CRM For Puppets!


We love to bring you stories of innovative ways a CRM system can help any type of business – including not for profit organisations. Take Spare Parts Puppet Theatre.

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre (SPPT) are Australia’s champions for puppet theatre.
SPPT present five seasons a year at their home theatre in Fremantle, nurture the art form through our School of Puppetry and Emergent training program – FirstHand, perform in Festivals, corporate and community events and tour extensively through regional Western Australia and the world.

They were founded in 1981 by Artistic Director Peter L Wilson, writer Cathryn Robinson and designer Beverley Campbell-Jackson, as part of an artist-in-residency program initiated by the WA Institute of Technology (now Curtin University of Technology). From 1997 – 2001, SPPT was under the artistic direction of Noriko Nishimoto.

SPPT are now lead by an outstanding team with their award winning Artistic Director Philip Mitchell and Associate Director Michael Barlow. After 30 years of operation, the Company has developed a national and international reputation having performed in China, USA, Korea, Singapore, Japan, Czech Republic and most recently in France.


SPPT required a system to manage their clients and automate internal processes. These processes were mainly in the areas of:
1. Managing marketing campaigns
2. Managing school workshops
3. Managing Sales force automation – automatic quotes generation
4. Managing grants and philanthropic activities
5. Managing the different client and staff categories (schools, donors, volunteers, tutors)
6. Automating workflow (automatically notifying the relevant tutor when a workshop is entered into the system)
7. Managing staff contracts and other documentation

The Solution

The CRM system was configured from the front end to manage all the items listed above.
Existing contacts that were stored in excel sheets and outlook were imported into the system to create a central repository.
Custom reports were created to handle all the above items as well as:
1. VIP lists
2. Donor lists
3. Adopt a puppet members – These are people who wish to ‘adopt a puppet’ for a  year by providing a contribution to SPPT.

The CRM solution implemented by Sankhya Consultants resulted in the following benefits to SPPT:
1. Time savings by automating marketing activities and tracking marketing campaigns
2. Time savings by having a central system to manage workshops and having integrated workflow to automatically inform tutors of the workshop details so that they can prepare materials
3. Time savings in generating quotes by automating the process
4. Efficient handling of grant applications and philanthropic activities
5. Automatic generation of reports and lists for management – time savings and increased accuracy in not having to compile these manually.
6. Having a central repository to manage all types of clients and staff and their associated contracts and documentation.

Future Enhancements

The next stage is to provide Google Calendar integration to synchronise activities and tasks.  We also plan to include  SMS integration and a web-to-lead form so leads can be captured directly from their website.


CRM is Now the Best Friend of Sales


Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is today’s name for what every successful shop owner has known throughout the ages – that meeting each customer at the door with a handshake and a smile, knowing their names, and what they want to buy is how you make sales. Inspire loyalty and bring buyers back. Social networks have extended that smile and a virtual handshake ten thousand fold; and new mobile applications are enabling CRM on every form of smart device.

Gartner predicts an exceptional growth rate of 500% by 2014 for mobile CRM. One of the key drivers for this growth has been the hiring of more and more remote workers by small business and large corporations alike. Companies are discovering that worker productivity goes up when work can be done at anytime and from anywhere on mobile platforms.

A new benchmark report from the Aberdeen Group concludes that, “While not all companies deploy sales mobility, those that do, outperform those that do not,” and today, there are many ways to go mobile.

A recent article noted that today there are 110 CRM applications in the Apple App Store and 47 in the Android Store. A survey by IFS and IDC of 450 C-level executives worldwide voted CRM as the most wanted mobile business app on company wish lists. 31% of firms see CRM as the mobile app that would most significantly impact their business. Mobile CRM puts real-time customer data, inventory, follow up and Internet lead tools in hand, anywhere.

Would You Buy a Used Car from this App?

A1 Software Group has just announced the release of its newest app for the iPhone, Salesman’s Best Friend CRM, which boasts an innovative search option for inventory and customers. The app allows sales reps to sort customers, based on their buying needs, and the company’s real time inventory. It allows users to set appointments and save them directly to their iPhone calendar, and the salesperson can even email or call a client directly from the app.

This app is particularly well suited to the automotive industry where sales reps often have a customer who is looking for a specific vehicle that is not in stock at a particular dealership. With Salesman’s Best Friend, the list of every vehicle that clients are currently looking to purchase is cross-referenced with a real time inventory. When any new vehicle is added to the inventory and becomes available, the search feature narrows down potential customers looking for that vehicle or similar vehicles, so salespeople never miss a lead.

The app supports both English and Spanish, includes international measurements and currency and allows the salesperson to have a personal backup of client information on their mobile. The app has no advertisements and no subscription fees. A1 Software Group is currently working on an Android and iPad version.

By Leslie McCreath – Inside CRM

photo credit: Kaptain Kobold via photopin cc


Using CRM Software to Increase Sales


How CRM can help you plan, achieve and manage your sales better

No sales, no business. It’s as simple as that. Finding new leads, negotiation, customer acquisition, post-sales support and sales planning are all too important to leave to chance. Using the appropriate customer relationship management (CRM) software can help you make the most of your customer data and help your salespeople do better. Even in very small companies, using CRM software to coordinate sales can bring big dividends.

How can CRM help the sales function?

