In today’s world, space is at a premium. From libraries and museums to retailers and indoor farmers, organizations are turning to Montel to design innovative, purpose-built solutions to get more from their space. And with Salesforce, the company is reaching more new markets than ever before.
With an online partner community, transparent sales pipeline, and intelligent lead nurturing, Montel has reduced the sales cycle by 33%. “Getting closer to our partners and customers is helping us accelerate sales and growth in new areas,” said Jérôme Doucet, VP of Sales & Marketing at Montel.
Founded in 1924, Montel has evolved from manufacturing bicycling stands and flip-flop toasters to becoming experts in high density storage. Now, the trailblazing company is using Salesforce to help it adapt again. “A few years ago, libraries and institutional archives formed the majority of our customer base. But as that market has shrunk, we’ve broken into other verticals, such as horticulture, healthcare, and retail, showing organisations how they can make more money with good cultivation plans,” said Doucet.
From its North American headquarters in Montmagny Québec, the company works with a network of 65 authorized Montel distributors – or AMDs – also assembling products and delivering solutions across industries on a global basis. With such a diverse and geographically spread customer base and partner network, Montel needed to improve visibility of global sales to enable more accurate forecasting and business planning.
“We started designing our own internal CRM system, but development was taking too much of my time and budget,” recalls Doucet. “With AMDs complaining it was slow and prone to bugs, we decided to invest in a fully-supported, all-in-one system, and in 2013 we rolled out Salesforce.”
“We now have the visibility we need to help our partners be more successful.”
Today, Salesforce underpins operations from partner and pipeline management to lead nurturing and after-sales care.
Montel’s partner community, built on Community Cloud, is transforming relationships with its distributors. The entire AMD network uses the community to view leads and track opportunities. “With the community showing AMDs their Montel sales at a glance, they can see the value we’re delivering to them and are incentivized to make more,” explained Doucet.
As the community is integrated with Montel’s ERP system, AMDs can view live updates on orders, shipping dates, and invoices, and if they want to start a conversation with a sales specialist, they can simply click on a link in Chatter directly from the community.
With all sales information centralized in Salesforce via the community, it’s not only easier for distributors to work with Montel, but also easier for Montel’s regional managers to work with distributors. “We now have the visibility we need to help our partners be more successful. We can spot when we need to follow up with a partner, how responsive they’re being to customers, and when a deal requires our involvement,” said Doucet.
As a manufacturing company, Montel needs to be able to forecast effectively to balance capacity and demand. Previously it was managing forecasts with spreadsheets, but these were often out of date by the time they were shared with the board. “With all our distributors using Salesforce, we can view the pipeline in real-time for every market, every territory, and every AMD,” said Doucet. “This means we can make sure our plants have the staff and inventory to fulfil orders.”
In 2017, Montel added Pardot, enabling the company to segment, score, and feed leads directly to distributors via the online community. The marketing team also uses the solution to send customers and prospects relevant information on products that might interest them, with new campaigns launched every week. “We’ve put processes in place to help us be more efficient, for example we get an alert if we’ve failed to respond to a customer within 24 hours, or if a lead isn’t progressing as quickly as it should,” added Doucet.
Improving the customer experience doesn’t stop with sales – Montel has also transformed service with Salesforce. “We used to really struggle with service – we had emails left and right and nothing was tracked. This has all changed with Service Cloud,” explained Doucet. “Everything is captured now. We can ensure any issues are forwarded to the right department, and when a service ticket is closed, the relevant AMD is automatically notified.”
To verify its customers are happy with their storage products, Montel sends out regular satisfaction surveys. The results are automatically captured in Salesforce so they can then be used as references for prospective customers in similar industries.
With Salesforce supporting best-practice sales, marketing, and service, Montel’s efficiency and productivity are through the roof, and partner relationships are flourishing. As the company continues to design innovative storage solutions to meet the needs of a changing world, Salesforce will help it go from strength to strength. As Doucet concludes, “Salesforce helps us to be the best we can be: we’re closing more deals, working smarter, and offering customers the best possible service.”
“With Salesforce, I can identify and reinforce the best practices that will make us more efficient and more successful. It’s a win-win for our partners, employees and the board.”
Jérôme Doucet, VP Sales & Marketing, Montel