The company is a $500 million manufacturer of specialty materials, with eleven sales reps and three inside support reps selling primarily through dealers in all fifty states.
At the time we met them, they were using a legacy client server system as both their ordering and lead management system. The sales reps sent their orders by email and the inside support people entered them into the system. They also tried to track leads using the system with great difficulty.
A sales representative for Salesforce.com had shown them a demo. However, the company was reluctant to go into a minimum of one year commitment for about twenty licenses without knowing if it would work for them or not.
They were concerned that since most of their products had multiple selections to be made to arrive at the final order, that Salesforce could not handle the complexities both during prospecting and selling. Further, they needed to somehow integrate Salesforce with their order system at some point.
While they were willing to set aside the integration requirements initially, they needed proof Salesforce could handle their business complexity before signing a year long contract for twenty licenses.
The VP of Sales asked if we could quickly customize Salesforce enough to provide a proof of concept.
What We Did
We told the VP of Sales that we can build a prototype of sufficient sophistication that would allow his team to gauge whether or not Salesforce can handle their business complexity, and that we could build this prototype within 48 hours.
We advised them to make sure that Salesforce gave them the Enterprise trial version, and that we would need to spend time with 2-3 of their people to understand their business processes.
The company arranged for us to meet with two of their sales reps and their marketing director and we spent the first 4 hours understanding their business processes.
We then asked them to just focus on four products—two of their most complicated ones and two of their simplest ones so we can see how our design would handle their products. We went through all possible order scenarios until we could factor out all the common elements and the outliers.
We then scheduled a demo for 4pm the next day with the same people and the VP of Sales, and set to work.
We customized their leads, contacts, accounts, and opportunities to meet their requirements, and added the four products and the configurations they needed. Using formulae and automations, we recalculated pricing based on selections following the business rules they provided to us.
At the time of the demo, we showed them how their sales reps would use the Leads tab to prospect and convert leads into opportunities, how they would select and configure products, and how the prices of the products would automatically be configured based on both the configuration and quantity of products entered
The client team decided during the demo that not only did Salesforce handle their business complexities, but it also enabled them to automate and accelerate many business processes. They decided to sign up for the twenty licenses and asked us to complete the customization, including generating quotes and contracts, and training their teams to use Salesforce two weeks later.
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