  • Customer Data in one place. Sales teams spend too much time putting together customer data stored in different locations. CRM software lets people access data on customers’ past purchases, behaviour, preferences, usage as well as demographic and contact information quickly. Regularly updating this data ensures that sales teams do not have to scramble for information at the last-minute before a call or a meeting.
  • Qualifying Leads. Not every lead converts into a sale. So the question is: how do you improve the ratio? CRM software can track past performance and identify metrics, for example, past purchase value or demographic indicators such as income or age, that indicate which leads are ‘hot’ and which are not. This allows you to devote more attention to the best opportunities.
  • Cross-Selling. With better and more updated knowledge of customer behavior and preferences, salespeople have a higher chance of re-selling or up-selling to existing customers.
  • Manage Cash Flow. All businesses and especially small- to mid-sized ones find predicting and managing cash flow one of their biggest challenges. Using CRM software gives businesses a clearer picture of the sales pipeline. How many leads exist? Which are likely to convert to a sale? CRM helps you answer these questions.
  • Team Management. You can more easily track your team’s activities. CRM lets you see who is performing well and who needs help. It can also simplify bonus calculations by giving detailed reports on sales. More importantly, because everyone has access to the same data, teams can avoid mistakes, oversights and delays.
  • Future Planning. Modern CRM systems provide for detailed reporting, including the ability to link sales results with different inputs such as campaign spends, customer research scores or sales staff employed. This can help businesses analyse the cause of both success and failure, and plan better for future rounds of sales activity.



Sales Conference Insights


Here are some great tips for planning a successful Sales Conference from Greg Donlan (The Sales Coach).  Greg is a highly respected and renowned Sales Consultant in Australia and has helped hundreds of Australian companies increase their revenue through improved sales processes.

We are thrilled to have Greg as one of our CRM clients. Enjoy the wonderful insights he has to offer.

Sales Conference Insights

Top 5 Benefits Of CRM Sales Automation You Might Be Missing

Before evaluating the right CRM solution for sales force automation, it is important that you realise that only a productive sales force can improve your company’s profitability. The right CRM solutions can ensure an increase in the velocity of a company’s sales cycle and at the same time it can also help ensure that all sales bottle necks are eliminated. At the same time, the right solution can also help improve the efficiency of your sales team.
Today, every sales force team has to face new challenges including higher degree of competition and more dynamic deals as well as customers with high number of demands. Sales force automation plays a pivotal role in achieving success and the right CRM solution can do much to:
  • Streamline sales cycles.
  • Drive much higher close rates.
  • Improve customer service.
1.Managing Sales Territory
Tracking sales territory and lead routing are the bulwarks on which to build efficiency into a sales organization. Instead of using the conventional spread sheet and obsolete software it makes more sense to use a good CRM lead management to allow you to better manage leads as well as prospects from the time of initial capture till the sale is closed. CRM solutions can do this with higher efficiency and greater integrity.
  • Automation of lead processing and better management of sales territory eliminates drilling for individual records and helps to save time and money as well as energy.
  • Leads can be assigned on the basis of proper business rules which you have already set. This will eliminate conflict over ownership of sales territory and leads.
  • Instantaneous email notifications can help the sales rep to follow up with their customers quickly and in doing so will improve service quality and ensure higher number of closed deals.
2. Managing opportunity and tracking competitors
For a company to achieve success it must manage and also take advantage of every sales opportunity that comes its way. CRM solutions can provide the company with a number of benefits including:
  • Taking advantage of greater number of sales opportunities and maximizing Return on Investment by showing your company every opportunity and not having to rely solely on aggregate lists.
  • Tracking competitors helps you learn which deals have been lost and which were won. This kind of intelligence will help in educating the sales force.
  • Sales reps can find out about discounts and pricing rules that are specific to customers.
  • Better response to a sales enquiry and better chance of driving return sales and making customers stay loyal to you.
  • Keep track of progress of each customer transaction from time of first contact to the time the sales is closed.
3. Forecasting
A good CRM solution can also give your sales team more teeth by providing them with tools to help make more accurate forecasts. This allows the sales force to make:
  • Calculation based forecasts based on an opportunity or quote or on existing orders.
  • Override forecasting is possible where the sales force can make their own predictions.
  • Booking as well as recurring revenue forecasting.
Forecasting allows the sales force to make their sales much more predictable. All that is required is to fine tune the forecasting methods to ensure that these are more accurate and relevant.
4. Managing Orders
Managing orders with the help of a CRM solution can help in streamlining the entire fulfillment procedure and it will also cut down on paperwork which in turn will give the sales force more time in which to concentrate on selling. At the same time, it also helps the customer receive their order in a timely manner which then boosts customer satisfaction and makes them more loyal to you over the long term.
A good CRM solution must be built around the customer and the orders and must take into account:
  • Reports
  • Dashboards
  • Customer intelligence
A good CRM solution will also allow the sales force to work their deals via a pipeline right up to the time that the sale is affected. This means that you can also get to view booked orders in the forecast and this will improve reliability and predictability as well as accuracy. The sales force will also be in a better position to turn an estimate into an order and all this can be done with a single click of the mouse button without involving any great amount of paperwork.
A good order management system will give your organization a means to access similar and latest order information. A representative from the support department will get to see the status of an order and the sales reps will know when it is time to give a follow-up call. Customers on the other hand will get to check the status of their order in a real time environment via your website or through your Customer Centre.
5. Upselling and cross selling
The tougher the competition is the more likely it is that this competition can erode your customer’s loyalty and your company’s bottom line. This is why you need to choose a CRM solution that can show you the history of your past customer orders which can then be mined to help you improve your prospects.
Sales force automation systems helps managers to analyse past sales information they can understand the customer’s demographics and order history as well as other major metrics. This can help in creating campaigns that are customer specific and highly targeted and this in turn can lead to improved revenue.
Reference: High Impact CRM – Roop Khanna