Sutton Tools works with Salesforce to transform its business

by | Apr 14, 2023

Sutton Tools has been working with Salesforce for almost 15 years and was one of the first Australian customers before they established a local office. Sutton Tools commercial director, Robert Sutton spoke to Retailbiz about the partnership and how Salesforce has supported the company’s digital transformation journey.

“We always had a need for a better Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. As a typical engineering manufacturing business, we were more focused on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and did not have the right sales and marketing solutions to meet our needs. Prior to partnering with Salesforce, our business was very transactional and engineering-focused,” Mr Sutton said.

“Salesforce has supported us throughout our journey in advancing our business transformation. Initially, it was difficult to integrate with Salesforce due to limitations but as we have improved our own technology stack, it has become much easier.”

Sutton Tools initially engaged with Salesforce for CRM, but over time has utilised a range of their products including Sales Service, Marketing Cloud, and Experience Cloud. Most recently, Sutton Tools started using Commerce Cloud and the majority of its activity is now driven around e-commerce and Business-to-business (B2B) activity.

Most recently, Sutton Tools has upgraded its custom-built My Sutton Portal with an industry-standard e-commerce engine, which is a major part of the company’s strategic plans moving forward.

“Being on the platform allows us to have seamless integration with all of these products. While it may appear expensive upfront when you break down the products being used, you are only arguing the difference between using a competitor’s product and having everything on the platform,” Mr Sutton said.

“We are trying to differentiate ourselves from our competitors by providing customers with the best user experience by delivering real-time data and self-service models that make their lives easier.”

Expanding its digital platform is a priority as Sutton Tools is the only Australian manufacturer of industrial tooling products with a large percentage of the portfolio it produces being sold outside of Australia.

“We have had to tailor specific ranges for different regions around the world and establish an online presence to match that. A big driver behind the implementation of Commerce Cloud was the ability to provide more information, enable customers to purchase and self-serve, as well as automate our marketing to a wider audience, often with a different language or currency. This means our Australian marketing team can run promotions and communication campaigns with calls to action for those markets easier and quicker.”

Sutton Tools sells over 20,000 SKUs to the Australian and New Zealand markets, which requires a lot of product management and means customers are always requesting product data, so the company is transitioning to self-serve functions, providing customers with the ability to see the information they need.

“Internally, the benefits of the platform are significant. Simple commercial processes that were daily frustrations in the past, like returning goods, are now an electronic workflow that customers can do, or salespeople can do on their behalf. It used to take six to eight weeks to process a credit, and now it takes less than a fortnight. The process is tracked throughout using Salesforce Marketing which uses a sophisticated set of journeys applied to specific customer groups in an automated way that is integrated within the platform.”

Sutton Tools operates in a multi-channel and multi-brand environment so the flexibility to target particular channels or segments is key.

“It is an ongoing journey but we essentially have a full 360-degree view of the customer where a salesperson can see who they are, where they are, and their contact information, as well as visibility around customer service interactions, or case management, which is integrated from ERP data, in addition to embedded analytics around sales and service.”

“But we have exciting plans moving forward and we will continue to engage with our partners to push these capabilities further. It is great to see these types of solutions that were historically only available at the big end of the town becoming accessible to other companies with the will and perseverance to do it,” Mr Sutton said.