a simple question such as what is Mr. Bloe’s move date or what does availability look like for next Wednesday? Sit back and observe how quickly they are able to retrieve that information for you and from where.
You get the idea… You want to look for a system that makes creating new leads, generating estimates, dispatching and billing a snap.
“But it doesn’t help me book more moves”
Well, shouldn’t it? Your sales reps are battling in the trenches making calls and doing negotiations day after day. If your software isn’t helping them close deals quicker then it’s a red flag. And while your sales reps know how much business they closed they most likely can’t quantify how much is in the pipeline or precisely why they couldn’t win Mr. Bloe’s move. It’s not that your sales reps don’t care about the mistakes they may have made in Mr. Bloe’s sales engagement, it’s just that they don’t know they are making them. This is where CRM comes in.
Does your software program provide the tools they need to separate cold leads from qualified warm & hot leads (opportunities) or does it simply label every new lead as a ‘move’ or ‘job’ regardless of whether the lead has been qualified or tagged with an estimated dollar amount? Is it a breeze to enter, update and retrieve customer information? Does it provide the tools your reps need to do their follow ups?
Sure, data entry sucks. But it is imperative that as the owner or manager you must know which sources of leads are working for you, which sales processes and what relationships are bringing you the highest conversion rates. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) brings this crucial big data to your fingertips.
Does your software provide real CRM capabilities or does it merely let you capture customer data in move forms and help manage moves? A CRM system is not an address book or a database that merely replaces your spreadsheets. It is a system to manage your customer relationships and it should operate as such. In addition to generating important move and payroll reports, look for software that generates CRM reports that will actually help your sales reps book more moves and work for you in improving your company’s bottom line.
“I cannot use it when I am not on my work computer.”
In the mobility business, sales reps must take their work on the road as they conduct visuals and meet with clients. Most people occasionally have a need to work from home. What happens if they cannot access the system when on the road or from home? Details get lost in the delay, or worse yet you might lose business. This sucks for you, your staff and your bottom line.When your rep is away from work the system should be out there with them, accessible from their iPad, android tablet, smart phone, or from their laptop at home. They shouldn’t have to wait until they return to work to send out an estimate or book a move.
You’ve probably heard the terms “in the cloud” or “SaaS (Software as a Service),” or even “hosted web application” but maybe you don’t have a clear idea what that can mean for your moving software needs. First, let’s begin by defining that almost surreal term, “in the cloud.” In the cloud, in terms of software, means that everything you need to run your moving business is stored in one integrated program securely on the Internet. It’s “hosted” by the service provider on the Web. What it means to you is you and your team can access the software from anywhere as long as you can connect to the Internet through a web browser.
In addition to being truly cloud-based, any good moving software must also have native IOS and Android apps at minimum. You’ll want mobile visual survey apps that make capturing move inventory and taking pictures a snap so that your estimator can record the information and move on to the next survey. The mobile survey app must support conducting visuals without an internet connection as wireless data plans can quickly get expensive if rolled out to all mobile devices used for estimating. If your estimators are still using cube sheets to do visual surveys then you know what your system is lacking.
“I cannot do both international and domestic moves in the same system.”
If you undertake both international and domestic moves but your software only supports one or the other then you end up with two systems with one of them being a manual process. It also means you cannot get a holistic view of your business across your service portfolios. Consider the type of moves you undertake today and your plans to diversify in the foreseeable future as you look for a scalable software solution. Complete moving software is one that will draw upon its core CRM capabilities to enable sales growth and expand vertically to provide useful back end functionality for both domestic and international moves alike.
The only Cloud-based
Moving CRM Software that
your team will actually use.
Movegistics CRM is the next generation cloud-based CRM software built exclusively for international and domestic moving businesses. Movers across the world love the powerful yet intuitive and user-friendly workflow in Movegistics CRM.
A good moving software with real CRM features will make a good team great and help you grow your moving business, not merely run it. If your staff is neglecting your current software or if you are not getting the returns you have been expecting it’s time to consider Movegistics CRM. You’ll start seeing measurable results in just 30 days or sooner.
You’ll get powerful features like:
- Automatic lead capture (be the first responder)
- Powerful auto pricing tool (generate estimates rapidly, minimize human errors)
- Native iPad and Android apps for onsite visual surveys (breeze through your surveys)
- Customizable templates (customs quotes, move documents, email templates to engage leads)
- One complete feature set for all your local, interstate, international and commercial moving needs
- Dispatching (assign workers, trucks & materials, close-out jobs and optimize your operations with supply/demand visibility)
- Billing (generate invoices, deposits, bills, payments) with QuickBooks integration
- Procurement (generate and approve stock requests, purchase orders)
- Payroll Reports (payroll reports for workers and sales reps, materials sold)
- Built-in Google Like Calendar (view moves, surveys, follow-ups etc. in a daily weekly or monthly view with color coding)
- Reporting & Analytics (all the big data – sales by lead source, pipeline, closed business, neglected leads, conversion ratios, lost jobs by competitor, ops reports, payroll reports and more)
- Cloud-based software (recognized by CIO Review magazine as a Top 20 Most Promising Cloud Computing Company)
- Unlimited training and unparalleled, personable product support
Inspired? Movegistics CRM schedule a live demo