SOLCOMM has been in the door to door and B2B sales business for over 10 years. Since the start, our focus was almost exclusively on providing the best outside sales for our clients. We started with 2 small sales teams, and based on our success, have since expanded nationwide. While this expansion has been an exciting process, we experienced some significant growing pains along the way.
I’m one of the co-founders of SOLCOMM and have been the President of the company since 2011. Because of that, I’ve had a birds-eye view of the expansion Solcomm has experienced. Being a fast-growing Sales company has its fair share of challenges. A big one has been scaling our back office to meet the needs of our sales reps.
Why We Needed a Door to Door App
We realized that we had hit the wall with many of our processes when we started adding multiple clients. When we just had one main client, it was easy to keep track of our data. We would get a daily transaction report via spreadsheet. Then we could use an Excel macro to slice and dice data to our specific reps. Our company administrator would then email out particular reports to offices or sales reps. Voila, done!
Where we started running into major snags with Excel was in managing multiple data inputs.
Once we started working more consistently with secondary and tertiary sales campaigns in offices, it got more and more challenging to get sales data to our Branch Managers and Team Leaders. Moreover, their expectation was that sales data was going to be easily accessible. What these sales-oriented folks did not want was to live in their email boxes. What happened was our sales leaders got more and more disorganized the more emailed reports they received.
At this point, we started seriously considering automating our commission and data reporting. Unfortunately for us at the time, this was 2014, and the market was poor for potential solutions.
When we realized we had to start onboarding a second and third team member to manage the data that previously only took one person 2 days a week to manage, that was the straw that broke the camels back. Scaling-up in people assets is time-consuming and expensive.
We knew if we could find something that worked better, we may be able to grow more effectively.
Other Software We Evaluated
Since most of our business processes were built into Excel already, a potential logical answer was to step up to Microsoft Access. We hired an outside expert and dedicated one of our internal staff to the task. Within about 10 weeks of trial and error and with roughly $5000 of investment in an outside MS access guru, we were starting to look pretty good (for at least one of our client’s data).
It was a darn good feeling when our first automated commission statements started rolling out.
And then, disaster struck. Our back-office staff that developed the Access automation informed us that he was taking a different job. Ironically, the skills he learned building the Access database for us made him more marketable. He was able to get a raise and better benefits working for a larger firm.
We continued on with the Access solution, but only for so long. When our client changed their data provider about 3 months later, the Access program stopped working. Since we didn’t have the experienced staff to rewrite the scripts to get it running again, we had to abandon our Access program.
One of the significant shortcomings of the Microsoft Access solution was (at the time at least), there was no easy way to provide our door to door sales reps and managers individualized Access to their sales data. The system just wasn’t set up for anything other than producing flat reports that we could email out.
So the next step was to move on to Zoho CRM. We felt that since it was similar to Access, just cloud-based, we’d have a much better chance of success. We were partially right. This time with Zoho, we were able to give our users individual reporting and individual Access which was great! However, to make the reports we really wanted we had to do some back end hacking and create our own HTML dashboards from scratch. It was pretty cool for some cobbled-together technology.
Eventually, this methodology caught up with us, and we weren’t able to provide Access to more than 50 users without stepping up to a $50/month subscription per user. Also, we were limited to only 2 types of user access.
Paying $2500 per month for not much more than custom commission statements and some basic reporting seemed a bit over the top, especially considering what we had to do to make it all work. Again, we were ready to start looking elsewhere.
How we came to DSHero
At a local business breakfast in 2016, a friend of mine brought up that he knew a local software development team that had done good work for him in the past. Building a custom CRM for a door to door sales team would be right up their alley.
Our Solcomm team sat down with the development team and began the process of mapping out what our ideal Door to Door Sales Rep Application would be. We had some concrete ideas of what we wanted based on our previous experience, but what the development team came up with was beyond our expectations. Overall, the process from laying out the original project specs to getting it in the hands of our users was a little over 8 months (and it cost quite a bit of money). At the end of the project (well, and another year of feature adding, testing, and tweaking), we had exactly the software app we we wanted.
What our Experience with DSHero Has Been
Solcomm was the first corporate user of DSHero and we’ve been through the beta testing ups and downs. It was a bit of a roller coaster initially, but exhilarating because we got to play such a big part in the feature development and user testing.
Surprisingly, technology hasn’t created walls like I feared it might. Instead, it opened up conversations between sales reps and managers and allowed us to solve problems quicker.
In one specific example, the escalation management tool has been invaluable for building trust between our sales reps and corporate. Because of using the escalation tool on the DSHero app, when our sales reps give our back-office a call, the staff member they talk to already knows their issue and is usually working on a resolution (if they haven’t fixed it already).
Nothing makes a field sales rep happier than to know that their hard work is appreciated and they won’t have to chase their tail trying to get paid on a sale.
Why We Recommend DSHero as a Complete Door to Door Sales Software Solution
During the process of creating DSHero, we realized there were probably many more door to door sales companies experiencing the same software gap. Because of this, we felt compelled to want to make this available to other door to door sales companies as well.
The responses have been overwhelming so far. We’ve seen many companies move their entire sales management process over to DSHero.
Here are the main reasons why I believe DSHero is such an effective App for D2D sales teams:
- DSHero helps a company manage teams better and provides transparency to both sales reps and management.
- Using the DSHero app makes payroll more efficient, reduces errors, and builds sales rep trust through a transparent system.
- Customer service issues get resolved quickly.
- Managers or Owners starting new offices get started quicker by already having the tools and knowing the processes of running their offices.
- It eliminates the need for multiple apps and multiple logins, reducing confusion and costs
Moreover (and most importantly), we were able to reduce costs significantly on our back end.
We needed much less time to manage our data on a day to day basis. We were able to redirect our staff resources back to revenue-generating activities and move them out of support roles. The ease of use of DSHero just led to a quicker, cleaner experience all around for our company.
If any of these listed things are benefits that you would like to experience from your door to door software, then I highly encourage you to give DSHero a try. Between their free trial and easy onboarding, you can see for yourself how DSHero can revolutionize your team’s door to door successes in 2020.
*Disclaimer, Christian currently serves as the Chief Product Officer for DSHero as well as the President of Solcomm.