Sally Farrow, General Manager of Para Mobility, shares how data has empowered their sales team and business to change the lives and experiences for their customers.
It’s our job to help make life easier for our customers, not more difficult. Their lives are complex enough as it is.
They are the parents of children with disabilities and the carers of people with a disability or the ageing and less mobile. They are navigating their way through the health and disability systems, managing relationships with an array of stakeholders and organisations including funding bodies, insurance agencies, occupational therapists and home and aged care providers. Finding the most effective solution for their loved ones is a process often fraught with challenges.
The Assistive Technology Para Mobility supplies to help people move around safely and independently is part of this solution. It can empower and change lives.
But getting the right equipment to the right person in the most efficient and cost effective way requires a lot of information to be assembled and integrated.
Which means data is absolutely key to us being able to create meaningful solutions.
With it, our sales team is empowered to streamline processes, mitigate challenges and make life easier for our customers. Data is all the rich material we can work with to succeed in making our customer experience the very best it can be.
There’s nothing worse than a customer calling and a staff member having to go and ask another employee what was discussed in the last call. We call this “meerkatting” – when team members are constantly popping their heads up to check with another team member about something or follow up a piece of information. It might be cute on the African savannah but it’s totally inefficient in a Sales and Customer Service environment.
Listening carefully and getting accurate information from the get go is crucial. Our sales team ask the right questions from the very first interaction so things don’t get unnecessarily complicated or derailed further down the track. Every conversation is logged, every piece of relevant data is recorded. It’s a big ask of our salespeople but they know from experience how much that vigilance matters. We never want a customer – or a potential customer – to have to deliver a piece of information more than once.
The challenge is that no two customer circumstances are the same, each customers’ needs are unique and importantly, it’s the unique details that we need to capture to ensure that we offer the customer the right mobility solution.
Nurturing that high level of internal efficiency is an important part of my role as General Manager because it’s critical to maintaining profitability. We haven’t put up our prices in many years because we believe the vulnerable people and communities who need our equipment should be able to afford it. So in order to keep prices down, we have to work smarter. And data, properly managed, allows us to do exactly that. No meerkatting required!
When I started at Para Mobility nearly 4 years ago, we did a whiteboard session to see exactly how many systems were being used and how many times data was being replicated. The goal was to reduce those replications and nail down one system that could collect and integrate all the relevant data.
By implementing a Salesforce CRM platform we were able to refine one source of truth and do away completely with paper files, old MYOB programs, spreadsheets, and folders filled with business cards. Not only does it improve the quality of our interactions with customers, it allows us to work with our manufacturers to forecast accurately and meet demand. Implementing a Salesforce CRM presented a major shift in strategy that’s also allowed us to grow by being able to track interactions with customers and continually build insight into their needs and preferences.
Yes, that growth helps build profit and we are very customer focused, as we know there are plenty of people out there whose quality of life could be hugely improved by the equipment we offer. With it they could drive a car, go shopping, navigate their own home and neighbourhood more easily, and with our Accessible Pool Hoist they could get in and out of a pool. Our team knows that reaching them means another effective solution for that customer and the opportunity to change a life for the better, and that’s what really drives us.
Moreover, having a best-in-class CRM system is an effective way to attract talent and means our onboarding process is extremely efficient. For a business of our size to use a platform like Salesforce is an exciting prospect for many employees. Our team often talks about how proud they are to be working with such a system and what an impact it has on their ability to help customers.
The combination of solutions-focused, emotionally intelligent, resilient and empathetic salespeople with meticulous data collection and integrated applications has proven to be an incredibly powerful one. We’re looking forward to building on it further with automation from Pardot, Sales Cloud and future plans for NPS and Live Chat.
For customers in most sales contexts, getting a follow up call from a salesperson can be a bit of drag. It’s not always a call they want to take. In our business, however, we’ve discovered that customers welcome that follow up. Indeed, they often thank us for following up with them. Why? Because it’s one thing on their usually very long to-do list that they then don’t have to worry about. They also love sharing how happy they are with their equipment and how it enables their lives.
That’s a pretty unique situation and goes a long way to showing just how complicated the lives of our customers often are. Acquiring Assistive Technology can be an emotionally charged process. With high quality interactions and the right data, properly used, we can reduce frustration and stress and ensure our customers get the equipment that best meets their needs. Data puts our customer first every time and keeps them there.
For more essential sales insights and tips on using data in the sales process, download the 50 Pro Sales Tips for 2020 ebook.