Friday, February 3, 2017

Total Plastics Inc. Salesforce Implementation and User Adoption Case Study

Case Study, Salesforce, Salesforce Resources

Written by Laura Monn Ginsburg Laura Monn Ginsburg

TPITotal Plastics Inc.
Plastics Distribution and Fabrication
www.totalplastics.com

Luxent helped TPI implement Salesforce to meet its key business goals as well as successfully train users through a multi-mode, multi-step adoption strategy.


“Choosing Salesforce was the easy part – we also needed a partner that understood our industry, our ERP, and how to make user adoption successful. Luxent was able to exceed our expectations in these critical areas.”
– Zack Loeprich, Marketing Manager


Challenges

After many years of using the CRM module within its ERP platform, TPI needed something that could better meet the needs of its users. “Our old system was clumsy, manual, and not very user friendly,” said Zack Loeprich, Marketing Manager at TPI. “Users didn’t feel the value of using the system—it seemed like a one-way task to complete for management instead of something that helped sales reps plan their days and be successful.”

Beyond users’ frustrations, TPI needed a better way to uniformly report on activity and pipelines, as well as empower the sales team with greater visibility.  “Our goals for a CRM solution were straightforward,” said Loeprich. “We needed one clear version of the truth and more meaningful relationships with our key accounts.” With these two priorities in mind, TPI set out to find a CRM that could make us successful as well as a partner that understood what we needed to achieve.

 

Solution

The decision to implement Salesforce CRM and integrate it with TPI’s ERP was an easy one. As a cloud-based, user-friendly platform, it met TPI’s key needs including:

  • The ability to slice and dice opportunity and pipeline views
  • The ability to get a comprehensive view of successes and challenges within the sales pipeline
  • Providing reporting capabilities for both users and executives
  • Accessibility from anywhere (vs. needing a VPN login)
  • Mobility (vs. only being able to use a desktop or laptop)
  • Integration to a legacy ERP platform

During the Salesforce selection process, TPI was introduced to Luxent as an implementation partner that specializes in working with manufacturers and distributors to implement, integrate, and deploy Salesforce. “Choosing Salesforce was the easy part – we also needed a partner that understood our industry, our ERP, and how to make user adoption successful. Luxent was able to exceed our expectations in these critical areas.”

Post-training was a critical time to ensure ongoing engagement.

4 Critical Thoughts


    1. 1.Reinforcing the key benefits of the system, like working with real-time data. “We showed the team during training how the integration between Salesforce and our ERP means they can see real-time performance metrics, quotes, invoice activity, etc. and it’s created a lot of buy-in for using the system.”
    2. 2.Sending an in-depth post-training survey from which the project team mined future training topics
    3. 3.Setting up a 9-inning training approach where users learn new facets of Salesforce and have the opportunity to earn points for prizes
    4. 4.Encouraging collaboration and feedback within Salesforce through Chatter posts and polls

User Adoption Focus 

“From the very beginning we knew that to see success with a new system, we needed to get the users on board,” said Loeprich. “We talked to users and leaders about what they—and the company—needed to be successful to ensure that we delivered.”

Luxent recommended using a theme to drive adoption, focus, and excitement during the critical change management stage. “Anytime you disrupt the norm, you need to carefully plan for how you’ll handle changes to routines and expectations,” said Vivian Keena, Luxent CEO. “Whether you see the ROI you expected from Salesforce—or any technology investment—really comes down to user adoption.”

With a dispersed sales team and tight eight-week timeline to be up and running, leveraging a fun, straightforward theme was the perfect way to give the team something to rally around. A baseball theme of Keep Your Eye on the Ball! made not only the initial on-site training more exciting, but it kept up the momentum when everyone went back home. What’s more, a theme provided a shared framework when there was so much to learn: “While we were still getting comfortable with Salesforce and how it works, falling back on baseball terms helped bridge the divide between the known and unknown.”

“The theme really lightened it up and made the new system feel like it was for the users instead of being a mandate from corporate,” explained Loeprich. “Everyone at the training felt good about what they learned and understood that it was just the beginning—that we’d be supporting them through the changeover to help them continue learning new aspects of Salesforce.”

Moving forward, Zack and team are using a 9-inning approach to continuing training with users as well as keeping a close eye on who’s excelling and who may need some one-on-one help to get them up to speed. “You can’t train a team for two days and hope for the best,” said Loeprich. “Training is a process that is done over time and continually reinforced. Our users’ success is ultimately our company’s success with Salesforce.”

 

TPI used a baseball theme to get users motivated about the Salesforce platform.

3 Ideas for Theme Creation


    1. 1.Baseball jerseys waiting at everyone’s workspace
    2. 2.Stadium snacks like in-shell peanuts, crackerjacks, and chewing gum
    3. 3.Branded baseballs to take home and put on your desk

Results

After meeting its eight-week go-live deadline, the TPI team is well on its way to fully leveraging Salesforce. “Luxent helped us meet our very aggressive project deadline without sacrificing our focus on user adoption. Their knowledge of Salesforce, ERP, and change management made all the difference in our success.”

  • Used a post-training survey to understand additional opportunities to train users and have ensured follow-up training materials include these open items
  • Users are leveraging Chatter to share successes and tips, a level of collaboration that was previously impossible
  • Users report feeling more engaged with their peers and the company
  • Users can easily access ERP data through the LiNK data integration between Salesforce and their ERP system

Management can see the results at both a macro and micro level to track success

 

What’s Next

TPI plans to continue expanding its use of Salesforce, including adding Campaigns to track marketing activities and Dashboards to bring together multiple reports.


“Luxent helped us meet our very aggressive project deadline without sacrificing our focus on user adoption. Their knowledge of Salesforce, ERP, and change management made all the difference in our success.” – Zack Loeprich

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