Saving money and better equipped to sell

Working with Microsoft partner blue-zone to create the blue-app, technology business Würth Phoenix has not only saved money, but also increased sales

Lindsay James
Lindsay James
By Lindsay James on 22 December 2015
Saving money and better equipped to sell

This article first appeared in the Autumn 2015 issue of OnWindows magazine.

International technology business Würth ­Phoenix supports a global team of 20,000 outside salespeople who want to present the company’s high quality products to customers in an appealing way. Until recently, however, the sales team were using enormous product catalogues which were not only expensive to produce, but quick to become outdated and cumbersome to carry around.

Partnering with digital technology company blue-zone, Würth Phoenix has implemented a digital solution. Developed using .NET solutions and leveraging the Microsoft Azure Cloud, the solution, which runs on Microsoft Surface tablets, presents more than 100,000 products. Not only does the blue-app give access to images, videos and animations, but also to collateral, technical details and white papers.

Using the solution, the dialogue with the customer is much more relaxed, making it easier to determine the customer’s needs – or to target potential ones. This is done with cross and upsell overlays, which lead to added business. The outside salesperson can also convincingly offer customised proposals, because he now has access to the customer’s order history and knows the customer’s preferences.

“Compared to a product catalogue or high-gloss brochure, the interaction on the large touch screen paves the way to an entirely new form with which to stage the brand and the product,” explains ­Michael Piok, general manager at Würth Phoenix.

The blue-app shows news and promotions right on the front page – and they are always up-to-date because the Microsoft Azure Cloud makes the blue-app a real-time catalogue that is available for users around the world, 24-7, 365 days a year with all price, delivery and technology updates.

What’s more, with map-based sales-route planning integrated in the blue-app, outside sales can save valuable driving time, allowing the salesperson to invest more energy into the sales meetings themselves. Another guarantee for success is the integrated itinerary planning tool with CRM connector, with which the salesperson can select targeted high-revenue customers. Both blue-app functions combined add up to more sales calls per day and more completed sales per meeting.

Customers can receive delivery promises right away, customised with their own terms and conditions as well as agreed upon discounts. This is made possible with state-of-the-art interfaces to ERP systems, which show real-time merchandise availability, so the salesperson can make a firm commitment about shipping lead times and complete business transactions on the spot. Prior to using blue-app, sales employees had to collect orders, transfer ­analogous order forms into their PCs; oftentimes, they couldn’t send out the orders until late at night via e-mail or fax. For buyers and employees alike, this was a waste of good time. Today, orders are triggered immediately thanks to the process-optimised back office connection. The customer benefits from the accelerated delivery service.

The results have been extraordinary. Up to 25% more revenue per order (a combination of cost-savings within the sales process and additional sales) has been achieved, as well as an estimated 20% increase in efficiency. The results were so convincing that more companies, such as the technology supplier ISOLED and the fashion supplier ­Passigatti, have also begun using the blue-app.

 

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