Misinformation - and missing information - is a huge business challenge for the utility sector, stifling the productivity of your sales reps.
Regardless of whether they’re pounding the pavements or conducting outbound telemarketing, it’s a problem across every sales team. This has major implications for the bottom line of any business but in the competitive utilities industry - where providers rarely get a second chance to change the minds of highly habitual consumers - lessons are learned the expensive way.
Without complete and accurate datasets, sales drip through the cracks in your processes and are gone for good, back into the pool where your competition can take a shot at reeling them in.
Streamlined sales processes depend on the ease at which salespeople can access information held centrally. But how many utilities companies can say they offer this level of connectivity across the board?
Losing customers at the last hurdle on grounds of incomplete data, inaccuracy or irregularity, is not only a waste of time and resources, but also demoralising for marketing and sales teams. While it is a challenging problem, it is fixable - but only if executives quicken the pace of their digital transformation plans.
According to Jason Glickman and Arnaud Leroi, partners at Bain’s Global Utilities practice, other industries such as banking, retail and media are already a decade into their industries’ digital transformations. While it’s clear the utilities sector has a long way to go, the immediate impetus for change lies in the huge number of sales being lost due to invalid or incomplete data - estimated to be 15-20%.
The one in five sales that slips through the net is an alarming statistic and has a huge impact on a company’s bottomline. The need for a better way of collecting and collating data for utilities is clear. Too much responsibility is currently entrusted to things which drastically drive up the margin of human error in POS data capture (such as legible handwriting!)
S.O.S: Save our sales
Each of the many moving parts of making a sale are incumbent on the sales processes being in place for either field or telesales. Without easy access to customer information, sales are lost to non-validated checks and, potentially, other external factors.
Anything that prompts the buyer to rethink their decision, i.e. calling again to ask for correct address details - causes unnecessary risk. However, if orders are taken digitally, the opportunity to correct and verify information in a much shorter time frame means the sales cycle is closed with certainty before the salesperson leaves the doorstep or finishes up on the call.
A well designed and implemented digital point-of-sale system can negate this by pushing data to internal applications which, in turn, execute all the necessary steps. These include: document verification, credit control approval, order fulfilment and account transfers.
Whether a company’s focus is on retaining existing customers or netting new ones, information and complete datasets are central to closing a sale and ensuring a positive customer engagement. Utility companies must look strategically at how digital transformation can improve their business operations, and tactically at how POS data capture accuracy can be guaranteed
To learn more about field sales software choices and how they will improve the performance of your agents in the field, please get in touch with the team:
Grace Moore/Amy Keith