Mention the word “innovation” and it’s not likely that the first thing coming to mind is a cardboard box.
In fact, innovation is fuelling a revolution in shipping containers, spurred on by consumer demand to deliver perishable goods faster than ever in containers that don’t harm the environment.
A Packaging Start Up Grows Rapidly
This demand, plus the foresight to see an opportunity and the guts to go for it, drove two friends to launch a packaging company in 2015, dedicated to specialty containers that are totally recyclable and 100% environmentally friendly.
In four short years, the company’s product line and customer base have exploded, along with sales and revenue.
With rapid growth and customer acquisition came a burning need to centralize data scattered among the company’s facilities in North America.
Fragmented Data Leads to Missed Opportunities
The company was anxious to track and seize opportunities that the company hadn’t been able to leverage in its early years when it focused on landing large scale contracts.
The packaging firm knew that Salesforce was the number one CRM in the world, so, in January 2019, they reached out to Account Executive, Emma McCrossan.
“Essentially, they didn’t have any kind of CRM,” Emma explained. “They were working off Excel spreadsheets and emails. None of their customer history or interactions were tracked anywhere and there was no concrete application or process within their organization.”
Re-Discovering Old Leads
The young owners were smart enough to realize that, in their pursuit of big contracts only, they were leaving a lot of revenue on the table in the form of numerous smaller contracts that their limited resources in the early days couldn’t effectively chase down.
“Now that they’re big, they have the bandwidth to work on the smaller deals and these smaller projects really add up”, McCrossan said. “They didn’t have any way to access the data that would tell them who the small customers were, who’d been an inbound lead four years ago and who was still interested.”
The initial discussion revolved around centralized data but Emma expanded the conversation to include the firm’s outside sales team. “We asked them ‘what if your sales people could this or that? Are they on the road? Do they travel?’ They didn’t realize that Salesforce could really support their sales teams, as well.”
Salesforce partnered with Gerent for the implementation, using its Quick Start service which has a client up and running within a 7 day period.
The Gerent implementation team began the process on April 2nd and the client was in business by April 9th.
The team used the Enterprise Edition of Salesforce, one that includes Salesforce APIs to connect the CRM with a client’s back office operations. This sets up the packaging company with a complete 360 view of their customers and is fully scalable as the company grows.
It is Gerent’s custom to always go a step further than the contract stipulates. In this instance, Gerent recognized that the client needed a custom element to complete their solution.
The Gerent/Salesforce Solution
• Sales Cloud Implementation
• Salesforce Enterprise Edition
• Gerent-created Custom Template
Streamlining Client Data Acquisition
That custom object was a template so sales people could input important information from client and prospect meetings into a standardized format.
Through consultation with the client, the Gerent implementation team realized that a lot of information is gathered from discovery meetings held with customers. The information is critical to size the deal and determine if they can provide their customer with a proper solution or not.
It can take the packaging company four to five months to close a deal. During that time, Gerent’s client is assessing and architecting a solution, bringing in their R&D team to assist and then presenting the solution to their customer. The customer might then go to their own engineering teams to review the proposed solution.
Gerent built the template with a list of standardized questions supplied by the client and inserted it into Sales Cloud.
Now each sales person can go to a meeting, gather the information, input it and save it immediately in a consistent manner. This gives Gerent’s client the capability of knowing when a meeting is completed, what the outcome was and what next steps need to be taken.
Another Satisfied Gerent Customer
Emma McCrossan said the Salesforce project was the first one on which she’d worked with Gerent.
“The experience has been great. Gerent had a very tight knit team. Our client was in a hurry to get the Salesforce solution up and running and Gerent implemented a Quick Start that was smooth and problem-free. I get feedback every day from the CEO saying how much they love the solution. That’s a testament to how efficiently Gerent got the job done. Now our client is spreading Salesforce to different leaders in their company.”
McCrossan says that the client is planning to move their email platform to Inbox in the next few months. After that, she says, she’ll be talking to them about a quotation system, a current weak link when it comes to forecasting and generating quotes.
“So, this client is going to want to do more, going forward and I’m sure they’re going to want to use Gerent again because their experience has been so positive with Madhu Ramineni and his team.”