Constant economic, social, and business landscape changes mean that savvy business are relentlessly evaluating each of their functions — including customer relationship management (CRM).
We talked with leaders from three resilient, healthy businesses about how they’re using NetSuite CRM(opens in new tab) to craft inventive ways of driving sales and customer happiness in their current circumstances.
Financial Advisory Firm Standardizes Prospecting, Gains Clarity on Clients, Encourages Employee Retention
Valeo Financial Advisers is one of the largest financial advisory firms in the Midwest. As stay-at-home measures ramped up mid-pandemic, Valeo’s target demographic had more time to mull their personal finances, said COO Greg Fulk. As a result, “referrals skyrocketed, and inbound calls increased exponentially.”
Valeo was using NetSuite CRM at the time, and the onslaught of leads drove the team to maximize the system. In a particularly relationship-driven industry, Valeo advisers use the CRM to log a thorough slate of details about each prospect and client — their alma mater and degree, where they’ve worked, where they play golf or go to church, for example. Each detail might serve as a relational connection point between adviser and prospect or client, or a clue about which services they might be inclined to purchase.
Every Thursday, the CRM sends the entire company an email listing all the prospect meetings scheduled for the next week. If one adviser recognizes another’s prospect, they’ll share tips or advice. The day before a meeting, each adviser gets an email with a rundown of all information the firm has about that prospect.
Using NetSuite CRM “is bringing a level of standardization across the business, which is kind of new to our industry,” said Fulk. “In a business with thousands of clients, it allows for that active style of prospecting by acting as a central source of truth.”
For current clients, Valeo uses NetSuite CRM to track trades. After each meeting, the system reminds the adviser to enter the client’s trades. And each day, when Valeo gets an automated report of transactions from Fidelity, it imports the report into NetSuite and assigns trades to individual clients. A scheduled saved search(opens in new tab) summarizes each client’s activity, showing advisers exactly what their clients are up to.
Fulk appreciates how NetSuite allows Valeo to easily “leverage outside information using the power of the Oracle database(opens in new tab), which just never slows down.”
Meanwhile, leadership runs saved searches to gauge how frequently advisers are contacting clients and pinpoint patterns among those interactions. They found, for example, that customer satisfaction trends higher when meetings are scheduled 30 or more days in advance versus two days in advance, as everyone has time to prepare.
These kinds of saved searches also serve as an employee retention tool, Fulk said. When less-experienced advisers ask for career advice, leaders point them to data on top performers: How many meetings do they take per week? And how many touches does it take them to close a deal?
In short, CRM data offers advisers clear examples of practical ways to grow their careers at Valeo.
And when advisers do spend years growing their careers with Valeo, the system is there to support them. Every day, advisers get a roundup of the meetings that were on their calendars one, two, and three quarters ago, as well as one, two, and three years ago.
“It provides that rekindling of, ‘Oh, I should follow up with that prospect,’” said Fulk. “Because if it’s not in NetSuite, it didn’t happen.”
A Manufacturer Manages a Business-Model Shift
When RealWear changed its model from direct sales to channel sales, it “introduced a lot of questions,” said Mark Needham, the company’s NetSuite administrator. RealWear manufactures wearable devices for frontline workers in industries like utilities and oil and gas, giving them access to documents, data, and more while on the job.
“NetSuite CRM serves as an integration between support and sales,” Needham said.
With its new channel model, RealWear often doesn’t identify its end users until they call customer support. When end users call in, employees ask them for details about their use of RealWear devices and log the information in the CRM. The balance of customers enter the system when RealWear imports POS data from its distributors or gets customer lists from resellers.
RealWear has relied on NetSuite ERP(opens in new tab) as a source of consistency while shifting its business model and the way it relates to customers. Processes are so closely tied together that staff can’t quite tell the system’s functionalities apart — in a good way.
“Nobody really makes a distinction between information that comes from our financial solution and our CRM — they just know it as the customer record,” Needham said. “With NetSuite, it’s not ‘Here’s the financial module, and here’s the CRM module.’ It’s all just there.”
A Wholesale Distributor Competes With Bigger Players
Depatie Fluid Power(opens in new tab)’s industry is changing fast. The distributor supplies parts and equipment like hoses, fittings, and valves to customers in oil and gas, industrial, and similar fields. Over the past few years, a combination of factors including the pandemic and a wave of acquisitions have shrunk Depatie’s industry to comprise fewer, bigger players.
“Now, we’re not competing against small organizations but much larger organizations with endless resources,” said John Morse, district sales manager. “Thankfully NetSuite offers a whole set of tools that smaller businesses like ours can tap into.”
Amid recent changes, the first step was obvious: To maximize time when sales calls went virtual, Depatie doubled down on keeping its growing list of prospect and client records up-to-date in NetSuite CRM. That way, the team continued to work off the same data while remote.
Depatie uses that highly detailed CRM data to forecast its engineering and labor needs more accurately, said Morse. Leadership tracks metrics like sales per territory and per rep with ease. And they’ve made it even easier for reps to enter opportunities into the CRM, developing a “quick-add opportunity” portlet that requires just five pieces of information. Saved searches display quotes set to expire, and the CRM logs each customer’s payment terms, giving reps “the data needed to craft a message for their customers,” Morse said.
The CRM benefits customers directly, too.
“To continue competing with these larger organizations, we have to really look at our customers and how they want to engage with us,” he said. In step with changing customer preferences, “we're trying to help them become more self-servicing.”
To that end, Depatie’s customers log into their customer portal via NetSuite CRM(opens in new tab) for basics like viewing order statuses and paying invoices. Thanks to integrations with Depatie’s vendors, they can also search for a part number and pull up all technical data about that part from vendors’ websites.
With workflows like these, Depatie plans to continue using NetSuite CRM to compete with the big guys for years to come.
See how you can use NetSuite CRM to hit peak productivity(opens in new tab) in this webinar.