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4 Posts authored by: Christian Stadlmann Employee

Here at Aurea, we’re closely observing happenings in the CRM space as we continue to evolve and build out our differentiated product vision for Aurea CRM. Recently, I was asked to share some of my perspectives on the future of CRM in an article for a German publication called Big Data Insider. For those of you who read German, feel free to take a read and let me know your thoughts.

 

For the rest of you, I’ll summarize my key points here. Two of the biggest trends we’re seeing in CRM these days surround mobile and big data. Mobility (and in particular, offline enablement, which we offer through Aurea CRM’s mobile clients) is especially key for driving sales adoption amongst reps who are always on the road, often in areas with poor Internet connections. In addition, intelligent CRM capabilities are becoming more and more critical for modern solutions, as buzzwords like artificial intelligence and machine learning start delivering real value. Every business is looking for ways to increase work productivity, and CRM systems of the future will enable this through more sophisticated customer intelligence that proactively detects important patterns in your customer activity, relationships and networks.

 

Of course, with all this data, security is increasingly critical for CRM systems, especially here in Europe where GDPR is top of mind. And finally, social is an area that no sales team should overlook, since these channels contain a treasure trove of valuable information about your customers that can be leveraged to inform and accelerate sales cycles.


What additional trends are you seeing in your business? I look forward to discussing these topics and much more with those of you who are joining us at Aurea Experience 18 in Munich next month.

Greiner Bio-One is a global supplier of high-quality laboratory products with more than 1,800 employees and 23 subsidiaries, including production sites in Austria, Brazil, Germany, Hungary, the United States and Thailand. The company develops biotechnology, diagnostics and medical devices, and its BioScience division ranks among the leading providers of specialist products for the cultivation and analysis of cell and tissue cultures.

 

With such a large, diverse and dispersed business, it’s not easy to stay on top of individual customer relationships or manage every single lead, opportunity and interaction worldwide. That’s why Greiner Bio-One decided to adopt Aurea CRM’s comprehensive customer relationship management solution a few years ago.

 

We recently chatted with Ingrid Lamperstorfer, who manages the company’s CRM & EDI initiatives, to learn more about their experience in advance of her presentation at the upcoming Aurea Experience 18 conference in Munich.

 

 

Aurea: How long has Greiner Bio-One been using Aurea CRM?

 

Ingrid: Previously, we used two different CRM tools – eSales and SugarCRM – in just a few countries, so our sales teams were not well-connected. About four years ago, the managing director of our UK subsidiary, Tom Woods, initiated a project to look for a new CRM system that could span the entire organization. The team evaluated nine software vendors, looking for a CRM solution which would both meet all our key workflow scenarios and be configurable to facilitate local operational requirements. We chose Aurea CRM and are rolling it out across Greiner Bio-One.

 

Currently we have around 300 active users in the U.S., United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium, and are in the process of rolling out Aurea CRM to our operations in France and Austria this year. We’ll add eight more countries going forward, with our total user base anticipated to be around 500 people.

 

Aurea: How do your sales reps use Aurea on a daily basis?

 

Ingrid: Our representatives use Aurea CRM as the cornerstone of their day-to-day administration. They can do their activity planning and visit reporting, create new contacts and organizations, assign interests, as well as enter offers in the system and order product samples for customers. All of this relevant customer information is therefore captured in Aurea CRM, where it is then available to a range of interested colleagues, such as line management, product management and marketing departments.

 

Aurea: Do you use any other solutions from Aurea Software?

 

Ingrid: Yes, we started using Aurea Campaign Manager for our email marketing at the end of last year. So far, we’ve done the initial integration with Aurea CRM. Its new user interface is modern and up-to-date, and the product roadmaps both look very promising. We look forward to more seamlessly connecting the two systems as we continue expanding our marketing programs.

 

Aurea: What do your sales reps like best about the CRM software?

 

Ingrid:

For them, it provides high visibility of key information and easy access to everything they need to know in order to prepare for a meeting -- including current and historical pricing, invoice and customer support activity, status of sample requests and offers, etc. They also have access to the latest sales and support information, as well as helpful marketing information (such as conferences the customer recently attended), so they can follow up appropriately.

 

One Aurea CRM feature we use often is the opportunity module, which is especially helpful with all our public-sector contracts. We can create the appropriate offers in the system and track all the information we need for these proposals, including the customer’s pricing requirements. Aurea CRM enables our sales force to see far more customer information than they ever could in the past. 

 

Aurea: What kind of adoption and success are you seeing across the organization?

