SunOpta Implements Cloud CRM Gaining Stronger Sales Visibility and Productivity
Founded in 1973, SunOpta, Inc. (SunOpta) is a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods and natural health products. The company specializes in sourcing, processing and packaging of natural and organic food products, integrated from seed through packaged products; with a focus on strategically significant vertically integrated business models. The company’s core natural and organic food operations focus on value-added grains, fiber and fruit based product offerings, supported by a global infrastructure.
SunOpta has four business segments focused on a healthy products portfolio. One of the main divisions, SunOpta Grains and Foods Group, needed a more effective CRM solution to better manage and track prospect and customer information, eliminate information silos, improve sales quoting and manage the sales pipeline more effectively.
The division initially deployed Oracle’s Siebel CRM, but faced several challenges—namely, high operating and support costs, lack of flexibility and low user adoption rates. "We found the old solution to be very difficult to use and lacked the integration we needed with Microsoft Outlook. Our sales teams also had difficulty accessing the system remotely to get the information they needed while out on the road," said Raquel Hansen, Assistant VP of Grains and Milling, at SunOpta.
Faced with the need for a more flexible CRM toolset, the PowerObjects team deployed hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM to staff members in sales, marketing and operations on-time and on-budget. "We looked at other hosted solutions but the decision to go with Microsoft Dynamics CRM was easy," says Hansen. "User adoption had been an issue with our past CRM but with the familiar interface and Outlook integration that CRM brought to the table, we were confident our staff would embrace the solution."
As a value-add in working with PowerObjects, the company also received PowerObject’s PowerPack modules free of charge. These modules, PowerEmail, PowerDashboard, PowerSurvey, PowerView, PowerEdit, and PowerFax, extend and enhance the functionality of CRM for the company. "We really like using these tools, especially PowerView and PowerDashboard. The tools offer great functionality and enhancement to CRM," said Hansen.
"Microsoft Dynamics CRM was the right choice for SunOpta. We have gained full integration of our business management systems and now possess a single customer database that our sales, marketing and operational teams can access to retrieve and share information quickly and easily," she added. From a sales perspective, SunOpta has seen measureable results. "Now that we have one view of our data, we can prioritize our sales efforts and target certain accounts. Having insight into the sales pipeline has allowed the sales team to focus and more effectively service customers and close deals faster," she added.
SunOpta also had a unique requirement for using CRM to quote new orders. Thanks to the flexibility of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and PowerObject’s skill in helping to customize the solution, the sales team can quote orders with greater accuracy and keep better track of order status. "With the new quoting abilities, our sales teams are more efficient which allows them to focus more on customer and prospect interactions," Hansen said.
Hansen believes the company has realized substantial benefits with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. "Thanks to PowerObject’s skill and guidance, our staff now has a CRM solution that they use and is much more empowered and productive in their roles." The company also sees great value in what Microsoft Dynamics CRM can bring to their organization and is currently implementing it in another division. "It’s been a great asset to our organization and we look forward to extending it throughout other areas of our business and tapping into all the functionality CRM has to offer."
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