COVID-19 is having a significant impact on businesses, and many companies have been caught off guard, especially those without a digital transformation strategy. According to Gartner, 88% of companies aren't prepared to deal with the current crisis. The remaining 12% have been able to thrive by staying flexible, innovating and building resiliency. For many, digital transformation has been key.

Salesforce is a leader in digital innovation. We work with companies to drive digital transformation, allowing them to manage the crisis as quickly as possible. Salesforce CRM enables companies to innovate faster, increase productivity, and refine sales and supply chains.

Abena is a global manufacturer and wholesaler of healthcare solutions. In one of the Salesforce Leading Through Change webinars, we spoke to Salahdin Mabtoul, Abena’s Global CRM Business Development Manager, and Steve Edmonds, their Marketing Manager. They talked us through the impact COVID-19 has had on the business, and how Abena used Salesforce solutions to improve their sales and business process during the pandemic.


How COVID-19 impacted Abena sales

The needs of the market changed during the pandemic. In response, Abena had to rapidly change the way they operate – not only to protect the health of their employees, but to deal with the increased demand for PPE. These changes included:

  • Moving to remote working.

  • Smaller teams were working in shifts to mitigate risk.

  • Field sales were frozen.

  • Processing a huge increase in the demand for PPE.

  • Transitioned towards being an inbound sales company.

Abena worked with many of their salespeople in the field. However, when COVID-19 hit, Abena had to shift from outbound selling to inbound selling.

Luckily, they had Sales Cloud in place to aid in this rapid digital transformation.


Why is digital transformation important for sales growth?

Digital transformation is the future of sales innovation. It can help businesses recover from the current crisis by helping to drive growth and revenue amid challenging circumstances. Creating and implementing digital transformation strategies can also generate a competitive advantage over companies who are not prepared.

During the crisis, Abena focused on forward-thinking, which led them to adopt Salesforce digital solutions. These digital tools better prepared them to pivot and change their business strategy when COVID-19 hit.

Steve Edmonds told us: "We quickly moved away from our long-term opportunity process to become a far more agile organisation. That impacted our Salesforce process. It became key to control data management and make sure we could get in touch with the right people at the right time".

Steve went on to say: "In terms of best practices, we're always looking at how we can make improvements through digital transformation. We've definitely learnt to invest and focus in that area. Manual processes are where we really struggled throughout COVID-19. We've made a lot of progress with our digital transformation, and we really want to keep that up."

Companies that adapt to change and develop digital transformation strategies can combat the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. These companies will then go on to succeed in a rapidly changing landscape.



How is Abena using digital transformation to sell smarter?

Abena is going through a strong digital transformation process at the moment. And they are using Sales Cloud to do so. They have also used this opportunity to enhance the skills of the sales team.

Steve Edmonds explained: “We have made more progress in the last three months than we have in the last three years.”

Sales Cloud played a key role in helping Abena navigate the COVID-19 crisis. Here are just a few examples of how Abena used Sales Cloud.

  • To get an overview of their stakeholders, enabling them to better communicate with them.

  • To gain full visibility of all customer interactions across different channels.

  • Improved their speed to market by automating their customer creation process.

  • Helping the field sales team transition to more agile, market-driven ways of working.

Abena had to accelerate their use of reporting and dashboards. They moved from weekly or monthly reports to daily reports to keep up with the rapidly changing market. Sales processes had to shift from outbound to inbound. Salesforce was used to optimise stock levels at a time when demand far outstripped supply.

Abena has been using Sales Cloud to its full potential. This will benefit them in the long-term, making them ready for the next normal and beyond.


Is your sales team ready for the next normal?

We are living in a digital age, and it is more important than ever for businesses to embrace artificial intelligence. Companies need to think of the future and take on digital transformation projects as this will benefit them in the longer-term.

Company business strategies should include digital transformation initiatives. This will help them prepare for any challenge during the COVID-19 crisis. Refining these digital channels will improve sales processes and customer experiences, and enhance products and services. By digitising your sales process, you can modify, refine, and grow business even in exceptional circumstances like a global pandemic. 

Is your business ready to sell in the next normal?

Watch the webinar to find out more about Abena and how working with Salesforce helped them sell smarter with Sales Cloud.