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Test-Tube Implementation
A biomed supplier turns its CRM system around over the years as its client list grows.
For the rest of the July 2007 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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StemCell Technologies helps medical research happen--the firm sells specialized media and cell separation products, antibodies and tissue culture reagents, plus services that include contract assays, proficiency testing, and training for professors and researchers at universities, hospitals, and biotech companies. StemCell has been trying to get straight with CRM since 2002, when the launch of satellite offices and remote sales teams required changes to its business process framework. Until then, field staff used applications like Outlook to store and communicate customer data. "The challenge," says Cam Buschel, sales and marketing analyst for StemCell, "was to synchronize all of that information and make it available in a meaningful format to the technical support and research departments at our head office." As the company's client base grew and its sales team expanded globally, StemCell's salespeople became increasingly independent. This challenged managers to achieve visibility into customers and prospects in the remote sales regions. StemCell needed to centralize all of the information its sales teams were collecting and share it with its growing field sales force. It was around that time the reps started using Maximizer Enterprise 6 for its synchronization capabilities. Two years ago StemCell upgraded to Maximizer Enterprise 7, taking advantage of that version's more extensive capabilities to set up global marketing campaigns and track responses. But increased needs called for more capabilities--StemCell experienced explosive growth, driven by the success of the previous Maximizer deployments, and had to have something more robust. Today, the company is using Maximizer Enterprise 8. Before purchasing the product StemCell's sales and marketing managers met with the sales team and support staff to discuss their requirements and to gain insight into what information each department needed, how they wanted to work, and how their working styles impacted each other. "We wanted to get as much user buy-in as possible," says Andrew Knowles, assistant sales manager. "We knew our CRM investment would only provide value if those it was meant for actually used it."
After evaluating various CRM products, StemCell selected Maximizer Enterprise 8 and has deployed it to sales reps in France, North America, and the United Kingdom, and to technical support staff in the corporate head office. StemCell teamed with CRM Consulting and Alpha Pacific Technologies, two Certified Maximizer Business Partners, to implement Maximizer Enterprise. Users keep copies of the Maximizer Enterprise database on their computers and they can log into the corporate database whenever it's convenient. "We wouldn't have been able to develop our field force without Maximizer Enterprise," Knowles says. "In order to have functional field reps, we needed a way for them to report in, provide updates, and get information from us. Maximizer Enterprise gave us a way to work live remotely." CRM Consulting and Alpha Pacific Technologies also helped StemCell create and customize dozens of user-defined fields. The sales team requested these as a way of profiling prospect and customer records in a single snapshot. The Business Partners were also able to integrate Maximizer Enterprise into StemCell's accounting, ordering, and inventory management systems. Now the firm's sales reps have access to part and order numbers, purchase dates, shipment notes, and more. Knowles says the company is flourishing with the new CRM: "Maximizer Enterprise has become a one-stop shop for our sales reps to see all of the critical information they need to intelligently and successfully service an account." The Payoff Sticking with Maximizer Enterprise through version 8 enabled StemCell Technologies to:
  • track activity on more than 60,000 customers and prospects;
  • have its sales force self-generate reports;
  • speed staff training and remote site updates to one month; and
  • achieve a 500 percent ROI on its $20,000 CRM investment.
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