Logging contacts, qualifying leads, reconciling invoices, tracking projects. The team at Peoplevox have only one system – and they need only one system: Salesforce. It’s been with them since day one, helping to drive higher conversion rates and achieve greater efficiency.
A decade ago the internet began to change the way we shop. Today’s smartphones and tablets are continuing the retail revolution, with ecommerce predicted to grow by 20.1 percent in 20141.
Ecommerce doesn't just impact consumer behaviour; it impacts retailers’ operations too. As Jonathan Bellwood, the Founder of Peoplevox, explains: “There’s a big difference between shipping entire pallets to stores and picking individual products for customer delivery. You can end up with a very expensive mess if you are not careful.”
Peoplevox is on a mission to make ecommerce beautiful behind the scenes through its warehousing management solution, which has been built specifically for an online world.
The company is already well on its way to achieving this mission, with customer acquisition doubling every month. Peoplevox helped ship more than 10 million orders from 100-plus websites and marketplaces with 99.99% accuracy in 2013.
“Salesforce has been a vital part of our business since day one. It has made us more competitive and more efficient,” reveals Bellwood. “For example, it used to take us four hours to prepare a customer quote, now it takes 30 minutes - and it’s more accurate.”
When Sales Cloud was first deployed in 2008, it was initially used by Peoplevox as a central repository for capturing contacts, opportunities and conversations. “We didn’t consider any other solution. Salesforce has evolved with our business – and still does,” says Bellwood.
Sales Cloud is now an essential part of the lead management process at Peoplevox, automating both qualification and allocation. These custom workflows have been created using the App Cloud.
“Every lead from the website is automatically logged and graded using Sales Cloud,” explains Bellwood. “We never lose a lead and we only spend time focusing on the ones that are most likely to convert.”
Prior to deploying Sales Cloud, leads used to come through on email and sit in someone’s inbox. “If you don’t respond within a few hours, then it’s too late,” comments Bellwood. “With Sales Cloud, the time taken to make contact with a prospect customer has been cut down from as much as a day to a matter of minutes.”
As a result of these and other efficiencies, Peoplevox has seen its sales conversion rate increase from three percent in 2008 to nearly seven percent in the first half of 2014.
All leads and opportunities are tracked on a central dashboard, which Bellwood can access using the Salesforce1 Mobile App. “I view the dashboard more on my mobile than on my desktop as I am often out of the office,” adds Bellwood. “The Salesforce1 Mobile App also enables us to check key information, such as quotes, while we are out meeting customers.”
Visibility and accessibility will be essential as Peoplevox ramps up its growth plans – the company’s solo sales representative will soon be joined by up to 10 new colleagues.
“With Sales Cloud, it doesn’t matter if someone is not around. We’ve got a full record of what has been discussed and agreed, so anyone can progress a customer lead or query,” comments Bellwood. “It gives us a consistent way of dealing with customers so they get the same experience every time.”
It also ensures that Peoplevox’s charges are consistent. The company’s old manual approach to creating quotes often resulted in variable pricing. With all products and prices logged in Sales Cloud, this doesn’t happen. “Sales Cloud has become our product master, which means everyone is using the same descriptions and the same prices,” adds Bellwood.
With quotes also stored centrally, Peoplevox can reconcile them against the work delivered and invoices raised. “We used to have to reconcile everything manually,” reveals Bellwood. “This not only took a lot of time but was prone to human error. This meant some services and hardware assets would go unbilled, which impacted our bottom line.”
With Sales Cloud, the reconciliation process is not only faster but also governed better, as documentation proving what has been delivered to each customer is stored centrally rather than in an email inbox. Bellwood estimates the company has saved at least a day per month thanks to the improved reconciliation process.
Salesforce has also improved revenue generation by ensuring that customer requests for enhancements don’t get overlooked.
Using App Cloud, Peoplevox has built a project task management system to bring together both customer requests and internal initiatives. “With a centralised view of all current and upcoming projects, we can make better use of our resources, “ explains Bellwood.
As well as helping track customer requests, App Cloud provides Peoplevox with the agility it needs to respond quickly too. As Bellwood confirms: “Adapting our systems and processes is incredibly quick and easy with App Cloud. If a customer asks for a new feature, we can work on it overnight and have it ready for the morning.”
Peoplevox hopes to bring similar agility and visibility to its customer support operation, which will be migrated to Service Cloud during 2015. The solution will be used to create an inventory of all IT assets bought by customers through the company.
“With Service Cloud, customers will be able to raise a ticket online and we’ll be able to match their query to any hardware we’ve sold them,” explains Bellwood.
Peoplevox plans to extend this self-service approach to partners as it moves to a channel sales model. Service Cloud will be at the heart of this new community, enabling partners to access knowledge banks, log tickets and even share marketing plans.
“With Salesforce, we know we can scale – and do it successfully,” comments Bellwood. “Processes that used to take hours now take minutes.”