Customer Relationship Management. The Reason why most Zimbabwean Businesses Fail in Sales

If there is one common thing among Zimbabwean businesses, it is the fact that most of the company’s Salespeople fall short on their promises early in the sales process. Think about it, how many times have you contacted an organization desperately needing a product or service that they offer, get promised that someone will revert with a Quotation only for the Quotation not to come through?

It is often frustrating considering that you will be on the buying side of the transaction and often ready to fork out your hard-earned money in exchange for the services on offer.

On diagnosing this challenge, most people tend to blame salespeople or company culture but that is not usually the case. In big companies, for example, a single salesperson will talk to at least 15 new prospects a day. If there is no proper tracking system, chances are, the salesperson will easily forget to send quotations since there wouldn’t be any system of accountability.

Further to that, the number of business owners I’ve spoken to who cry foul after a Salesperson defects to a competitors’ company with the company’s clientele is surprising. This is something I will delve deeper into on another article but for now, we want to look at the first challenge and how we can improve it particularly in the Zimbabwean Business Context.

The challenge I highlighted first is not a challenge that is unique to Zimbabwe and Zimbabwean Business alone. It’s a challenge that is as old as time itself. Back then, to rectify this challenge, people created Diaries so that they can record delicate information and store reminders.

Diaries are good but their problem is that they don’t give you reminders, which means if your people get in their office in the morning but choose to not open their diaries, they will not remember to contact those clients who wanted to be contacted in the morning.

In modern times, when business people realized this challenge, they came up with the concept of Customer Relationship Management which is defined as the process of managing interactions with existing as well as past and potential customers.

The practice of CRM is usually managed through systems that are called Customer Relationship Management Systems. I’m sure you’ve heard the word Salesforce before which is one of the largest CRM providers in the world.

A Business that doesn’t practice Customer Relationship Management will fail in Zimbabwe and here is why;

1. Time Management

70% of Salespeople say their biggest challenge is how to prioritize and manage their time. CRM(Customer Relationship Management) puts time management into perspective as it will give your Salespeople an overview of their tasks daily including helping prioritize who they will be interacting with and how they will be managing those interactions. In short, having a CRM System is like having a Personalized Diary – Personal Assist who is always ready to assist with handling your appointments and remind your people of what they should do.

2. Easy Monitoring

Sometimes, the reason your salespeople feel the courage to ignore important clients is because there isn’t strict monitoring. Imagine if you had a system in place where you could just log in, go to the activity dashboard of any client you want and being able to see the outcome of the calls that were made to that client, the emails that were sent, meetings done, that would be a gamechanger right? This is one thing Customer Relationship Management will also help you solve.

3. Reporting

On average, a Salesperson spends one hour a day compiling a Sales Report. In a 24 hour day, one hour seems insignificant but if you add that up over a year, you will notice that your salespeople are wasting a total of 365 hours or 15 Calendar Days or half a month compiling reports. This is a very big challenge considering that more productive things could be achieved using that time. 

A CRM System will automatically compile reports as the salesperson goes about their day. You can choose to get your reports hourly if you choose to. What this means is that your people can focus on selling whilst the system does the monotonous work for them.

4. Streamline the Sales Process and Sales Cycle

What is a Sales Process? Most business owners I’ve interacted with don’t understand this and the importance it holds for any business. For your people to close more sales, they need to have a thorough understanding of the steps it takes to close sales, the journey a customer will have to take from the first step of the Sales Process to the last. With CRM, you can design a Sales Process that is unique to your business so that your Salespeople can guide your customers through every step of that process until such a time when a deal has been closed and the customer has paid.

Customer Relationship Management is everything for your business and has the potential to transform your business. You must have the system in place but furthermore, you should understand it in concept and apply it in practice. 

QUICKBOOKS FEATURES IN COMPARISON

FEATURES QUICKBOOKS PRO DESKTOP QUICKBOOKS PREMIER DESKTOP ONLINE SIMPLE START ONLINE ESSENTILAS ONLINE PLUS
Payment Method Once Off Once Off Monthly Subscription Monthly Subscription Monthly Subscription
Number of users 3 5 1 + 2 Acct 3 + 2 Acct 25 +2 Acc
Track sales, expenses and profit Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Create professional invoices and sales receipts Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Send invoices directly through popular or Intuit email systems Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Batch invoicing to invoice several customers at once Yes Yes No No No
Track your cash flow with reports Over 100 reports Over 135 reports 20+ reports Over 40 reports Over 65 reports
Create professional quotes and estimates Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Automatically pass expenses to customers Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Company snapshot Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Calendar view for tasks, bills, invoices ad transactions Yes Yes No No No
Keep on top of receivables with the Collection Centre Yes Yes No No No
Track and manage VAT Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Manage supplier bills and payments Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Track stock Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Create back orders for out of stock items and set stock aside No Yes No No No
Use different units of measure No Yes No No No
Flexible pricing to set prices and discounts by customer, job, item or currency No Yes No No No
Offer early payment discounts Yes Yes No No No
Track time and highlight unbilled expenses before your invoice No Yes No No Yes
Handle multiple currencies and track currency gains and losses Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Create budgets and compare to actual performance Yes Yes No No Yes
Build financial forecasts No Yes No No No
Classify transactions by business area Yes Yes No No Yes
Recurring Invoices Yes Yes No No Yes
Manufacturing Module No Yes No No No
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Reasons to Why Your Computer Might Be Slow and Why Use 360 Total Security as a fix

How long does it take for your computer to boot up and turn on so that you may use it? If your answer is above three minutes, then something may be wrong with your computer. Personally, over the last three months, my pc has been taking over 5 minutes to boot up. 

