Making sales calls is the number one duty listed on every sales position job description. Whether it’s cold calling, talking to warm leads or even checking in on current customers, pre-call preparation is crucial to productive conversations. eChempax provides several tools for your sales team to prepare for each and every call. Read on for the steps to successful pre-call planning with prospects and customers!
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Pre-Call Planning (Prospects)
Researching Existing Prospects
When traveling for sales meetings, it makes sense to schedule as many meetings as possible in the geographic area you’ll be visiting. Rather than manually mapping out each of your prospects, eChempax allows users to search prospects based on proximity to one zip code.
After selecting ‘Prospects’ in the Content Menu, users will want to then select ‘Prospects’ again in the ‘Prospect’ navigation. This provides a list of all prospects that the user is authorized to view in eChempax. Selecting ‘Customize’ will allow the user to modify their search criteria based on a variety of variables. To search by proximity, the user can input a zip code and then select a radius option between 5-100 miles. The search results are then narrowed to prospects located within the proximity.
Researching New Prospects
Let’s say you receive a new lead via a website inquiry or referral, but you aren’t sure if this lead is brand new or one that has engaged with your company in the past. Rather than calling the prospect without knowing, check if this lead already exists in eChempax.
Companies Search Tool*
Click ‘Companies’ on the Content Menu to search all customers and prospects by company name, code, address 1, or city. The results include all companies that meet the search criteria, regardless of user permissions. Selecting a company from the result list will display the corresponding Summary page if the user is authorized to view that company. If the user is not authorized to view the selected company, a ‘not authorized’ message is displayed.
The search result list includes code, name, address, sales agent, owner, and type (prospect or customer).If the company search returns no results, you’ll need to add the Prospect to eChempax.
* This feature is controlled by a system option that is off by default. Contact eChempax support to activate it.
Creating A Prospect
- Click 'New Contact' option on any Contacts page in eChempax.*
- Make sure the contact Category is 'Prospect' (this is the default).
- Enter the name of the contact and prospect company name. If this contact is being entered for an existing prospect, click the Company drop-down button to find and select the correct prospect.
- Enter any additional information in the remaining contact fields.
- Click the Enter button to save the changes.
*The 'New Contact' form can also be accessed via the 'New Prospect' option under the Prospects menu as well as by clicking 'New Item' in the Toolbar in the upper right hand corner of eChempax.
Note: Prospect contacts are only visible to the contact owner (initially the user that entered the contact) unless permission is explicitly granted by the system administrator.
Free Fields can be customized to capture specific company information such as lead source, customer or supplier. Free Fields can then be displayed on the prospect summary page and prospect lists can be filtered by these values using the Customize option.
Importing Prospect Lists
- From a Spreadsheet - Prospect contacts can be imported from a spreadsheet into eChempax using eChempax Traveler. This may be a list of attendees from a trade show, a list of leads from a third party, or a list of contacts exported from another application such as MS Outlook.
- From Outlook – Outlook contacts can be imported individually through eChempax Traveler using the standard Windows drag and drop action.
Once you’ve selected the prospect to contact, head over to their company record to prepare for your call.
The Prospect Summary is a snapshot of the important stats relating to the prospect. This dashboard features:
Prospect Information and Contacts
Summary notes are used to maintain customer, supplier, and product information that should be available to all authorized users, such as a description of a customer's business, special instructions for a supplier, or an explanation for a substitute or discontinued product. Summary note text is displayed in a Summary Notes section on corresponding summary pages, which is only visible if there are summary notes to display.
Opportunities are an important part of the sales tracking process. They capture essential details about sales leads such as the customer or prospect, products, expected revenue and profit, the stage within the sales process, communications, and other information associated with potential business. Under the ‘Prospects’ menu, sales reps can view Opportunities associated with the prospects in the prospect list (as defined by the prospect rules), regardless of opportunity owner. It also shows the length of time that an opportunity has been open.
One of the nice features of eChempax is the ability to see data in different ways. Sometimes it’s convenient to pull out a piece of paper and see a consolidated view of a prospect’s activity. The Prospect Profile Report allows the user to export all or select data connected with the prospect account in a PDF format. The Prospect Profile option is included on the More menu, which is the arrow icon at the end of the prospect tab set.
Pre-Call Planning (Customers)
While the primary responsibility of sales reps is to convert prospects to customers, their job doesn’t end with the signatures on the dotted line. Retaining customers is just as important as recruiting customers, and regular check-ins with existing customers is the best way to make sure your customers remain as happy as they were on the day they signed on with you. Since the chemical industry has a lot of repeat customers this is a critical practice.
The Customer Summary is a snapshot of the important data relating to the customer. This dashboard features:
Customer Information and Contacts
View company address and current contact information.
A/R, Recent Orders, Sales Data, and Shipping Schedules
Recent Items (Notes, Opportunities, Attachments)
Chempax attachments, such as price change letters, are also visible on the Customer > Summary page.
The Products tab gives the sales rep a quick view of the products that the customer buys, the price they pay and details about the last time they ordered. One of the most powerful options is the sales comparison view. It identifies which products are up and more importantly which products are down. This page also has a multitude of other data views that provide additional information. These can be accessed using the View dropdown just below the tabs.
The sales tab allows the sales rep to thoroughly analyze all sales activity about this customer. The Monthly Variance view (below) displays the amount of business that company does with you in terms of volume, sales, quantity, and profit.
This page, and others like it, also has various data views that provide additional information, such as:
- Sales-Past Year
- Sales- Past Year Trailing
- Profit-Past Year
- Profit-Past Year Trailing
- COGS-Past Year
- COGS-Part Year Trailing
- Frt$-Past Year
- Frt$-Past Year Trailing
- Frt Cost-Main
- Frt Cost-Past Year
- Frt Cost-Comparative
- Volume-Past Year
- Volume-Past Year Trailing
- Monthly Variance
Review past communication and action items with the customer.
One of the nice features of eChempax is the ability to see data in different ways. The Customer Profile Report allows the user to export all or select data connected with the customer account in a PDF format. Sometimes it’s convenient to pull out a piece of paper and see a consolidated view of a customer’s activity. The Customer Profile option is included on the More menu, which is the arrow icon at the end of the customer tab set.
A good tool to leave with a customer is their price list. It reminds them of the products that they have purchased from you before and what their current price is. The Customer Price List option is included on the More menu, which is the arrow icon at the end of the customer tab set.