Catalytic Management Consulting
Accelerating Growth, Driving Performance

Voice of the Customer Delivers Surprises for Software Company

Company Overview

A $70 million dollar software company in a niche market sought assistance from Catalytic Management to improve their sales process. The client is the leader in their market, while successfully introducing their software to a new parallel market. Their growth has been dramatic year after year, with a solid sales /ordering system and customer service survey process.

Business Challenge

Implementing our client’s software solution is critical to the overall business operations of their clients, and thus implementing quickly and effectively is vital. Our client was unhappy with a particular aspect of their sales process. They wanted to determine where backlogs and redundancies may be occurring and eliminate these in order to reduce the time frame from contract signature to assignment of a project manager. They believed this time line was too long and believed their clients agreed.

Results

In addition to uncovering barriers in identified processes, Catalytic Management reviewed the entire sales process, from proposal to delivery of the product, to identify improvement opportunities and departmental “hand off” issues.

Because we believe that customers must be consulted and their voice heard in improvement initiatives, we received permission from our client to contact customers as part of our assessment process.

The internal assessment highlighted:

  • areas where the existing process was not being followed
  • incidents where work was being repeated in multiple departments due to a lack of trust
  • hand offs that were confusing or incomplete and process steps that added little value to the overall process

It was the “voice of the customer” however, that delivered the most value. Contrary to what our clients believed, their customers were not concerned about the time frame from contract to project manager assignment. They actually felt that even the longest recorded time frame of 7 days was acceptable. The shocker for our client–their customers had serious issues with the upfront sales process and the technical expertise of their sales team.

Needless to say our client was shocked and it took some time for them to accept this feedback. As a result of our interviews, our client heard the “voice of their customer” and to their credit they immediately made addressing this issue the primary challenge for their Process Improvement Team. The final result is stronger customer relationships, protecting them from competitors, and earning referrals, references and in the software business, the Holy Grail–upgrades!