Besides telephone, e-mail is the communication form that is used the most in business communication today. Unlike the telephone, though, e-mail correspondence can be easily centralized, archived, and organized well so you can achieve that always nice to see “zero inbox” status.
However, many companies today use generic email addresses for different purposes, such as email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. When such e-mails come in, they are often forwarded to the e-mail addresses and clients (Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird or similar) of specific people that are then tasked to take care of them. So far, so good; but when it comes to processing those e-mails there are several problems that need to be addressed.
Let’s say a potential client sends an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sales reps John, Sally, Ingrid and Jack all get the message forwarded to their personal e-mail accounts which then shows up in their Outlook. To illustrate what happens next, let’s describe the several potential scenarios:
John is the first one to see this e-mail. He takes it over and answers to the client as email@example.com. He sends additional questions to the client to get more info about the request so he can prepare to close this deal.
A bit later Ingrid notices this same e-mail, but since she has a better understanding of the product in question she quickly prepares a custom offer and sends it out to the prospective customer according to her interest to close the deal.
Sally and Jack have no idea what the other two sales reps already did, so they both send a forward e-mail to everyone on the team to find out if anyone is already processing this request. Now everyone writes a quick reply which consequently alerts John and Ingrid that they were both trying to close the same deal in different ways.
And the client got two different e-mails from the same company, both of which answer his inquiry, but in two completely different ways. Clearly he is confused at this point. He’s probably also starting to doubt the professionality of the company he just addressed. There is a good chance that he will now reconsider his choice and address another vendor instead.
So although basically the entire sales team was somehow involved in this single request, chances to close this deal are low.
Once again, John is the first to notice this e-mail. He takes it over and answers to the client as firstname.lastname@example.org, but he also includes email@example.com in the CC line. He exchanges two more messages with this client and all of their messages are also delivered to the rest of the group, so Sally, Ingrid and Jack can keep track of what is going on. But as they see that John is handling this well, they soon start automatically deleting the messages, as they do not wish to spend any more of their time on this.
Then John informs the client that his colleague Jack will take over to provide better help and to send additional data, thinking that Jack is following the correspondence in the firstname.lastname@example.org inbox and, consequently, that he’ll take over the dialogue with the customer. But Jack doesn’t see this because he just deletes all e-mails with this customer’s name in the subject line.
So what happened here? One customer’s request generated a huge overhead, with literally dozens of e-mails going back and forth through different inboxes, most of them with basically zero relevance for most of the people included in the correspondence. And, on top of the time wasted by the rest of the time following this correspondence, the customer will be lost in the end due to Jack’s failure to take over when asked to.
And once again, although basically the entire sales team was somehow involved in this single request, chances to close the deal remain extremely low.
The solution: Platformax Zero Inbox
To prevent the described scenarios, raise productivity and ensure 100% tracking and a consistent customer experience, Platformax enables setting up inboxes with the “zero inbox” concept for generic e-mail addresses so the need to forward e-mails to a whole group of people disappears.. Rather than forwarding e-mails between team members, with Platformax Zero Inbox appropriate actions are defined for each incoming message. Here’s a short demo of how our e-mail inbox solution for inside sales teams work:
All incoming messages on a given generic e-mail address are checked periodically by a dedicated team member who decides whether they will be unprocessed or processed. If they decide to “process” an e-mail, they have to assign the e-mail to one of three labels:
- Ignored – for spam, commercial messages and messages that no one cares about.
- Create opportunity – in case of a relevant inquiry or a possible business opportunity which then is forwarded it to the appropriate sales rep’s sales pipeline to be further processed.
- Create new ticket or add to existing ticket – in case of a support request or matter that requires team collaboration and further processing, the e-mail message will be transformed into a ticket and delegated to a specific team member to follow up with the issue and the client in order to solve his issue.
Advantages of the Platformax Zero Inbox
Many people mistake their e-mail inbox for some kind of a To-Do list, resulting in decreasing productivity and, in cases where e-mail groups are in use, in increased overheads due to the involvement of team members that do not really need to be involved in the first place.
Using Platformax Zero Inbox ensures that any e-mail received by the inside sales team is processed in an appropriate way, that no e-mail gets lost and that no requests will ever go unprocessed. Available actions to take on each received inquiry are common to everyone on the team – ignore, create opportunity or create new/add to existing ticket. As soon as anyone chooses one of these options, completion is guaranteed and further overhead is prevented. Platformax Zero Inbox let’s your team focus on things that actually need their time rather than checking their inboxes all the time.
Besides from unlocking team productivity, Zero Inbox also ensures maximum customer satisfaction, minimizes the chance of loosing business due to poor performance, and finally gives you a powerful tool and competitive edge to prevail in today’s highly competitive market place.
Bonus tip: What can you do to better organize some other, personal inboxes, the ones that will not be integrated with your CRM? To sort these out a bit you can use different folders and tags in your email client of choice. Or, you can use an extension for Gmail such as Sortd, or our preferred choice – Drag Gmail organizer, the extension that lets you turn your Gmail inbox into task lists similar to Trello.
Those are some of the options that can help you out with a personal inbox or two, but if you want to keep emails well organized in a sales or customer support team, there’s simply no better solution than implementing and using a CRM.
Feel free to try Platformax by signing up for a free trial now (sign up here!) or contact us for a demo and we will be more than glad to show you how easily you can implement Platformax Zero Inbox into the daily procedures of your inside sales team.