Energy group E.ON's sales to Swedish corporate customers were hampered by an antiquated CRM system. It was difficult to access, didn’t give a good overview of customer needs, and didn't work offline. Quite simply, it was inadequate for the job. Microsoft's partner Stratiteq teamed with E.ON to develop a new solution. This involved producing a requirements specification, evaluating possible CRM solutions and suppliers, ensuring the functionality of the new solution, and preparing the company for the transfer to a new system and a new way of working.
|By getting a comprehensive picture, we can link together all aspects of the customer and provide a better offering.|
| Magnus Sahlin|
Sales Manager for Electricity and Gas
Selling energy to corporate customers is all about big volumes and complex agreements. Customers can be geographically dispersed, and different purchasers within the same company might buy multiple energy products at various intervals and in volumes that have differing levels of discount. E.ON's team of around 160 business-to-business salespeople and other personnel used a sales support system dating from the 1990s. It was cumbersome, time-consuming, and didn’t give them insight into a customer’s overall needs. At the same time, sales staff were required to meet aggressive targets.
“It was difficult to view information about the customer's contracts, such as their invoicing status, how frequently we were in contact with them, and details about what we had told them,” says Magnus Sahlin, Sales Manager for Electricity and Gas.
For example, it was difficult for E.ON to offer customers well–thought-out turnkey solutions, which meant that the company was losing potential additional sales. This forced E.ON to make a change.
“We needed an external partner that had extensive experience with CRM. Stratiteq is highly competent and has taught our organization a lot,” says Magnus Sahlin, Sales Manager for Electricity and Gas at E.ON.
Working closely with the team at E.ON Sales, Stratiteq produced a requirements specification based on new sales processes. After evaluating various CRM vendors, E.ON decided on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which is fully integrated with Microsoft Outlook—a tool with which the sales team was already familiar.
It wasn't just about finding a new tool. “We were looking for a smarter, more efficient way of working,” says Cecilia Wallersköld, Project Manager from Stratiteq.
Together, Stratiteq and E.ON began to define new processes. Employees had to learn the new working methods and procedures, and understand the potential offered by the new CRM tool. Stratiteq set up the process of change based on four primary activities:
Sponsorship. A project group was given a powerful decision mandate, committed and involved process managers, a consultative group, and a test team.
Commitment. Considerable emphasis was placed on anchoring the new tool and working method. A target group analysis formed the basis for establishing ongoing dialog and communication with all stakeholders.
Competence. Training was customized for various user groups based on different requirements. The goal was for everyone to be able—and eager—to use the tool from day one.
Support. Future system superusers were involved in the requirements and design work stage, and a management organization and processes were established.
One important factor for success was the very close collaborative relationship between the business and IT. “We applied an agile approach to developing the solution, with rolling reconciliations and partial deliveries,” continues Wallersköld.
“By getting a comprehensive picture, we can link together all aspects of the customer and provide a better offering,” says Magnus Sahlin, Sales Manager for Electricity and Gas.
|It brings order to our sales process. My sales team thinks that the system is very easy to use.|
| Mats Hågensen|
Sales Manager for Heating and Cooling
“It brings order to our sales process. My sales team thinks that the system is very easy to use,” says Mats Hågensen, Sales Manager for Heating and Cooling.
The integration between Dynamics CRM and Outlook enables users to manage all relevant information via the mail client.
“Stratiteq has done a really good job. Their project management did not falter a single time, which is unusual for this type of work. They've managed and made decisions within the framework and pursued issues in a responsible manner,” says Hågensen.
For Stratiteq, the E.ON assignment is an example of how you can help customers from both an IT and a business perspective. Most companies need that combination of expertise.
E.ON Nordic has around 4,000 employees, and produces and provides energy in the form of gas, heating, cooling, waste management, and energy-related services to about a million customers. E.ON works to create a more sustainable society while ensuring that its customers have reliable access to energy at reasonable prices.
Stratiteq is a business and IT consultancy that meets the challenge of customer needs and ensures that they get the solutions they require. They specialize in integrated solutions within CRM, decision support, and portals that open up new pathways for communication and develop a company’s business. They are a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Gold Partner.
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This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Document published November 2012.
For more information about Microsoft Dynamics, go to: www.microsoft.com/dynamics