Thursday, 16 August 2018 07:15

Case Study: How 5 B2B Companies Use a CRM to Increase Revenue by 839%

CRM is an integral part of running a successful business -- whether it's on a small or large scale model. Apart from digital marketing brands, does CRM software work for brick-and-mortar businesses?

Can offline businesses benefit from customer relationship management software? Sure they can!

In this in-depth article, we'll share 5 case studies that will show you how top brands integrate CRM tools in every facet of their operations.

Bear in mind that CRM costs money -- so you have to be sure you're getting the best ROI from it.

Let's quickly dive in.

1. Unilever uses CRM to gather real-time customer insights across all channels and to front one-off customer data collection campaigns

Unilever is one of the big brands to understand the importance of having your customers’ information in one place and being able to act on it.


According to the Senior direct-to-consumer Manager at Unilever UK, Amanda Smith:

“The scale of Unilever's activity and the number of brands meant that creating a single multi-channel digital platform was a no-brainer - both in terms of achieving best-in-class digital marketing and lowering costs.”

But there was a big challenge for Unilever.

“What Unilever wanted to achieve was a single customer view across all channels,”

The Marketing Enablement Director at OgilvyOne, Paul King said. “But at the time there were very few tools that would do email and SMS, integrate with the web and feedback directly into a central database.”

Unilever found a solution which was implemented by marketing technology company, Alchemetrics. Alchemetrics completed the project of integrating customers’ information into a single platform called “Traction.”

This platform has helped Unilever conduct multichannel campaigns and take advantage of customer touch points. One example of this is by one of Unilever’s brands, Dove.

To get ‘real women’ to complete an online survey by Dove, they drove traffic to their website through channels like TV, press, online media, direct mail, door drops, and email. And this led to 28% more completed surveys than their objective.

“We got over 128,000 completed surveys -- 28,000 more than our objective -- making this the biggest online survey in Unilever UK's history,” Smith said. “Plus, we've increased our database and are now communicating with opted-in respondents to keep them engaged with the brand over the long-term.”

With 44 brands in the UK, Traction has helped Unilever improve levels of customer engagement and enhance brand experience.

It has also made testing of different elements of their campaigns more effective. Overall, this had increased the company’s revenue significantly (YoY). More importantly, by increasing the underlying operating profit, the brand recorded a free cash flow delivery at €5.4 billion.

2. British Airways uses CRM to automate a number of ongoing campaigns and customer communications

For an airline that flies over 45 million people to over 200 destinations, one of the most important parts of operations is customer service. And in the fiercely competitive airline industry, great customer service could be a brand differentiator.

British Airways

But to serve your customers better, you need to understand them very well and use the insights effectively. This is why British Airways (BA) decided to use a CRM software to achieve this.

BA decided to implement Teradata CRM into its integrated commercial warehouse (ICW) to reduce the cost for campaign execution in North America and overall external spend.

Teradata CRM allows BA to have email, direct mail, call center, and web channels on a single interface. This provides a platform for their marketing communications, including Executive Club and BARCs (BA Online Registered Customers) information.

BA has been able to establish customer loyalty scheme. The benefits of the Executive Club are:

  • It’s free for any customer to join and there are no ongoing charges.
  • Has benefits like special offers, and users details are stored to easily book flights in the future.
  • You can earn Avios points which can be used for upgrades, to redeem flights, pay for car hire and book hotels.
  • Members can save seat and meal preferences.
  • Members of the club receive personalized and targeted communication.
  • You can earn points to progress through the tiers which include blue, silver, gold, and premier.

They were also able to free up resources as the team of analysts were reduced from 8 to 3. Due to more sophisticated reports about customers, the volume of requests from marketing went up by 150%.

Marketing costs were slashed as the company increased their email campaigns and reduced mail campaigns. This helped the company move in a new direction with a modern strategy, and recorded and increased revenue growth.

3. Volvo Construction Equipment integrates cross-channel marketing strategy to boost sales using CRM tools

To boost sales, you must be able to interact with your customers on various channels and keep track of the interactions. The best way to do this is through the use of a CRM software.


