R&M Electrical first signed up to the on-demand sales and customer intelligence service in summer 2010 and today over 60 of its internal and field-based sales force are actively using and benefitting from the system.
With more then 250 staff and a turnover of £50 to £60 million, R&M Electrical provides a range of products and services to a worldwide customer base. The company is a member of ANEW (the largest independent buying group in the UK). It has overseas branches in the Caspian region and the Middle East, multiple branches in the South of England and South Wales and a number of specialist divisions in the UK, namely its exports division, projects division and assembly division based at the Southampton head office, R&M Fixings & Support also based in Southampton and R&M Cables Division based in Bristol.
"Tracking people and the projects they are working on is critical as there is so much movement in the industry. sales-i is underpinning this customer intelligence and giving us the visibility we need to keep in constant touch with key people."
Managing sales and contact across such a diverse and very large base of customers is a huge challenge and one that R&M is tackling using sales-i. Alistair Skyrme, manager of R&M Electrical Exports division has been instrumental in overseeing sales-i’s introduction into the business.
“Having close visibility and contact with our clients is key to our success – knowing who they are and what their role is whilst keeping a high touch rate, and staying high on their radar. All of this is time consuming and difficult without a system designed to do that very job.” Alistair continues, “sales-i was designed from the ground up for sales people and sales management. It helps cut to the chase when making sales calls and streamlines and accelerates the sales process. Moreover it gives us great visibility of our customer contact activity and call cycles. The combination of sales and customer intelligence makes it a great choice for R&M.
Alistair however, was aware that making any sales system successful involved getting buy in from the sales teams. So following sales-i’s training, he ran a series of incentive programmes offering prizes to the branches that developed, for example, the highest growth in sales, the most active sales team, the greatest increase in tele-sales figures and so on. Interestingly, as Alistair notes, the branch to scoop most of the prizes, the fixings division in Southampton, had the most active group of sales-i users who were proactively using the system to identify sales gaps and opportunities.
As sales-i’s usage and visibility has extended through the business and across divisions, Alistair can see a marked improvement in the customer intelligence that the company is gathering and the value this adds to the business. “We work in the oil and gas industries where our customers are global and large. Tracking people and the projects they are working on is critical as there is so much movement in the industry. In each given account, we could have 50-60 contacts that we need to track and manage. sales-i is underpinning this customer intelligence and giving us the visibility we need to keep in constant touch with key people.”
R&M is benefitting from sales-i’s sales intelligence capabilities too. “We use sales-i to give us up to date information on who is buying what products and who isn’t. Selling cables and cable accessories is an inexact science so having that buying behavior information to hand when talking with a customer is making a real difference and helping us to up- and cross-sell. We also use sales-i in our sales meetings to look at activity, sales pipelines and conversions and that level of detail at our fingertips, when we need it, is very powerful indeed.”
A recent example of where having that level of detail and information proved hugely valuable to R&M was during a large presentation to a client of its fixings division for a contract in the region of half a million pounds. So swayed was the client by R&M’s use of KPI reporting statistics, spend analysis and knowledge of its entire account, that the procurement director voiced how impressed he was by the level of clarity and detail. R&M believe this impression contributed directly to them winning that business and securing the £0.5 million contract!
Paul Black, sales-i’s CEO and co-founder was involved in the initial sales-i presentation at R&M’s management conference and comments, “This is a very successful uptake of sales-i both from a sales and customer intelligence perspective. R&M Electrical is a huge provider in the electrical distribution market with significant UK and global contracts and opportunities. sales-i can deliver very visible benefits to this organization and I am delighted to see the growing traction and impact that sales-i is making through improved customer communications and increased sales.”