Go-to-market consulting and CRM solution support global customer experience

A $7 billion agricultural company (the Company) helps food grow across the globe. As a large manufacturer, the Company has strong core competencies in efficient manufacturing and product distribution, but historically had made limited investments in sales and marketing. Due to increased competitive pressures, the Company identified the need to separate from the competition in order to support the desired revenue growth and profitability.

The business challenge

The Company had a set of legacy practices which would not support a change in their go-to-market strategy. The sales and marketing infrastructure was comprised of a sales pipeline managed in the corporate enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, an account experience plan documented in Microsoft Excel, and disparate contact databases across multiple systems.

The Baker Tilly solution

The Company hired Baker Tilly’s specialized go-to-market team to help them develop a revised strategy to achieve their goals. This work included:

  • Stakeholder interviews
  • Competitive analysis
  • State of the industry
  • Assessment of the Company’s current situation
  • Opportunity analysis

Company executives worked with Baker Tilly to fully understand their options as they sought to refine their sales and marketing focus for future growth. They created a new go-to-market strategy that focuses on a high-touch customer experience to separate the Company from the competition and support its growth goals.

As the new strategy was taking shape, Company leaders realized they would need a customer relationship management (CRM) solution that would provide the infrastructure necessary to support an optimal customer experience.

The Baker Tilly service team developed a customized project approach to help the client address this resulting CRM need. Several important considerations were identified as the Company team and executives evaluated multiple CRM systems. These items included:

  • Ease of use – The sales team was comprised of a large number of account managers who were not accustomed to using a technology solution to support their day-to-day activities.
  • Ease of customization – A number of customer programs, which are not a part of standard CRM functionality, would need to be supported by the solution.
  • Low total cost of ownership – Software license, software maintenance, solution implementation, and ongoing support were considered in the total cost of ownership.
  • Global capabilities – The Company operates in more than 15 countries around the globe. It required a system which would provide user access in their local language and currency, as well as support business differences across the geographies.
  • Integration to existing ERP system – A significant amount of the functionality would require data integration between the CRM system and the existing corporate ERP system.
  • Speed to deployment – The Company required a solution which could be deployed quickly to address immediate needs, then built out further at a later date.

Business results

Baker Tilly guided the go-to-market strategy development and software evaluation project. The Company selected Salesforce.com as the CRM solution that would meet their global needs at a significantly lower total cost of ownership than other on-site solutions. Key decision factors in selecting Salesforce.com included its ease of use, high rates of user adoption, alignment with the desired functionality, and the SaaS model, which can be deployed faster with fewer resources.

Upon implementation, the Company is positioned to achieve significant growth and cost savings resulting in an expected five-year internal rate of return (IRR) of greater than 100%. Improved visibility of account profile data across the organization will enable all functional areas to identify how they can improve the customer experience, identify opportunities to improve share of wallet, and manage new sales and expansion opportunities. In addition to the significant growth, the Company is also positioned to achieve cost savings due to reduced re-work between functions, automation of a number of reports and activities, and a significantly reduced time to access account data.