Work Store aims to be India’s largest office products company, offering businesses of all sizes everything they need to run efficient, productive workplaces. The company’s vision is to always put the customer first as it pursues business growth.
Work Store’s goal to be a one-stop shop for office products in India was hampered by inefficient back-end processes. To enable better customer engagement, Work Store needed to first fix its internal challenges.
Vivek Viswanathan, CIO of Work Store explains that the company’s nine branches across India were all selling the same products, but in different ways. They used different systems to capture sales data and it wasn’t possible to get an accurate view across the whole business.
Branch sales coordinators captured sales data on individual Excel sheets, which were consolidated for weekly reviews at the Head Office. This manual process was time-consuming and inefficient, and data was often lost in transit. If a sales coordinator was on leave, that particular branch missed the weekly review.
“There was no accountability and we could not pinpoint where errors and delays happened,” details Vivek.
Additionally, constrained by Excel’s limited functionality, Work Store’s management team lacked visibility into the sales pipeline and were unable to monitor how many leads actually converted into sales.
“We wanted to make the sales process more efficient, while simplifying all operations in the back-end,” says Vivek. “Clearly, what we needed was one single, reliable platform to integrate and streamline processes, and enable data-driven decision-making.”
Work Store evaluated a few CRM solutions and soon realised that Salesforce was the answer to their many needs. “We were particularly attracted by the platform’s intuitive and simple UI,” he explains.
Work Store has been using Salesforce since 2009. Integrated with the company’s BI and ERP solutions, it offers end-users a single platform on which different teams can seamlessly collaborate.
“We use Salesforce across the organisation,” says Vivek. “Sales, supply chain management, procurement, and IT teams – the whole company is directly or indirectly involved with Salesforce.”
Sales Cloud has automated the entire sales process, from lead qualification to closure. A closed opportunity is set up as an account and all customer data, interactions, and financial information needed for invoicing and billing are captured within Salesforce.
This has made the ordering process extremely simple. When a customer visits the Work Store website to place a new order, customer data is pre-filled from Salesforce, and the new order can be easily booked.
The Salesforce platform has boosted efficiency as well. Previously, the sales team spent a lot of time on tracking invoicing and payments. Now, Work Store uses the Service Cloud console to display all invoicing information. With the accounts receivables process automated and streamlined on the solution, sales people can focus on revenue-generating calls and meetings, rather than tracking invoices.
As a result, the team is able to close 40% more deals in a month than before.
Sales Cloud has also helped improve pipeline visibility by consolidating all data in one place. “With Salesforce, better pipeline visibility and team efficiencies have helped double our business within six months” explained Vivek.
“Every employee’s focus should be on the customer. This means that we need to help them be as efficient as possible by simplifying processes and giving them access to rich customer data. And Salesforce is helping us do just that.”
Vivek says that he particularly likes the fact that even non-technical people can use Salesforce. “The Email-to-Case functionality of Sales Cloud has proved very useful and teams find it very simple to work with.”
When a customer places an order offline, the sales person simply sends an email to an ID specifically created for that purpose, and case fields are auto-populated from the content of the email. The order is instantly booked and pushed through Salesforce for processing.
“All our customer-facing departments – order punching, service management – are on Email-to-Case. This helps them close out tasks quickly and also track how much time they are spending on each task,” says Vivek. This has improved productivity. The order punching team, for example, is able to process 30% more orders in a day.
Email-to-Case is also used to great effect by the post-sales support team. “If customers face an issue, they email us on a dedicated email ID, and a ticket is automatically raised.” Work Store ensures a customer response time of less than four hours for every email sent during working hours.
By automating and streamlining ticket management and resolution on Sales Cloud, the support team has boosted customer satisfaction by 25%.
Most importantly, the Salesforce platform provides visibility into all customer data. “All my teams access customer data through Salesforce, whether directly stored here or available through the platform. So, there is no need for them to work with other applications.”
Teams now enjoy access to granular insights into customer behaviour and preferences. Vivek explains - “When I look at a customer’s data, I know what they want. Does this customer need to be called multiple times before they order something, or would one email with the right offer incentivise them to purchase?” Such insights are helping the sales team sell smarter and more efficiently.
With customer data at their fingertips, every account manager can service the customer better and faster – whether to process an order, reply to a query or address a complaint.
“This is how customer relationships are built – by knowing everything about our customers,” says Vivek. “We ensure that every sales and account person has exactly the data they need to give the customer what they want.”
And even if a particular account manager leaves the company, customer service is not compromised. Since all customer history and interactions are recorded on Salesforce, a new account manager can immediately familiarise with customer needs and next steps.
“There is no loss of data and the customer continues to receive smart and personalised service.”