Field Management Ireland

“Although our field sales team were doing brilliantly, our processes were holding us back – we needed a system that would help us become more efficient and provide a better service to our clients. We would definitely recommend PSI to other businesses working in field sales. It’s easy to use, and all of the ‘heavy lifting’ is performed at the backend so your field agents can get on with their jobs – selling more subscriptions.”

Overview

Founded in 1995, FMI is the leading provider of outsourced sales solutions to business across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. They currently employ 60 full time employees at their head office, and maintain a network supplying 100 field sales professionals to Electric Ireland, driving door-to-door sales of their energy services.

The Problem

  • Post-sale paperwork delivered by post, adding significant delays to sales times
  • Slow processing of new sales by accounts team
  • Data on paper sign-up forms frequently captured or transcribed incorrectly

FMI’s field sales representatives are responsible for visiting houses across Ireland, encouraging householders to switch energy providers. At the start of the Electric Ireland contract, assigning jobs to the field reps was relatively easy – they were each issued a batch of contacts records each morning, and they would work their way through the list.

The problems began once the client had signed the paperwork agreeing to a change of electricity provider. Many of the reps would send the paperwork by post, adding at least a day to the process as head office waited for the completed forms to be returned. There were similar delays if the field agent faxed the paperwork through after 4pm because it simply would not be processed by the accounts team at head office until the following day.

These delays were further compounded when it cam to processing handwritten paperwork. The head office team, led by Kevin Teers, found that the data captured on the sign-up forms was frequently captured or transcribed incorrectly;

“Something as simple as indistinct handwriting caused us major problems when processing paperwork. We then had to expend even more time and energy trying to chase up the correct information – a needless waste of time and money.”

“So although our field sales team were doing brilliantly, our processes were holding us back – we needed a system that would help us become more efficient and provide a better service to our clients.”

The Solution

PSI’s Fusion Pulse mobile app allows the FMI head office to send contact lists direct to field sales operatives’ tablet/smartphone. The same app is then used to capture the customer’s data and uploaded directly to Fusion Core – the main accounts system at head office.

“We were instantly able to do away with the legacy paper-based system and all the associated problems. Which was great for me particularly – before PSI was deployed I had to process the physical paperwork”.

Outcomes

  • Instant upload of data means the transfer of utilities provider can be complete in 30 mins, compared to 24+ hours
  • Improved communication time between FMI head office and field agents
  • Significant reduction in data errors resulting from paper form filing

The move to instant data capture using PSI has greatly increased the efficiency of back office operations for the Electric Ireland account. Instant upload of data means that agents can begin the transfer of utilities provider in as little as thirty minutes, greatly improving the service they can offer to clients. In the event that there is a problem locally, head office can deploy updated work plans within a few minutes. There is never any wasted days for the field agents, who can adjust their schedule accordingly. The PSI system has also helped to reduce the instances of data errors. By having field agents collect data on site, and enter it directly into the backend systems, the margin for error has been reduced.

“We don’t have any more problems reading our field agent’s handwriting for starters. So there’s much less chance of it being transcribed incorrectly.”

Exploiting mobile technologies has had some unexpected benefits too:

“We had an agent accused of fraudulent activity recently, and PSI allowed us to provide a conclusive resolution. Using the geotagging features built into the PSI mobile client helped us prove where the agent in question was at the time of the alleged infringement. Happily we were able to clear him of any wrongdoing, because we managed to avoid upsetting a client and firing a valuable employee.”

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Eir

“The PSI platform was an instant improvement, not only are our reps better equipped, but I now have instant insight into sales. I can see which bundles are selling well, which regions are hitting their targets and the progress of orders. All in real time. Ultimately using PSI has helped us reduce the cost of each sale.”

Overview

Founded in 1999, Eir is Ireland’s largest telecommunications operator. Their extensive portfolio of includes mobile, landline and broadband telecoms services for residential and business customers.

