Melexis

 

Salesforce customer since 2007

 
 

High-tech giant Melexis powers towards a more efficient and sustainable future

Strange but true: you’re never far from products made by a company you’ve probably never even heard of. Micro-electronic sensors produced by engineering trailblazer Melexis can be found in our cars, appliances, medical devices, and more. This is a world full of sensors. And Melexis is making it more efficient and sustainable.

“Everything we do, we do with passion,” said Vincent Hiligsmann, VP for Corporate Strategy, Global Sales, Brand & Communications at Melexis. “We’re helping to create a cleaner and greener world by supplying semiconductors to the automotive industry, which we know inside out, and a growing range of adjacent industries.

“We’ve been supporting the automotive industry in its fight against CO2 emissions and fueling the electrification of our vehicles for 30 years. We’re a high-tech company, but when it comes to the customer experience we want to provide, we’re also a high touch company. Everything revolves around the customer. So, we need to be there with them.”

 

Melexis supercharges growth and puts customers in the driving seat, with the help of Salesforce”

Vincent Hiligsmann, VP for Corporate Strategy, Global Sales, Brand & Communications at Melexis.

Melexis on the road from ‘10 to 20’ with Salesforce.

Melexis has bold ambitions embedded in the internal slogan ’from 10-to-20’. It wants to boost annual revenues by raising the average number of the company products in a car from 10 to 20 (in hybrid and electric powertrains, lighting, air conditioning, and so on). It also wants to grow sales in sectors such as health, alternative mobility and smart appliances to account for 20% of total revenues, up from 10% today.

Salesforce will be there every step of the way. “Salesforce tells us if we’re on track to hitting what we call the ‘10 to 20,’” said Hiligsmann. “It allows us to see what our trajectory is, what’s in the pipeline, and what’s moving towards the end of the pipeline. It gives us real, actionable data. It means we’re still agile and ‘high touch’ despite being a €500m company.”

Salesforce gives full transparency into business processes.

For logging new business opportunities, Melexis replaced its old, spreadsheet-based system with Sales Cloud back in 2007. It hasn’t looked back since. Today, 170 people throughout the company’s global sales, marketing, and technical support teams are running their day-to-day operations through Salesforce.

“Salesforce has become the foundation of our business for these teams,” said Melexis Business Intelligence and CRM Specialist Tim Reykers. “It gives a complete, consolidated view of the business. Everyone from our business creation crew is on it: engineers, who are really our technical rock stars, product marketing, sales, customer relations and our distribution partners.

“Our average sales lifetime from identifying a new opportunity to deal closure is 500 to 600 days but it can be much longer. This means every email, every visit, every customer interaction and every project update has to be on Salesforce to give us full transparency. If it’s not on Salesforce, it didn’t happen. We have one source of information and one source of truth: our Salesforce Customer 360.”

Efficiency of sales processes fuels Melexis’ steep growth trajectory.

Driving efficiency in Melexis’ internal processes – as opposed to simply increasing the size of its sales teams – is seen as key to hitting the company’s ambitious growth targets. With a 200% increase in internal reporting in the past years, the company has driven a significant reduction in the amount of time spent on internal alignments, with management using dashboard reporting to efficiently and closely monitor progress towards its goals.

Hiligsmann says there have been two key factors that drove this exponential increase in reporting. Firstly, personnel are incentivised to ensure everything is logged in Salesforce because the benefits of doing so in terms of sales results and time savings very quickly become evident. Secondly, the transparency Salesforce affords allows management to stay up to date with the day to day operations of its business creation team.

“By asking our account managers to log all relevant activities we have a much clearer view of the pipeline,” said Hiligsmann. “Updating data is crucial. You could say: ‘I need to increase sales, so I’ll put more people in the field.’ We didn’t only do that. Instead we became more efficient.” By updating our projects more, we’re having the same or even fewer internal alignment meetings despite a continuous increase of tracked business opportunities.

Melexis achieves closer customer relationships with Salesforce.

Encouraging account managers to update data in Salesforce more frequently also helps them foster closer relationships with customers, part of being  a ‘high touch’ company. "Our sales teams get a much clearer picture of the steps they need to take to build a closer relationship with customers. Not only are they motivated to engage with customers more frequently but they do so with a clear understanding of the purpose of each engagement."

“This means that you get more customer intimacy. It also helps us reach a better hit rate, increases the revenue per capita of our sales teams and brings us closer to that ultimate goal, the ‘10 to 20.’ At the same time, the number of the opportunities we’re realising is growing because of the stronger customer relationships we have.”

Salesforce encourages new ways of thinking, added Reykers. “It’s an innovative CRM platform that comes with three releases a year, bringing us automatic updates in areas like artificial intelligence and dashboarding,” he said. “Innovative new features like this force us to think outside of the box and change our internal and external processes in order to adopt these new features.”

Partner Community keeps distributors in the loop.

It’s not just closer customer relations that Melexis needs to foster, of course. With limited sales personnel out in the field and a big appetite for growth, the company needed to develop stronger relationships with its distribution partners. The solution was the development of a Salesforce Partner Community in 2015 with Experience Cloud.

“We went on the journey together with our distributors and that journey made us all more scalable with our end customers,” said Reykers. “Our Partner Community helped us move away from a fragmented environment. Our distribution partners can request quotations, samples or technical support through one central platform which smoothly connects them with our internal processes.” 

This, in turn, makes Melexis a more attractive partner to do business with. “As we’ve said, our from 10-to-20 program does not mean we want to scale up our sales team by a factor of two,” explained Hiligsmann. “We now leverage our Partner Community with our distributors because they recognise that it allows for a more attractive, efficient way of doing business.

“The portal means that everything they need is automatically integrated into our system. This excites our distributors and inspires them to grow our share of the lines they represent. The Partner Community has been absolutely instrumental in driving our growth. In fact, it was a prerequisite.”

Pardot is poised to provide fuel injection for Melexis’ sales teams.

At the top of the sales funnel, Melexis is adopting Pardot to allow it to categorise and feed leads from its website and online marketing to its sales personnel. “Pardot will definitely give us more insights into how people are using the website, which pages and forms are most relevant and what the beginning of the customer journey looks like,” said Reykers.

“Of course, since COVID, webinars are becoming more and more crucial. So, we need to implement a much smoother follow up system for both product line managers and sales. Pardot allows us to measure the effectiveness of different initiatives and ultimately make our website a more efficient lead generation tool.”

According to Hiligsmann, the implementation of Pardot will generate far greater collaboration between the sales and brand communications teams. “The 10-to-20 journey needs to be fuelled by a pipeline,” he said, adding that companies with business critical tools such as G-Suite or ERP in place will benefit from the connectivity and scalability these tools have with Salesforce.

“And the classic management answer would be, well you need to have more leads. That’s true but you also need a higher quality of leads. And you need to understand how to follow them up. That’s where the work we have done with Pardot on closing the loop between lead generation and sales comes in. It will provide the fuel injection system we need to hit our targets.”

 

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