Case: CRM implementation for Walraven|Sax (English)

Logo Walraven|SaxSometime during 2013 I received a phone call from Bart Gijtenbeek, who had been my manager at two of my former employers and currently is the managing director of wine importing company named Walraven|Sax.

“Ed, we want to implement Customer Relationship Management and we need your help”. That basically was the message he gave me. I went over to discuss this at their office in Breda, The Netherlands and we quickly came to the conclusion that although I would like to help Walraven|Sax, the necessary ‘tools’ were not in place. With only an ERP software system at their disposal the company was missing the technological foundation for sales force efficiency, database marketing and CRM. I advised them to contact Datlinq. At Georgia-Pacific, one of the previous companies Bart and I worked for, I had implemented Datlinq’s CRM tool Data Outlet. Since Data Outlet is a combination of a reasonably flexible, web-based CRM system and a database that basically includes the complete foodservice market (hotels, restaurants, bars, etc) this was in my opinion the perfect basis vor Walraven|Sax to make a running start with CRM.

ipadsalesmappIt took almost a year before I received another call. Because of circumstances within the company the project had been temporarily shelved. In the meantime Walraven|Sax had however talked to Datlinq and decided that Data Outlet was indeed the right tool for their CRM and database marketing plans. Even better, Datlinq had recenlty developed and released a new product called Salesmapp; an application sales representatives could use on an iPad to maintain customer data, add distribution data (where are out product used?), plan their appointments and record their effectiveness in reaching their goals. Walraven|Sax asked me to help them implement these tools as well as a database marketing strategy. Between August 2014 and May 2015 I worked on this project for 10 days per month on average. In this case report I’ll describe the various steps we took and where it has taken the company.

The data

After an initial phase in which I determined the wishes of all relevant departments and added my personal suggestions we decided on the scope of the implementation with Datlinq. We quickly came to the conclusion that we wanted to use both Salesmapp (for the sales force) as well as Data Outlet (for office staff and analytical purposes).
Next, we started the migration of customer data from Walraven|Sax’s legacy systems to the Data Outlet database. Prior to this however, the customer data was matched to the Data Outlet database as closely as possible by myself and Datlinq, in order to avoid duplication and data pollution.

Subsequently we thoroughly cleansed contact details, product information, segmentation data, past appointment data and contract specifications and imported them in Data Outlet. In November the administrators were trained and a small group of key users went live with Data Outlet. An automatic synchronisation of this data would make it available in Salesmapp as well. These were weeks I mostly spend on analysing, cleansing and restructuring available data and doing acceptance tests on the deployed system.

The processes

We planned the 16th of January as the live date for the second component, Salesmapp. It was a day on which the whole sales force gathered in the Efteling Hotel. Here the project team members of Walraven|Sax and Datlinq trained them in the use of the iPad in general and Salesmapp specifically. In the months leading up to the training we had ensured that the sales force could continue their regular work processes with the new tablet and Salesmapp as smoothly as possible. Walraven|Sax even went to the extreme of making all laptops and printers redundant among the sales staff. In a number of cases where Salesmapp did not include certain functionality we used pragmatic solutions like setting up forms in Google Forms though which the sales staff could submit requests to the office staff. All in order to make their work as easy as possible and minimize the amount of time they spend on administrative tasks.


Training Salesmapp

To ensure that the sales force was equiped with up-to-date sales data about their customers a number of interfaces were set up. Through these automated interfaces data from the ERP system and external sources is frequently imported in Data Outlet and Salesmapp. Product details are also exchanged on a daily basis. This enables the sales staff to take in orders on their iPads, which are then either transmitted to the ERP system of Walraven|Sax or passed on directly to the sales departments of distrubuters that deliver goods to the end customer. These are accompanied by real-time personalised order confirmations by e-mail to the customer.

Continuous training

In the months following the implementation we continued to give frequent trainings to the sales staff. On the one hand these were aimed at improving the discipline of usage of the new tools and provide additional explanations about the proper use of Salesmapp, while on the other hand we used these opportunities to introduce new functionality the sales staff had requested. One of these was an automatically generated monthly sales report for each customer that was exported from the ERP system and automatically added to the customer file in Salesmapp.

One of the last steps in the implementation project was the delivery of a set of Qlikview reports by Datlinq, making it possible to visualize and consult the data captured in the database by the sales force. As such the architecture for CRM was now in place.


Predictive Modelling

With tens of thousands of addresses of customers and prospects being available in the database the next question was: which of those should be the primairy focus of the sales force? For existing customers this could determined relatively easily based on actual sales, but what about prospects? I called upon Tanya, a former colleague specialised in making predicitive models. Together with Tanya I worked on setting up such a predictive model that would help us determine the most interesting addresses for the sales force. We used all the available details of existing customers and about 100 different characteristics of the target market from the Data Outlet database. Tanya reduced these 100 characteristics to 20 indicators that proved to have predictive value for what we were trying to determine. Eventually we developed two models: an acquisition model which gave a scoring of the comparability of a prospect to a Walraven|Sax customer and a potential model which gave an indication of the potential sales that might be generated by each individual prospect. By determining each customer’s scores in both models we were now able to make a priority segmentation according to the matrix below.

priority matrix

Priority Matrix

The final scores and priority segment were uploaded in the database, where it could be used as a selection criteria for campaigns. On top of this, a strategy was laid out for each priority segment. For instance, high priority customers would mostly receive personal sales and personal service, while low priority customers would be helped through self-service and communication by e-mail marketing.

A new database marketer

When the implementation neared completion new ideas and questions started to arise. The framework for the strategy became clearer and we eventually realised that the company needed additional knowledge and experience in the field of database marketing when the time of the completion of my assignment would arrive. Walraven|Sax did not have a specialist among its staff and I therefore suggested to recruit one. I wrote the job description and after distributing it for a few weeks among my own network we contacted CRM People to help us. We received a series of résumés and had several interviews with interesting candidates. We finally selected a young lady with sufficient basic knowledge to take over the job, as well as the right personality to claim the champion role within this dynamic and sometimes hectic company.

Mission Accomplished … or not?

CRM elementsWith this project, which ran from August 2014 to May 2015, all elements for CRM/Database Marketing had been put in place for Walraven|Sax. Still, a project like this is never fully completed and requires constant adjustments, optimization and development. The coming period I will continue to provide coaching to Walraven|Sax and their new database marketer. This should eventually enable them to stand on their own feet and continue rolling out CRM and database marketing within their organisation.

Project team: Ed Sander (Failsafe Database Marketing), Mark Castelein (Walraven|Sax), Carine van Logchem (Walraven|Sax), Guido Hersche (Datlinq), Lisette Greven (Datlinq).
Additional support on sub projects by Henk van Uden (Micropartners), Tatyana Lagoda en Fons Verduin (CRM People).