A pioneer in renewable compounds chooses Microsoft Dynamics® CRM and Ledgeview Partners to redefine its sales process and spur revenue growth.
Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc. is a truly innovative company. I know, “innovative” is a bit overused these days. But Elevance is the real deal. Their technology’s actually won a Nobel Prize. Yes, THAT Nobel Prize. They’ve leveraged their science cred to build a growing company that’s the first in the world to successfully bridge the renewables and chemistry industries, transforming natural plant-based oils like soybean and palm, into high-performance, cost-effective commercial products.
Elevance, like many young companies, started its life focused on developing groundbreaking products that filled a need that no one else was able to address. Sales had always been a priority, but because so many of its resources were focused on product development, there wasn’t a defined sales process in place, nor were there any technological resources in place to support one. So when the company accelerated the commercialization of some of its core products, Kurt Conway, IT Operations Manager for Elevance, and Andy Shafer, EVP Market Development & Sales, both realized the company was in need of a CRM solution to help pull together prospect information, track partnership opportunities, and compile and track trend information. At the time, information was siloed in the personal systems of individual sales reps – outlook files, spreadsheets, sticky notes – whatever worked for that particular rep. But it wasn’t readily available to the broader organization to leverage, track, and learn from.
Elevance began researching CRM options in 2013, and they quickly honed in on two industry-leading alternatives, one of which was Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Kurt happened to be a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert, so he quickly understood the basics of the system and how it integrated with the other Microsoft software that Elevance used. In addition, many of the partner companies that Elevance worked with also used Dynamics CRM. It seemed like a logical choice for the company, and Elevance took advantage of the Microsoft Partner Network to find an implementation partner. Microsoft directed them to Ledgeview Partners, and shortly thereafter Julinda Prekop, Sales Manager at Ledgeview Partners, made the trip to visit Elevance to learn more about what they were looking for.
Elevance had no previous experience with CRM, so they were relying heavily on Ledgeview for guidance on best practices, and for smart business analysis. The company was moving rapidly towards accelerating its sales efforts, so the implementation needed to be successful the first time. There was no room for error. Kurt explained the importance of the implementation:
“CRM would not only act as a contact and account management tool, but the repository that we’ll use to actively manage, identify, and develop opportunities. Opportunities for our firm are numerous and reach into multiple industries and affect many products – even within the same customer.”
User adoption was a key metric for Elevance. Ledgeview’s team quickly focused on core functionality that would create the kind of system that sales reps would actually ask to have access to. The goal was to release a first implementation that was so intuitive and focused, that it would encourage adoption and, ultimately, contribute directly to helping Elevance achieve its corporate-level objectives. Most notably, revenue growth.
When the company rolled out the initial version of Dynamics CRM, it created the kind of internal demand for access Elevance had hoped for, thanks in part to the successful definition of a clear sales process and an elegant user experience.
“Choosing Ledgeview Partners was a great benefit to formalizing the process throughout design, development, testing, and implementation. Ledgeview was able to provide guidance even when our internal processes had gaps. As a result of the effectiveness of the system and the smooth deployment, our organization has been requesting access to CRM, which is creating a pull. End user adoption is not an issue.”Kurt Conway, IT Operations Manager, Elevance
Since rolling out Microsoft Dynamics CRM at Elevance, user adoption has remained high. In fact, Kurt notes that new hires are surprised that they have CRM to begin with, and are even more surprised when they learn how advanced the implementation is. The Dynamics CRM system has allowed Elevance to consolidate information about customer and partner opportunities, and consistently act on those opportunities and track their results.
For the IT team at Elevance, there’s a great deal of satisfaction in being able to measure the department’s contribution to the company’s overall objectives. As Kurt puts it, “The best thing about CRM is the impact I know it’s having on our organization.”
Amen to that. Thanks to careful planning, Dynamics CRM was rolled out on time, and on budget. More importantly, it’s helping Elevance grow its revenues, and the system is on track to pay for itself within the first 12 months of operation. Nice.
Kurt the Song Writer
It’s not everyday that something you work on is commemorated in song. To have tales of your exploits set to the melody of one of Bryan Adam’s greatest hits is pretty amazing. And that’s just what Kurt Conway did when we asked him to tell us about his experience working with us on his CRM implementation. We’re deeply honored.
Here’s the recap in Kurt’s own words. We suggest singing the lyrics karaoke style to this track in order to fully appreciate the subtleties of Kurt’s lyrical genius.
Song Lyrics (by Kurt Conway):
I got my first real system
Bought it at the Microsoft Store
Installed it till my fingers bled
Was the summer of 2013
Me and some guys from Ledgeview
Had a call and we tried real hard
Don quit, Julinda got the SOW ready
I Shoulda known, we’d definitely get far
Oh when I look back now
That summer seemed to last forever
And if I had the choice
Yeah, I’d always want to be there
Those were the best days of my life
Ain’t no use in complainin’
When you got a job to do
Spent my evenings down at the office
And that’s when I met you
Standin’ at your CRM conference
You told me that you’d wait forever
Oh and when Tom held our hand
I knew that it was now or never
Those were the best days of my life
Back in the summer of 2013
Man we were killin’ time
We were young and restless
We needed to unwind
I guess nothin’ can last forever, forever, no
And now the requirements are changin’
Look at everything that’s come and gone
Headquartered in Woodridge, Ill., Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc. is a high-growth specialty chemical company that creates novel specialty chemicals that perform better from renewable feedstocks, making the products that industry and consumers use every day better. Using a proprietary technology called olefin metathesis, the company delivers specialty chemicals that exceed the performance of existing products while leaving a smaller environmental footprint — for use in personal care products, detergents and cleaners, engineered polymers, lubricants and additives, and other specialty chemicals markets. To learn more, visit www.elevance.com or www.renewicals.com.