Protecting 1 million people:
how Salesforce reinforces Vandeputte’s vision
Interested in a business transformation story just like Vandeputte?
Vandeputte is a household name in safety. When it comes to personal protective equipment and solutions for a wide range of environments, this trusted Belgian giant relentlessly delivers high quality, sustainability and cutting-edge innovation. However… its approach to lead management and sales processes needed a little digital dusting off – and that’s where Scalefactory stepped in to help.
With the ambition of delivering even greater value to its customers, Vandeputte defined a plan to optimize and automate processes using digital tools and best practices as part of a larger, organization-wide strategic vision: protecting one million people.
Reach more customers, boost collaboration: Salesforce for the win
“Understanding how your business works in detail is fundamental to our approach. It’s easy to come into a boardroom and tell a great story of a successful transformation project. It’s much more difficult to pinpoint the operational visible and invisible elements that make up a process and spot possible improvements that add value to products and solutions.”
“We wanted to introduce a standardized, best-practice way of working when it comes to lead, contact and account management,” begins Thierry Forceville, SAP functional analyst at Vandeputte. “Why? Well, our account managers and customer support agents work together in pairs to create customized quotes, and each pair had their own unique way of working. When it comes to managing an absence or introducing a new hire, it’s much more streamlined to have all of the data in once place.”
Another aspect of Vandeputte’s sales optimization plan was to bring efficiency and transparency to prospect management. “We wanted our account managers to have a record of every contact – and every action – concerning each customer so that they can take a proactive sales approach.
“We also wanted to avoid key info getting lost in email chains or siloed in the brains of our experts. And our third objective was to introduce more sophisticated, tailored marketing automation into our customer approach.” continues Thierry. “After a year of research, we found Salesforce to be a great solution to all of these challenges, and we selected Scalefactory as our implementation partner.”
Interweaving two systems that “speak” different languages
Even before the scope of the project was defined, Erik Dierinck, functional technical lead and project manager at Scalefactory, was hard at work on a project charter and analysis.
“At Vandeputte, account managers and customer support teams are in contact with the customers via our website,” Erik says. “However, since we offer over 70,000 products and services, they might not be familiar with the ins and outs of every product, or with changing safety regulations in different industries. That’s why a team made up of an account manager and a customer support agent is assigned to each customer. This team relies on the support of our product experts to tackle difficult technical questions or changes in regulation, for example.”
“Because the interaction flows between the account managers and customer support agents were so unique, we had to build a bidirectional interface between Salesforce and SAP,” Erik explains. “The goal was to create a single point of view where information can be consulted or changed, regardless of where it was changed. If any account data is added or modified in SAP or in Salesforce, they had to update each other instantaneously.”
“This was especially challenging because Salesforce and SAP don’t match up technically – we had to do quite a bit of custom development to align account structures in SAP vs. Salesforce, for example,” Thierry adds.
“The goal was to create a single point of view where customer information can be consulted or changed, regardless of where it was changed – in SAP or Salesforce.”
Erik Dierinck, functional technical lead at Scalefactory
Sales opportunities at a glance
Thierry, Erik and their teams launched the Salesforce implementation and SAP synchronization track in September 2019, and began rolling out in 2020.
“But COVID hit at that point, and as PPE and safety solution providers, we put our priority on ensuring that people in their working environments were fully protected,” Thierry goes on to say. “In Q4 2020, most of the big technical challenges are in the past, and we’re back on track with the rollouts.
“We have dedicated ourselves to adapting Salesforce to the unique needs of our sales and customer service teams and invest a lot of effort in ensuring high user adoption because this is our first digital sales empowerment tool,” he continues. “It was important for us to clearly explain its added value.”
“Now, we have a global list of sales opportunities and everybody has an overview of what we are doing, how we can improve and who is working on what. Even more, every customer receives a correct, consistent and rapid response to their question or demand, across every channel – phone, website, in-person visit – via the sales team linked to their account. This is a major win in terms of sales management transparency.”
“We’re expecting a better customer experience, enhanced service and the ability to spot opportunities on the horizon. Doing business today is significantly different from the way it was ten years ago – high-impact digital tools are absolutely essential.”
Thierry Forceville, SAP functional analyst at Vandeputte
The future’s so bright, you gotta wear PPE
The flexibility of Salesforce really won over the Vandeputte team. “It’s easy and intuitive to configure – which is especially useful in unique cases like this one,” Erik says. “While we executed the project, we simultaneously trained Thierry’s team in its configuration – and once we’re done, he can take over straightaway.”
“The intuitive approach and layout of SalesForce helped Vandeputte adopt a new CRM system during a period where no live training was possible,” says Philippe Halsbeghe, sales & marketing director at Vandeputte. “Everybody on our sales team has eventually found their way into SalesForce, enabling us to standardize our approach.”
“As a result of the platform, we’re expecting a better customer experience, enhanced service and the ability to spot opportunities on the horizon,” he explains. “Doing business today is significantly different from the way it was ten years ago – high-impact digital tools are absolutely essential.”
Ready for your own bird’s-eye view of sales projects and opportunities across your entire organization? Get in touch with the Scalefactory team today.
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