Working in partnership with an outsourced marketing and sales organisation, Eir operate a network of 70 field sales reps, across six geographic regions.

The Problem

  • Paper forms took 24 to 48 hours to arrive back at head office
  • Customers had to be re-verified by phone once the paperwork arrived at head office
  • Sales process was time intensive, costly and prone to error

The field sales team is responsible for converting leads and signing up new residential customers to one of Eir’s telecoms packages. The six regional managers would assign a batch of leads to their team, and each rep would make a house call to complete the relevant paperwork.

The paper-based application was relatively quick to complete while on site, but the process slowed to a crawl as soon as the rep left the customer’s house. Forms took 24 to 48 hours to arrive back at head office — an unacceptable delay for customers expecting their new telecoms service to begin quickly.

There were further complications when it came to processing direct debit details. Although customers completed the relevant details as part of the sign-up process, they would have to be re-verified by phone once the paperwork arrived at head office. The entire process was time intensive, costly and prone to error as information was entered into Eir Billing, the contract management platform used to track customer contracts and accounts.

The Solution

Deciding that the paper-based system was preventing the field sales team from achieving maximum productivity, a management decision was taken to replace it with an electronic equivalent — PSI. Issued with Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets, giving Eir reps instant access to survey and sales tools.

Outcomes

  • Connection lead time reduced from 48+ hours to 25 minutes
  • Significant reduction in data error rates
  • Significant reduction in customer outreach due to missing or incorrect data
  • Customers are better protected due to payment details being collected digitally
  • 15-20% increase in daily targets

The PSI toolkit helped Eir achieve their initial goal — to speed up the customer onboarding process — and delivered a number of additional benefits in the process. Data is more accurate and more transparent, allowing the sales team to monitor performance and enact improvements in real time.

The Eir field sales team is also better equipped to meet the needs of their customers, thanks to instant access to training materials and documentation. If they have a 3G mobile signal, they can upskill themselves, improving their chances of closing more deals.


“The PSI platform was an instant improvement. Not only are our reps better equipped, but I now have instant insight into sales. I can see which bundles are selling well, which regions are hitting their targets and the progress of orders. All in real time. The simplicity of the system should not be ignored either. The PSI interface is simple, data is easily accessible, and the customer sign-up wizard straightforward. This means that our reps can give more of their attention to clients, further smoothing the sales process and raising the quality of service we give them.”

– Mark Higgins, Head of Field & Affiliate Sales

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Ogi

“PSI enables us to complete a quick sale in 10-15 mins from start to finish. This probably would have taken a couple of days in the previous out-of-the-box solution.”

– Alexander Breverton, Telesales Manager

Overview

In 2020 Ogi – a ISP and managed IT services company – secured investment to deliver an ambitious rollout of full fibre broadband across South Wales.

A year later, they were preparing to scale rapidly to transform Wales’ digital landscape – and to keep up the momentum, their newly hired sales teams would need new tools and processes to support them. They also needed a system that would integrate their field, tele and web sales into a streamlined and consistent customer sales journey.

The Requirements

  • Needed a robust solution that would integrate field, tele and web sales
  • Needed to roll it out at breakneck speed
  • Customer journey needed to be tailored to the local area
  • Processes had to be as tight and automated as possible so bottlenecks didn’t occur

Ogi’s mission is to take fibre to the door of houses for the first time, in areas of Wales that are typically fibre to the cabinet, with telephone lines connecting homes to a local fibre box.

Alexander Breverton, Telesales Manager at Ogi, says: “The more people we can reach, the more we can get connected, and the more we can educate on the difference between fibre to the cabinet and fibre to the door and the impact that can make, not just from a cost perspective but also to future-proof the technology and make it greener.

“The company’s goals are to connect as many customers as possible to the new infrastructure, and to support local communities that have been passed over by other providers.”

It was important to move fast on this greenfield opportunity but that was not the only part of the task that was new.

