SILL Lighting - GoldMine Case Study
"The project from writing the brief to going live on GoldMine is like moving from a bicycle to a Mercedes. "confirmed Bob Bohannon, Managing Director.
Sill Lighting's business is opportunity-lead rather than contact-lead which is a result of the nature of the construction industry. Since each project has a long lead-time from scheme design to delivery, the company has a large number of opportunities in the sales funnel at varying stages. As a result it is vital to Sill that all key contacts with a prospect are recorded in a database allowing the sales team to follow on conversations where they left off.
Bob Bohannon, Managing Director of Sill Lighting explained "GoldMine has an integrated module devoted to tracking opportunities so I can easily produce either reports or a graph detailing the sales forecast by team, age, competitor and close date."
The company had been a victim of its own success. Design opportunities were coming in thick and fast. It was crucial for Sill Lighting to be able to establish which projects had the highest chance of success and then win them rather than chase each piece of business as it came in.
Before the installation of GoldMine, Sill Lighting had two field laptops and a paper-based filing system holding all the prospect and customer information. To give a single intelligible view of both current and future customers, all information about the opportunities needed to be integrated into a single database. Because the sales team travel they are not based in the office. Therefore it was necessary to find a solution that allowed information to be shared across remote locations.
Now with GoldMine, Sill Lighting can log phone calls, attach letters and proposals, and keep track of any loyalty gifts or Christmas cards that have been sent.
A single point of reference is essential in allowing the management team to track progress the sales team are making on opportunities. Some of the reports generated, and the information held, are for management purposes only. So it became critical for Sill Lighting management to have the option of limiting read-and-write access to certain data.
The solution with GoldMine enables each sales person to access, write and delete only their own data where Bob Bohannon has the master rights.
In addition to sales tracking, Sill Lighting wanted a way of measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of marketing activities such as advertising, exhibitions and promotions. As Bob Bohannon observed "For a company of our size it is vital to understand which marketing activities are the most effective so we know which ones to repeat and which ones to put down to experience. With GoldMine, we can directly attribute business to the campaigns run."
"The project from writing the brief to going live on GoldMine is like moving from a bicycle to a Mercedes. There are features that we have still not taken full advantage of, but it's better to approach a project of this nature in bite size chunks if you want to succeed," confirmed Bob Bohannon, Managing Director.
For the installation of GoldMine to be successfully adopted throughout the company, it was vital for the software solution to reflect the language Sill Lighting use internally. The sales staff needed to have a solution that mirrored their everyday language and working practices to break down the barriers to acceptance. "The idea was to generate a software aid for both the sales support and management to make lives easier. By adapting the software to use the terms we use every day, GoldMine has become second nature very quickly,"commented Bob.
The solution was implemented and facilitated by a FrontRange Solutions partner, Prior Analytics Ltd. Within days of the installation, Sill Lighting had the entire customer contact details available across the network which was backed up nightly, a feature that was previously done on an ad hoc basis. Prior Analytics worked with Sill Lighting to ensure that all the information was 'clean'. In other words all duplications were removed, and all opportunities were assigned an owner, so no leads slipped through the net. Not only are opportunities now tracked but the opportunity manager will rank them by size, potential and stage in the pipeline. As part of the process, projects which had been won were 'closed' generating real sales performance statistics.
"Using the opportunity manager in GoldMine, Sill Lighting is now able to analyse what deals are pending and how soon they are likely to affect the company's revenue," remarked Claire Robinson of Prior Analytics.
Once the data migration was completed, Prior Analytics worked with Bob Bohannon to roll out training to the users. He noted, "It was essential that the software was easy to pick up and work with, we are a small and very focused team which means we don't have time to learn how to use complicated software. It needs to work with the minimum amount of effort."
In addition to the tangible benefits, Sill Lighting has found that the company's resources are now used more effectively. For example, the technical designers are highly skilled in understanding the requirements of potential customers and translating those needs into a lighting solution. The technical designers' talents are therefore required for each response to tender. By using GoldMine, Sill Lighting is better able to evaluate which projects have a high probability of turning into business. For the technical designers, benefits include the ability to track and manage revisions of each response to tender through the document management feature. Having a central store for all the information relating to each tender means everyone in the company has access to the important details relating to each deal.
The benefits are not confined to the technical designers; the sales team are profiting from a two-way flow of profiting from a two-way flow of information with head office. Before GoldMine 5.0, the sales team would spend valuable time calling the office for updates on the status of meetings and prospective clients. Using the remote synchronisation facilities provided by GoldSync, they are able to update diaries and access the shared documents held within GoldMine while on the road.
Through using GoldMine, the management team now have a global view of how the resources at Sill Lighting are being used, and the results they are achieving, simply because all the information is held on a single database. It is possible to see the whole picture – from each sales engineer's past and pending actions, plus the sales performance.
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