In sales, a little visibility can go a long way. Find out how process mining helped kickstart digital sales transformation at Dell.
Process transformation is a broad journey — encapsulating visualization, automation, optimization, and of course, continuous improvement. But what does that journey really look like? And how does an enterprise go from opaque operations, to efficient, proactive execution?
Shannon Bishop, Dell Technologies’ Global Product Owner for Celonis, and Ravi Potnuru, Director of Global Digital Enablement and Process Engineering, outlined their sales transformation journey with Celonis. Here’s a recap of what they had to share.
At Dell, there are two different types of deal registration process — one-step processes, where deals are approved directly by the deal registration team, and two-step processes, where deals are passed to other relevant functions for second-level approval. In practice, they’re different processes, but before working with Celonis, Dell had no way of telling them apart and understanding volume and performance across them.
“We could not quantify one-step versus two-step processes,” said Ravi. “We didn't know how much volume was going through, and more importantly, we didn't know what our cycle times were and how we were performing against our SLA. That’s definitely the biggest problem we had.”
Because two-step approvals involved other functions, that lack of visibility and understanding had also begun to impact the wider business too. “We couldn’t identify how the functions we were working with were performing, so we could not really enforce the SLA commitments we had to them, and the rest of the business,” explained Ravi.
An initial demo quickly showed the deal registration team how Celonis could help. It looked at all the available data, and used information from core Salesforce data to email subject lines to better quantify and differentiate one-step and two-step deal registrations, giving the team visibility across the two.
“It was a pretty complex issue; that's why our team couldn’t tackle it before,” explained Ravi. “But Celonis has really enabled us to get into the details and give us deep insights into our deal volumes. From there, we’ve been able to ask extremely valuable questions of our deal registration processes, like ‘what process elements are suitable for automation?’”
With better visibility across one and two-step deal processes, the Dell team was able to identify large numbers of simple one-step deals that could easily be registered and processed automatically.
“Celonis really enabled us to get insight into our prime deals that we can move into automation,” said Ravi. “That's when we started working with our automation team, and then we developed an automated process for approving these one-step deals.”
After automating the most straightforward one-step deals, the team could then focus on identifying two-step deals that didn’t need the attention of the teams tasked with handling them. Now, two-step teams across functions have more time to focus on the most complex deals — the ones that require the greatest attention.
“The results have been great so far,” said Ravi. “At the beginning of the year, less than 1% of deals were going through automation. By the end of 2020, we had automated almost 15% of deal processing.”
“But the key benefit of this is, we’re now able to get back to our partners within 15 minutes of a deal being registered,” Ravi added. “It's pretty amazing. Our sales teams are extremely happy, and so are our channel partners.”
“If you look at all these things we've achieved so far, they’re great, but they’re almost reactive in nature,” said Ravi. “To take the next step in our digital transformation, we really wanted to switch gears and move into the proactive monitoring of processes.”
So, once again, the team started out by talking to partners and stakeholders across the business to find a problem that could be solved through proactive monitoring and intervention — a task that led them to the sales support team.
Previously, if the sales team didn’t register their deals, the support team would never know about them, and would be unable to provide essential help to process them. With no way of knowing where their help was needed most, the support team was eager to get more proactive.
“With Celonis, now if a deal isn’t registered within 14 days, an email automatically goes out to the operations team, so they can proactively engage with sales,” explained Ravi. “The email alerts tell them everything they need to know about a deal, including opportunity ID, who the sales owner is, the volume of the deal, and more — all taken direct from Salesforce. That enables them to act immediately.”
Proactive alerts have also been set up for deals where the customer and partner are in different regions. These alerts help the team create necessary documentation proactively, so cross-region demands and restrictions don’t slow sales velocity.
Proactive alerts go a long way to optimizing execution and helping teams direct their attention where it’s needed most. But, after using them for a while, the sales support staff at Dell wanted more visibility into where their efforts should be focused.
“Sales support staff want to see who is working on which deals, and which deals that don't have any engagement, so that they don't have to waste their resources. Then we can work very efficiently,” explained Ravi. “They asked us to set up a simple operation scorecard in Celonis, so that’s exactly what we did.”
Now, sales operations and support teams have a clear view of their most important KPIs. Through the scorecard, they can clearly see active deals, deal volumes, deals that need greater engagement, and more.
When they spot a deal that needs to be pushed forward, they can find all relevant information — deal owner, deal ID, last activity — in just a couple of clicks, helping them take the right actions to progress that deal quickly and proactively. The scorecard is even tied back to alerts using Action Flows, so team members can get tailored alerts based on the KPIs they’re best positioned to influence and improve.
For Dell, this all adds up to greater deal velocity, fewer lapsed deals, higher revenue, and more satisfying working experiences for teams across the sales process.
Want more details about Dell’s Sales transformation and acceleration journey with Celonis? You can now watch Shannon and Ravi’s full session from Celosphere on demand.