What this means is that every time I ran an overloaded software that froze my computer, I had to wait for about 5 minutes before I could use my computer normally again and this happened several times throughout the day. In computing, I figured out that each day, I’d lose about 45 minutes of productivity because I would be battling my pc. 

Although a lot of time was lost, the good news is, I found a solution, 360 Total Security. It helped reduce my computer boot speed from over 5 minutes to just 43 seconds. I first did a trial run of 360 total security last week after being skeptical of using it because I don’t usually trust new software. 

Upon installing it, I had an epiphany, I learnt that as opposed to my previous antivirus software Eset, 360 Total Security is not only an Anti-virus software, its way more than that. It’s a Computer Performance optimization software that has a lot of other features apart from protecting your computer from viruses. 

To effectively explain how 360 Total Security Works to speed up your computer, I will state and explain some of the causes of computer slowness and how 360 works to expedite this. 

1. Temporary Files

Each time you open up a file on software or in your browser, your Computer Stores a temporary version of that file to enable it to load faster the next time you open the software, these are called cache files. Caching is used to improve performance in the short term but when the files are kept for too long, they accumulate and this affects the performance of your hard drive and subsequently, the speed of your computer. 

The 360 Fix. To help you deal with cached files, 360 Total Security comes with a redundant file scanner(it doesn’t exist in Eset or Kasperky) which scans and clears up cached files. This scanner can clear temporary files from as long as 10 years back cleaning up the necessary space on your Harddrive which improves the performance of your computer. 

2. Too many Startup Applications

One of the major reasons why my boot-up time was over 5 minutes is that my PC had to open up a lot of software on startup, even the software I did not need to use. 

The 360 Fix. With the inbuilt speedup utility, I was able to disable some software from Autostarting which helped speed up my PC Immensely. It’s not every software that you need for your pc to run effectively, some of the software that automatically start-up on windows should do that. It should start up only when you need it which prevents it from running in the background, in turn making your pc faster. 

3. Malware

The creators of Malware have been getting smarter and smarter by day. And a malware-infected PC is on average, 100 times slower as compared to a clean PC. The common malware types that slow down PC’s are:

  1. Viruses. VIRUS is an acronym for Vital Information Resources Under Attack. The goal of any programmer when creating a virus is to mess up your pc to render it unfunctional. These people often do not have an end goal except to just mess with you. 
  2. Trojan Horse. A trojan horse is the ‘secret agent’ computer malware. It aims to destroy your computer from within. On the front end, it looks like normal software but the aim is to change the settings of your computer from within without you noticing. 
  3. Spyware. If you go on the dark web, you will see websites that sell people’s credit cards and other sensitive information. These people get information through the use of Spyware. Spyware records your screen activity and extracts your data from your computer as you go about your daily business. If you do not have an antivirus, chances are high that your emails, credit card details and other sensitive information is being recorded and sent to hackers who in turn put in on the dark web for the highest bidder. 

The 360 Fix. 360 Total Security has one of the world’s most advanced anti-malware scanners. The main feature is a machine learning engine that is powered by Artificial Intelligence to save and create new virus definitions making sure that all threats are captured. 

The AI Tools for virus definition prediction is key as it essentially ‘immunizes’ your system so that it’s in a position to deal with new viruses before they even infect anything on your system. 

360 also has a Ransomware Prevention tool to prevent your pc from being encrypted by information kidnappers. 

4. Cryptojacking

Cryptojacking has a lot to do with Bitcoin. Bitcoin is generated through a process known as Bitcoin Mining. Bitcoin Mining needs computing resources. So to get the resources they need, some bitcoin miners are hacking people’s PC’s so that they use the computing resources of those PC’s to mine for bitcoin. 

While browsing the web, if you visited a website and noticed your fan’s speed increase and computer going slow, then chances are high that you were cryptojacked. 

The 360 Fix. Through the Malware Scanner, 360 Total Security can help prevent your PC from being Cryptojacked thus improving the security and reliability of your computer. 

Besides the above, there are a lot of other features to 360 that make it the best PC Antivirus software. 

If you want a custom Installation or 360 Total Security either for personal use or your business, our team is available. Reach out via the livechat or the contact details on the header.

We are the only certified Reseller of 360 Total Security for Zimbabwe.