For Volvo, the challenge was to nurture and convert more leads. They decided to use SEO and social media.

“All marketing is not just direct marketing, all marketing is now cross-channel,” Joel Book, principal of marketing insight for the Salesforce Marketing Cloud said about Volvo CE. “We don’t know through which channel our buyer is going to engage with us. It could be via social media, it could be online, it could be in-store. What we do know is this: Every channel matters. Every channel has an influence on the customer.”

Volvo CE uses social media and search engines to drive traffic to their website. When these visitors get to their website, Volvo CE tries to convert them to leads by encouraging them to sign up for their monthly newsletter.

Lead Generation Tactics

For those interested, they can also sign up for used equipment newsletter which runs bimonthly. For instance, Volvo CE’s ad on Facebook got almost 300,000 impressions. From this, 9,485 people clicked on the ad and 27 turned out to be direct sales qualified leads for their high-priced products.

They were able to capture a lead for about $2,000 which was a 30% reduction in cost per lead (CPL). When these leads are generated, they have their data placed in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

This was pretty easy to execute as their email service provider (ESP), ExactTarget, is integrated with their CRM and website.

With this, leads are sent emails that relate to the products they’re interested in. This means emails are personalized to each user’s specific needs.

They can detect their needs based on the pages they visit on their website, the products they buy and other important information.

Volvo Marketing Strategy

By personalizing emails, Volvo CE raised their email open rates from 15% to 20% in 18 months.

With these cross-channel campaigns combined with a CRM software that makes important users information available, Volvo CE made $100 million in annual sales due to digital marketing.

4. Wells Fargo takes advantage of CRM social media connectivity to engage customers and increase sales

With about 70 million customers, Wells Fargo is one of the ‘-Big Four’ banks in the U.S. With this huge number of customers, there's a need for a strong customer service.

To provide this service, one place to look at is social media. Wells Fargo uses Salesforce to track all the mentions of the brand on various social media platforms.

“It's a fundamental change to consumer behavior,” Renee Brown, Head of enterprise social media team at Wells Fargo said. “[Social media] is the new water cooler and street corner where people are gathering to talk.

Wells Fargo

This enables Wells Fargo to answer users’ questions and respond to their complaints.

In 2013, Wells Fargo was mentioned on social media channels over a million times. This consisted of both positive and negative mentions. With their CRM software, they were able to track all these mentions and engage with the users who were interested in Wells Fargo’s services.

5. Cisco uses CRM to increase team productivity and identify new sales opportunities

Cisco wanted to improve the productivity of its advanced technology specialists. They wanted a solution that would allow real-time, mission-critical collaboration and response across the enterprise.


Since it’s all about solving complex customer inquiries, product sales specialist could only spend 30% of their time on strategic activities like sales engagement and execution.

As a result, the company introduced the WebEx program to simplify the process. This program was used to resolve complex issues by customers and also to contact the rapid response team that is trained to answer tactical questions.

Cisco Sales

After this implementation, salespeople were able to spend 20% more time on productive and strategic tasks. They also increased their external interactions by 40% while decreasing the average amount of working hours by 10%.

Added to these, users were more satisfied with their service giving an average score of 4.88 on a five-point scale. All these were achieved while cutting travel-related expenses by 40 to 60% over the course of three quarters.
This is one example of CRM used to improve employees productivity in serving customers.


Customer relationship management is a vital part of business operations that every business must embrace. This is because it provides many avenues for a business to operate effectively.

It helps a business to serve its customers better which is essentially the business’ primary purpose. Employees of your business are more productive and can achieve your business targets when they have the right information about their customers.

The biggest argument for CRM is that it helps you to know your customers better and when you know them, you can serve them more effectively.

marketing lead generation

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Jaime Nacach

Marketing Strategist

I love helping small businesses with their digital marketing and business strategy. I'm a young man with a passion in entrepreneurship and international experience in business development, marketing, sales, and web/graphic design. 

Find me on: Team Page | LinkedIn | Google+Personal Website

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