sales-i, the sales and customer intelligence service for office-based and front-line sales people, has today announced that Jackson Building Centres in enjoying increased sales, and improved customer service thanks to its investment in sales-i.
Jackson Building Centres, a division of the Grafton Group, is a regional chain of builders’ merchants trading from 28 different locations from North Yorkshire to Cambridgeshire. With 2010 turnover of £120 million and 750 employees, the company has been trading for 65 years, providing products and services which benefit the professional tradesman to the DIY enthusiast or homebuilder.
To address growth and to keep customers at the very heart of its business, one of Jackson’s key priorities and commitments, it was decided to introduce a sales and customer intelligence system. The motivation: to ensure Jackson customers received unprecedented service and also so that Jacksons could increase cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.
“We had an abundance of information but to bring this together as a valuable sales tool was difficult,” recalled Steve Marris, the firm’s Sales & Marketing Director. “What’s more, the information that could be collected to make decisions on was taking too long to collate. It was also often inconsistent, as each system was stand-alone, so there was consolidation work to be done on top to try and get anywhere.”
In response, in March 2010 the business decided to implement sales-i, the leading on-demand (software as a service) sales and customer intelligence platform. IT leadership in the firm looked at other Cloud-based sales intelligence systems, but found they were not quite the ticket for Jackson.
“We looked at several other products but they weren’t going to be as intuitive to the guys on the road and to the branch managers as sales-i,”
says Steve. “They were just too complicated to use.”
The new system was at first rolled out to 28 people across the company, including eight branch managers, and the twenty-strong sales force out on the road. The rollout was painless: the technology requires, after all, no hardware or infrastructure for a customer like Jackson to buy, maintain or worry about, and by virtue of being virtual, any users can access sales-i over any Internet connection.
The sales team can now get information on customer accounts, buying patterns and changes in buying behaviour from a mobile phone, both while on the road and before they make and during a visit to a customer. What’s even better, it gives them that information very quickly and is super-current – “So we are not going back in time and looking at historic data. I know what I’m doing and what I’m not now. It’s simple, quick and really is a help.”
“This is all about the information,” concludes Steve. “sales-i has proven itself to be absolutely just what we wanted as a company, moving forward. There’s no doubt that we wouldn’t have invested in it if we didn’t think it was about putting extra profits on our bottom line.”
There’s also the question of return on investment. And here again, Jackson’s commitment to the software looks to have been a sensible option.
“I would estimate the investment cost has already been repaid several times in the short time we have had sales-i and will no doubt continue to do so in the future. For instance, there’s one particular customer who we’ve been dealing with from our Lincoln branch; I would suggest that sales-i has given us 20% more business off that particular customer because we know exactly where we are with them, now.”