Skynamo makes the backroom stuff easy so the sales team can focus on selling!
“I think everybody should use Skynamo. I was thinking that even with my friends, I would like to put my friends on a call cycle, so I don’t miss out,” jokes Yvette Rowland, national sales support manager at Profumi D’Italia. The company, a family-owned business that is the exclusive importer and distributor in South Africa of Bottega wines and spirits, among others, has been using Skynamo for almost three years, and is delighted with the results.
“We also import and distribute the Voga brand, and we’ve just recently started with Santo Stefano, which is a Russian apple bubbly brand which we’re also distributors for. So it’s quite a different range of products,” says Yvette.
Products are distributed to restaurants and liquor stores across the country from the big chains right down to smaller, independent bottle stores. Yvette’s team is made up 12 salespeople on the road, one telesales-person, and one administrator, and they are spread across Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban.
Yvette says when she started with the company three years ago, they were already subscribers to Skynamo. “But they weren’t really using it to its full potential,” she notes. “They had two users on the system. And the only person who was using it was the admin person.”
One of Yvette’s main functions when she started at the company was to implement Skynamo and get the sales team running more efficiently. “The team was running around a little like headless chickens, just calling randomly on customers, and they would focus on the customers that gave them regular business.”
Yvette’s previous experience was in the vehicle tracking industry, so she had an understanding of how the GPS tracking would work on Skynamo. In her previous company, they had also used the Microsoft Dynamics system for CRM. “But it was a very complicated system,” she says. “They have a lot of reports, but it’s complicated to implement and the staff didn’t really buy into it.
“The contrast, using Skynamo, is like day and night,” she says. “Everything that was difficult on Microsoft Dynamics was just so easy on Skynamo. What also made it easy to use was the Skynamo call centre. At the beginning, I would phone them maybe five times a day, and they would always be happy to help me. The support is brilliant.”
When they started, Yvette told the sales reps they’d be using Skynamo to do their sales reports – the activity they like the least. “At first they said they didn’t have time,” she says, “because I think they didn’t understand how to use the system. But Skynamo runs fantastic free training sessions, so everyone went on those, and when they saw that it literally takes two minutes to do a report on a customer, they changed their minds.”
The app on their cell phones has improved their ordering and delivering processes enormously, she says. “Previously they would go into a store, and then have to WhatsApp or email the orders when they left – which meant typing out all of that information: the quantities and the product name, and they’re all Italian… If you are dealing with a query, how do you begin to find that? You’d have to go through all the WhatsApps and emails.
“Now, everything is at the touch of a button. While you’re in the customer’s profile, with one click you add the order or the quote and everything is pre-set on the system. So all you need to add is the quantity and in which region the delivery must come from – where the warehouse is. So it takes less than a minute to do an order.
"Because things happen faster, there’s more time in the day to see more customers. Before Skynamo, the reps were seeing at most eight people a day. Now I’ll easily see 11 to 14 visits a day. It’s phenomenal."
“And now the order is pulled through automatically because we have an integrated system. So invoicing happens immediately, and it goes straight to the warehouse – all within minutes – and the warehouse has the instruction to deliver.
“Because things happen faster, there’s more time in the day to see more customers. Before Skynamo, the reps were seeing at most eight people a day. Now I’ll easily see 11 to 14 visits a day. It’s phenomenal.”
Yvette says this is also partly due to the improved ability to plan routes and get to under-served areas. “There were clients in certain areas that weren’t buying from us,” she says. “They had purchased from us in the past, but had become dormant accounts on the system. And the reps actually didn’t even know that they existed.
“Now, when you look on Skynamo on the map, you can see little dots of every customer in your vicinity. Your own customers or maybe other reps’ customers. So if you’re in a certain area you can see that there are 15 clients in close proximity, for example, and if you work hard, you can see them all before noon, because it’s in a concentrated area. So from a productivity perspective, it’s been really, really helpful.”
Admin time too, has been saved – at least 90 minutes a day per rep, says Yvette. And it’s so much easier to communicate and follow up on queries now that no one needs to trawl through emails and WhatsApps to find the trail of what’s been happening with a particular customer. “Now everything is streamlined onto one platform, so it’s a one-stop shop,” she says. “We also save anything important onto a customer’s profile – like an important email where a price is confirmed, for example. So if you go into a customer, all the information is there, so there’s no miscommunication.”
She warns against using Skynamo to micro-manage staff, saying that instead it can be a great motivational tool. “So I always say to them, when they write their report, they must’nt think it’s so I can micro-manage them. The report is written in case somebody else goes to the same customer tomorrow – it just gives an overview of what you’ve done on that day.”
“And if a rep leaves along the way, when the next person comes, they can just click on the history, and browse through the information to see where you are with this customer, what have you discussed and who have you spoken to.
“It keeps them professional and accountable. If a customer says they promised something, I can go and look on the system and see what was discussed.”
She adds that Skynamo has really helped through the pandemic – even during the hard lockdown. “Everybody was stuck at home, and we weren’t allowed to leave our houses, and of course the liquor stores were closed, but we used that opportunity to do more personal interactions with clients, since we couldn’t go to their stores. We could just touch base with them, and once we could visit the stores, it was a great help. It really made us improve our customer relationship management all round.”
Finally, she reiterates just how efficient and effective the call centre is. “They have a wonderful follow-up system,” she says. “You log a call, and get a ticket immediately, and you are told it’s been allocated to a certain person – and you always get a response. They’ll phone you or email you, and then you get an email to say the ticket has been closed off or been resolved. And even if you phone them and sort things out telephonically, they reply on the email with notes on what was discussed. Not once, in all the time I’ve used it, has the system failed. It really has been brilliant.”
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