Reducing cost of sales with an entirely new online sales model

Chubb decided to use technology to reduce the high cost of sales associated with its field-based sales team.
Client

Chubb Fire & Security

Client since

2017

Services provided

Complex eCommerce, Online Platform, Complex Integrations, Technical Support, System Maintenance, Hosting & Cost Management, Security & Risk Management

The problem

In 2017 all sales for Chubb Fire & Security were made by a traditional field sales team during a visit to the prospects place of work.

Typically, this would involve multiple visits and consultations. Assessments, quotes, documentation and contracts were all handled using paper copies.
The result was:

  • Long times to complete the contract sale
  • Significant time needed to process and open a customer account
  • A need for multiple visits to the prospect’s workplace
  • High cost of sales
Chubb needed to modernise and streamline the sales process, with technology.

Characterstics of the project

Complex Process
The system being replaced was a consultative sales process for three complex services: Fire Risk Assessments, Fire Safety Training, and Fire Extinguisher Servicing. Navigating and codifying the nuances of each clients’ business to ensure they were directed to the right service was critical.
Best in class UX, UI and Visual Design
For prospects to self-serve a complex purchase, every step needed to be simple, intuitive and focused.
Rethinking internal processes
This was a first for a 200-year-old company. Not only did we need to create an online platform, there were significant operational changes required to move the business to a digital model.
Gathering the correct information
Key customer information was often subjective and surfaced through long and detailed conversations with sales staff. Examples of this detail were questions such as whether a location was high or low risk, or what is included in a particular tier of service. This needed to be codified into a clear set of questions that any customer could easily answer.
Multiple integrations
The new system needed to integrate with many internal and 3rd party systems. For example, Dymamics CRM, Companies House, KYC Partner Software, Email Marketing, ERP and Azure Service Bus all needed to integrate seamlessly.

The process

As with every project, we were rigorous in our assessment of whether we were building the right thing. Solutions that initially seem suitable, often fall apart under scrutiny. It is vitally important that this happens before anything has been built.

Scoping

Scoping is where we worked out exactly what needed to be done, what limiting parameters there were, and what questions we needed to answer.

We started with an analysis of the current process. Spending time with the sales people, customers and the relevant internal staff, we mapped out the end-to-end process.

So often during this process, what was assumed to be the optimal solution can be improved upon, or occasionally replaced altogether. For Chubb, although the initial brief was for a pure self-serve eCommerce solution, during scoping we identified opportunities for integrating non-converting eCommerce sales into the more traditional field sales model, capturing greater revenue.

In addition, by codifying the field-sales process and ensuring that the online process was something that would also work face-to-face, we were able to make the platform something that could be used by the field sales team to dramatically increase productivity and reduce cost of sales. Now, rather than needing 3+ visits, everything could be completed in just one.

Solution definition

This is the stage where we defined how the requirements from scoping would be delivered, detailing exactly how the system would work.

We were building a complex eCommerce portal that would help prospects identify and order the correct services for their business. Clear product requirements, user experience and technical solutions were agreed at this stage.

While a simple customer facing solution was key, we developed an approach that also honoured internal processes. Processes that could not, or should not, be rapidly changed. This delivered the desired commercial benefits without requiring a radical operational overhaul.

Without needing to rethink the entire business model Chubb was able to move significantly towards their long term operational improvement goals.

Implementation

We were challenged to move extremely fast, which meant our role also required us to work very closely with Chubb stakeholders and push them to new models of thinking.

A clear solution definition and our proven internal delivery processes were key to sticking to this tight timeframe.

Initially, we needed to identify the MVP for the product launch, with a clear development roadmap to build on this once live.

Launch

Chubb Protect is the first ecommerce site for this 200-year-old company. It is driving significant new sales, from an entirely new sales channel. More than that, it represents a bold step forwards for the business, helping to ensure they continue being a force in the market for another 200 years.

We moved the business from having a 60+ day contract signing process to contracts being created in as little as 11 clicks.

The outcome

Faster time to contract

We moved the business from having a 60+ day contract signing process, to contracts being created in as little as 11 clicks.

Reduced cost of sales

We replaced the previous labour-intensive, manual process that required multiple visits by a trained salesperson, with a single visit to a self-serve eCommerce site that the customer completes themselves.

Quicker payment times

We introduced immediate online payment, significantly reducing the overall contract process and back-office processing requirements.

Improved tracking & analytics

Moving from a paper-based system to a digital one enabled faster, more accurate and greater analysis of the sales process.

Simpler, customer-led pricing

We simplified a potentially confusing matrix of technical options to a single and simple quote for a customer, that was delivered from a set of simple and easy to answer questions.

More efficient and lower-cost field sales

For the traditional sales model, visits could be cut to a third, significantly reducing cost of sales and time to contract.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with Steer73, very professional, very fast and they keep us in check – keep us focused on answering the important issues at hand.”

― Chubb

Ongoing support

We act as long-term technology partners to our clients and, far from building something and walking away, our relationships typically span many years, as we maintain and build upon the technology we deliver.

For Chubb Protect these services include:

Technical Support (Infrastructure): Providing a support team to respond to downtime or issues with system infrastructure.

System Maintenance: Preventative, corrective and adaptive maintenance work to ensure smooth, ongoing operation of the system.

Hosting & Cost Management: Managing hosting and other technical services.

Security & Risk Monitoring: Penetration testing, regular vulnerability scanning and monthly reports on any security risks.