Greenfield Global


Greenfield Global boosts the customer experience during rapid growth with Salesforce

The manufacturing industry is moving fast. With increasing customer demands, greater automation, and the move to just-in-time manufacturing, companies in the sector need to be more agile than ever before.

Leading ethanol manufacturer Greenfield Global understands this need to react quickly, and this knowledge has enabled the company to turn challenges into opportunities. For example, when COVID-19 hit and transportation – and therefore demand for fuel ethanol - ground to a halt, Greenfield didn’t. In fact, the company has found itself busier than ever before. With agile and efficient sales processes enhanced by Salesforce, Greenfield was able to quickly pivot its business to supply alcohol for hand sanitizers.

“We were already growing rapidly, but the pandemic accelerated our expansion as demand for our products increased dramatically,” explained Steven McFarland, Sales Operations Manager at Greenfield. “Salesforce helps us better understand and communicate with our customers and prioritize orders based on their needs. It underpins our ability to grow the business while continuing to deliver an exceptional customer experience.”

Greenfield Global aims to innovate.

As well as producing, selling, and distributing high purity alcohol and solvents, Greenfield also has a business unit specializing in renewable energy. The company has facilities in the US, Canada, and Europe, and sells its products in more than 50 countries.

While environmental sustainability is important for many companies, for Greenfield it's an imperative that is written into its vision statement. “<350ppm reflects the company’s aspiration to do its part to return the level of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere to less than 350 parts per million,” explained Howard Field, President and CEO at Greenfield Global. “It’s at this level that life on Earth can continue for many more generations.”

As well as its commitment to a sustainable future, customer experience is a key differentiator for Greenfield. It's vital to McFarland and his colleagues that this doesn’t suffer throughout the company’s expansion. “We want to be innovators in the industry when it comes to the customer experience,” explained McFarland. “The health of our business and strong position in the marketplace rely upon it.”

As customers move more and more to just-in-time manufacturing, the company needs to ensure that their products are available to deliver to a customer’s facility when needed. If the product doesn’t arrive, or if there’s an issue with the delivery, it can slow down or even stop an entire facility, potentially costing customers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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The team searches for a centralized sales data repository.

To deliver an exceptional customer experience at scale, Greenfield decided to start by improving connectivity for its sales teams – both to information and to each other. “Our outgoing ERP system is difficult for our salespeople to navigate, which made it hard to access information quickly,” revealed McFarland. “Instead, our sales teams often had to piece together details from emails, notebooks, and even rolodexes. It wasn’t very efficient and led to errors and crossed wires – we sometimes had multiple salespeople working on the same opportunity without realizing it.”

Sales leaders also lacked easy access to data that would enable the ability to easily track and manage their team’s performance. These factors led Greenfield to search for a CRM solution that would act as a central repository for all sales and opportunity data.

Centralized information enables analysis and a better customer experience.

After investigating a number of options, Greenfield selected Salesforce. “We chose Salesforce because it's optimized for every working location – whether you’re accessing it from your phone at a meeting, a tablet at a trade show, or a laptop in the office,” explained McFarland.

Greenfield upgraded to the Lightning Experience and added Pardot after rolling out Sales Cloud in January 2018. The company is also rolling out B2B Commerce and Service Cloud in Q2 2021.

With sales and marketing integrated and e-commerce and service next on the agenda Greenfield will have a 360-degree view of its customers. "From beginning to end of the sales cycle, the team will have full visibility of each interaction. With every customer engagement recorded and accessible within the Salesforce ecosystem, we’re not only able to manage the day-to-day business more easily but also have the ability to analyze our data and elevate the customer experience,” added McFarland.

We chose Salesforce because it's optimized for every working location – whether you’re accessing it from your phone at a meeting, a tablet at a trade show, or a laptop in the office.”

Steven McFarland, Sales Operations Manager

Instant access to information enables sales teams to act more efficiently.

With all its sales information in one place, the team can enhance customer relationships with less effort and ensure no lead falls through the gaps. The other benefit of centralized data is that reporting is now far quicker. “We used to have to extract data from our ERP system and export it to Excel to create a sales report – now we will have dashboards at the click of a button,” commented McFarland. “With instant access to reports, reminders, and notes, our sales team, management and executive leadership will have much better visibility to our sales activities. We have already seen a huge amount of benefit from our limited on-platform data, and we have plans to further expand - we’re already building out additional functionality. Salesforce has truly become the hub of all our sales activities.”

Increased visibility means team leaders can monitor performance and identify where they need to provide some additional coaching, and the team particularly likes the mobile experience, which makes it straightforward to display dashboards on iPads at trade shows. “Regardless of where staff are located, with Salesforce they can view, edit, and capture information in real time,” said McFarland. “With the recent push to work-from-home driven suddenly by COVID-19 this has been indispensable to our people. The ability to have the same experience regardless of platform has allowed our team the freedom to perform at a high level regardless of where they find themselves.”

Pardot changes the marketing game.

Greenfield has also been using Pardot since February 2020 to automate customer emails. “We sent out more than 13,000 emails to our customers using Pardot between February and November,” confirmed McFarland. “Pardot helped us keep our customers updated throughout the pandemic and supported us as we conducted proactive surveys, collecting feedback from which we’ve been able to create actionable insights.”

The company now has a specialist on the marketing team helping to expand and transform its ability to reach out to potential and existing customers. “We can measure the success of marketing campaigns in a way we never could before,” explained McFarland. “We can calculate conversion rates, see whether people are engaging with content, and identify the best approach – it’s a game-changer.”

Online commerce brings a B2C-quality experience to B2B sales.

To create its 360-degree customer experience, Greenfield is currently rolling out B2B Commerce Cloud with help from consultancy partner Slalom, which will integrate with Service Cloud to provide a ticketing system for service inquiries and online chat.

“To achieve the best results, you need the best partners. Slalom provided best-practice guidance and in-depth experience, which helped us understand what’s possible and the effort required for different approaches,” commented McFarland. “Working with Slalom accelerated our go-live, and we’re looking forward to leveraging its broad expertise around the Salesforce ecosystem as we navigate our roadmap for the future.”

“Due to the nature of our business, we are required to build in measures to ensure a certain level of compliance with regulatory statutes, but with Salesforce we have the flexibility to do that,” explained McFarland. “Once completed, the solution will enable customers to self-serve and view information such as recent orders, product information sheets, and certifications. It will act as an extension of the sales team and bring all the features and quality one would expect from a B2C experience to B2B.”

Information quality differentiates the business.

The team also plans to introduce Einstein in the future to create actionable predictive analytics. "From customer behaviors to industry trends, we've always been limited in our ability to look forwards. The old adage that "you can't drive a car by looking in the rear view mirror" is more true every day, and the quality, speed and reliability of information and how quickly it can be synthesized into action can really differentiate a company,” commented McFarland. “We’re getting more value from Salesforce the more we integrate into the ecosystem.”

To ensure Greenfield continues to maximize the benefits and stay ahead of the competition, McFarland plans to introduce additional Salesforce solutions and features that could help the business as they’re released. “Automation, agility and the customer experience are key to our continued growth, and companies not embracing these developments are likely to get left behind,” commented Field. “With the Salesforce ecosystem, we’re moving faster than ever, and can easily adapt and change direction should we need to. It’s not just a tool, but is at the foundation of our continued business growth.”

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