“By bringing hundreds of retailers together in a global online community we can build more effective relationships and achieve efficiencies. The community has transformed how we engage with retailers, and how they engage with us,” explains Jacob Østerhaab, Vice President of Commercial at Stokke, which manufactures sustainable children’s products.
Salesforce is at the heart of Stokke’s online community, which was launched in July 2015, and at the heart of its business. Sales, services, e-learning and the company’s social intranet all now run on Salesforce. “Salesforce is much more than just a CRM system. It’s the backbone of our commercial organisation,” confirms Rolf Waage, IT Director at Stokke. “As a premium brand, quality of service is second only to the quality of our products. Salesforce solutions help us offer exceptional service to both retailers and consumers.”
By using a single platform for its core commercial operations, Stokke can also tap into global insights about its business. “With Salesforce, we can make more informed decisions and drive greater efficiency across sales and service delivery,” says Østerhaab.
With a single platform for field sales and customer service teams to track and collaborate on cases and tasks, Stokke can ensure efficiency, accuracy, transparency and timely follow ups. A queuing system provides an overview of customer service activities, and enables the workload to be shared across teams while monitoring delays and processing time.
Prior to deploying Salesforce, Stokke’s approach to managing and supporting its retailer network was encumbering not enabling its business and staff. “Retailer data was inaccurate and disparate, with support run via email. We were also missing collaborative features between the customer service support teams and the field sales teams,” says Waage. “Staff didn’t have what they needed to do a good job.”
When Stokke started looking for a new CRM solution, mobility was an important factor. The company has relationships with retailers in more than 80 countries, which means its sales team spend a lot of time on the road. “We wanted to ensure information was available anytime anywhere, so the team could tap into existing customer intelligence,” adds Waage.
Although Salesforce wasn’t well known in the retail industry or the Nordics at this time, Stokke could see the potential. “Our unique way of working gives us our competitive edge, and we didn’t want that hampered by a rigid and prescriptive system,” explains Waage. “With Salesforce we can take the business where we want, without following anybody else’s footsteps.”
Sales Cloud and Service Cloud were rolled out globally to the company’s sales and service operations over the course of just three months in 2012. Stokke rapidly realised that it could derive even greater benefit by extending access to all of its 320 employees, which it went on to do the first quarter of 2013.
Salesforce CRM provides a 360-degree view of Stokke’s retail partners, including their account and order history, signed contracts, planned sales visits and outstanding payments. “Better visibility of our retailer relationships helps us optimise efficiency and provide a higher quality of service,” explains Østerhaab.
As well as capturing retailer intelligence, Sales Cloud enables the field sales team to schedule meetings with existing retailers and prospects based on the resources available in different regions. Before attending each meeting, account managers pull together comprehensive customer reports from Sales Cloud to help them prepare, including current orders, the previous meeting’s discussion points, and the Stokke products they have on display. This saves time, ensures consistent preparation and means all relevant information is at hand. “We’ve integrated Sales Cloud with our ERP system so sales reps can place customer orders directly in Sales Cloud during meetings, rather than having to phone them in later,” explains Waage.
With a single view of every retailer relationship, employees on the road and in the office can collaborate much more effectively. For example, support staff using Service Cloud can view any outstanding orders and sales reps can view any outstanding queries, which means they can provide a more joined-up response to retailers.
All support requests are managed via Service Cloud – including those submitted via the Stokke website and online retailer community. “Requests are placed in queues according to language, and picked up in Service Cloud by the relevant support team,” explains Østerhaab. “This approach has enabled us to constantly monitor and optimise response times.”
Salesforce dashboards provide sales and service managers with an instant view of KPIs, such as the number of sales visits planned versus those achieved, average service response times, and cases resolved. Salesforce CRM is also integrated with Stokke’s business intelligence system. “We can compare performance month-on-month, year-on-year, across teams and markets, identify performance issues, and make more effective decisions,” adds Østerhaab.
Stokke also wants to share intelligence with its retail partners. The online community, which is based on Community Cloud, includes an e-learning platform powered by App Cloud. “Retailers and our employees can now learn about the latest Stokke products quickly and easily,” says Waage. “This helps them stay informed so they can respond to customer queries more accurately and sell more.”
Product images and information in the community are automatically updated via integration with Stokke’s content management system (CMS).
Community Cloud and Salesforce Chatter also form the basis of a social intranet platform, which is used to share the CEO’s blog, company announcements and achievements, and to welcome new team members. It facilitates topic groups and account team groups and is tailored to the individual’s or team’s needs. “With Chatter and Community Cloud, everyone can keep up to date and comment on company news via our intranet,” explains Waage. “With the company split between inter-continental sites, it helps keep us all on the same page.”
Stokke has also started to implement Marketing Cloud to help it communicate more effectively directly with consumers. “We need to be where our consumers are to provide them with relevant information and support them – regardless of the channel,” explains Østerhaab. “This requires different capabilities to more formal B2B communication. Marketing Cloud will help us establish a structured approach to consumer communications.”
The company has also implemented a contract-signing module and initiated the project to implement a new call centre phone system which will be fully integrated with Salesforce CRM. “As we grow, Salesforce CRM will help ensure our commitment to quality and service excellence – both for retailers and consumers – remains consistent. This will help us stay unique and stay at the forefront of the industry,” concludes Østerhaab.