Our main goal was to put the customer in the center of the system and from this position to start every business process. CEZ Group is part of the top 10 energy companies in Europe and one of the leading players in the region. Logically, we wanted to work with the biggest and the best. That’s why we contacted Salesforce. I expected the "typical" IT experts to come and start showing us complex systems and incomprehensible codes. And they [Next Consult] came and talked about business. And that impressed us lot
Vladimir Dichev, CEO of CEZ Trade
The speed of work of the sales team in one company has been significantly increased since the beginning of 2017 – 20% growth in sales was observed. The workplace is not in the office anymore – it can be anywhere as long as the employees feel comfortable, motivated and efficient. There is no need for hardware infrastructure, or expensive servers. This company is CEZ Trade Bulgaria and the achievement is a result of the implementation of Salesforce CRM. The implementation itself was carried out by the specialists at Next Consult.
Dynamically changing market
The Energy sector is reshaping all over the world and Bulgaria is not an exception. After decades of natural monopoly, European regulations are changing the rules. The transmission networks were separated from the production, trading and sales of the electricity. The competitive advantage has become the key for acquiring market share. The competition for every client and contract intensified. “We need to take care for the client, to win him over constantly, to meet his needs and to deliver quality service.” said Vladimir Dichev, CEO of CEZ Trade. The dynamic market motivated the company’s management to search for a specific solution for every client. CEZ Group has a very strong presence in CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) region with that 26 thousand employees.
The businesses of the Group are diversified – coal mining, production, network management, hydroelectricity are all part of the Group’s portfolio with billions in revenue. This diversity determines the difficult “communication” between the various software solutions. The Customer is not in the center of the system. He has been put somewhere in the end of the chain, or surrounded by complex processes. „Our main goal was to put the customer in the center of the system and from this position to start every business process” said Vladimir Dichev. This provoked the Bulgarian office of the company to look for a new CRM solution after the green light they received from the Central office in Prague.
How do the “big guys” go shopping
The research of CRM solutions market led the management to a graph with four “magic” quadrants representing the CRM solution providers around the world. The managers were drawn by the top spot in the graph and this point was Salesforce CRM. “CEZ Group is part of the top 10 energy companies in Europe and one of the leading players in the region. Logically, we wanted to work with the biggest and the best. That’s why we contacted Salesforce” sayd Dichev. First they reached the Central office in Ireland from where they were redirected to Next Consult as a reliable partner and reseller of Salesforce.
„Managing our sales process is difficult. We do not sell a good which can be stored in a warehouse. We sell a good which is bought and sold every hour and every day. We trade on a wholesale market, we calculate supplies, analyze graphs and plan the sales process – it’s very complex, integrated and continuous” explains Vladimir Dichev. The implementation of Salesforce started in July 2016. The company team neatly described their processes guided by the Next Consult experts during the whole process – from the evaluation of the processes and definition of the requirements to the implementation of the new practices.
The core business processes were identified. Based on this a “blueprint” was created – kind of technical assignment of the project necessary for the initiation of the development process. The work with the system started swiftly in January 2017. It required fast adaptation but the company’s salespeople got acquainted with the new system very quickly. The sales “pace” increased significantly, it became faster, more effective and more interactive.
More business, less IT
Several people from CEZ Trade Bulgaria, responsible for the commercial and financial-administrative issues in the company, were involved in the implementation of the project "During our first meeting with Next Consult, I was sceptical," says the company's director. "I expected the "typical" IT experts to come and start showing us complex systems and incomprehensible codes. And they came and talked about business." Dichev says. "And that impressed us lot." The experts from Next Consult were able to understand the processes of CEZ Trade in this way to create the right model for the implementation of Salesforce.
The workplace is everywhere
“The quick implementation of Salesforce is well accepted by the salespeople in CEZ” thinks the CEO of the company. Their concerns about the mandatory acceptance of the customer offers disappeared: prices, parameters, and other details are carefully “kept” in the system and are used automatically. The lifecycle of every deal is easily traceable - from the beginning through the approval to the delivery. “One of the valuable advantages is that we detached physically and emotionally from the networks. We are no longer chained to our desks. We can work from anywhere, anytime.
That makes us free in our thinking and actions. Now we stay closer to our customers – that was our main goal”. In addition, the numbers show that the revenue of the company has increased. The effect is visible. CEZ Trade Bulgaria reports 20% customer increase in the first half of the year after the implementation of Salesforce.
The experience of the Bulgarian office of CEZ Trade have been particularly significant. On the basis of the positive feedback, Salesforce was also implemented in some other companies of the Group. An Independent auditor gave high evaluation to the implementation of Salesforce in Bulgaria, because of the professional work of the local partner Next Consult.