When James Jeffcoat became IT Director of Vermeer Southeast nearly a decade ago, every location was managing its own customer database locally using various versions of a traditional CRM solution.
"If something happened to the local machine and they weren't backing up or reporting properly, all the customer information was gone. We had a couple of times when we lost years of data for an entire region or market. Plus, the software made us pay to export data beyond a few limited reports."
Jeffcoat led an extensive research process of surveying managers on what they wanted in a CRM, ranking important features, and testing ten different products. PipelineDeals was the clear winner on both price and functionality.
"With a centralized, web-based solution, managers can see all their guys' activities in real time. They don't have to pull teeth to get what they need. Everybody's out there using their iPhones to enter their data immediately." Jeffcoat learned so much that he has provided CRM demos for reps from other dealerships, walking them through leading options and explaining why Vermeer Southeast chose PipelineDeals.
PipelineDeals has been a lifesaver. We deal in long-term relationships, and our customers value consistency. It's a tremendous advantage for us to have easy access to the full history of a customer relationship, including notes on 'handshake deals' that were made years ago.
Jeffcoat says that PipelineDeals quickly paid for itself by freeing up his time to drive greater value for the company.
"Before PipelineDeals, I was spending 25-50% of my time troubleshooting or repairing our old CRM product: trying to recover data, writing custom scripts to export data they didn't want us to have, and so on. It was a nightmare. Now I spend less than 5% of my time on CRM, about 30 minutes a week, unless we're setting up some cool new reporting. CRM has gone from a burden to a lot of fun. It's really cool to see the immediate impact."
"We're definitely closing deals faster with PipelineDeals," says Jeffcoat.
Salespeople have been able to increase their active selling time by accessing real-time insights from any location.
The next best step is always just a few clicks away. "Say someone's in the field with a brush chipper and a meeting gets canceled," says Jeffcoat. "They can generate a report and find out which customers nearby bought in the last six months. Then they can call those people and immediately line up appointments."
The greatest value of PipelineDeals, says Jeffcoat, is the way it empowers salespeople to build relationships.
"We're not the cheapest option in the market, so we have to give people a reason to go with us. That reason is service and how we treat the customer long-term. The last couple of years have been incredible sales-wise, and a lot of that ties into PipelineDeals. Having so much information at our fingertips makes it much easier to give customers confidence that we're going to take care of them for years to come."
The greatest value of PipelineDeals is the way it empowers salespeople to build relationships.