AGI Helps Bridge the Gap From Farm To Table With Salesforce
AGI offers farmers and commercial companies complete food management solutions.
AGI started out 25 years ago with three individuals selling portable handling equipment to grain farmers. Over the years, it’s added more lines of equipment with the aim of providing farmers with complete systems. The company now offers physical equipment and digital technology solutions for storage, handling, structures, processing, and controls in seed, fertilizer, grain, feed, and food.
The organization sells to two main customer segments – one being farmers via a network of dealers, and the second being direct sales to commercial operations such as facility developers and contractors, food processing businesses, and grain trading companies.
Salesforce brings the organization together with the democratization of data.
As the company has grown through acquisitions, its sales, service, and marketing processes had become complex and disjointed. Postill and his colleagues also recognized that much of its vital customer information was only captured in people’s heads. “We’ve got great staff with decades of experience, but we needed to find a way to democratize customer data to take the pressure off key members and get new employees up to scratch faster,” explained Postill.
To improve the customer experience and simplify customer engagement for employees, AGI turned to Salesforce. “Our vision was to bring the organization together with common systems, processes, and data,” confirmed Brett Kapilik, Vice President of IT at AGI.
“Our vision was to bring the organization together with common systems, processes, and data.”
The low-code platform supports automation across the business.
Recognizing that its disparate data needed cleansing before the company could gain real value from it, AGI underwent an extensive data governance process, using automation solutions to cleanse and deduplicate its data before importing it to Sales Cloud.
With Sales Cloud, AGI gained a comprehensive and accurate customer list for the first time, which helps it sell more collaboratively across teams. As well as improving visibility, Sales Cloud simplifies processes with greater automation. “Our commercial side has a complex quoting and sales process. Our customers are often responsible for large commercial facilities and deals can be worth tens of millions of dollars,” said Kapilik. “We’ve simplified the bid review process by creating a fully automated solution in Sales Cloud.”
Using Salesforce’s low-code platform, AGI is gradually extending automation to
more departments. “I really like that Salesforce is a development platform at its core, with ready-made applications available or the ability to build your own - and it all integrates,” commented Kapilik. "It can take months to custom build a basic application – with Salesforce, our developers
can deliver apps in weeks or less!”
Visibility of interactions and metrics enable better service.
In 2020, AGI extended its Salesforce capabilities to service. “As we operate in a seasonal business, we need to be able to provide seamless service during peaks in demand,” explained Rick Rudachyk, Customer Experience Manager at AGI. “With Service Cloud, we can use resources more strategically as anyone can pick up the phone and resolve a customer’s query – regardless of the solution and division it relates to.”
Now, for the first time, Rudachyk and his team have visibility of real-time metrics. They can see how many calls and emails they’re received, identify trends, and are starting to measure call wait times, CSAT, and NPS.
Consolidating platform helps increase marketing channel activity by 49%.
“Agriculture is a relationship-driven industry, so we’re more used to face-to-face sales at trade shows,” explained Postill. “Due to COVID, we’ve had to transform how we market and sell. Luckily we’d already deployed Marketing Cloud so we were ready to roll. We’ve actually tripled our digital marketing in the last 18 months.”
Postill and his team have built customer journeys in Marketing Cloud. They use Email Studio to send out regular customer newsletters and leverage Social Studio to monitor social activity. As well as underpinning all its virtual live events, webinars, and digital ads, Marketing Cloud helps AGI measure, quantify, and optimise its efforts.
Easier collaboration results in a more unified, customer-focused organization.
It’s also helping everyone collaborate better, as the company achieves its vision of a more unified, customer-focused organization. “Salesforce has become the glue that holds us together,” concluded Postill. “We’re just getting a taste of what it can deliver, and we’re eager to try more!”