Fast Forward: April 2021 Edition – General Business

Todd Coder, FSM Partner Relationship Manager
Todd Coder, FSM Partner Relationship Manager

Monthly, FSM compiles data and research from interviews with our clients, consultants, and our extensive network of industry experts to identify sales opportunities for our partners at Salesforce. We call it “Fast Forward.” Please sign up below if you’d like to get this info delivered via email.

This month, you’ll likely find deals and opportunities in industries positively impacted by discretionary spending, green energy initiatives, and supply chain pressures; more info below. Also don’t miss bonus tips for CPQ and FSL, and the $10k Disco question at the bottom.

  • Industrial equipment and leasing: There are more than 5,000 industrial renting and leasing companies in the U.S. This industry managed to hang on to slight growth through the pandemic and is projected to grow significantly in coming years. Though the construction industry may have taken a hit in some sectors due to the pandemic, rental and leasing companies should benefit from the uncertainty since customers are now more likely to lease or rent rather than purchase equipment.
    • Use this angle: focus on the benefit Salesforce can provide around optimized sales processes and seamless fleet/asset tracking
  • Consumer goods companies: Historically, consumer discretionary spending rises substantially after a government stimulus. At the same time, nearly ⅔ of consumers have tried new (mostly digital) kinds of shopping during the pandemic, and plan to continue to do so, while only 60% of consumer goods companies are even somewhat prepared to capture e-commerce growth opportunities. Consumer goods companies will be adding direct-to-consumer channels en masse.
    • Use this angle: focus on the unified digital commerce experiences Salesforce can provide for consumer goods companies’ new direct-to-consumer channels
  • Solar: There are more than 10,000 solar manufacturers, installers, and related businesses in the U.S. The industry has grown substantially over the last ten years, and 2020 was no exception. Continued growth is expected in 2021, especially with an administration that is sure to drive green energy initiatives. Many growing solar companies will benefit from optimized sales and field services platforms.
    • Use this angle: FOMO. Salesforce is KILLING it with Solar companies right now – streamlining everything from prospecting to permitting and installs. FSL is a game-changer. Side note: we’ve got some dynamite solar customer success stories; let me know if you want to check them out.
  • Freight/trucking: 2020 was a record-breaking year for new motor carrier authorizations. Trucking companies, new and old, may be ready to optimize their operations before they get into their busiest season (typically August-October). In addition, there are several related company types that may be worth checking into:
    • Fuel payment companies
    • Fleet tracking and management companies
    • Use this angle: optimize operations now, before the busy season.

Bonus tips:

  • Smaller territory? Look for CPQ Opps. Even if your patch is smaller this year than last, you can often expand deal size by adding CPQ for existing clients with less than optimal processes or configs. To find these deals, look for accounts that: (1) Have a high usage of estimating staff to configure deals (2) Have a high usage of bundled products, subscription services and complex terms and conditions (3) Have a high occurrence of mistakes in configs. All of these scenarios produce a hard ROI from savings. Also, when businesses rely on estimating to support deals, they may also have a time-to-market issue that well-configured CPQ can help address.
  • Ditto for FSL. Look for use cases that are a good fit for FSL wheelhouse cases- scheduling/optimization, work orders, and maintenance / entitlements. Look at Solar, building maintenance, office cleaning, backend warehouse management, daily distribution services, and IT / Tech managed services firms. Side note: Stay tuned for our FSL Quickstart offering – coming soon.
  • Digital customer interactions will be a key selling point: More than ever before, businesses are open to conducting customer interactions digitally. From a McKinsey report: ”A McKinsey survey published in October 2020 found that companies are three times likelier than they were before the crisis to conduct at least 80 percent of their customer interactions digitally.” In addition, Harvard Business Review reports that “at the end of last year, the most widespread challenge for U.S. midsize companies was maintaining customer relations.”
    • Use this angle: Customers EXPECT digital interactions now. Salesforce provides the best holistic view and toolkit for this.
  • The $10k Discovery Question: FSM Senior Account Executive Barry Thomason has some solid advice for how to get to the heart of the opportunity in a discovery call. Check it out (43 seconds).

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