About a year ago, I joined a small medical devices company called Cyber Robotics. My role here is the Sales Manager and I have a sales force of about 10 people. One of the biggest challenges I faced in my new position was to keep track of the sales projects and government tenders we face each day. To give you a little background on what we do, we focus on state-of-the-art medical technologies (linear accelerators for cancer treatment, imaging devices like MRI, tomography, PET-CT, etc). Selling these kinds of devices requires that a lot of different people be involved in the process (tender specialist, clinical specialist, architects, sales staff and 3rd party companies).
I previously worked at big transnational companies, like Carl Zeiss and Bausch and Lomb, where we used a lot of CRM tools (like SAP and Salesforce) and had very detailed and established processes. But at Cyber Robotics (a young company with a small staff), one of my first tasks was to find a way to organize and control sales projects in a cost-effective way. So I did some research for a project management and CRM software with friends, blogs, and online reviews. That’s how I found Todoist.
For starters, I opened my Todoist account, watched the videos on the website, and started to use the basic features. The first thing I loved was its connectivity. The iPad, Android and Mac apps’ synchronization worked fantastically for me as I’m always traveling through various cities in Mexico. Additionally, the SMS and push notification reminders on my phone always help me keep track of what I have to do.
After a couple of weeks of using Todoist individually, I asked my whole team to open their own accounts, and upgraded all of them to Premium.
Our first group project was to install five CT scans throughout five different cities in Western Mexico. I created the project with five sub-tasks (one for each CT) and a list of to-do actions with specific completion dates, and assigned each task to a team member.
The work flow process is fantastic! Everyone on my team knows what they have to do and when to have it done. We upload documents (quotations, installation guides, site plans, invoices, etc) to our tasks which makes it easier to access the info rather than looking for it in our different inboxes. It also makes it easier to follow-up on changes– comments made in Todoist is much more organized than e-mail.
For me as a Sales Manager, Todoist acts as my simple, mini-CRM. My sales team adds each sales lead as a project, which helps me detect problems before they happen (like keeping track of delivery dates by having our logistics team post comments or tasks in our projects) and identify when something is taking too long.
Another feature that helps a lot is Todoist’s Labels. For each project, we assign a label according to the provider involved in the project (Siemens, KLS Martin, DaVinci, Accurray, etc). Filtering the information with the labels really helps me identify the opportunities for each company when working on my forecast for each month/quarter.
So far, we’ve been using Todoist for four months now and I believe it is the most cost-effective application for a small sales force where sales projects are long term (our sales cycle ranges from six to 18 months) and where other areas have to be involved (logistics, 3rd party companies, etc). I believe this app has helped my organization deliver on time, improve the sales-process, and keep our customers satisfied.
P.S. I even used Todoist to write this post!