The implementation of CRM or sales-supporting ERP often happens at the same time as the reorganizing of the sales function. This also happened a few years back to Ekovilla Oy, which specializes in the manufacture and installation of wood fiber insulation. Ekovilla had just been acquired by another company, Kaskipuu, which manufactures exterior doors and windows. An extensive strategic rethink took place in connection with the acquisition. Implementing a CRM system to support sales also became relevant at that time.
Ekovilla’s sales model is based on active customer work and salespeople visit customers every day, for example on construction sites. That is why the company became interested in the possibility of implementing a CRM that works on mobile devices.
Ekovilla’s sales and marketing director Jussi Vikman says that choosing a Salesforce-based solution was the result of several different factors:
“We had already made a bit of pre-selection for the desired system and the adoption process when the matter came up with Biit, also a Documill partner, in August 2015. Above all, the mobile-first capability was crucial. The final decision was also influenced by the opportunity for quick implementation, the reliability of the system, the integration capabilities between different software, and the readiness for international use”, says Vikman.
“Above all, the mobile-first capability was crucial. The final decision was also influenced by the opportunity for quick implementation, the reliability of the system, the integration capabilities between different software, and the readiness for international use”
In a nutshell, the mobile-first approach means for Ekovilla that the company’s salespeople download the Salesforce mobile application to their terminal, which enables them to use the sales tool created for the company. The application allows the sellers to complete all steps of the sales process, from defining the customers’ needs on their sites to sending order confirmations. Overall, the application can be used versatilely in sales and sales management.
The Salesforce mobile app is available for download for both iOS and Android.
A transaction can be made in a couple of minutes, even at a construction site
Before the introduction of the mobile application, only desktop applications of office programs were used in Ekovilla. This often made work slow and made reporting possible just within the office walls. The introduction of the new system made it possible to get rid of the old ways of working. In the end, Ekovilla’s salespeople were not even trained to use anything else than the mobile application.
Vikman says that at best, it takes just a couple of minutes to make an offer to the customer. The transaction process is neither no longer dependent on where the seller and customer are at any moment. This has caused the sellers to happily welcome the mobile application.
“No one yearns for the past or wants to return to the old system. For the employees, this change has accelerated many stages of the sales process and made it easier, which has been duly praised by the sellers. When the system works easily and quickly, the sales process does not become an obstacle to trading and growth”, Vikman states.
“When the system works easily and quickly, the sales process does not become an obstacle to trading and growth.”
An agile system develops in line with the business
As Ekovilla’s business has developed, Salesforce has provided an agile platform for making various software integrations and developing a CRM system. Among other things, the mobile application has been integrated with the company’s financial management system and it has also been trialed in Sweden at Ekovilla’s subsidiary, Ekovilla Sverige AB.
“All systems have been made to talk to each other. Although integrations always come with their challenges, cooperation with Biit has been smooth all along”, says Vikman about the success of the integrations.
“All systems have been made to talk to each other. Although integrations always come with their challenges, cooperation with Biit has been smooth all along.”
Along with its flexibility, Salesforce also has the advantage of fast development cycles. As with many other cases, Ekovilla’s demo version was developed into a fully functional system in just a few months.
“We got the demo available in the fall of 2015 when only a few sellers trialed it for the first couple of months. However, already on January 1, 2016, the application was in use by the entire sales organization, Vikman sheds light on the rapid progress of the project.
Ekovilla Oy has operated in the Finnish town of Kouvola for more than 30 years and has production facilities in Kiiming and Ylistaro in Finland. The company focuses on the production of wood fiber insulation. One of its factories also produces organic fiber needed for the making of high-quality asphalt.
This article was translated from a case study by Biit. Read the original in Finnish.