A new product and sales team

“Historically we were resellers,” says Sally-Anne Skinner, Chief Revenue Officer at Ogi. “Whereas now we are selling our own product, from our own infrastructure, on our own network.”

Ogi were hiring at a fast pace and working with a number of third parties – it would be very easy for opportunities to fall through the cracks. It was essential that they had a sales solution that could capture data and automate workflows seamlessly.

They would need a solution that worked across field sales, tele sales and web sales. These are three distinct sales processes with their own customer journey but they would all need to feed into a single, automated backend system.

Crucially, Ogi wanted to put all the right information in their rep’s hands at the right time. They would need to be able to book installations at point of sale, so they could wrap up the sale there and then, and automate everything else all the way to its final destination.

The Solution

In the first quarter of 2021, Ogi needed to make a decision about their new system so that their teams could put the pedal to the floor from August.

They chose us for a few key reasons.

Domain expertise

Ogi had existing technical resource in-house but the selling processes within the business were less defined. PSI brought both the technical expertise that a robust solution would require, as well as years of sales-process focus that would enable Ogi to hit the ground running.

Speed and sophistication

An out-of-the-box solution wouldn’t provide the flexibility that Ogi’s teams would need. Nor would it integrate field, tele and web sales in the way they had envisioned. Some of the key leaders at Ogi had worked with very sophisticated solutions before, but these had been built gradually over time, often from the ground up, learning by trial and error. Ogi couldn’t afford to wait the years this approach would require.

Our solution only needed to be configured – not built – so it would be much faster to set up. And it would have a sophistication equal to the kind of solution Ogi could have painstakingly put together in house. Except ours was already tried, tested and matured.

Fully equipped in the field

The solution Ogi chose used our Fusion platform, along with Core and Touchstone. This would enable managers to create automated, optimised routes and campaigns for field reps. Their field reps would have rich data to work with out in the field, and they’d be able to perform contactless sales with very little manual provisioning. Managers would also be able to assess, review and re-strategise with the aid of using our real time reporting.

The technical details

Using our full suite of products – Fusion Core, Pulse, and Touchstone – Ogi were able to create a seamless end-to-end sales journey that encompassed all three sales channels that they operate in.

It would have to be API orientated and, while it would need a number of complex integrations on the back end, it would need to be seriously simple and effortless for their new sales teams to work with – providing them with a set of customer journeys that could work anywhere at anytime, all feeding into the same processes, and all going into a single, automated backend system.

In the configuration process, engagement would be as important as the delivery. We worked very closely with Ogi to ensure that the system was integrated in all the ways it needed to be – pulling in their existing data, such as their addresses and product data, and pushing out to their sales systems, payment processor and payment gateway, along with other 3rd party validations and appointment scheduling.

The integrations would facilitate sales to complete like a line of dominoes falling with a single flick. They would allow the creation of points on a map so Ogi could create automated routes and campaigns for their reps. It would also enable the instant booking of an installation time and date upon sale.

Finally they would create sales orders and workflows, help to perform modulus checks on bank account numbers, and push relevant information out to Ogi’s third party payment partners.

Outcomes

“The sales processes we had in the business before PSI were not fit for purpose,” says Sally-Anne.  “We would not have been able to go out to market and deliver the scale that we have and the penetration that we have without significant amounts of customer dissatisfaction and pain and resources.”

Alexander agrees. “If we were still using that solution, we wouldn’t have had the success we have had, it’s safe to say.”

Cutting days down to minutes

“PSI enables us to complete a quick sale in 10-15 mins from start to finish,” says Alexander. “This probably would have taken a couple of days in our previous out-of-the-box solution.”

Sophisticated out of the gate

Sally-Anne says, ‘What PSI have delivered is an efficient customer process where you can complete an order on the spot: an installation date is given to the customer, terms and conditions, an order summary and boom, job done.’

“It’s very unusual to go out to market, as a start-up business, with a sophisticated automated sales process. This is what we have with PSI.”

What's Next?

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