When the system house thefi.com first came into contact with leadtributor in 2017, it was skeptical: a software that would make sales activities transparent for the manufacturer? That sounded like monitoring. After just under two years, the company no longer wants to do without the web-based sales software. And it even won a partner award in the leadtributor category. We spoke with Reiner Stumpf, the ERP senior consultant, merchandise management, time recording at the Upper Franconian company.
The system house thefi.com works for the Big Boys. These are international software companies such as SAGE, VMware, Sophos and highly specialized providers such as Reiner SCT, the leading manufacturer of smart card readers. However, given the wide range of customers, thefi.com remains true to its principle: only include products in its portfolio whose functionality it has completely mastered. This is proven by the numerous certifications. After all, customers also need in-depth advice before and after the purchase. And this is especially important when it is not just about selling a software, but about project management. For example, setting up an ERP system, network technology and plant monitoring. Depending on requirements, one of the 19 employees takes over the processing of customer inquiries.
thefi.com is the classic provider of holistic solutions. And this since its foundation in 1992.
The problem: the many isolated systems in lead management
In the process, the system house increasingly reached its limits.
“Lead transfers from the manufacturer are very inconsistent and leads to sheer island systems”,
says Reiner Stumpf, ERP senior consultant and project manager at thefi.com. “We usually receive the leads by phone or via Outlook. The lead is recorded in the ticket system and forwarded to employees in the company”. According to Stumpf, the problem is inadequate reporting. “There is no forecast in this system and no automatic re-submission: When should a prospective customer be called back? Nobody can say that. Unless you go into the ticket system and check. This becomes particularly problematic if an employee goes on vacation or falls ill. The lead remains lying.” And that is poison for business, as we all know. Because here, as everywhere else, speed is the trump card. A further disadvantage of most ticket systems: You create a new order, mark it as “in process” or “completed”. What is missing is the status description during the sales process:
When does which customer expect a callback? Which documents still have to be sent to him? Has a draft contract already been sent? In short: What is pending? “Nobody who was not entrusted with the lead was able to tell us that,” says Reiner Stumpf.
The solution: A software that monitors lead status
And then Reiner SCT recognized the problem. And had a solution ready:
At a partner conference in 2017, the introduction of leadtributor was decided to be binding for all partners. This should make lead management more transparent.
The special feature: With the SaaS leadtributor, leads are not only distributed according to defined matching mechanisms. The processing sales partner is also required to report continuously on the status of lead processing. Anyone accessing the leadtributor user interface can see when which lead was contacted or visited, whether it has received information and what further steps are pending.
“At the beginning we were very skeptical,” recalls Reiner Stumpf. “We were actually supposed to make our processes transparent for the manufacturer and were forced, so to speak, to provide constant updates. That sounded like paternalism. But very quickly we realized: We have a lot of advantages.“ What Reiner Stumpf particularly liked:
Firstly, the leads are offered according to very precise criteria: regional proximity to the interested party and qualification of the system house. Then, sales partners who have free resources can pick a lead. Up to three leads at once.
“If you don’t report on the progress of lead processing, you can’t ‘pick’ a new one for the time being. I think this is very fair to us sales partners. That way, no one can fill their pipeline even if they don’t have time to process the leads. The fact that leadtributor automatically reminds the sales partner when an appointment is due – a callback, a draft contract, or the sending of a product brochure – means that interested parties are processed more quickly. Since then, the cooperation with Reiner SCT has been even more cooperative. “It would be great if all manufacturers with whom we have entered into a partnership were to use the same easy-to-use, clearly structured platform. It would make our work much easier.
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