How Vodafone Business Utilises Salesforce for Greater Innovation

Every day Vodafone helps to connect millions of colleagues, communities, and things around the world as part of its vision to create a more inclusive and sustainable digital society. Vodafone Business plays a key role in bringing this connectivity to organisations – big and small – ensuring they are equipped with the latest technologies to meet their strategic goals.

“We believe that the opportunities and promise of a better digital future should be accessible to all without compromising the sustainability of our planet,” said Kerry Small, Global Commercial and Operations Director for Vodafone Business. “With Salesforce, we can better serve our customers as we shape the world’s digital future.”

Vodafone Business lays the foundations for greater growth and innovation.

To achieve its digital society and inclusivity goals, Vodafone needs to stay at the top of its game. “Our customers are constantly reacting to change – and we need to do the same. But this can be a challenge when teams use hundreds of different systems around the world,” said Small.

With approximately 300 million mobile customers, 27 million fixed broadband customers, 98,000 employees and a million kilometres of fibre, Vodafone operates on a massive scale. Vodafone Business, its B2B arm, is driving new services being introduced around 5G and IoT. “From autonomous cars to factory sensors, we need to have the skills and services to support our B2B customers on their innovation journey. And that means we need to understand them better,” added Small.

7,500 people migrated to a new platform in a single weekend.

Vodafone Business has been using Salesforce since 2009 to bring greater visibility to its B2B customer relationships, which range from larger global enterprises and SMEs to public sector organisations. The business division represents around a third of Vodafone’s total revenue and services, such as mobile, fixed, IOT, cloud hosting, and security, which are delivered in conjunction with 50-plus partners.

As the company’s digitalisation plans gained momentum, it decided to reboot its use of Salesforce by migrating to Sales Cloud Lightning. “We want to make things as simple as possible for our people by embracing the latest technologies and making better use of automated processes,” explained Small.

Planning for the migration, however, was anything but simple. Vodafone Business has approximately 7,500 Sales Cloud users in 23 markets – and it wanted to migrate them all in a single weekend. With support from the Salesforce Customer Success Group, Small and her team spent 10 months preparing for the implementation, which also involved rewriting 1,000 user stories and revamping more than 120 reference guides.

Around 200 users participated in a pilot and another 50 in acceptance testing with feedback captured in Chatter. “It’s important to ensure people feel involved in a transformation and to give them a voice,” said Small. “We want to be constantly learning and testing new things.” And that’s exactly what happened; at one point the team were delivering 150 changes per month.

Delivering successful change on a massive scale.

The team’s preparation paid off. The upgrade to the Lightning Experience in May 2019 was a massive success – there were just 40 tickets in the four weeks after the go-live date. The new platform, called Ignite, is not just used by sales but also the commercial, bid, service, marketing, and finance teams supporting Vodafone Business. “By enabling different teams to view customer records and collaborate on accounts, we can provide businesses with a more seamless experience,” said Small. “Our B2B sales teams now have quicker access to the data they need to support our customers.”

As well as providing smarter reporting and faster navigation, the new platform empowers people to personalise their own user experience. Sales reps can add favourite deals to their dashboard, which gives them better access to the insights they need to win more business. Since upgrading to the Lightning Experience and providing richer CRM features, the platform’s NPS rating with end users has jumped by 17 points.

More accessible customer data helps to boost efficiency.

With hundreds of thousands of B2B customer records captured in Ignite, data security is a big consideration for Vodafone Business. With Salesforce Shield, it can protect sensitive data through encryption policies while still providing a seamless user experience.

Customer and sales information is now much quicker and easier to find and can also be accessed remotely via the Salesforce Mobile App, which has proved a massive hit with the team. Within just three weeks of deploying the app, the number of unique users jumped by 130%. Empowering sales reps with mobile access to data will help them progress and convert leads more rapidly, which will support future growth.

AI empowers sales team to have more intelligent customer conversations.

Vodafone Business is also ramping up how it leverages AI within its sales organisation. During May and June of 2020, it rolled out Einstein to around 800 users in its global enterprise division, which supports around 1,400 large multi-national customers. “With Einstein, we can make CRM even more intelligent,” said Small. “It will help us predict customer needs, identify white space within an account, and prioritise leads and opportunities.”

An initial pilot with the digital sales team revealed the huge impact that AI could have on enriching the experience for Vodafone Business customers. For example, the time needed to prepare for a customer meeting reduced by 40% while the time taken to close a deal decreased by 12%. With Einstein, Vodafone Business will be able to help its customers achieve their goals faster and free up its teams to provide value-added services.

Einstein also provides sales reps with a more granular view of their customers with all previous interactions visible in one place. “With Einstein, we can have more conversations with our customers and offer more relevant solutions that meet their needs,” said Small. “AI and Salesforce will be key to our ongoing digital transformation.”

The IT team uses Trailhead to learn more about Einstein, which it has embedded into the Salesforce Mobile App, as well as other solutions on the implementation radar, such as Salesforce Anywhere and Salesforce Inbox.

Vodafone Business helps its people work from home effectively during pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated Vodafone Business’ digital roadmap, with 60 new projects currently in the pipeline for the Ignite platform. “We had to go bigger and faster with our digitalisation plans,” revealed Small. “Providing our teams with access to intelligent CRM and digital tools for guided selling journeys was key to enabling the shift from field to digital sales.”

Vodafone Business already had a strong remote working culture, which meant it could respond faster to lockdown measures. By the end of March 2020, 99% of its people were working from home. “We focus on work outcomes not work places,” explained Small. “Digital processes and tools, such as Sales Cloud and Chatter, made it easier for our field sales team to make a rapid transition to working from home full-time.”

Vodafone Business also played a key role in supporting its customers during the various lockdowns by providing additional capacity and connectivity so people could work securely and effectively from home. “There was a big increase in demand for fixed data and mobile services, so we had to ramp up our infrastructure and in many cases support our customers to transition their entire workforces to their homes within a couple of days,” said Small. “We’re now focusing on how we can help people return to work safely and ensuring societies and individuals remain connected.”

Vodafone Business boosts sales and customer satisfaction.

To support its one platform vision for intelligent CRM, Vodafone Business plans to pull data into Salesforce from more than 60 different sources. “We want to provide a 360-degree of every B2B customer account, including email communications, revenues, support requests, and NPS ratings,” added Small. “With AI, we can interrogate and visualise data on a massive scale.”

Vodafone Business has been blazing a trail in IoT for some time; it already has more than 100 million IoT connections around the world, which include smart store shelves and tracking sensors for ambulances.

Smarter sales processes and richer customer insights will help Vodafone Business maximise the growth potential of IoT and other emerging technologies. “We want our customers to be happy,” said Small. “With Salesforce, we can enrich our relationships and empower businesses to develop new products and services that make people’s lives easier, healthier, and more fulfilling.”


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