Change in business culture: how to break data silos in your business

In an increasingly digitized world, companies are neither from here nor from there.

07 October 2022 Friday 11:47
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Change in business culture: how to break data silos in your business

In an increasingly digitized world, companies are neither from here nor from there. Businesses know no borders if you know your market and your customers well. It could well be the motto of Jorge Navea, CEO of Astara. Under his leadership, the company has gone in a short time from being just another automobile distributor to a provider of B2B, B2C and B2G mobility solutions where you can buy vehicles, subscribe to or share different forms of mobility, from an electric car to a bicycle.

Today Astara invoices 5,500 million euros a year and has nearly 3,000 employees of 25 different nationalities. But none of this would have been possible without the development of a powerful technological platform to manage all this volume of data efficiently.

The year was 2015. Few companies dared to enter the universe of digital, data clouds and interconnected processes. Astara bet on the future and launched a plan to digitize and change its entire company culture. “Not only did we have to be more efficient and scalable. We had to work in another way. Salesforce helped us there”, explains Antonio Rodríguez, Chief Strategy

Hand in hand with Salesforce, provider of 360 digital solutions adapted to the company, Astara was renewed inside and out. The offices disappeared – not even the CEO has one for personal use – and the different departments began to have their own Salesforce clouds (Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, Experience Cloud, Commerce Cloud…). This is how the Astara Platform was born, made up of 70% Salesforce technology. The particularity of this platform is that all the clouds are interconnected to make them business-driven, turning them into a social, transactional, operational and analytical CRM.

In digital marketing, silos refer to the data generated by a certain department and stored in a sealed way in that department. In the language of the street we could translate it as that the commercial does not communicate with the marketing, the sales go by themselves and the customer service are always forgotten and nobody thinks of learning from their experience. When this happens, friction between departments is frequent. But, above all, it affects the customer experience.

Astara Platform, the transversal platform based on Salesforce technology and adapted to Astara's business needs, efficiently interconnects all departments. “It is very gratifying to see how, once the information flows in the ecosystem, the magic of seeing how the customer experience improves and how the efficiency of the processes increases in a very evident way occurs. Salesforce has helped us with this transformation that is not only technological, but also cultural. Having ordered and systematized data helps us support our decisions in that 'single source of truth' where everything flows in an integrated manner from start to finish," says Rodríguez.

A website with a clean design, written in English and configured to facilitate conversion, and a complete CRM capable of interrelating all the data that flows through the different departments, explains how Astara has achieved a strong presence in 19 countries and 3 continents in just a few years . “We have always seen digitization as an opportunity to lead mobility globally,” he explains.

The intuitions and premonitions are precious in the songs, but they are insufficient as a business growth strategy. Commercial sense of smell was everything decades ago, but in 2022, strategies must be created tailored to each client, managing their data intelligently. This is nothing more than taking advantage of the trail left by each customer in their interactions with the company: what they buy, how often they buy, if they have had incidents and how they have been resolved... "Personalizing the customer experience is something that obsesses all industries . But first, you have to listen to them. A few years ago we created our Digital Hub, with a global investigation of our audiences and with a measurement of digital competitiveness”, affirms Rodríguez.

An example of how to personalize that relationship with each client is to customize communication channels with commercial offers. “We create a personalized microsite with information on each client (their interests, their motivations and their preferences) based on their interactions and advanced segmentation. This allowed us not only to contact them in the most convenient way for them, whether online or offline, but also to offer them the possibility of interacting with us through this new digital point of contact”.

This digital strategy is nothing more than the virtual version of that bar where they know us, they give us 'the usual' without having to ask for it and they recommend us to go through their new restaurant because they know that we are going to like the menu. That bar, where at the end of the year we consume more than in others and that we do not hesitate to recommend to friends. Taking this strategy to the digital field thanks to data-driven management, Astara not only takes care of the customer experience. Astara Platform has allowed them to identify market possibilities to diversify their offer.

Thus, in a few years they have gone from practically only selling vehicles and providing technical service, to a diversified model where it is possible to subscribe or resort to shared mobility models (for example, a subscription for only one month for family vacations, or increase fleets for periods of high volume of demand, in the case of companies). They even apply artificial intelligence to make fleet movements more efficient thanks to connectivity (Astara Connect).

All these lines of business feed off the data generated by others. The results of this strategy speak for themselves: Customer Acquisition Cost and Conversion Rate have improved by an average of 20% and 30%, respectively. And they hope to end this 2022 with sales of 230,000 vehicles and an estimated turnover of 5,500 million euros. None of this would be possible without that powerful digital skeleton. “The platform allows us to access the vehicle data through connectivity. This helps us better understand the mobility needs of our customers, see the trends in the different markets and anticipate when offering them the best and most sustainable solution. That is the virtuosity of our ecosystem: being able to offer comprehensive solutions based on what the client may need at any given time, and with the right experience for each type of product”, says Antonio Rodriguez.

Astara's is just one of many success stories that mark Salesforce's experience as a provider of CRM and digital services to businesses of all sizes. Many of them will be present at the next Innovation Days, a conference organized by Salesforce to publicize all the possibilities of digitization applied to each business. They will take place on October 18 in Madrid and on October 20 in Barcelona. All interested trailblazers can register for free and learn about the latest solutions to turn their company into an unstoppable start up.



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