Energy brokers operate in deregulated markets that allows communication in countless different formats with no centralized process. Competitors are everywhere, as barriers to entry are low, resulting in increased competition. A magic bullet that must be part of every successful broker’s operations in deregulated energy is a CRM. It is a needed tool to track and analyze all the interactions you have with your prospects, customers, suppliers & internal company communication. CRM software is a tool that centralizes, simplifies, secures, and scales customer engagement, leading to increased revenue.
Management faces a number of issues when operating in the absence of a CRM. These include:
- Failure or difficulty tracking and reconciling contracts and payments
- Missed opportunities and renewals
- Less accountability of sales staff – leading to management uncertainty
- Long turnaround times for closing sales
- Lack of collaboration amongst the team
- Stifled growth – Management spending too much time on manual tasks.
- New sales employee onboarding is lengthy and littered with obstacles
- Team motivation is next to impossible as it is difficult to identify outstanding performance or training deficiencies.
Sales staff issues
Sales executives and managers also face issues when operating in the absence of a CRM. These include:
- Sales executives that use spreadsheets to manage data, have difficulty tracking leads or following up on opportunities since the spreadsheet doesn’t proactively notify you.
- Frustration with manual activities (LOA/LOE, proposal, contract creation).
- No real-time information on the progress they have made with respect to Target vs Achievement – Quota management.
- Difficulty in customer discussions with a lack of one view at the customer level for opportunities, leads, follow-ups, notes, assignments, customer-specific activities and current deals.
- Lack of trust within the accuracy of commission statements.
So what is the best CRM?
There are a number of indispensable features for any CRM that deserves consideration in the energy brokering business. Apart from the universal fundamentals such as automated lead-to-quote-to-contract processes, and sales reports and dashboards, your CRM must have a built-in calendar. This allows you to fill schedules and track important events seamlessly.
Your CRM calendar should have a few embedded key features such as:
- Recurring tasks
- The ability to assign work to other team members
Without these features, it’s more difficult to stay on top of a prospect’s needs.
How can sparkplug, a CRM designed specifically for energy brokers help?
- Gives your team a tool for which to be accountable and help them automate mundane tasks, making them feel like they are invested in the company. After all, it’s accountability that keeps everyone on their toes!
- Creates a repeatable and sustainable process that all members of the team can follow
- Allows you to be more personable in motivating your team. Finding specific portions of a sales process that an agent is having difficulty in. Performance reviews become easier.
- Allows you to easily capture all value that was created in the event an agent leaves the company. Use of sparkplug significantly brings down the cost to a broker in terms of time/energy/money. Although sparkplug may look like an expense, it is a solid investment that helps you achieve your objectives, outsmart the competition, and grow.
- Easily keep an eye on all of sales agents to-do’s and action items for follow up. Never missing an opportunity or renewal with built-in automated notifications.
- Sparkplug makes managing quotas for agents and cutting monthly commission checks easy! Allows you to bring more agents onboard without having to add back office staff.
- Capture the interest of customers who are increasingly sophisticated and ignoring the old methods of marketing and selling to them.
Is your team dropping balls? CRM software helps you prioritize the most promising and important deals, assign leads as they come in, and set up automated reminders for follow-ups. Staying on top of things ensures that important prospects don’t slip away.
Need more visibility into your performance? sparkplug reports let you review your team’s sales numbers, pipeline, and activities. Compare actual sales to quotas and easily pull up your sales history, lead volume, and the common traits of stalled deals.