Auto Info Firm Revs up Sales with CRM Solution

R. L. Polk & Co. deploys "on-demand" customer relationship management to provide staff with streamlined client information

San Francisco — January 5, 2004 — R. L. Polk & Co., a provider of automotive information and marketing solutions, is using salesforce.com Winter '04 to give more than 250 sales and support employees access to streamlined customer information.

A privately held company founded in 1870, Polk is the oldest consumer marketing information company in America and has offices worldwide.

"Salesforce.com gives us flexibility in consolidating our various customer contact databases, a rapid implementation cycle and a lack of impact on our IT resources not found in other CRM solutions," said Wanda Dembeck, vice president of quality at Polk. "It was very important for us to move quickly. With salesforce's 'on demand' model, we did not have to bear the burden of implementing a traditional software and hardware solution, which allowed us to get up and running very rapidly."

Polk is using salesforce.com Winter '04 for sales force automation, forecasting and pipeline management, and customer service and support. Much of its business is generated from existing customer relationships, mandating the critical need for a strong service and support component. With customization and integration features in salesforce.com Winter '04, sales and service employees have a history and current picture of every customer, helping staff to better serve customers' business needs.

Using salesforce.com Winter '04, Polk integrated and consolidated contact and customer information from sales and support teams, customer service representatives, help desk and internal quality control groups, as well as non-customer facing groups such as production teams and data operations to become more customer-focused.

Now, Polk management uses salesforce.com for granular pipeline reporting on customers to see exactly where they are in the sales cycle, what issues are occurring and how they are being managed. Salesforce.com is also being used for performance analysis, to track corrective actions on customer issues and to eliminate any recurring quality concerns.

"Salesforce.com has become our quality management system, not just our CRM system," said Dembeck. "Because of the business advantages we've realized with salesforce.com, we next would consider expanding usage to integrate forecasting more closely with our existing financial systems."

For more information regarding the impact of "on-demand" computing models on the supply and demand chain, see "Cutting Through the 'On Demand' Hype," the Net Best Thing article in the December/January 2004 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

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