Berlitz can teach you to speak French, German, and Swahili, but it's more than just a language school. Berlitz GlobalNET also translates much of the U.S.'s software into languages the whole world can speak. With more than $100 million in annual revenue, and more than 1,000 employees in 20 countries, GlobalNET is a big operation.
Renato Beninatto, director of sales and marketing, Americas, searched for a sales force automation application that the team could easily use while on the road. "Within a week of learning about salesforce.com, we were able to get five salespeople to check out the free trial, use the service to create customized sales reports, show the results to the CEO and decide to have the system deployed worldwide," he says. "Best of all, once we committed to using salesforce.com we were able to get the system up and running in a matter of hours."
Berlitz's sales reps are thrilled with salesforce.com because they no longer spend four or five hours every week composing Excel spreadsheets to show managers the leads they're working on. Now all that information is automatically and instantly available to the executive sales team and the CEO through salesforce.com.
"Salesforce.com changes us from being reactive to proactive," says Beninatto. "In the past, if I wanted help I would have to go and say there is a $2 million opportunity, please call the CEO of this or that company. Now our CEO can look at a $20,000 opportunity and say 'I play golf with the CEO of that company,' or 'we went to school together,' and he can make it become a $2 million opportunity."
The service has made Berlitz look more professional in the eyes of its own customers. Beninatto recalls the time a sales rep entered the name of a new client in the database, only to find out Berlitz was already working with another person from the same company in the U.K. "One hand knew what the other was doing. We asked, "who owns the budget?" We were able to address the client more professionally and save some duplicated effort," Beninatto says. The salesforce.com database is also visible to Berlitz's production department, so they are able to anticipate increases and decreases in work, and staff up appropriately. They can also see the client's history and anticipate special needs and questions.
It's too early to know how salesforce.com is affecting Berlitz's bottom line, but "now the sales managers can't live without it," says Beninatto.