Case study

Protekta Safety Gear

Skynamo ensures our customers are in safe hands

Protekta Safety Gear offers a diverse and comprehensive range of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Apparel and Safety Solutions for almost every type of workplace.

Their growing team of over 30 staff are passionate about protecting people at work, and their focus is firmly set on providing the best quality products and highest service levels to each of their valued customers located throughout Southern Africa.

Skynamo is used by Protekta’s two technical consultants and sales manager who all conduct field visits to customers. It is primarily used as a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to analyse and plan customer visits and has significantly transformed their admin processes.

  • – Skynamo turns your car into an office
  • – Order taking errors are eliminated
  • – Quality of customer visits improved
  • – Customer visits increased up to 50%

Before Skynamo

No way to gauge the quality of customer visits

“It’s one thing to know you are visiting your customers regularly, another to say you are providing them with quality visits,” explains Protekta’s Sales Manager, Ernst Gottschalk.

It was difficult for Protekta to determine whether or not reps asked the right questions during customer visits, and whether customers were presented with the most helpful information and product demonstrations to help with their buying decisions.

“It was very important for us to find a way of accurately recording what happened during customer visits, so that follow-up visits could be more meaningful. Having a clear, documented understanding of the ongoing conversation we’ve been having with a customer would allow us to manage that conversation much better,” says Gottschalk.

Admin was a nightmare

“Reps used to print out their call cycles and document their planning and visit information using pen and paper. This was then scanned and sent, along with their sales outcomes, to me as the sales manager. It was an admin nightmare!”, Gottschalk recalls.

Reports were difficult to interpret

It was difficult looking back at and interpreting field activities, both during team meetings and customer visits. Call reports were written on paper and photocopied, trips had to be made between the office and field visits, and papers had to be rifled through every time information was needed.

Adopting Skynamo

The obvious choice

“When I began here as the sales manager, we were deciding between Skynamo and one of their competitors. Having used Skynamo at a previous company I worked for, it was an obvious choice for me. It also gave me the opportunity to work with Skynamo’s technical support team to fine tune the product to our needs,” says Gottschalk.

Protekta operates in an industry where pricing is volatile and reps need to be able to negotiate a price while on a sales call. Therefore, they wanted to maintain an element of manual control as part of their reporting process instead of operating according to fixed prices on Skynamo. Their sales consultants negotiate prices with customers on an order-to-order basis and therefore prefer submitting negotiated prices manually to Excel while using Skynamo to access real-time product information.

Protekta integrated Skynamo with the Palladium accounting software they were already using. Apart from having insights into consultants’ daily tasks and which products customers are buying from them, Skynamo paints a fuller picture of a customer’s buying history by allowing reps to capture more detailed information during customer visits.

“Skynamo brilliantly complements our existing task-setting and financial reporting system by providing us with additional, more in-depth feedback on customer buying behaviour,” says Gottschalk.

Customer interactions are documented more effectively because customer history notes prompt reps to ask more relevant questions. Reps ask the right questions and get straight to the root of the problem when a change in buying behaviour is recognised.

“They can, for instance, immediately assess whether customers are now buying from competitors or perhaps not at all and whether there are ways we can better serve their needs,” he says.

Skynamo also provides reps with more accurate stock information, enabling them to be better buying consultants to the customers they visit.

"What I value most about Skynamo is its multiple functions. The daily reports, how it streamlines and reduces the time we spend on admin, and how it allows us to plan better and therefore manage our customers more effectively."

Since Skynamo

Skynamo is like an app-sized office

“It’s a brilliant tool from a sales point of view. It’s like having your own little office captured into an app.”

In the past, when customers asked for very specific compliance documentation before signing contracts, for instance, Protekta consultants first had to go back to the office to collect it. All such documents are now readily available because emails with attached documents can be requested and received via the mobile app.

“As a sales manager who spends time on the road myself, I’m able to stay in touch with our sales consultants while I’m out in the field. The car becomes my office,” tells a satisfied Gottschalk.

Order-taking errors are eliminated

When interacting with customers there is always the worry of forgetting what exactly was discussed once you arrive back in your car or the office to capture all the information. Skynamo enables field consultants to capture everything immediately which ensures accuracy.

“Right after I’ve spoken to a customer and all that has been discussed is still fresh in my memory, I walk to my car and record all information I need to take care of their needs,” shares Gottschalk who also conducts customer visits himself. “I really enjoy using the speech-to-text function. I sit in my car after visits and talk into the device, capturing as much info as possible.”

Sales coaching made easy

The previous day’s sales reports are received every morning, allowing Gottschalk to read through field activities from the day before. Seeing exactly which customers were visited, what questions arose during those visits, whether customers were actually there during visits, and whether specific follow-up visits are required, enables Gottschalk to coach consultants via Skynamo’s management interface. Whether he is in the office or not, he can help them get through their visits and focus on their planned outcomes.

“We can see from the feedback received whether the correct questions are being asked and if consultants are doing product demonstrations. It helps with providing quality visits instead of merely a great number of visits.”

“We are able to help our consultants be more proactive in their engagements with customers. We’re helping them to be actual consultants. By guiding each other on the right questions to ask, we can collectively figure out what customers need and come up with solutions to problems,” says Gottschalk.

Better planning and improved customer relationships

“Skynamo helps us with planning and to construct our visits more strategically, instead of simply making courtesy calls.”

Access to historical data helps consultants plan their conversations with customers in more detail. Knowing what was discussed with a specific customer before and what needs to be addressed or revisited since a previous visit, enables consultants to prepare better for their daily calls. They don’t simply go around for “courtesy calls”, but can serve their customers with valuable information, relevant to their individual needs.

“You know where you stand with each customer. Knowing what was discussed the previous time you met helps reps steer conversations in the right direction. Having all the info you need at your fingertips certainly helps you deliver a more professional service. Everything can be done right on the spot, you don’t have to make people wait,” Gottschalk confidently shares.

Customer visits increased

The visit analysis report gives immediate insight into the number of customers visited per day and when they were visited. Protekta uses this report feedback to discuss strategies to increase their weekly number of customer visits and has found it to produce successful results.

“We will notice, for instance, that one of our consultants never visit anyone on Fridays. We then tried to rearrange their weekly schedule to see if Fridays deliver a higher visit rate. It worked. We helped one of our consultants increase his weekly visits by nearly 50%,” says Gottschalk.

Time spent on admin reduced

Call reports are no longer done on paper, photocopies no longer need to be made, trips to and from the office to search for or deliver documents are no longer necessary, and it is easier to pull up reports during sales team meetings or customer visits.

“Digitalisation, along with all the other benefits already mentioned, contributed to the fact that time previously spent on admin was now available for direct selling activities,” concludes Gottschalk.

“What I value most about Skynamo is its multiple functions. The daily reports, how it streamlines and reduces the time we spend on admin, and how it allows us to plan better and therefore manage our customers more effectively.”