An end to paperwork?

Switching to digital lead management and quotation tools is not only cutting the time installers spend on paperwork but helping them to win business, according Elliot Martin, sales and marketing director of south west retailer MPS.

Homeowner and end-user expectation has changed; people rightly expect a higher level of professionalism. Being able to draw on information about jobs from quotes to appointments, to worked jobs, from the moment you pick up the phone or they walk into the salesroom, doesn’t just save time but creates a far better impression of your business.

We signed up to EVA, the Emplas Virtual Assistant, earlier this year. A few months in and it’s become a cornerstone of not just MPS’s lead management strategy but also a key general administration tool.

We had been using Sage, which is really an accountancy tool but we were trying to force it to do stuff that it wasn’t really designed to do, and didn’t really give us the visibility that we were looking for, so we switched to EVA.

It was initially about lead management but has become much more of a general tool because it also allows you manage the flow of work through the business and, if you have teams operating from different locations, they can all access it and see exactly what’s going on.

That allows us to work more effectively and deliver a better customer experience.

Accessed through Emplas’s online portal, installers can log-on from any PC, laptop, tablet or mobile phone, to access a secure quoting and order processing system – and track those orders in real-time.

What we have found useful and helpful in generating sales is the price generator tool, which we have added to our website. We decided that we wanted to be more effective at capturing business out of office hours by making it easier for customers to build a better understanding of the options available to them.

The price generator tool allows our retail customers to do that, giving them an indicative cost, out of office hours. We then drop them a line back and it’s generated a high volume of leads.

This also automatically uploads and registers the enquiry to the EVA lead management tool. It’s designed to give retailers full visibility of exactly where the lead is from initial enquiry, quotation, and ultimately through to conversion into business and completion.

We know exactly where we are all of the time. That’s advantageous in that we can see straight away where a job is, how it’s progressed, plus pull in the documentation relating to that job whenever or wherever we are – in the office, or on site. You simply log-in form any browser.

We colour code jobs, which makes it very easy to get an overview of where we are, also allowing us to also track where each of those leads have come from.
We also use EVA’s Quotation Pack, software, which creates detailed and professional quotes in a matter of minutes, pulling in relevant certification, accreditations and product specifications from minimal data input.

It links in with the lead management software so quotes go straight onto the system but it also allows you to turn a quote round very quickly.

You specify the requirement, the design and then it pulls in everything for you – our terms of business, our memberships of professional bodies, the drawings, it gives the consumer 15 or so pages – it’s an almost complete schedule of work.

What we’re doing through EVA, especially through the quotation software and the lead management tools, is to bring control and visibility to lead management and our internal process, which makes that interface with the customer far more joined-up and professional – that’s key to winning business.