Sales Consultants using their cell-phones?

Derrick Woolfson

I cannot be the only one concerned with allowing sales consultants to use their personal phones for correspondence with customers. Lately, we have had a lot of pushback from consultants. However, the concerns (and reasons why are below):

1. Customers have to opt-in for texting to be compliant (you'd have to manually do that on a cell phone - no way to track "opt outs" either)

2. Phone calls are not tracked in the system unless (per our CRM) pay a  third party provider for a pricey "click to call" option, which also uses the cell phones minutes, too. 

3. Hard to hold accountability when managing workflows

4. If the sales consultant departs - they have your customers information. Whereas, if they use an app it can be remote wiped. 

I even went as far as "provisioning" them a local number to which their calls are forwarded to their cell phones. If s/he does not answer on the 3rd ring it goes to the store's phone. I thought this was a win/win. But they are adamant on using their personal phones - how do you guys handle it? 

Michael Bilson

Extremely Valid Concerns.  

Lezlie Brannan

I think it's almost impossible to fight this fight. Customers like the ease of reaching the salesperson either directly on their cell phone or by text. Salespeople like the ease of it, too. Generally, I have found that salespeople are using this for existing leads, (customer has already reached the dealership by phone, walk-in or internet). We can capture that first phone call on our recorded lines, and for internet leads, we already have them in our CRM. To combat lack of follow up in the CRM, any lead that goes 5 days without contact within the CRM or notes regarding cell phone/text conversations gets switched to another salesperson, no warning needed. There's still the opt-in issue - management understands the risk and is ok with cautioning the staff to ask permission, so who am I to fight it? And customer records? You don't need a cell phone to take your customer records with you when you leave. I think your better salesperson keeps a record of their customers anyway, phone or not.

Derrick Woolfson

I certainly see your perspective, BUT - at the end of the day, I personally would not risk the company by allowing sales consultants to use personal devices to complete work on. And while yes, they can in some cases take data with them - it is much harder to keep the data when it can be remotely wiped. In addition to their having signed documents/non-disclosure agreements when hired that states all and any data is the property of the dealership. I agree, though, the fight is hard - but all it takes is just one customer to "get upset," and say s/he did not have their written authorization, therefore, the text was non-compliant and subject to a lawsuit. I am not saying that it will not continue to happen - where the consultant uses their device against company policy - but we will continue to do urge the consultant to use the dealers devices. 

Chris K Leslie

I've gone through that battle myself. I basically had to talk go over things with our GM and basically said

 "We can't assume that people are making phone calls on leads we give them if there are no notes or tracked calls in the system. Additionally, no sales manager will know how to manage their team because they wont have coaching tools like recorded calls or reports showing their team is even making calls.

In order for us to know these things. we need a click to call feature in the CRM. all phone calls either need to be made through the click to call feature on the desktop or through the CRM application (dealersocket) in order to count." 

Luckily the GM agreed with me an now if phone calls are made outside of the desktop click to call or the dealersocket app. It never happened in our eyes and if we aren't able to run a report to see how someone is doing then leads will not pass to that person because they can't prove they work them. 

If people choose to use their phone, the bill is on them as we provide tools for them to do their job on a desktop. If they choose to use a different tool its their responsibility to pay for it.

But, if they use their device they have to use our CRM for anything to count for them. 

It has to be an all or nothing deal. Either your managers want to have these tools to help manage or they don't. It has to come from the top. I hope this helps. I just kind of ranted.

Scott Larrabee

Use my cell phone constantly!

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