Coreshell’s team is revolutionizing big industries with Salesforce.

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Coreshell Technologies may be small, but its mission is to have a huge impact on our world. “We wanted to create a company to promote the transition to zero emission energy and transportation, and accelerate that process as quickly as possible,” Jonathan Tan, Coreshell’s CEO and Co-Founder, said. How does a company founded by a pair of engineers go about accelerating the transportation industry’s move to zero emissions? By unlocking the true potential of the battery, of course.

Coreshell’s key innovation is a nanolayer coating that solves degradation within the batteries used in cars and other vehicles and applications. Their tech can already lower the cost of batteries by up to 50%, which would go a long way toward making electric cars affordable for the average driver. Or, as Tan put it, “Right off the bat, that would mean that a Tesla could cost as little as a Toyota Corolla.”

As any modern entrepreneur knows, developing a great product is one thing, but bringing it to market — at scale and in partnership with the giants of the energy and transportation industries — is quite another.


With the help of Salesforce, Coreshell tripled its number of customers in Q1 2021 as compared to all of 2020.

How is this clean-tech startup navigating partnerships with the world’s biggest enterprise multinational corporations? Here are some lessons your small business can take from Coreshell’s burgeoning success.

1. Build stronger relationships by figuring out what your customers really want.

Coreshell believes in what Tan calls a strong customer discovery process. “We have assumptions about what our customers want, but we go out and test them and try to validate them,” he said. As a battery producer, Coreshell has the opportunity to work on a range of battery products including electric vehicles, renewable energy, and even consumer devices. Tracking all of its customer discussions across multiple industries was its first big test of Salesforce Essentials.

Tan tasked an intern to create a customized home page that lets him easily see which customers are interested in which types of products and in which markets. From there, Tan and his product team can quickly pinpoint key areas of development to focus on. “We want to satisfy the biggest market pool that we can,” he said.


It all starts with the relationships. Good customer relationships will always help you grow your business. Salesforce makes that part so much easier.”

Jonathan Tan | Co-Founder & CEO, Coreshell Technologies

2. Navigate long cycles and complex deals by keeping track of conversations.

An early-stage startup focused on materials research and development, Coreshell is now at the exciting moment of commercializing its technology. As its R&D progressed, the company started having in-depth conversations with key prospects — large organizations with lots of stakeholders. Tan quickly saw the need for a systematic way of tracking key stakeholders and planning how to get Coreshell’s story across to the right people at the right time.

Coreshell needed a solution capable of mapping out complex relationships across multiple threads of conversations, emails, and other touchpoints. “We’re nothing without the customer interactions we have,” Tan said. He needed an easily digestible way to track conversations with each company and stakeholder. And, he needed to enable his team to share their thoughts about which conversations needed nurturing and when. “Some prospects are really quick to pull the trigger on doing a demonstration with us, but others take a wait-and-see attitude,” Tan said. That process can take years and, the longer the cycle, the more conversations and relationships there are to keep tabs on.

Tan learned about Salesforce for Startups through Coreshell's participation in Alchemist Accelerator, and subsequently began their journey with Salesforce Essentials. Salesforce houses all the information Tan and his team gather around who their customers are — and who needs convincing on both the technology and business sides of the house for Coreshell to have the best chance of brokering a commercialization deal. “We're integrating something into their manufacturing line, which is a really big lift,” Tan explained. As such, Coreshell sees its customer relationships taking as long as three to five years to mature.
  • Coreshell’s business is built on integrating its innovative technology into the manufacturing lines of large-scale OEMs and partners
  • A typical customer relationship can take years to move from introductions to demos to commercialization
  • Within a single customer company, Coreshell regularly works with multiple stakeholders, each of whom often take weeks or months to gather feedback and advance the conversation
  • Tracking interactions and nurturing relationships via automated check-in reminders topped Coreshell’s list of needs from a CRM solution

3. Leverage technology so your small business works at enterprise scale.

For all of the world-changing innovation they’re cranking out, Coreshell’s team is small — the company counts just eight full-time employees. In addition to his other duties as CEO, Tan counts himself as an integral part of the business development team — the company’s primary Salesforce users.

Tan’s Salesforce workflow starts with email integration. Every time he gets a new lead, it goes from email into Salesforce. As Tan put it, “That starts the relationship and the clock, and activates all of the built-in tools.” Email integration doesn’t stop with new leads, of course. Salesforce tracks everything flowing through the CEO’s inbox. “What I’ve really enjoyed is that, even though I’m having all these conversations, other people can come into Salesforce and follow along and provide another point of view or another way of analyzing the data that we collected going back to customer discovery,” he said. Valuable business information gleaned from Tan’s one-on-one conversations is moved into Salesforce, where it can be combed for insights and turned into strategies for moving forward.

Coreshell has developed a base of customers who are testing their battery coatings, spreading the word about what the technology can do, and informing next-gen battery designs. The goal now is to scale up Coreshell’s production to create larger quantities. As that happens, Tan expects to grow the team — which means more demands on their business technology. “As we continue expanding the team, I think Salesforce is going to be more and more important. It’ll be the hub where I can keep track of what sorts of conversations everyone is having, and use that as a way to bring us all together to discuss strategy,” he said. “We’re excited to explore how Salesforce can continue to help us scale, so that we can mature these relationships and get our product into our customers’ hands,” Tan said.

For Coreshell, the return on its Salesforce investment is best measured by how many relationships mature into paid agreements or demonstration projects. Customer growth counts for a lot, too, obviously, and in Q1 of 2021, Coreshell tripled its number of customers as compared to all of 2020. As Tan pointed out, that growth coincides with its Salesforce adoption. “I don’t want to say Salesforce is the only reason,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of great things in the company. But I will say that having Salesforce has really helped keep track of everything."


We’re really excited about the way that we can get all those metrics out of Salesforce and continue this customer growth.”

Jonathan Tan | Co-Founder & CEO, Coreshell Technologies


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