As a business owner you put your trust in the people you hire to be honest and dependable in their role. You see them as a representation of your company, and want to ensure consistency in their performance.
Standard hiring practices such as background checks, drug tests, and references are all reliable ways for your office manager or human resources department to vet a candidate, but what happens after they are hired?
How does your business set expectations and track the performance of the people you hire? Without a defined process or system in place, it can be difficult to judge efficiency and performance success of your staff members, both in the office, or the field.
As a manager or business owner, it’s important that you set these expectations up front and follow through when it comes to holding your staff accountable for their own position.
Contact Relationship Management Systems, or CRMs, not only serve the purpose of giving you a way to organize and manage all of your departments from a top-down perspective, but also provide a way to check on your employees’ accountability in their roles.
Every Department is Responsible
In many cases, departments find themselves using different tools and programs to accomplish their specific goals, but often, this silos people into their own job functions, and discourages effective communication with others. A well implemented CRM connects your business the way spreadsheets and shared servers never can. According to EConsultancy,
“A well-implemented CRM system helps employees across departments understand their responsibilities to customers throughout the customer lifecycle and when those responsibilities aren’t met, it’s easy to identify what went wrong, where, who fell short and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Implementing a CRM that connects all of your departments also connects the people in those departments to each other – giving them the ability to see what the other is doing and how each role affects everyone in the company.
Sales teams that use a CRM in lead generation, tracking and field sales have a centralized database of information that trickles down through every department. Sales Teams can use a CRM to input Lead Information, Notes or other comments that can be referenced by the foreman or office staff later, such as,
“Dog on property is not friendly” or “Customer asked about financing options”
These notes show an attention to detail from the Sales perspective that helps other departments more effectively do their job. It also shows Management how many leads and sales a particular Field team member is actually producing, versus notes on a legal pad or on their phone, which can be difficult to verify.
Sales team members that take the time and effort to properly track lead generation and their own sales can back up their numbers and avoid commission issues or other discrepancies with your office staff later.
Project Managers with access to a CRM have all the necessary paperwork, scheduling and billing tools they need to keep a project moving on schedule. If there are changes or delays on-site, such as the need to order more materials, by logging those into the CRM, the entire team has accountability for those changes, instead of an “oh by the way” note at the end of a project.
The Project Manager can also confirm with Accounting that payments have been made, insurance forms are filed and everyone is in compliance with business standards set out by management before work begins or concludes.
Owners can see this management within the CRM and know that your project is being taken care of by a capable and dependable employee.
Office Staff can use a CRM in several ways to ensure that a project is in compliance and being properly handled from start to finish, without having to constantly be in contact with Sales or Project Managers. By using a CRM, they can see that all estimates and material orders are signed and completed, any insurance forms are submitted and approved before work begins.
Integrations with accounting software allow office staff to keep track of remaining balances and payables, so there are no issues down the line when Sales say they submitted a check, but it’s not there – a CRM provides time-stamped proof of paperwork.
Having your accounting process integrated with your CRM allows business owners instant access to Job Progress and overall company finances simply by opening your dashboard. Any issues can easily be identified and resolved, so you know where your money is at any given moment.
The ability to see your entire business from a top down perspective, with the ability to keep tabs on all of your employees can be an invaluable asset to a business owner. Tracking interactions within the CRM show commitment to a role, and to the way your business operates.
CRMs also have the added benefit of accurate reporting features, so your office staff won’t have to pull reports from several spreadsheets to provide you the information you need – you can simply open your computer or phone and have instant access to the status of a job or your entire business.
The accountability from management’s perspective isn’t just to keep an eye on their employees – by encouraging the use of a CRM application, and practicing what you preach, you set an example for the rest of your teams.
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