Sharkware Helps Consulting Firm Intuitively Manage
neat part of Sharkware is there are no limits to the kind
of data that you track." -- John Young, vice president of
national sales, DCA
the world of sales, you either prowl with the sharks or sink quickly
to the bottom.
Young, vice president of national sales for the Plymouth, Minnesota-based
consulting firm DCA, uses CogniTech Corp.'s Sharkware 3.0 Anywhere
to keep his sales team swimming. The company first installed the
contact management software on 51 user laptops last year to help
its sales force manage corporate clients.
wide range of healthcare plan, retirement plan, and other benefit
services means clients of one service might be prospects for another,
Young says. Sharkware lets any salesperson glance through the
client list based on a variety of criteria.
neat part of Sharkware," he says, "is there are no limits to the
kind of data that you track. The custom fields that you set up
are infinite. We're able to collect, extrapolate, and track our
clients by the type of data we wish."
saving paper, organizing and sharing all that sales information
electronically lets the company move faster in a constantly changing
environment, Young says.
our client database is in one place," he says. "And it's also
very, very important to our managers and our executive group because
they're able to see the big picture and the micro picture just
by choosing how they look at the database."
newest version of Sharkware features expanded Internet integration
for salespeople on the move. Remote database updating provides
better communication between field sales representatives and management.
A company-wide view lets team members see all contacts associated
with a particular company.
lets users see the daily, weekly, appointment, phone call, and
to-do lists of other Sharkware users on the network. This lets
the entire team know where various clients stand in the sales
process. Users also can schedule activities for one another.
says these capabilities play an integral part in DCA's strategy
of sales force automation. Before the system was standardized
around Sharkware, he says, keeping track of the myriad contacts,
prospects, clients, and projects in various databases and on paper
literally had data in about nine different buckets, and trying
to get that data to talk to each other was next to impossible,"
he says. The company discovered missed opportunities for cross-marketing
and realized that some work was being duplicated.
were walking over each other," Young says. "I would be working
on a project, and another person in the firm would bring in that
same name through a different source. All of the sudden we would
find ourselves saying in a monthly meeting, 'Holy Moly, I'm working
on that, too.' "
situations prompted DCA to start looking at faster, easier methods
to keep track of its sales information. For two years, two of
the firm's departments independently evaluated several other contact
management programs, including those from leading manufacturers.
Both studies pointed to the same conclusion: Sharkware.
user-friendly nature was the top consideration, Young says. At
the time, sales team members were incorporating a fleet of laptops,
switching to the newer version of Windows, and designing other
new processes. For a company making so many changes at once, intuitive
software was a must.
had to be user-friendly. It had to be logical. It had to make
sense," he says. "Can a non-computer-literate sales person in
a hurry find benefit from this type of system? Absolutely."
Up The Market
says company officials recently had an open house for people who
refer business to DCA. With the click of a button, he says, the
contact information necessary for invitations was extracted from
the Sharkware database and merged into letters. The fast and easy
way Sharkware works makes Young grow more enamored with it every
day. If more people knew about Sharkware, he says, it would gobble
up the market.
tried them all," he says. "I know what the other products do,
and I also know how they work, and how their screens look, and
how you navigate around them, and the little nuances of how they
differ. Sharkware is far superior."
more remarkable, Young says, is the price. To measure the return
on the software investment, Young wrote an analysis comparing
DCA's cost to time saved in finding potential clients, more efficient
follow-up, and better team organization.
project paid for itself in 30.7 days," he says. "And that included
the travel and training that we received. It's a profit center."
3.0 Anywhere by CogniTech Corp.