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Thomas Ridley Foodservice.

Thomas Ridley Foodservice uses sales-i to boost sales team productivity.

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How Thomas Ridley Foodservice uses sales-i to boost sales team productivity, gaining four days of sales every month.


The previous spreadsheet system for reporting and distributing customer and sales data created a lot of admin work for Thomas Ridley’s sales and telesales teams.

With sales-i, Thomas Ridley Foodservice has been able to:

  • Significantly reduce sales team administration time spent on sales and customer reports.
  • Increase productivity with an average of five additional productive sales calls per week for each salesperson.
  • Get accurate customer and sales data into the hands of all salespeople so they can proactively address customer expectations.

We spoke with Matthew Hardingham, Freetrade Sales Controller at Thomas Ridley Foodservice about the benefits of now having accurate sales and customer data easily accessible that they can act on. And the subsequent improvements they have seen as a result.

Relying on spreadsheets for sales and customer insights hindered productivity.

Matthew shared why they initially looked to implement sales-i: “So when I joined Thomas Ridley we were using an Excel document which was quite time-consuming to have the team fill it in weekly.

Using the Excel document, in terms of time being consumed with the sales team on the road and also admin time, the benefits of moving away from that was to increase productivity with an easy to use the system.”

Accessible sales analytics and CRM in one place boosts productivity.

Today, anyone at Thomas Ridley Foodservice with access to sales-i has all their customer, product, sales and conversation insights at their fingertips, making every sales call more productive and worthwhile.

“So what we've managed to do is increase productivity, and manage to fit around five additional productive calls in a working week across the team for each team member” commented Matthew on the value they have seen from sales-i."

Matthew Hardingham, Freetrade Sales Controller

He continues: “Time is precious. More time in front of a customer rather than having a lot of administration work to do is a great result to have, and having that ability to educate our customers further as well on buying patterns; what you are buying, what you stopped buying, what goes well with which products, and the use of our current Campaigns in sales-i, helps generate that conversation with customers as well.”

“You can get anything you want at your fingertips. It's what you need to be a well-prepared and polished salesperson - you need to know the latest updates on sales figures. The customer calls when you're on the road, a quick glance looking at the sales figures and you know what the customer's talking about. And it also helps you identify, if you're in the area, of any particular Campaigns you have set up within the system, then they can actually visit that customer there and then, to action any actions it may have.”

“Sales notes are all in one place, and anyone at any time can go back and look at that. So for example, if I have a team member on holiday, and we have a customer that sends an inquiring, quickly sales-i gives me the key indicators - what's been spoken previously to that.”

Ease-of-use means easy adoption by the sales team.

Matthew also shares how sales-i being easy to use was a key factor in successfully implementing it: “One of the main points of choosing sales-i is the ease-of-use of the sales enablement platform. Its click, click, click, save - not multiple dropdowns or multiple ways to get to the end data.

Because when you're implementing a system into a sales team, you're always going to get that 'why did you do this', 'why did you do that'. Making it as easy as possible for the end-user to use, is also a key implement in actually getting the buy-in from the sales team.”

He continues: “So when I saw the demonstration of this product, that was definitely a key factor for me to say, actually, this is really easy to use, whether you are IT literate or not. This is not going to be a hard platform and anyone can use it.”

“And when we talk about productivity and time management, you know, it takes probably around 5 minutes to understand the reports and present to your customer. You can actually say these are your sales, this is how much you spent on this product, this is how many of that product you've bought over this period of time. Which sometimes the customer is really keen and interested in that.”

He goes on to explain how they use specific features: “sales-i has a Snapshot facility which actually is a quite useful tool for the sales guys to get a monthly or yearly snapshot of what is my customer doing. Are they up-trading? Are they down-trading? What new products they’ve been buying? It’s a great tool to have, and one generation of a Snapshot saves probably an hour of admin time as well because again it's there at your fingertips and that is what the sales guys need - saves time and productivity increases.”

Who is Thomas Ridley Foodservice?

Thomas Ridley Foodservice Ltd has been operating for over 100 years in the UK. Thomas Ridley provides a total foodservice solution to the catering industry delivering a comprehensive range of chilled, ambient, frozen, professional hygiene, and catering sundries.

The business has around 300 employees today, with around 20 salespeople out on the road using sales-i to provide simple, effective sales and customer insights that help them save time and get maximum revenue from every sales call.


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