The specialised nature of Sutton Tools’ business means that many customers require high touch sales and service. Salesforce helps the business focus its efforts and connect with customers in new ways. One of these is through customer portals built on Experience Cloud.
These portals include MySutton which provides business customers in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and Asia with access to real-time logistics like order fill rates as well as pricing, past orders, and inventory information. Previously, this information was compiled daily and circulated by email and it was out of date almost as soon as it was sent out. Now, it is embedded into the portal using Tableau CRM and customers have real-time data they can rely on. They can also place orders 24/7, helping the business to drive $2 million in sales via the portal in less than two years. The recent go-live of e-Con CPQ from the AppExchange will add to these benefits by enabling self-service quoting on more bespoke products.
Sutton Tools has launched another portal which facilitates online sales for its consumer brand, Carbitool, which it acquired in 2018. Uptake of the website and portal has grown quickly—especially during COVID-19—and online sales now comprise 10% of the brand’s total. The business is now accelerating that growth by capturing Carbitool customer data in Salesforce and sending personalised promotions using Pardot.
Sutton said that in addition to increasing sales, the real-time stock information and self-service enabled by the portals have reduced inbound calls to service team by more than 25%.
"Through our online portals, we've been able to provide customers a new level of transparency while automating processes like credit returns and reducing time spent on basic enquiries. It has freed our teams up to focus on value-added activities like selling and spending more time with customers," said Sutton.
The use of Pardot has freed up even more time as it allows Sutton Tools to automate communications on behalf of the sales team. Communication is more personal too, with a number of automated journeys tailored to customer demographics and behaviour.
“We can now execute a wide variety of messages to very specific audiences which has increased engagement and led to a rapid reduction in opt-outs. The efficiencies gained through automation have also freed up our marketing team to expand beyond product communications and publish more engaging stories about our industry and brand,” said Sutton.
One of the greatest advantages of Pardot is that it has helped Sutton Tools to accelerate the launch of new products. Instead of waiting for sales reps to inform customers 1:1, the marketing team can use email and other digital channels to get the message out quickly and in a more controlled manner. They can also more easily measure customer interest through actions like click-throughs on campaigns.
In addition, using an API, Sutton Tools’ distributors are able to expose product information directly onto their websites. So whether or not a distributor holds a product directly, they can market and sell it to customers.