Vend

We pride ourselves on giving customers a beautiful experience and Salesforce allows us to do the same for our partners.”

Jake West | Director, Business Development
 

2

MONTHS TO BUILD A
BRAND NEW PARTNER COMMUNITY

 

Vend delivers a beautiful experience to its partner ecosystem

Founded in 2010, Vend introduced the world’s first cloud-based retail Point-of-Sale (POS) software and it has since become one of New Zealand’s most successful technology exports. The software provides retailers everything they need to manage and grow their business. They can accept payments in-store and online, manage inventory, reward customer loyalty, and report on their business in real-time.

Vend also integrates with a range of payment solutions and the company has established a thriving ecosystem which includes the providers of these products and other resellers. Today, these partners are central to Vend’s growth and it’s launched a new online community to enable their success.

Jake West, Director of Business Development at Vend, shared that the company chose to build the new community on Salesforce to create an experience that equalled that of its software. “We pride ourselves on giving customers a beautiful experience and Salesforce allows us to do the same for our partners,” said West.

From underwhelming to world-class

Vend began building out its partner channel just over two and a half years ago. The company was growing quickly, but it’s cost of customer acquisition was high due to the advertising and free trials it used to pull in leads. Sourcing referrals was a more sustainable way to grow and mutually beneficial for Vend and its partners.

“Many of our partners offer solutions like credit card processing and they provide referrals because Vend extends their value proposition. At the same time, these referrals are their leads too and they need to have confidence in how we’re handling them and following up,” said West.

Vend’s previous partner portal was underwhelming and didn’t provide partners with that confidence, so the company decided to start over and create a new community on Experience Cloud. Vend was already using Sales Cloud to manage inbound sales enquiries and tapped into internal expertise to build the community in-house.

Shawmi Billah, Partnership Operations Manager, led the project working alongside Daniel Corsaletti, Senior Salesforce Engineer. With support from Salesforce and resources like Trailhead, they were able to build the community in two months before onboarding partners during a six-week phased rollout.

Partners now no longer worry about what’s happening with referrals as they can track the end-to-end sales journey in real-time. They can see when Vend has contacted a lead and scheduled a demo. They can see when that lead has been won and can collaborate with Vend to onboard them.

Partners can additionally keep track of their commission payments through the community and access curated content like case studies and webinars. They can also reach out and collaborate with Vend via live chat. The feedback from partners has been fantastic and just two months post-launch the community is already helping Vend win new partners.

“We recently demoed the community to a potential partner and they decided to come onboard right away. They said this was exactly the enterprise-grade platform they were expecting,” said West.

Jeff Haughton, Director of Strategic Partnerships with BLUEDOG/ FortisPay, added, “We work in a fast paced environment where we have a number of sales executives that interact with Vend almost every day. While Vend is always responsive, the fact that we now have a real time view into our shared business is a game changer. Vend's partner community drives efficiency, is extremely easy to navigate and allows us to better work as a team. We can now collaborate on new opportunities, view sales notes, and understand how our business is performing, up to the minute.”

Collaborating on customer success

Vend’s own employees have also benefited from the new community. It has reduced admin time and allows them to manage referrals and inbound sales inquiries all on the one platform. They also no longer need to sync data between Salesforce and the partner portal. They have one source of truth for reporting on sales and can better spot trends and analyse performance.

“The dashboards in Salesforce help us to tell a story about what’s happened in the business over the past 12 to 18 months. We can also more easily identify opportunities to improve and keep growing our partnerships,” said Billah.

The company’s immediate focus is continuing to improve the partner experience by personalising content on the community and adding new features like the ability to book demos online. Some of these changes take just minutes as opposed to in the past when something as simple as adding a new column to the partner portal would take up to three months.

“We’re able to do things at a speed we just couldn’t before and it all adds up to a better experience for our partners,” said West.

 

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