Senior Sales Engineer Ashley Miele has been with Paychex for nine years, but she says this past year has been the most exciting, due in part to collaborations with the developers and salespeople involved with Paychex Flex. We recently interviewed Ashley to get her perspective on our human capital management (HCM) system as she demonstrates Paychex Flex for potential clients and hears firsthand what matters to them most.
How does Paychex respond to the needs of current and potential clients?
In order for Paychex Flex to be seen as indispensable to prospective and current clients, we need to hear from them as well as from the frontline Paychex employees who serve them every day. And technology plays a part in that.
Specifically, for my group and for other Paychex salespeople, there’s a Salesforce.com Chatter group called Paychex Flex SOS where we ask questions about what our current and prospective clients want from our system. A lot of Paychex employees monitor that group, from product managers to the senior vice president of IT, product management and development, Mike Gioja, who spearheads the entire Paychex Flex project. But everybody talks to everyone like they’re important—that what you have to say makes a difference.
The fact that we can work together with those responsible at Paychex for making changes to the Paychex Flex application and to personally suggest changes or enhanced features in Paychex Flex that our clients and prospective clients are talking about is unbelievable.
How has technology made it easier to bring new, useful functionality to market?
About a year ago, the Paychex Flex SOS Chatter group was opened to our salespeople and sales engineering. The group included knowledgeable product managers and it was intended to be an outlet to help answer prospective clients’ questions. Today it typically takes less than five minutes to get an answer.
So you can ask your own questions, or post that you’ve talked to a client or prospect and they need certain functionality asking if it is something we should consider and the people responsible for creating any potential system enhancements will respond. Another example could be that the client wants a different kind of report. It needs to display these particular data points. So, Paychex Flex SOS has become a huge exchange of information that helps to form the future of our HCM system.
Has this spirit of collaboration been part of the experience from the beginning?
Yes. Originally, there was Paychex Online, which was used by small business clients. Then there was a release called Web Pack 1 to upgrade that online tool with additional features and functionality to become what is now known as Paychex Flex. Many of the features were driven by listening to our own clients and prospects. Soon after, our salespeople were brought in to the mix. The system was still called Paychex Online at that point—it didn’t even have its new name yet.
When we talk to prospective clients, we say the reason we named the new HCM system Paychex Flex is because it’s flexible and we’re flexible. Meaning if you don’t need recruiting and applicant tracking, we have the flexibility to pull that out of your package. And if you need it later on, we’ll add it back in.
Plus, it’s not a different application you’re logging into. It’s just a new button at the top of the screen that’s going to bring you into this new module. And then there’s the service aspect, the flexibility of service. Do you want 24/7 phone support? Do you want a designated representative? How do you want us to manage your account?
With clients, prospects, and Paychex representatives working together, our system just gets better and better.
Adam Bates, Paychex Senior Product Manager