News : Treasury Wine Estates Sales Team Go Social with Chatter
April 20, 2012 -- Treasury Wine Estates has sealed a deal with cloud computing company Salesforce.com for a new customer relationship management that will consolidate seven platforms into one.
Known for its iconic Penfolds winery, Treasury will use the online system to provide a "single source of truth" for its fleet of sales people.
Implementation was swift at six weeks, requiring only three internal staffers, with some help from the vendor.
The company has started using Salesforce.com's free corporate social networking tool called Chatter and has experienced stellar results, says Treasury's field sales director Darren Campbell.
Chatter is slowly breaking down barriers to communication and making Treasury's workforce more nimble and efficient.
With the faster turnaround of information-sharing via Chatter, it takes minutes instead of days to disseminate crucial information.
There is also evidence of a reduction in internal email consumption of up to 30 per cent.
Treasury demerged from brewing providers Foster's last May and was saddled with old and clunky systems that catered mainly to its beer legacy.
"Coming out of a multi-beverage environment -- with most of our systems and processes from a selling point of view being based on the background of an Australian beer system -- we didn't really have something to accommodate the selling of wine," Mr Campbell said.
"It was wine being on the back of a beer system . . . one product is very much an FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) style category product, being beer, where customers largely used to place calls through a call centre and ring their orders in on a Monday or Tuesday and had been traditionally trained to do that probably up to 70 or 80 years.
"(With) beer being the lifeline of publicans around Australia, that was critical."
Before the demerger, the traditional CRM systems were "extremely time-consuming, expensive and unique, so any time anything new happened with technology you were up for a lot of money to make any changes to the system", he said.
Treasury found itself unable to react quickly and efficiently to customer requests as vital customer data was scattered across myriad systems.
"Most customer information during that period of time was sitting across anywhere up to seven different parts of the business, so if we were trying to be specific with a customer around what their needs are, the credit department would have a different view from the sales representatives, the merchandiser, the wine educator, and the information was not captured in one central location.
"I said, 'I want this information in one location and I want to be able to make informed decisions about our customers and I want to be quite solutions-orientated with our brands'. While we've got great brands I wanted to make sure those brands matched the right solutions."
He said the key was "getting all of our organisation connected so that we had that one single view of the customer, one truth, so to speak".
Mr Campbell said Treasury wanted a robust yet flexible solution in place that could cater to international markets.
"We didn't want to have a situation where we created our own (CRM system) because I've seen too many examples of where once you create your own, it's out of date before you've even used it."
"The competitive advantage isn't about the actual system, it's about making sure that we capture quality insights around our powerful brands and how they're being used with our customer base and customer segments and then targeting solutions that customers really need," Mr Campbell said.
Mr Campbell described Chatter as the "Facebook of business".
He said he felt trepidation when he first saw Chatter in action because he was concerned how much time the sales team would spend on it rather than working. But the reality was most of the sales team were on social media anyway, he said.
"They've got Facebook, they've got two phones, they're with their mates all the time . . . they're contacting their mates during work hours.
"You can try and stamp it out or you can actually embed it as part of what you do, (so) rather than being on Facebook, them being on Chatter and working on business initiatives and helping drive adoption of the whole customer relationship management tool was something that I saw as fairly exciting.
"I've seen our older sales managers really get embedded with it and really enjoy using it."
Three hundred sales people at Treasury currently use Chatter to communicate with other departments such as marketing and public relations. But one of the biggest benefits Mr Campbell has witnessed is Chatter's ability to speed up information flow.
"One of the big things I've seen as an example that's worked really well is often organisations, when they want information, chat through their hierarchy so a sales representative will call their boss and say 'I've heard that Rosemount Diamond Label cabernet was in the Jimmy Watson final and got down to the last few when it was being judged' and they might have to wait for a couple of days to get that feedback to see whether it's true.
"Whereas in Chatter we can have the sales manager that actually went to the function turn around and go 'I was there, yes that's true . . . it made the last eight'. And that happens in 15 minutes because everyone gets to see that feed.
He said emails in this area could be reduced by up to 30 per cent.
"I see a lot of our sales force migrating to Chatter and being more self-sufficient in solving issues with each other (and) not just relying on head office to provide it.
"Likewise head office can go out to the sales force and say 'we've got this idea, what do you think?'-- and within a couple of hours anyone can have five or six really clear bits of feedback saying it will work or it won't. And we haven't had to call them off the road or do a conference call."
The contract value is confidential but Mr Campbell said the company was already reaping rewards from Salesforce.com.
"We didn't want to have a system which relied on spending bucket-loads of capital upfront.
"The main part about our return on investment is that we're already seeing significant lifts in customer service, and where the benefits are going to come is the increased sales because customers find it easier to deal with us," Mr Campbell said.
He said in future the CRM system would give Treasury a better feel when developing dedicated sales and marketing campaigns for each customer segment.
He is also looking into online training and video capabilities so Treasury can have a "much stronger alignment on what our footprint in our customers' venues look like".
"I can see times when we can do some training online for customers and employees a la YouTube," he said.
"At the moment we do a lot of tastings with our sales representatives but I'd love to see a day where (Penfolds chief winemaker) Peter Gago does a live tasting across 4500 venues and they (customers) would be able to see it on an iPad or in a store."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Salesforce.com delivers software-as-service offering a family of on demand solutions for integrated sales force automation, campaign management, customer service and support, and document and file management to help companies meet the complex challenges of global customer communication. The company has introduced sforce, a new service that will change how applications are built as significantly as salesforce.com changed how applications are delivered.
Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2012
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