As a company grows their team, communication gaps can quickly grow between different sections of the company. One of the biggest gaps that develops in the rental industry is between the sales team and the operations team.
Many rental companies experience a lack of consistency between what the customer is telling the salesperson, and the information the salesperson passes along to the operations team. Which makes it difficult to properly fulfill the customers needs.
Current Sales Process
Most rental operations with a sales team on the road follow a similar process. Customer calls their sales rep with questions about a current contract, and lead into questions about availability and pricing of an asset they need to rent.
Next, because most sales rep’s don’t have the unique customer rates for the hundreds of product lines memorized, they must pause the conversation while they look into it.
To get the information the customer need they call back to the yard, talk to someone to explain who the customer is, have them pull up the account, product, and rates. Verbally relaying the information to the salesman who writes it down and calls back the customer to try and secure the order.
If they get the order, they quickly jot down important details like dates, locations, and site contacts. Leaving them calling, texting, or emailing the yard team to arrange for the order to be fulfilled.
As you grow your sales team these delays become even longer. Since your operations team will be getting more inquiries from sales reps, it will either reduce the time they can spend fulfilling orders or prolong the sales reps ability to get back to the customer.
So is your company playing this very dangerous game of telephone?
Customer Focused Sales Process
In today’s competitive rental market, customer centric business has become the name of the game. Customers have instant access to large amounts of information, their attention span has shrunk as a result.
The delay between the salesman’s call to the yard and getting back to the customer is more than enough time for them to find another rental provider to fulfill their rental needs.
Rental operation need to be able to close this communication gap between the sales team and operations teams.
Some companies have tried to standardize order processes by creating email templates or online order forms. But that still requires a lot of manual data entry, and is prone to human errors.
Other companies provide scheduled reports for high volume customers to be emailed on a regular basis so the sales team can review and try to remember when a customer calls.
Both of these alternatives are moves in the right direction. Enabling the salesman to deliver an improved experience, but they can still be more efficient.
To provide an outstanding experience, the sales team need access to real time data. And better yet, enable the customer to access this information themselves by providing them with a self-service platform.
GateWay: Website Platform for Customers & Sales Team
As an SRM user you have a unique opportunity to equip your sales team with a powerful tool that will help them secure sales in the first call. With GateWay your sales team will be able to view their customer list, to review contracts or invoices, and create new reservations, or equipment pickup requests with the customer’s rates in real time.
This means your operations staff will spend less time tied up with information requests, orders will be more accurate, and customers will be happier. And since GateWay is mobile friendly, this means it can be done even when they are on the customer’s site, or on the road.
What if you put this power in the hands of your customers? GateWay can double as a transactional website for self-service rentals. Giving customers complete control of their account including reprinting documents, calling items off rent and even paying invoices online.
For more quick facts on the benefits of transactional websites in the rental industry, read our article: Is Your Website Your Best or Worst Salesmen?
After a reservation has been made by the sales team or customer, the operations team can create the contract and send the requested assets to the customer site with no additional data entry needed.
With GateWay you can also easily explore new market opportunities by offering new product lines with no investment risk. In a trial period, you would take orders and re-rent the equipment you need to fulfill the orders. This allows companies to test their customers needs for additional products and become a one stop shop for customers.