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Atlas Copco shoots for the sky with Cloud CRM for Sales program

  • Lien Desmet
    Lien Desmet

Earlier this year, Swedish manufacturer of industrial tools and equipment Atlas Copco took home the silver prize at the Computable IT Project of the Year election. It’s their second big win, after coming in first at last year’s EMEA SAP Quality Awards. The company is clearly on a roll, and with good reason: their Cloud CRM for Sales program – aka SAP Sales Cloud – truly revolutionises the sales processes used in the company’s branches all over the world. 

Agnes Debry, C4S Program Director at Atlas Copco, presented the project at the renowned SAPPHIRE Now Conference in Orlando. Check out the session below. 

Atlas Copco delivers sustainable productivity solutions to customers in over 180 countries. With about 37,000 employees, revenue of 9 billion euros in 2018 and an operating margin of 22%, the multinational is a force to be reckoned with. But Atlas Copco’s decentralised model meant that local sales teams had their own ways of working, with diverse processes and tools. Some sales teams used CRM on premise, others had developed their own systems and several countries ran Salesforce.

Increasing efficiency

When Atlas Copco decided to overhaul its sales platform, we kicked off with a thorough assessment to gauge the business needs of the company and its numerous sales units. Gunter Jacobs, SAP C/4HANA business consultant at Flexso, was there from the start. “A team of Flexso consultants collaborated with the local sales teams to gather as much information as possible: what they expect from the platform, who will use it, how their teams are organized, etc.”

“Atlas Copco now has a solution to streamline sales operations throughout the entire organization. At the same time, this brings sales teams closer together, allowing them to coordinate their actions.”

“Our mission was twofold: to create a powerful template supporting the sales and marketing strategies, and to roll out the new solution as quickly and smoothly as possible across the world.”
- Agnes Debry, C4S program director at Atlas Copco

All in one flow

Thomas Van Looy, SAP C/4HANA consultant at Flexso, explains how the solution works: “Leads gathered through social media and marketing tools are integrated into the C/4HANA Sales Cloud platform. When a new lead comes in, marketing gets an alert and assigns the lead to the right account within the platform. From there, the sales process kicks off: a salesperson can create an opportunity for the lead, contact its prospect and put together a proposal.”

“The platform is connected to the back office, so the salesperson can easily request an order once the deal is done,” Thomas says. “Moreover, the C/4HANA Sales Cloud platform also offers valuable insights to business managers, who can track KPIs on the dashboard.”

Because other tools like SAP ECC and legacy ERP systems are integrated into C/4HANA Sales Cloud, all activities can be easily linked to the entire value chain. Thomas: “Flexso was actively involved in integrating these non-SAP ERP solutions, making sure the platform worked for as many sales units as possible. As an extra bonus, the platform works on smartphones and tablets, giving sellers the freedom to work efficiently as they move from client to client.” 

Fast roll-out: catch the bus

Today, Atlas Copco’s innovative platform is live in over 200 sales teams around the world, accommodating over 7,000 active users. The speed at which the team managed to make this all happen – over a timespan of just two years – has everything to do with the ‘catch the bus’-approach.

The idea behind this approach is to give the sales teams ownership of the change process: they are in the driver’s seat with support from Atlas Copco and the project partners. Atlas Copco created eight time slots, or ‘buses’, over one year. Sales organisations could then decide whether they were ready to roll out C/4HANA Sales Cloud. However, they were only permitted to do so after they has passed several quality gates. If not, they had to wait for the next bus. 

Constantly improving – together

The SAP roadmap underlying the project breathes continuous improvement. It proposes changes to the platform on a quarterly basis, keeping the system up to date at all times. Thomas: “It’s also easy to add features or make adaptations based on the client’s needs. For Atlas Copco, for instance, we made it possible to manage the pre-sales process by linking leads and opportunities to equipment.”

But the real driver of the project is strong teamwork. Prior and during roll-out, the project partners and sales organizations worked together through the steered autonomy ‘catch the bus approach’. Atlas Copco, in collaboration with its partners and Flexso, succeeded in a fluent roll-out and setup of the solution. Today, sales, marketing and IT teams work together more efficiently as they use the C/4HANA Sales Cloud platform. 

“We really made it happen together as one team: the project team, the various partners and the sales organisations around the world.”
Agnes Debry, C4S program director at Atlas Copco

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