Lenovo Japan is a provider of consumer and professional electronics, from tablet computers and PCs, to servers, network devices and software. Introducing Sansan has helped and allowed them to visualize their sales operations, decide how they reach out to potential clients, and to create comprehensive reports for the global market.
Lenovo Japan has been using Sansan since December 2015.
Initially introduced on a trial basis, Lenovo has continued to use Sansan as it has been proven to improve operational efficiency by centralizing client data within a common platform. We asked Mr. Minoru Yasuda (Senior Managing Executive Officer) and some other of Lenovo's leaders about how they improved their practices as well as how they plan to utilize Sansan in the future.
Client data, hence business cards are extremely valuable to us
– Can you tell us about what Lenovo does?
Mr. Yasuda: Lenovo is a total IT service and solutions provider. We develop and manufacture PCs, desktop computers, tablet computers, smartphones, and also servers, storage, network devices, as well as software.
– What made you decide to start using Sansan?
Mr. Yasuda: Client data is extremely important in our business, and exchanging business cards is key in providing us with that data. Before using Sansan, we had to manually input the individual data into our CRM database. As this was heavily time-consuming and hence the data was not available for immediate use, it led us look for a solution. We came across Sansan in our search, and started using the service on a trial basis.
After the introduction of Sansan, we have seen some significant changes in how we reach our potential clients
– What was your first impressions of Sansan? What did you notice when you started using it?
Mr. Yasuda: The first thing we noticed was how easy it was to have the data digitized; much easier than I had expected.
Being able to share these contacts in-house, our sales rep could now search through for potential clients.
I have often been contacted by my colleagues wanting to be introduced to people whose business cards I saved on Sansan, and some cases resulted in them giving a pitch.
– So, you have seen noticeable changes since Sansan was introduced.
Mr. Yasuda: Yes. When we used to hold onto the business cards we exchanged, the majority of them never saw the light of day again.
But since using Sansan, they are inputted into an accessible database, and they are no longer untapped potential.
How sales is operating is easily visualized by the number of cards received, and from viewing organizational charts
– How are you using Sansan in management functions?
Ms. Inose: One of our major businesses is in selling PCs, and in doing so, it is crucial that we contact as many potential clients as possible. In order to better visualize our sales operation and to create a driving force within the team, we decided to introduce Sansan into our system.
One index of our KPI management in measuring sales activities is monitoring how many business cards a sales rep uploads onto the Sansan system. We can also see how much effect it has on the actual sales.
When I report our results to the global teams during our annual meeting, we create organizational charts for global accounts to visualize at which levels Lenovo is conducting sales activities.
Up until now, I used to spend a considerable amount of time creating the contents for handouts and presentation, including whom the sales rep had been in touch.
Now, having access to Sansan, I am able to oversee the operation in a centralized way, and this has allowed me to create more coherent contents. Our overseas management team has expressed how impressed they are with our reports.
We don't need to rely on cold-calling, when we can refer back to client data from the past
– How are you using Sansan for your sales operation?
Mr. Higashida: We have noticed a substantial fall in the number of cold-calls after introducing Sansan to our team. Previously, we often contacted potential clients without knowing which of our sales rep had approached them before. Today, with Sansan, we have the means to check how they were contacted and by whom, which is a huge merit for us when strategizing for a new pitch.
Sansan is also useful in expanding our client base. For example, a sales rep may be in contact with a person in charge of PCs, but not know who is responsible for dealing with servers in the same company.
It is easy enough to ask for the contact details, however, if by searching on Sansan someone at Lenovo had exchanged cards with the server rep, it is possible to give the name and request for a meeting.
Rather than relying on the goodwill of our client to initiate the introduction, we feel that this approach has a higher success rate in gaining the contact we are looking for.
We hope to use Sansan as an effective tool for driving our sales team to achieve better
– How do you want make use of Sansan in the future?
Mr. Higashida: In the past, when one sale rep replaced another in dealing with a client, it created a huge impact on the client relationship. The newly appointed rep had to cultivate new relationships with the firm from scratch. We have been looking for a service that could improve this inefficient hand off process.
Ms. Inose: Using Sansan has made us realize how valuable business cards could be for our business, and that this data could open up new and great possibilities for Lenovo and all of our employees. To make more use of Sansan, we are thinking of holding a competition to see who collects the most number of cards.
We are hoping this might also encourage people to exchange cards within the company, which may help in creating a lively work environment. We could reward them with free team meals, for example, and hope that this may lead to a boost in sales motivation.
We aim to expand and strengthen our database so to increase our sales
– What do you see for the future?
Mr. Yasuda: With Sansan, it has become infinitely easier to access client data.
Eventually, with the aim to increase our sales, we hope to strengthen our database by linking our Sansan and CRM databases.
By having more and more customers use Lenovo products, we aim to play a part in revolutionizing how people work, and contribute to creating a better society as a whole.