Grupo Antolin Accelerates into New Products with Salesforce
Founded in the 1950s as a small mechanical workshop in Spain, Grupo Antolin has become a world leader in developing, designing, and manufacturing automotive interior components. This family company has 27,000 employees operating in 26 countries.
With its constant desire to innovate, Grupo Antolin developed a plan in 2018, which included the launch of its Smart Integrator strategy. This reaffirmed its position as a global supplier of technological solutions for car interiors.
This strategy launched new innovative products in each of its existing business lines (headliners, doors, lighting, instrument panels, and electronic systems). It was also the start of a new commercial phase that required implementing a customer relationship management system (CRM). Daniel Pardo, head of business development in the lighting and human machine interface (HMI) area, indicated, "We proposed starting a pilot with Salesforce because it was not only about new products, but also about new sales cycles, new contacts, and a pre-sales process that we were not used to."
NEW COMMERCIAL PHASE STARTING FROM SCRATCH
The task of generating a new contact agenda
From a commercial point of view, the leap into manufacturing new products has meant a radical change for the Spanish company. As a Tier 1 manufacturer, Grupo Antolin sells directly to the major car manufacturers (BMW, Renault, Mercedes, etc.) that rely on the company for its new models. But some of these customers were not aware that Grupo Antolin was a manufacturer of these new products, ranging from backlit trims to capacitive surfaces to control electronics — all with multiple variations.
The company also lacked the right contacts for the new products. As Pardo explained, "The headliner buyers are different from those who buy the interior lighting or the control electronics. We did not always have the contacts for these types of parts."
It required a lot of pre-sales work which is where Sales Cloud came into play for the new product business development team in Spain, US, and China.
The importance of management support
Single, accessible repository of contacts
Real-time opportunity tracking
From spreadsheet to live reporting
Because Grupo Antolin had not marketed these new products before, the company is in the process of defining its sales cycle. This is essential for controlling times and forecasts. Pardo pointed out, "After ten months of operation, we now have visibility into the sales cycle." They can determine when the first customer contact was made, how many contacts have been made, where bottlenecks have occurred, who the decision makers are, and more.
"Knowing the sales cycle is fundamental," explained Pardo. "For all the meetings we do to follow up on product-based opportunities, we only use Salesforce. It has already established itself as a standard in terms of reporting." Before implementing Sales Cloud, the company relied on spreadsheets. Jiménez recalled that several meetings with the different key account managers (KAMs) were necessary to consolidate all the information before generating the final report.
"Using Salesforce has allowed us to optimize this time. And, because it is a cloud-based tool, the people involved have access to all the information in real time," Jiménez explained. It is even possible to produce live reports on the fly.
Measuring sales performance
This simplicity in preparing dashboards also extends to senior management. This report includes indicators such as "number of opportunities generated and number of nominations, including product and customer graphs.”
And Grupo Antolin created dashboards to show the number of sales per customer. Pardo explained, "We are now involved in the five-year sales plan in which we set targets by product and customer. With this information, we not only cross-reference it with the generated opportunities, but also apply probability percentages of realizing the sales.”
Grupo Antolin has total visibility of their opportunities so they can analyze the status of each, whether in the prospecting phase, negotiation or on stand-by. "Using Salesforce is agile for live reporting," said Pardo.