With a Deep Breath and Firm Conviction, ASI Disrupts Sales Methods in an Industry
American Specialties is a washroom accessories manufacturer and distributor with worldwide sales and complex sales channels. The company has a small inside sales team, but depends mostly on manufacturers representatives throughout the world.
- Headquarters: New York City
Implement the company’s first Customer Relationship Management platform and drive adoption among 65 sellers who independently rep the product. Some were partial to other CRMs, while many were using homegrown systems.
Sugar Enterprise, with integrations for lead generation, business intelligence and proximity mapping for cold calls.
- 100 percent user adoption
- Real-time sales pipeline
- Data-driven insights, instead of intuitive perspectives
- Trustworthy financial forecasting
Take It from Sellers Who Use Multiple CRMs: Sugar WorksAvi Bar believes in what works.
So when he took on the project of implementing the first Customer Relationship Management platform at American Specialties, the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial partitions, washroom accessories and lockers, Avi started evaluating CRMs like a mechanic road tests a car.
His team spent a year talking to users within the company and with manufacturers reps, which are the company’s primary sales agents. He learned processes, identified pitfalls and compared CRM costs. The company made a decision that initially caused some apprehension among the manufacturers reps: American Specialties went against the routine and the familiar, and chose Sugar as the spine of its sales efforts.
“Reps were hesitant to adopt a manufacturers CRM. It meant documenting information that was historically private and adopting a different sales operational processes,” says Avi, the national sales manager, who had used Sugar and Sales Force at previous companies.
Just telling sellers to use the platform wasn’t enough to ensure adoption, even though sellers immediately embraced the mobile application.
Avi spent another year teaching users, developing power users as peer consultants and reframing expectations, illustrating how the powerhouse Sugar platform could digitally transform business.
“The sales management worked closely with the reps. We knew Sugar was the right choice, but we had to sell change, and nobody is comfortable with change,” he recalls.
Today, his manufacturers reps, who might work in five different CRMs on any day, want more change. They want to replace their other customer management platforms with Sugar.
“I’ve been blown away by the enthusiasm,” Avi says. “They see this as a tool to grow their own business, and they want to use it to manage their other manufacturers.”
“I’ve been blown away by the enthusiasm. They see this as a tool to grow their own business, and they want to use it to manage their other manufacturers.”
Avi Bar, National Sales Manager
- Lead generation databases, such as the Dodge Construction Report
- BingMaps: Proximity mapping that shows leads for cold calls when a seller is in the area (developed by W-Systems)
- A document-merging system developed by W-systems that draws in other reports and serves multiple functions, including sales reports, quotes or campaigns.
- Under consideration: A BI platform, Marketing Automation Software