Agfinity Embraces CRM Upgrade to Supercharge Sales Process, Increase Productivity

agriculture crm image

Even the most robust software can fail an organization if it isn’t personalized and implemented properly. This was the challenge that Agfinity, an agricultural retailer, was faced with. The company had been using an on-premise Dynamics CRM environment, but an inadequate implementation coupled with a lack of widespread user adoption meant that much of the software’s features were left underutilized. As a result, few employees used CRM, opting instead for a more “old school” approach involving manual records and hand-delivered documentation. Agfinity saw potential in a CRM upgrade — one that operated in the cloud — and partnered with Stoneridge Software to supercharge their sales process and increase productivity and profitability.

In undertaking this project, Agfinity sought to both “future-proof” their business processes and consolidate critical data to better serve their customers and save their employees valuable time.

Clunky CRM integrations and low user engagement restricted sales potential

Agfinity’s existing CRM solution lacked employee engagement, a challenge that resulted largely due to an insufficient implementation. There had never been sufficient user adoption, and only a few employees worked with the software in any capacity. The team manually kept all important client information in a book, and relied heavily on paper throughout the sales process. Their CRM had a clunky integration to AGRIS, their agribusiness ERP solution, and Agfinity faced the additional hurdle in that their departments were siloed. The company had three divisions: agronomy, feed, and energy, and their decision-makers were in need of greater interdepartmental visibility.

To address these challenges, Stoneridge Software worked closely with Agfinity to transition their CRM from on-premise to the cloud. Stoneridge Software began by reimplementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement with a stronger, simpler integration to AGRIS. This new solution simplified Agfinity’s sales process. Their sales team now had unified procedures and newfound visibility into other areas of the company. Thanks to improved transparency, teams could more readily cross-sell and upsell to customers.

Change management streamlines user adoption

The Stoneridge Software team provided a tailored change management service to Agfinity employees throughout the project. Meticulous attention was given to ensuring a smooth transition of technology, data, and procedures. Stoneridge Software recognized that the same level of attention must also be given to getting users on board with their new solution. User participation and adoption would be the critical factor in whether or not the implementation would be successful.

Stoneridge Software provided three training sessions with end users to ensure that every member of the Agfinity team was comfortable with the new system. Prior to this project, Agfinity sales professionals reached for pen and paper to do business. When a mobile application was added to their toolkit during the implementation, the Stoneridge Software team led training exercises to help Agfinity employees adjust to the new digital approach. Stoneridge Software also worked with Agfinity to build a knowledge base for their internal team. Training material is available within CRM for employees to view, so they wouldn’t have to leave D365 to learn how to use it. In addition, users could access training documents within a designated Teams channel.

“Partnership gets used in business all the time without concrete data to support its usage. I can confidently say the relationship developed between Agfinity and Stoneridge during the journey of strategizing, development, process change plans, design and implementation and now additional projects for Agfinity’s Dynamics CE program has been a positive and committed partnership,” said Aaron D. Smith, Director of Sales Development and Marketing at Agfinity, Inc. “We appreciate everything they have provided and continue to provide in helping us achieve our vision of Customer Engagement for our organization.”

Task automation and improved analytics boosts productivity and profit

Agfinity’s upgraded solution leveraged cloud-based access, time-saving apps, and placed a greater focus on dashboard reports and insights. Included in the implementation was the integration of DocuSign to streamline management of contracts and quotes. Up until this point, whenever a member of the sales team needed to finalize a contract, they would print the document and deliver it directly to the recipient to be signed. Once the customer signed the contract, they would be asked to mail it back to Agfinity headquarters. Agfinity recognized the value in expediting the contract process so as to give their sales team more time to focus on the project at hand. With DocuSign, contracts and quotes can be sent directly to recipients. All pertinent information is automatically pulled from CRM and input directly into the document in question. The sales team can send contracts and quotes from within CRM, and these files are linked to the client’s account in SharePoint. The new contract and quote processes are instant and save the company days of waiting. Additionally, the consolidation of important data allows for employees to know precisely when a contract expires and when it needs to be renewed. By improving contract visibility, the team can more accurately forecast sales and set goals, and ultimately, track sales commissions.

To strengthen their customer feedback management, Agfinity added Dynamics 365 Customer Voice to their solution. Their team can now send surveys to valued customers in order to obtain and analyze client feedback. With Customer Voice, Agfinity has optimized their insight management and currently receives feedback every six months. To integrate Agfinity’s customer data into AGRIS, the Stoneridge Software team turned to KingswaySoft’s SSIS Integration Toolkit for D365. As part of the migration, KingswaySoft was used to transfer customer information, including historical invoices and prior sales interactions. Stoneridge Software also built a custom system for Agfinity to track community requests and any resulting sponsorship. Agfinity’s team frequently receives requests from local communities for the company to sponsor events. Their marketing team wished to track sponsorship opportunities, so Stoneridge Software built a custom entity within D365 that allows Agfinity to organize all incoming opportunities and track follow-up and related tasks.

The success of Agfinity’s D365 implementation depended upon how thoroughly employees within the organization embraced the change. An internal champion, working closely with the Stoneridge Software team, helped drive user adoption. In taking on this project, Agfinity’s objectives were to:

  • Reduce the time and resources needed to achieve results
  • Better segment their customer data and leverage analytics to supercharge sales
  • Model their business for the future
  • Increase productivity and profitability

The resulting Dynamics 365 solution included:

  •  Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, Mobile, Customer Voice, and Knowledgebase)
  • KingswaySoft
  • AGRIS Integration
  • Docusign
  • Microsoft Teams


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