At Gerent, we understand that success in distribution hinges upon customer relationships – building them, maintaining them, and leveraging them to encourage ongoing loyalty. Distributors' primary product isn’t materials; it’s the white-glove service experiences they provide for their clients.
However, what that ideal “white glove service experience” looks like has begun to change – and with it, the rules of competition. As the market continues to evolve toward digital-first experiences, customers have come to expect seamless digital integration, omnichannel service, real-time order tracking, self-service functionality, and more from their distribution partners.
Unfortunately, distributors who have not started to digitalize may lack the framework needed to provide these services. For project-bid-based distributors, who constantly strive to establish themselves as clients’ premier choice for materials, this may put them at a distinct disadvantage.
The traditional means of doing business – handshakes, hard copies, and spreadsheets – no longer meets customer needs. And so, distributors have begun to recognize the value of CRM solutions, such as the ones Salesforce provides. Manufacturing Cloud is a framework constructed around addressing top-of-mind issues for manufacturers and distributors. In addition to centralizing information to improve data accuracy and accessibility, the solution improves distributors’ rebate management capabilities, expands their customer service capabilities, and facilitates cooperation with partners.
However, change management could be a potential barrier to entry for some, as distributors want to gain value from their solutions as soon as possible. Unfortunately, while getting value from Salesforce solutions out of the box is very much viable, maximizing the value of your implementation typically requires thoughtful consideration. This is especially true for project-bid-based distributors, who require their solutions to understand and account for the intricacies of their industry-unique practices.
An implementation partner like Gerent can address these concerns by leveraging pre-customized solutions called Salesforce Accelerators.
What is a Salesforce accelerator?
A Salesforce accelerator is a solution that builds upon the foundation provided by the base CRM platform, empowering distributors to speed time to value and minimize change initiative costs. Consultation partners construct accelerators to minimize the customization process while addressing client pain points in a faster, more affordable manner.
Clients who utilize an accelerator don’t need to implement Salesforce out-of-the-box and perform their own customizations – they immediately get essential features and functionalities at a more affordable cost. An accelerator constructed by a partner that understands the complexities of your industry can set your organization up for a successful long-term transformation.
Let’s look at our pre-built solution for bid-based distribution – the Bid Boss Accelerator.
The Bid Boss Accelerator: a custom-built Manufacturing Cloud solution for distribution
Gerent’s Bid Boss Accelerator is a custom-built solution designed to give distributors specific, value-add Manufacturing Cloud features out-of-the-box. We leveraged our firsthand knowledge of project bid-based distributors’ needs to create an accelerator that facilitates better opportunity management, improves procurement forecasting, and adds the visibility your team needs to bid more strategically. The Bid Boss Accelerator provides the foundation distributors need to drive crucial processes and address key pain points, including:
- Project Success Pathing - Distributors gain the ability to analyze and understand competitors’ customer/vendor relationships. These crucial insights help distributors bid more strategically on projects that have a higher likelihood of successful acquisition.
- 360-Degree Customer Insight - The solution provides a comprehensive profile of every customer and their interactions with the company. Additionally, distributors can view contact information, quotes-to-orders, and open opportunities through a single source of truth.
- Multi-Party Opportunity Management - Distributors can manage multiple bids within a single project opportunity and achieve strategic insight into external factors that may influence opportunities.
- Improved Project Forecasting - Distributors can set estimated delivery and requirement dates for material release and gain a high-level view of long-term procurement needs.
This is not the full range of the Bid Boss Accelerator’s capabilities; the accelerator also facilitates account management, collaboration between sales teams, consistency of bidding outcomes, and sales leadership insight.
Want more information about our accelerator for Distribution? Check out our Bid Boss Accelerator infographic to learn more!
Accelerate your transformation with Gerent
Organizations that leverage accelerators in their transformations will find themselves at a great advantage. However, unlocking the maximum value-add of an accelerator can be difficult without the counsel of an implementation partner that understands your industry.
Gerent is a leading Salesforce Summit integration partner with over 1,100 implementations performed. Our veteran manufacturing and distribution consultants have a wealth of domain knowledge and years of experience leveraging that knowledge to customize and implement solutions for their clients.
If you’re interested in seeing how an accelerator can reduce time-to-value for your business’s digitalization, give us a call to speak with one of our industry experts.