Itec, South Africa’s third largest office automation and telecommunications solutions provider uses GoldMine, the customer relationship management (CRM) application from FrontRange Solutions, to monitor and manage sales and marketing activities in 23 of its regional dealerships.
“We go to market through dealerships, and resellers and to start with, most had their own ways of tracking their sales and marketing activities,” says Cathy Box, Itec’s GoldMine administrator and communications officer.
“Some even had their own copy of GoldMine, with some being on different versions and using it in different ways, all of which made it difficult to get consistent reports on what sales and marketing activities were taking place within a particular branch or across the entire organisation.
“So we centralised GoldMine at our head office and all our dealerships, particularly, log in via a terminal server and use the same database. What’s great about GoldMine is that we can curtain each dealer’s information, so that the security and privacy of their information is assured. This was also done in such a way that sales executives within the same branch are not able to see each others’ information.
“Having GoldMine centralised means that we can draw the reports that are most useful to us at any time that we want, and we can set up the reports in such a way as to enable us to compare apples with apples among the dealerships and resellers. Specifically, it allows us to see how many prospects are being added and the general status of the pipeline.
“At the same time, it enables me to provide consistent and appropriate levels of support to each dealership so that they always have the tools they need. I can then see how pro-actively they are using the system.”
The sales executives from each branch use the solution to log calls and appointments with customers and track documentation sent to customers – enabling them to steadily strengthen customer relationships over time.
“It’s an extremely cost effective system, when you consider that it gives us all the functionality we’ll ever need for a substantial database without our having to incur the expense of the kinds of systems used by large corporates,” Box says.
“Also, because it is so user friendly, new sales executives pick it up very quickly and become productive much faster than would otherwise be the case. They also have access to the complete history of a customer, they can therefore provide continuity for the customer. All of which provides a good return on investment in the programme.
“In addition, being able to run it through the terminal server makes it even more affordable, because it lowers the cost of maintenance and management of the system.
FrontRange Solutions (SA) product manager for Africa, Paul Bornhutter, says that CRM capability is fast moving from being a competitive edge to an integral part of every organisation. “There’s really no way an organisation without CRM can hope to compete against its peers if they do have CRM.
“Certain technologies just make too much of a difference in a customer’s life and if you can’t offer them that difference, they have no reason to do business with you.
“As the Itec Group’s use of GoldMine demonstrates, having to have CRM doesn’t mean that you must to bankrupt yourself to get it. If you pick the right system, your return on investment will be rapid and significant and your total cost of ownership will be minimal.”