 

Ingrid: In addition to our sales teams, who make up the majority of our Aurea CRM users, our customer service, marketing, quality control and technical support teams are also now using the solution to both extract data and track and follow up on issues. We are expanding the range of users and user groups as more affiliates go live and we find new opportunities to benefit the business.

 

With our increasing user base, the Aurea CRM platform provides a management tool for the evaluation of either general activities or those of particular interest -- such as activities related to a priority product or campaign. We are currently developing and evaluating our metrics and reporting structures to provide relevant qualitative and quantitative data, as the system and the culture of CRM in this form is still relatively new to many users.

 

Klöckner & Co Germany GmbH manufactures products and components made of steel and metal for customers all around the world. One of the leading steel traders in Europe, the company offers a wide range of products and logistic services. In fact, with hundreds of years of industry expertise and a distribution and service network of around 170 locations in 13 countries, Klöckner supplies around 120,000 customers.

 

A top priority for Klöckner is digitizing its business processes by improving internal workflows and increasing cooperation with suppliers and customers. Not only can businesses order their very own steel in the online shop, they can also check current contracts online, integrate with the Klöckner API for constant data exchange or visit the Klöckner Connect customer portal for any other customer service or supply chain needs.

 

With all of these services, Klöckner has built a strong customer base. In order to keep track of each and every customer and provide them with great service, the company turned to Aurea CRM. We had the chance to speak with Florian Müller, head of pricing & CRM at Klöckner & Co, about his professional and personal experiences with Aurea CRM. Florian is responsible for evolving the company’s use of the CRM system, including a Europe-wide rollout and serving as a “Scrum Master” with a small team that works on continuously developing sales support tools.

 

 

Aurea: How has Aurea helped Klöckner & Co disrupt the steel industry?

 

Florian: Klöckner is one of the big retailers when it comes to fabricated metal and steel. In this position, it is only natural that we want to lead the way into the future by digitizing the steel business. Aurea CRM helps us every day with this goal, because it helps us deliver better customer experiences and supports our day-to-day workload. Our salespeople can look into our customer database to view former and current contracts and deliveries, as well as contact details to help plan customer visits. We all know exactly what is going on: no matter where, no matter when.

 

As part of our “Klöckner & Co 2022” strategy, we set a quite ambitious target of generating 60% of our sales via digital channels by 2022. By using Aurea CRM and other digital tools that are necessary in today’s business environment, we’re confident we can achieve this goal.

 

Aurea: What is Klöckner’s history with Aurea CRM?

 

Florian: I joined Klöckner last August to manage Aurea CRM in-house, but our experience with Aurea CRM dates back to 2011. Back then, we compared the solution with a bunch of other competitors and chose Aurea CRM because it best suited our needs and our digital strategy.

 

Currently we are leveraging the CRM system in the UK, France and Belgium, and our sales department is so happy with it that we decided to roll it out to an additional 900 users across our offices in Germany and the Netherlands as well.

 

Aurea: How do your sales reps use Aurea CRM on a daily basis?

 

Florian: We use Aurea CRM for a variety of purposes. In total, 2,100 employees use Aurea for:

  1. Communications: All of our sales representatives use Aurea CRM to save and share their conversations. This helps teams stay up-to-date and keep tabs on what’s going on.
  2. Financial data: We have integrated all financial data from our SAP tool in Aurea CRM. If a customer has a question about a purchase or delivery, anyone on the team can look up the details. This is especially handy when they negotiate with clients or manage a special order. Before, we had to go back and forth between two software programs, but now all of our important information is available in one solution.
  3. Visit planning: Whenever one of our employees goes on a customer visit, they can use Aurea CRM to plan their route, ensure there are no overlaps with other colleagues and see who can visit which client(s) along the way. As a result of this helpful tool, our reps can streamline their business trips and make the most of their time while reducing Klöckner’s environmental footprint.

 

Aurea: What do your sales reps like best about the solution?

 

Florian: Klöckner’s reps are always on the go. We really care about our customers and often spend the time to meet them in person rather than just having another call. Before we had Aurea CRM, in order to find customer details, our sales reps often had to log into several big, bulky systems that were made for desktop computers (which was especially inconvenient when travelling).

 

That’s why route planning is so important to us, and Aurea CRM’s mobile web version is where it really gets helpful. Our reps appreciate that they can simply look clients up in the database from any device, and find all the essential information they need to prepare for customer meetings. Furthermore, it is easy to use and very accessible. Overall, the best thing about Aurea CRM is that our staff wants to use it. I think that’s the best proof of success -- that the solution supports our people in their daily work.

 

Aurea: What are your plans for the future?

