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When your hands are full of different stakeholders, you may forget to catch up on past touchpoints and key insights of the company or key person you intend to approach.
"After scanning business cards, all I’ve got to do is use that data.” Many of our users think so. However, leaving your contact information leaves you at risk.
You’ll send out emails to clients with their old department or even company, or when you have online meetings with them, you’ll blurt out their old and outdated information.
Keeping business card data up-to-date on a daily basis is essential to gain trust and maintain good business relationships.
Do these sound familiar?
"I searched for a person on Sansan and tried to contact him/her, but he/she had already resigned.”
"I don't know who else to approach because the existing contacts are already retired employees in the organization tree.”
Not properly managing contacts who are no longer in their previous roles will affect your employees’ productivity.
Not only that, but not managing changes to retired employees in the database properly will risk users deleting unintended business cards and deleting combined duplicates.
It’s crucial to track your contacts’ career changes on a regular basis, as keeping past job titles in Sansan will help you create a database you can utilize.
Konica Minolta Inc. has been using Sansan since February 2014. As of 2017, they have over 500 Sansan user accounts (mainly in their sales department).
To learn more about the effects of over 500 of their staff sharing business cards with Sansan, we spoke to four members of the Solutions Division: Division Chief Mr. Shino; Deputy Chief Mr. Takahashi; Marketing Chief Mr. Ai; and to Sales Manager Mr. Monma.
Mr. Shino: Konica Minolta, as a member of the Konica Minolta group, focuses on domestic sales of information-related equipment such as digital multi-function copy machines and printers, and related solutions.
The vision we are pursuing is to be a “Work-Style-Design Company”. Since we sell directly to our customers, we have a thorough understanding of our customer’s challenges. We have an extensive product line-up, and our management principle is “creating new value”. We seek to offer our customers solutions that what we ourselves have actually practised, and inspire our clients by becoming an indispensable partner helping them to success.
Mr. Takahashi: Around 540 members of our company, including sales people, executives, and also our CEO, are using Sansan regularly.
Mr. Takahashi: We started our Solutions Division with the aim to try to sell ‘solutions’; not just to sell ‘things’ such as printers or copiers, but to try to support the entire IT infrastructure of the client. When selling solutions, you are trying to help your clients solve the problems they have, therefore meaning that collaboration with multiple companies is essential. When doing this you need to connect the human networks you have and so, at that time, we realized Sansan could facilitate this.
Mr. Takahashi: We had been using a similar business card-based contact management service before. However, we were not satisfied with it due to the accuracy and operation time being below our expectations. Also, the information was never updated and, accordingly, we were not able to share the newest information among our sales team.
Mr. Takahashi: First, we were happy to see that our previous problems of accuracy, expediency and redundancy were gone. Naturally, we wanted to use it but we needed to get the approval of some people within our company. We had to figure out how to make it work with our existing personal information management policy and our basic policy for information security.
Mr. Takahashi: The fundamental issue was that the information we were scanning in was going to be managed by Sansan, an outside company. To allay our concerns, we asked a lot of very thorough security questions. Sansan were very considerate and professional, and explained everything to us fully.
Together with our responsible department, Sansan checked and adjusted the software in order to meet the world-wide security policy of the Konica Minolta Group.
Mr. Takahashi: Until we started using Sansan, we managed our business cards on an individual basis, with each employee handling their own cards. With Sansan, we started managing them as a company. This led to us becoming better able to make use of the human networks within our company and realize a new sales style.
For example, one of our sales reps met a new prospect and scanned the business card into Sansan. Through Sansan, the rep found out that I was acquainted with this prospect and asked me to support him.
This case involved me personally, but I’m sure there are many other cases like this in which vertical or horizontal connections are being shared. You can’t always tangibly see these types of results, but we have had many big improvements in efficiency thanks to using Sansan.
Mr. Monma: I am in charge of sales, and if it’s difficult to get an appointment with a prospect, I would check to see if anyone in the company has a connection there, and then make use of that connection.
Our planning department and system engineers also use Sansan, and they have connections that we in the sales department don’t have. These often come in very handy. If we didn’t have Sansan, our approaches to prospects would be considerably slower and less efficient. Now we can quickly check Sansan, and from there send an email or make a phone call directly. This is extremely useful to our sales people.
Mr. Ai: At a trade show in July 2014, I used Sansan to scan in all the prospects I met, and by following up with people who came to the show, I was able to find 30 potential deals. Many of these became actual orders, totalling hundreds of millions of yen.
Mr. Ai: At the back area of the trade show, we had our Sansan scanner set and we scanned in all the business cards we received there and then. We also collected surveys at the trade show and, by entering these survey results with the business cards, we were able to start following up our prospects from the next day.
By taking this multi-faceted information and processing it according to challenges currently faced and potential challenges, we were able to prioritize the prospects and make our approaches. Due to the fact that we could prioritize them and make our approaches so quickly, I think we were able to realize a lot of potential deals.
Mr. Shino: The data we have in Sansan is our company’s treasure. It is a precious resource we will use for our sales in the future. We want to further realize the potential of what Sansan and Konica Minolta can achieve together and continue to create new value in the future.