The Notts company is one of the first to use a SMS solution created by Rocket Science, a data consultancy. Reps text direct into the HQ sales database with a unique reference code via a preprogrammed cellphone, updating the Raleigh sales database in real-time.

Raleigh reps now text orders and visits to HQ

Snapshot is a "salesforce management system" and works by texting the postcode and first three letters of a customer’s company name from a programmed-in phone number in their designated mobile phone. The received message is then recognised by bespoke software which identifies the customer and the rep via their phone number.

Raleigh’s customer database is then automatically updated with the information that the visit has taken place and any orders taken. Reps and Raleigh’s management can then access this information via an intranet site which enables them to look at the level of sales calls and revenue by individual, team, region and country on a real-time basis.

Snapshot costs about £10 000 for a typical system.

Alan Timothy, CEO at Rocket Science, said: “Snapshot is a perfect example of the power of harnessing new digital channels to provide revolutionary routes to solving age-old problems. For the sales reps it significantly reduces their paperwork, opening up more time to make calls; they can see how they are doing against target and identify quickly if their call generates a sale.

"For management this provides a fantastic route to monitor progress and better manage sales teams to ensure that they are performing as expected. Any problems can be identified quickly so they can be rectified early on in order to ensure that everything is done to ensure targets are reached, rather than waiting for the end of the month only to find that targets have not been hit.”

No doubt worryingly for some reps, Snapshot can produce ‘exception reports’, showing which reps have not yet achieved the required number of calls in a week and which reps have not achieved the amount of sales they should have at any point in the month.

On the plus side for reps, using Snapshot reduces the amount of paperwork needed to be filled in after each sales calls.

"Whilst Snapshot is likely to be very popular amongst sales managers it is not necessarily going to be quite so popular amongst reps themselves as clearly they will be under the spotlight," said Timothy.

"However, in reality it will only create a problem for those salespeople who are consistently not pulling their weight. Typically it can take at least nine months for a company to identify these people and take appropriate action, but Snapshot condenses this time significantly. However, for professional salespeople, reduced paperwork and greater understanding of how they’re doing on budget in order to improve their chances of achieving budget and therefore bonuses are tangible benefits to help them do their job."

Rocket Science

Tel: 01642 808888

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