Hilti: Global Manufacturing Company Overcomes Crisis by Leveraging Digitalization

How has the global B2B manufacturing company digitalized its business during the 2020 global crisis and achieved excellent business results?


At the time of the coronavirus crisis, there was a large increase in Salesforce implementation and (or) upgrade projects. This trend was particularly visible in the B2B industrial and manufacturing sector. The most important reason was: companies had to find new ways to maintain productivity and stay connected with their customers and partners.

Personal and personalized communication is extremely important for companies in the B2B sector, because their clients mostly have the power to approve large orders.


Taking advantage of the crisis


Something similar happened to Hilti Group, the leading manufacturer of tools and equipment in the construction sector. Standard communication was difficult during the coronavirus crisis. This situation potentially was a great threat to normal business. But, it potentially offered an opportunity to improve business processes.

Hilti opted for the latter and in the middle of the crisis, they recognized the digitalization of business on the Salesforce platform as their highest priority. Based on that, Daria Kulikova, co-founder of LeverUP Consulting and Salesforce Marketing Cloud expert, got involved in a challenging and dynamic project of digitizing Hilti’s business.


Investing into the future


The implementation of the Salesforce solution was initially set up as a two-year project. But soon, plans had to be changed because the sales and customer relations sectors were no longer able to communicate with customers like they used to. This was due to one simple reason: Offices and construction sites around the world were virtually closed overnight due to the pandemic.

One option was to press the “pause button” and temporarily stop the Salesforce project due to the economic and financial situation. Namely, by March 2020 Salesforce was implemented in only one market.

But Hilti decided just the opposite. They intensified their efforts even further and completed the project in just six months, which according to the original plan should have lasted two years! Hilti recognized the opportunity to take business to a new level and strengthen its leading position in the market.


Business evolution


While a large number of companies paused investments and business initiatives during the corona crisis, Hilti did the opposite and has invested in the future. The internal name of this Salesforce implementation project says a lot: “Evolution”.

The global goal of this project was not only the implementation of a new CRM and marketing automation platform. The point was to use the Salesforce platform as a training ground that allows to change the focus of the entire marketing strategy and introduce an “opportunity-oriented” sales process. This process is based primarily on knowing (and recognizing) the needs of clients through the use of all available data and connecting digital and physical activities into one logical whole.


Results of the Salesforce implementation in Hilti


  • Sales “leads” are created more precisely, based on customer needs
  • “Leads” are converted much faster (sales processes are accelerated)
  • Potential customer status data is available to the entire team at any time, and this allows collaboration and increases efficiency
  • Clients can extend an existing or contract a new “fleet management” contract entirely online (digital)
  • The revolutionary “asset management” system has been implemented, which completely changes and improves the user experience
  • Personalized marketing communication is automatically delivered to the client in response to a large number of events (steps in business processes) including those related to expressed interest in the product, contract expiration, or signals (information) from Hilti tools that function as IoT devices
  • As the successful implementation of the Salesforce platform requires the involvement of the entire team, this was a great opportunity for change and better definition of certain business processes


Hilti Group


  • 80 years of business tradition
  • More than 30,000 employees worldwide
  • Six billion CHF of annual sales revenue
  • Industrial leader and innovator: Tools and software for the construction sector
  • Founded in 1941 in Lichtenstein


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Global Salesforce Consulting Partner with offices in Zagreb and Tallinn. Professional focus on the Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform, Salesforce CDP, and cross-cloud implementations.

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