 

Florian: At Klöckner, our digital strategy is one of our top priorities. We’re working to achieve an open industry platform for the steel and metal industry in which information can circulate freely with the help of digital tools like Aurea CRM. We want to connect market participants in order to improve efficiency and speed the supply chain. As we align our business for the long term, we also see digitization as a key step forward in sustainability. Just think of all the paper and fuel we save through digital communication and smart planning!

 

Aurea is a great partner and we are excited to continue working with the company. As we roll out Aurea CRM to more of our global sales teams, it makes everyone’s work easier and unites us as a company across country borders.

 

From Paperwork Piles to Customer Data at their Fingertips: How Aurea CRM Catapulted Pluradent into the Digital Age

 

Pluradent is a group of companies that provides services and products for dentists and dental technicians. With over 1,300 employees, 35 subsidiaries across europe and revenues over 300 million Euros, the company is one of the largest retailers in the European healthcare market. Pluradent offers not only dental products, but also logistics, professional training and conference services, as well as consulting on accounting, quality management and more.

 

With so many lines of business, Pluradent’s IT team is focused on implementing easy-to-use, robust tools to support employees. Since 2000, the company’s sales department has used Aurea CRM to help manage and improve client relationships. Today, half of the company leverages our software for everything surrounding customer interactions, with around 200 super users who rely on the Aurea CRM mobile experience every day. The software tracks all the information they need about customers, generates consultation reports and visualizes key sales workflows around the clock.

 

We recently had the chance to speak with Roland Gell, CRM system architect and long-term employee at Pluradent, about his company’s nearly twenty years on Aurea CRM and what he finds most remarkable about the solution.

Copyright "Pluradent AG& Co KG

 

 

Aurea: If you had to sum up what Aurea CRM means to Pluradent in one sentence, what would you say?

 

Roland Gell: Aurea CRM is of fundamental importance for our success today. It keeps our sale representatives on top of their game, providing them with all of the indispensable facts and details they need about their customers, while delivering outstanding usability.

 

Aurea: Why did Pluradent initially choose Aurea CRM?

 

Roland Gell: Our search for a suitable CRM provider started in 1999 before I even joined Pluradent. Back then, the company had paper cards and written reports for everything, so sales reps were carrying around file folders to customer appointments. It took people much longer to gather information or answer customer inquiries because they always had to call the back office to get the details.

 

I was hired after the company selected what was then called update.CRM, because they wanted to ensure a smooth rollout and ongoing administration of the new tool. In those years, the focus was on capturing customer data and making it available at any time—something Aurea still provides today. The system did everything we needed at the time, and has improved quite a bit over the years.

 

Aurea: How did you drive adoption for Aurea CRM?

 

Roland Gell: It took some time for the company and our employees to understand the importance of a well-functioning CRM solution. When we first introduced Aurea CRM, some people were a bit suspicious and reluctant to change their workflows. The biggest challenge was to convince especially older co-workers of the benefits of the system, as they were afraid of being too transparent or doing something wrong.

 

We offered helpful trainings and, once we got our top management on board, many others followed. The executives led by example, so the employees quickly learned to use the software and started enjoying the advantages of having all our customer data in one place. Now they work with Aurea CRM every day and can hardly imagine life without it. These are great accomplishments, given that the dental industry and dealers in Germany are pretty “old school.”

 

Aurea: What do Pluradent’s sales reps like best about the solution?

 

Roland Gell: Aurea CRM really changed their daily work. Today our sales representatives have customer information at their fingertips and can gather details about offers, complaints or pricing before (or even during) a customer meeting. Afterwards they can easily share a recap, so that everybody in the company has insight into what’s been discussed.

 

The modern and intuitive interface of Aurea CRM is easy to understand, and our sales representatives work with it naturally from any place at any time. Now, they can generate all necessary reports and documents without paper, and knowledge becomes immediately accessible to their colleagues. Our reps especially love the mobile app that lets them work on the go and switch seamlessly back and forth from the desktop version. In the words of one of our oldest employees, who has been with Pluradent for more than 40 years: “If I had Aurea CRM 25 years ago, my job would have been so much easier all the way through.”

 

Aurea: What are your future plans for digital transformation?

 

Roland Gell: Pluradent definitely wants to become more digital and use state-of-the-art technology. That is on the top of our priority list for the coming months and years. For Aurea CRM, we are also planning a roll-out across company borders. Our logistics division will be the next adopter of the technology in order to streamline complaint management and make their work easier. With this step, we will probably increase usage by 20%, and I am sure many more groups will follow as soon as they have seen the benefits.

 

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