Sales reps leave their employment and move on in their careers. It’s just the way things are and it’s a healthy thing. But from time to time we get feedback from potential customers that RunMags is WAAAAAY to open and that it’s too easy for sales reps to walk away with customer data to a competitor. So how do we suggest you manage this?
Great collaboration vs. great protection
At RunMags, we believe that there’s more to gain from having the entire team collaborate to provide customers with the best service possible than there is from shielding data from employees. Making it possible for ANY person within your organization to receive a call, pull up the customer record in RunMags and HELP that customer do business is not only good customer service. It also makes your employees feel valued and trusted – a key ingredient in retaining your most talented employees.
With that said, you do need to take some precautions because even employees with the best of intentions may be tempted to steal your data … if the opportunity presents itself. Follow these six steps to protect your business when sales reps leave.
1. Include a confidentiality clause in the employment contract
This is the formal way to legally protect your business. Include one or two paragraphs that states that the employee will keep secret all trade secrets and confidential information of your company. Get a lawyer to write this up for you so that you are legally protected when sales reps leave.
2. Let it be known that customer information belongs to your company
Educate your employees from the start that customer records, sales information, email, etc. is property of the company they work for. Also, be VERY open about the fact that it’s possible for you to see if someone is downloading customer data from RunMags and that the company can see if an employee has emailed data to their personal email account. Also, openly state that legal action will be taken if misconduct is suspected. A word of caution: state this as fact – not as a threat. You want to make sure your employees feel that the CRM makes their job easier, not that its purpose is to control customer data.
3. Be supportive of employees who leave you
We live in a small world and there’s always more to gain from treating employees who leave well. If you’ve done anything right in managing your business, turning in the resignation is most likely not an easy thing to do. Recognize that and if the employee is a high performer, let them know they are always welcome back. Changes are that the grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence and hiring someone you know who is already up to speed on how your business works is cheap compared to hiring someone who’s fresh.
4. Reaffirm the confidentiality agreement when an employee resigns
The same day an employee turns in their resignation, send them an invite for their exit interview and also attach a one page document you ask them to sign to reaffirm that they will not leave their employment with any of the company’s intellectual property, i.e. customer databases, sales data, etc. In many countries the employee can just disregard the document since they signed up for the confidentiality clause when they started their employment. But that’s fine because the value of the document isn’t really to get a signature. It’s to REMIND the employee about the confidentiality clause they’ve been working under throughout their employment.
5. Check the user log in RunMags to see if data has been exported
In RunMags, go to Admin >>> Co-workers. Search and find the employee that just resigned and go to the tab called System events. Review the event log to see if large volumes of data has been exported. If necessary, use this if you take legal action.
6. Transfer accounts to another employee
As quickly as possible, create a transition plan. Preferably, if your employee is leaving on good terms, have them introduce key accounts to a new rep. Make the customer feel confident that they will get the same or better support from the new rep. As part of this process, bulk transfer the accounts in RunMags to the new rep. You can do this in Admin >>> System settings, under the Mass update tab.