BACKGROUND:

U.S. Postal Service sales leads are generated by several sources, including sales staff, letter carriers, postmasters, and other officials. The Postal Service records and tracks sales leads in the CustomerFirst! System. Designated sales staff must review leads and determine whether to follow-up or close each lead. Action must be taken on all sales leads within 48 hours, regardless of the leads’ prospects for revenue or successful closing. The Postal Service recorded about 120,000 sales leads in fiscal year (FY) 2012.

Due to the large number of incoming sales leads and limited staff, the Postal Service developed the Funnel Management Program in FY 2011. This system uses a computer model and manual processes to prioritize sales leads.

The objective of our review was to evaluate potential enhancements to the Funnel Management Program.

WHAT THE OIG FOUND:

Opportunities exist for the Postal Service to enhance the Funnel Management Program by enhancing the automated process to divert lower priority leads to lower cost sales channels that meet predetermined criteria. For example, sales leads with lower revenue and lower prospects for closing can be diverted to sales personnel who reach customers by phone, interested mail service providers, or other Postal Service officials, such as postmasters.

By diverting and processing sales leads with lower priorities, sales specialists can focus their efforts on those opportunities most likely to result in significant sales. We estimate that enhancing the Funnel Management Program to divert and process low probability sales leads through alternative channels would increase sales revenue by $2.4 million per year.

WHAT THE OIG RECOMMENDED:

We recommended the vice president, Sales, enhance the Funnel Management Program to automatically identify lower priority sales leads with lower revenue and lower prospects for closing, and divert them to more cost-effective channels.