Training companies could be heading for a logistical crisis this Christmas unless they plan for the inevitable seasonal commotion that ensues from both clients and staff.
That’s the stark warning from leading Yorkshire businessman Steve Hull, whose company Sawfish Software has developed a specialist workflow management solution, SalesFlow, which can help training companies to cope with the chaotic time leading up to, and during, the festive season.
Hull said: “The run-up to Christmas is undoubtedly a very difficult time in the training sector and can really exacerbate the struggles of working in such a competitive industry. Employees are stressed and desperate for a break, clients are demanding and expect results, and everyone is under even more pressure to conform to strict deadlines and cement relationships.
“Because SalesFlow is specifically designed to aid a sales team in closing as much business as possible within a defined time frame it can be of particular use in helping training firms to deal with all their enquiries and maintain a pro-active level of service in this remarkably busy period.”
Sawfish Software’s SalesFlow solution is a Software-as-a-Service product, accessed and hosted via the web. This ensures it is easily accessible from any internet browser and means that customer accounts can be updated while out of the office and sales can progress more quickly, making the most efficient use of time for both the client and the sales person.
In addition, the data capture facility within SalesFlow allows staff to access up to the minute information on any colleague’s account, making it easier for them to progress enquiries in-spite of the last minute holiday bookings and increased staff illnesses that often occur in the run-up to Christmas.
Other features within the system, including the automatic creation of ‘to do’ lists, which are made in accordance with the company’s own best practice and feature deadline dates and alerts, encourage staff to finalise business within a specific time frame, which can be particularly helpful when productivity rates decline as people start getting into the Christmas spirit.
Management teams can also use the system to track actual sales against targets and forecasts, ensuring they can tackle any snagging points and support team members in reaching their targets before the year ends.
Hull added: “Many sales teams will feel they are only just back up to speed after the summer holidays, but at the same time the countdown to Christmas has already begun. This is a short window of opportunity for training companies to convert sales leads and SalesFlow creates the necessary momentum to do so.
“SalesFlow can focus each member of staff on working towards their individual and team targets. It helps maintain best practices, enabling on time delivery. By helping a team hit targets and earn bonuses, SalesFlow is proving very popular with both sales people and their managers.
“The Customer Relationship Management element of SalesFlow assists a sales team in continual building of their relationship with each client. The end of the year is a time when clients may assess their business and how to take it forward. Therefore, it is vital that client relationships are strong and there is no temptation to look for a new supplier for the New Year.”