How Ovation Medical doubled its productivity in four weeks.

The company's portal improved customer experiences and freed up sales to focus on new business.


September 2021

3.5 min read


The COVID-19 pandemic reinforced the importance of online sales for B2B companies. More than ever, customers are going online to buy their supplies and equipment. And this trend is only accelerating — according to recent research, 55% of B2B leaders said digital channels would provide more than 50% of revenue in three years.

But many healthcare companies have struggled with this trend, and Ovation Medical — which provides orthopedic and podiatry products to more than 12,000 private practices, medical facilities, and retailers across the U.S. — was no different. The company still relied on in-person and phone orders, even when the pandemic accelerated B2B customers’ shift to online buying. Ovation leaders suspected this low-tech approach was leading to lower sales, and they knew the manual order-taking process impacted the productivity of sales representatives.

“Most of our business comes from repeat orders, but our sales reps were spending most of their time manually inputting up to $10,000 in orders a day. Instead of developing new business, our team was putting in orders all day long.”

Erik Rost
VP, Sales

To remove the bottleneck from sales, Ovation Medical deployed a robust digital commerce platform that automated and streamlined repeat business operations and sales processes. They went live in just four weeks. This new portal improved customer experiences, while freeing up sales reps to focus on new business.

Since the deployment of the new site in mid-2020, repeat order processing time has been cut in half. As a result, the productivity of sales reps has doubled — each rep manages up to 400 customer accounts simultaneously — and spends more time landing new business. See their tips for this rapid growth in productivity.

Ovation didn't have the infrastructure to deploy a digital commerce platform. The first thing it needed to do was change that.

The distributor already used Sales Cloud to create a centralized view of customers and track sales activities for its small sales team. Using B2B Commerce as the platform for their digital commerce site was a natural fit because B2B Commerce uses the same data model as Sales Cloud so there’s no integration required. It was like turning on digital orders so sales and service reps could get a single view of their customers.

Take a minimum viable product (MVP) approach.

Building a digital commerce platform can be slow, tedious, and costly. To speed up and streamline the process, Ovation made two key decisions early on: It would use an MVP approach, and partner with Salesforce implementation partner Forte Group. With the MVP approach, the company was able to roll out features as they were built, so they could start getting value and feedback, while continuing to add new features over time.

Simultaneously, Ovation and Forte Group consulted with Salesforce’s B2B Commerce product managers to build a custom portal that supported well-established business practices.

Get a firm understanding of necessary customizations.

During implementation, project stakeholders shared their requirements. This allowed the implementation teams to create custom features that complemented B2B Commerce’s out-of-box functionality and supported Ovation’s specific order flows for more than 500 active products in different sizes and colors.

Make reordering as simple as clicking a button.

Ovation and Forte Group built self-service and automation into the system. As a result, a customized “Order now” page is created for each registered user, providing them with immediate access to their previous orders with pricing built in. Returning customers can easily reorder any items, update their order, or purchase new products without getting sales reps involved. New customers register on the site and request a follow-up by a sales representative to negotiate pricing. Once pricing is established, reordering is streamlined.

Ovation uses B2B Commerce to create, manage, and track online orders. The portal is integrated with Salesforce CRM and the inventory management system, ensuring the fulfillment process remains uninterrupted.

The Forte Group also built customized features to preserve the standard order process and custom order flows. Orders appear in the CRM as closed and converted to Salesforce opportunities for automated sales pipeline monitoring.

“Now, we can shift our focus to drive incremental business. It puts our current accounts on autopilot, which frees up our reps to engage in meaningful conversations about new products that help our customers. This platform allows us to provide our customers with killer products in a portal that’s so easy to use.”

Erik Rost
VP, Sales


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