Ventura Foods is a leading national manufacturer and marketer of branded and custom made shortenings, oils, dressings, mayonnaises, sauces, margarines, culinary bases and pan coatings for the foodservice, retail and ingredient manufacturing industries. As the largest maker of vegetable oil-based products in the US, Ventura Foods produces over three billion pounds of finished goods each year.
For over 150 years, Ventura Foods has had the same core focus: A dedication to helping their customers delight end consumers and a commitment to remaining the most agile food solutions company. With these goals in mind, Ventura Foods recently developed a new sales process to improve operational efficiencies, strengthen collaboration and consolidate a variety of data.
Specifically, the organization found that differentiated processes and systems across their divisions limited their ability to plan strategically, forecast accurately and deliver a seamless, high end customer experience. These challenges stemmed primarily from how and where their data was created and stored, as Ventura Foods found they had data in a variety of sources and formats across six disparate systems, making it nearly impossible to access all the information.
In turn, this setup created collaboration and efficiency challenges. For example, most collaboration between business groups occurred via forms that were completed and then distributed via email to interested parties. However, this process was quite manual and often led to duplicative data entry.
Ventura Foods recognized the limitations of this approach to their continued ability to provide the best experience for customers and decided to introduce a new sales process and accompanying CRM solution in response. In doing so, their goal was to become the “go-to” partner for every customer by delivering white glove sales and account management experiences. They believed this white glove experience would also help them identify areas of business expansion and drive increased revenue on a per account basis.
Ventura Foods began the search for a scalable CRM solution that would enable them to consistently consolidate customer information and streamline their sales process across multiple departments. This search led them to Salesforce and AllCloud.
The team evaluated several CRM solutions and ultimately chose Salesforce based on its scalable, best-in-class offering and positive experiences many team members had using the solution at previous organizations. Once they locked in on Salesforce, they decided to bring on a strategic advisor to lead the implementation and roll out process. Members of the team were familiar with AllCloud, a Platinum Salesforce Partner, and AllCloud’s industry experience and overall track record made them a trustworthy partner.
Ventura Foods and AllCloud got to work right away. First, they deployed Salesforce Sales Cloud and Consumer Goods Cloud. They built on that foundation by integrating Informatica Cloud to a new enterprise data warehouse to create a single source of truth and provide users with the flexibility to make data-backed business decisions from anywhere. This effort involved significant automation and attention to detail to find the best account structure to represent the wide variety of accounts with which Ventura Foods works.
Next, AllCloud worked with Ventura Foods to build a custom user interface for creating new products in Salesforce. This was an important piece of the implementation since Ventura Foods doesn’t just sell “off the shelf” products, but will actually collaborate with their customers to test and develop new products. The user interface they created allows Ventura Foods’ users to capture these new product details directly within Salesforce.
Finally, AllCloud led an extensive change management and training initiative, including detailed change communications and power user engagement for project feedback, to ensure high adoption among the sales team. Leading these initiatives was especially critical given that elements of the updated sales process like team selling and cross-division collaboration were new to Ventura Foods.
Ventura Foods has realized numerous benefits since introducing Salesforce, all of which come from a combination of having the right solution in place and leading a strong change management effort that drove 100% adoption for the new system early on.
First and foremost, Salesforce has helped increase visibility, efficiency and collaboration by capturing all relevant data across the entire organization and integrating six disparate data sources to create one single source of truth.
In turn, this consolidation of processes and data has allowed Ventura Foods to streamline their selling and better understand customer relationships to more proactively develop solutions and better identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. It has also improved the reliability of reporting to allow for more accurate forecasting and to make it easier for leadership to measure business growth.
Altogether, these improvements have positioned Ventura Foods to meet the goal of becoming the “go-to” partner for their customers by providing 100% visibility into customer relationships. This visibility is critical in achieving that goal, as it drives greater customer intimacy and enables the team to better sell the value of their products.
Ventura Foods attributes the success of this rollout in large part to AllCloud. Bill McCullough, Vice President Revenue Management, Ventura Foods, concludes: “AllCloud’s approach, expertise and focus on innovation and integration through using Salesforce Consumer Goods Cloud enabled us to implement our newly created selling process across business units. This allowed us to ensure high adoption early on in order to set us up for long term success to transform the way in which we operate with our customers.”
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