Kongskilde Industries was first established in Denmark in 1949. From its beginnings as a company producing blowers, Kongskilde has now evolved into a global entity with a presence in 9 countries spread across the world. The company has two main focus areas: it is one of the leading producers, sellers, and transporters of pneumatic transport systems internationally and it is one of the top manufacturers of grain handling equipment.
As the company continued to scale up, it needed a strong CRM platform that would propel it forward - and at Kongskilde, it wasn’t management that drove this decision, but its employees. We spoke to Kim Johnsen, CCO at Kongskilde, to understand what made its employees choose Freshsales and how they adapted to the new system in record time.
Before Freshsales (formerly Freshworks CRM), Kongskilde Industries was working out of their ERP software, spreadsheets and email to manage their pipeline, collate information on leads and forecast their sales. This system worked initially, but as the lead volumes grew, the sales team were unable to meet important objectives and KPIs with the legacy tools.
Specifically, the team needed a system that would handle three main areas:
1. Managing leads and contacts: The sales process for Kongskilde typically spans from 3 months to 3 years. Over this period, there are multiple interactions and touchpoints between sales agents and leads. Agents working out of spreadsheets were not able to fully track all customer discussions, inputs, wishes, and considerations in a single place. The sales team needed a more comprehensive solution to effectively manage the incoming queries.
2. Forecasting revenue and sales: The spreadsheet-driven process was siloed and did not allow for pan-organizational visibility into the leads pipeline. Since there was no clear picture of how ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ leads were, sales and revenue numbers were difficult to forecast accurately.
3. Integration with existing systems: The internal teams at Kongskilde had a set of tools and an ERP they were working out of, but they needed a CRM platform that could easily integrate with their existing systems.
With these objectives in mind, the board started looking for a tool that would create a streamlined environment for their sales representatives and would provide deep insights into their business.
“You reach a certain point where it is not enough to manage your processes based on spreadsheets and emails. Kongskilde must be at the forefront and not behind in relation to digitization”
Kongskilde narrowed down on four options to replace their legacy system: Freshsales, Salesforce, Hubspot and Microsoft Dynamics. But rather than finalize a solution at the management level, the company instead adopted a unique employee-first approach to evaluating solutions. “Not all solutions we looked at managed to impress users in terms of usability. We believe that employees know best what is intuitive and user-friendly. It is crucial that everyone gets the right tools to carry out their tasks in our complex sales processes and to keep track of the leads pipeline,” explains Kim Johnsen. Therefore, it was crucial for Kongskilde that the employees were involved from the start. A group of key users to test each of the solutions that reached the final evaluation was identified. There was no training given - the focus was on what intuitively seemed easiest to use.
Ultimately, Freshsales was selected from the other options for five main reasons:
According to Kongskilde, the involvement of employees from an early stage has been crucial for success. Where some companies experience internal resistance because the management has chosen the solution, the approach at Kongskilde is the opposite. Here, the employees themselves have pointed out the CRM solution they felt suited them best and thus, adoption was far easier.
Speed and ease of implementation were the highest priorities for Kongskilde, and with Freshsales, it was able to achieve just that. “We have managed to implement, configure and onboard to a level where we are actually up and running efficiently in just four months. In fact, we had a workable solution with all the basics configured in three months! We made it clear from the start that we wanted an out-of-the-box solution that could be used. We have got it, and the subsequent adjustments have been quick and effective.”
Positive feedback from employees was a crucial deciding factor in implementing Freshsales, but just as important for Kongskilde was the ability to configure it internally without external resources. As Johnsen explains, “We did not want to put a fortune into external consulting and configuration hours. It has succeeded. We have kept within our internal investments for configuration of approx. 225,000 kroner (USD 26,000), versus the million it would actually cost us with another solution. ”
Integrating Freshsales into the team’s everyday operations was a smooth transition. The intuitive interface allowed agents to adapt to the new system with minimal training and a very short adjustment period. Kongskilde now has 50 agents operating out of Freshsales. The new system has equipped the team with greater visibility into the leads pipeline and stronger engagement throughout the sales cycle.
Some of the features that proved most useful to the team include:
As Kongskilde Industries continues to expand, Freshsales has undoubtedly become an integral part of its growth story.
“We are 100% satisfied with Freshsales. I have no doubt that this crucial step towards greater digitisation will put us in a much stronger position in a very competitive market”
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