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Fifty-one percent of the items automotive aftermarket manufacturers submitted to a study of trading partners' data had no corresponding data in their resellers' files. Conducted by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, the study attempted to match items for part number, reseller price, product description, UPC code, and minimum order quantity, and found that the lack of corresponding data is costing manufacturers an average of 1 percent of sales and distributors an average of .75 percent of sales. The annual loss to the industry amounts to $1.7 billion. Participating companies included Gates Corporation, Advance Auto Parts, NAPA, and Dana Automotive Brake Parts, and their resellers.
Full study can be downloaded at http://www.aceconline.org/techwp.html
Creative sales recognition
Recognizing high-achieving salespeople and support staff doesn't have to be expensive. One IBM executive used the company's "Thanks" award. This allowed an employee to shop on the IBM intranet for a gift of between $25 and $50 for another employee who had helped out on a critical sale or project. Employees could receive up to four awards a year and give out six. The IBM executive also had individuals to whom she reported present sales awards, emphasizing that the company'not just the division'recognized the contribution. At another company, top sales reps received business cards that designated them as members of an elite, high-performing sales club.
Article at http://www.salesandmarketing.com/smm/pitch/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1935570
Customer service first with logistics firms
Thirty-three percent of logistics executives surveyed by ShipNow, Inc., said customer service was the main reason they planned to improve parcel shipping, in spite of pressures on costs and ROI. According to the company, major parcel shippers have an on-time delivery failure rate of 1 to 1.5 percent. Parcel shipping had become a strategic function to 77 percent of the executives surveyed, with 84 percent planning to increase their investment in logistics and 79 percent seeing increased sales in the coming year. Only 23 percent of the respondents said that cost control was the reason they planned to improve parcel shipping. Thirty-three percent of those surveyed expected to recapture their investment in less than 12 months and 28 percent expected to recoup their investment within 9 months.
CRM cautionary tales
According to one source, 55 to 75 percent of CRM implementations initially fail. General Motors Acceptance Corporation's commercial mortgage division struggled with this after it asked a consulting firm to help it implement a CRM system. The consultants not only failed to distinguish between different types of customers and their knowledge of a given loan, but also set the system up to mimic the customer service division's functional silos. That meant that customers had to understand the division's internal structure well enough to negotiate the complex automated phone system the consultants also installed. When the system came online, 99 percent of callers were dialing "O" to reach an operator. The division finally straightened things out, but not before its competition was using customer dissatisfaction as a marketing weapon against it.
Full article on GMAC and other companies at http://www.contextmag.com/magazine/setMagazineMain.asp (Click on story Companies Are from Mars, Customers Are from Venus)
Keys to SFA success
The most successful salesforce automation systems will combine the traditional contact management and reminder features with new features that emphasis sales effectiveness as opposed to sales management. One example of this is social networking software, which analyzes all the data on a company's servers, including e-mail and instant messages, to provide salespeople with introductions to