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Gerent Empowers a Plastics Giant’s Traveling Sales Team

Client Success Snapshot

Client Profile:

  • Overview: A leading provider and first and second-generation plastics in North and South America
  • Industry: Manufacturing
  • Team Size: 7,000-8,000 employees
  • Annual Revenue: $14-15 billion
  • Headquarters: São Paulo
  • Markets: North America, South America

The Challenge

One of the largest suppliers of first-generation and second-generation plastics in North and South America struggled to clear a scalability bottleneck. Thanks to the company’s diversity of products and sheer size, facilitating effective communications and logistics had become a significant concern. 

The manufacturer’s existing CRM had no enablement or functionality for its business users. Instead, employees would manually create call reports as Word documents, upload them to SharePoint, and distribute them one by one. Remote sales reps would have to log onto a network and then sign in through a VPN to their network system at headquarters before they could even pull up customer information.

Gerent’s Approach

After taking some time to understand the client’s technical challenges and goals, Gerent suggested implementing Sales Cloud. To give the manufacturer’s sales team central and secure access to its consumer data, Gerent employed Sales Cloud, Salesforce Inbox, Chatter, and (third-party) Nintex Drawloop. 

Sales Cloud eliminated the need for a VPN by adding an SSO (single sign-on) for ease and security, while Salesforce Inbox and Chatter allowed seamless customer information integration and accessible communication among staff. Nintex Drawloop, a third-party application tailored for Salesforce, allowed the organization to generate and deliver reports automatically.

Key Outcomes

In just under five months, the new Salesforce CRM solution was in place; today, the firm’s traveling sales teams enjoy immediate access to critical customer data when and where they need it.

Client Success Story

When a petrochemical giant based in Brazil approached Gerent in for transformation support, its leaders had one goal: to fix its inefficient communications. The firm’s existing CRM tethered field reps to manual communication and clunky intermediate security processes — the opposite of what a truly integrated framework should do. 

“The field guys would have to log on to a laptop, log onto a network, and then sign in through a VPN to their network system at headquarters before they could even pull up customer information. Half the time, they couldn’t do it because they didn’t have an internet connection available and no mobile capability on their phones, either,” explained our project manager.

The field teams often resorted to back-and-forth emails to send and receive customer data. If a traveling salesperson wanted to know simple data points — like where an order was in the pipeline or when it would get filled — they would have to start a lengthy search process. 

The sheer inefficiency of this process eventually caused a service bottleneck, leading to poor customer service and churn. Once we identified the most apparent block, our first goal became simple: to empower sales reps to access critical information from their mobile devices.

Seamless and secure communications

Before partnering with Gerent, our client struggled to maintain efficient communications. Representatives often needed to parse frequent emails, overstuffed spreadsheets, and outdated systems for key consumer data points. Some degree of inefficiency was acceptable when the company was small — but as it grew, so did its collaboration problems. 

To simplify and centralize communication, our team implemented Salesforce Inbox and Chatter

Salesforce Inbox integrates the sales team’s inbox automatically with their new CRM. It allows them to update their customer information directly from the inbox while also allowing the customer information to guide their communications. With Inbox, reps can create email templates based on customer data or allow salespeople to check ‘call reports’ at a glance. 

Similarly, Chatter allows for real-time collaboration on accounts, enabling users to work, chat, and share information from anywhere, safely and securely. To cut down on complexity while maintaining security, Gerent also established a built-in SSO (Single Sign-On) portal that simplified sales communications and eliminated the need for a cumbersome VPN.

Now, the sales representatives can access or share client information instantaneously, no matter where they might be, without ever worrying about security.

Easy to find call reports

Prior to implementation, the manufacturer’s sales representatives would manually generate ‘call reports’ to ensure customers' needs would remain top-of-mind during client meetings. These documents were helpful, but inefficiently produced — account managers needed to manually create the ‘call reports’ using Word and then upload them to Sharepoint. 

To ensure more efficient reporting and information-sharing, we migrated the company’s client data into Salesforce. Post-implementation, every sales representative could search any account in Salesforce and pull up the call report to get a refresher on the customer’s needs. Having customer records ready at hand empowered the sales team to go into meetings with more confidence and rapport.

Automatic contract creation

Quickly and accurately creating contracts is an essential part of the sales process. To help automate this, we decided to employ Nintex Drawloop — a third-party application tailored for Salesforce that allows an organization to automatically generate and deliver reports without manually creating a document. Using the customer’s Salesforce profile, the software pulls a contract template and automatically fills out the appropriate fields. This bit of automation was a massive time-saver for the traveling sales team. 

With the ability to quickly create and change a sales contract, salespeople could focus more on building relationships and trust.

How We Implement

The entire solution is fully mobile and designed using Agile methodology. Agile is a well-established method to handle large projects by breaking them into digestible phases. In just under five months, the client’s new Salesforce CRM solution was in place; today, its outside sales teams enjoy immediate access to critical customer data when and wherever they need it.

The client had never done an Agile project before, and they appreciated how we guided them through each phase of planning, implementation, and evaluation. As a result, the client participated in the project without ever feeling disassociated from their day-to-day needs. 

We believe that the heart of any process is people, and unless people are at the center of implementation, the results will be less than optimal.

The CRM was the first phase of a multi-phase journey for the company. Our project manager reports that phase two will focus more on scalability. We’re excited to drive more extensive results for our client.

Contact Gerent

Gerent provides consulting and implementation services for digital transformation. Stay in touch with us for more information about these services, and please feel free to contact us with any questions or inquiries.

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