Medical supply distributor launches Salesforce B2B Commerce portal in 30 days
A seamless, easy shopping experience is no longer a luxury — for B2B customers, it’s an expectation. E-commerce companies have set a high bar for customer experience for years. And now, B2B buyers expect the Amazon-like level of fluid customer experience when they shop for their businesses online.
Building an e-commerce platform is an undertaking that’s usually slow, tedious, and costly. But Ovation Medical, a U.S.-based orthopedic and podiatry products distributor, was able to bring a robust Salesforce B2B Commerce storefront to market in just 30 days.
Ovation Medical distributes its orthopedic and podiatry products to more than 12,000 private practices, medical facilities, and retailers across the U.S., but faced growing digital needs. Being an innovative company selling innovative products, Ovation decided it was time to tap into the potential of digital commerce to automate its repeat operations and prime its sales machine for growth.
“Most of our business comes from repeat orders, but in our previous system, our sales reps were spending most of their time manually inputting up to $10,000 in orders a day. Instead of developing new business, our team was putting in orders all day long.”
— Erik Rost, Vice President of Sales at Ovation Medical
Since Ovation already used Salesforce as its CRM, business leaders at Ovation identified the new Salesforce-native B2B Commerce application as the ideal fit to bridge its digital gap and streamline self-service reordering for their repeat customers.
When Forte began platform implementation in July 2020, Salesforce had just launched its B2B Commerce app — making this initiative the first integration of its kind. The application enables organizations to create, manage and track their orders within an online storefront that is specifically designed for businesses making repeat sales of varying volumes with other organizations online.
To fully address its MVP requirements and receive a custom-tailored B2B Commerce integration, Ovation partnered with Forte Group. The Salesforce B2B Commerce product managers consulted Forte Group’s team on the platform’s capabilities and provided mutual feedback while building a B2B Commerce-based portal that matched well-established business practices at Ovation.
Ovation project stakeholders shared their vision and requirements for custom features to complement the out-of-box functionality of the Salesforce B2B Commerce platform and match Ovation’s unique order flows.
First, Ovation comprehensively communicated its Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) to Forte Group, and the team visualized customer behavior in wireframes, making feature validation and delivery straightforward. After understanding Ovation’s unique goals, the Forte Group team worked to integrate the self-service shopping functionality without disrupting Ovation’s existing order fulfillment process.
|“Forte Group, one of our valued software development partners, successfully launched a Salesforce B2B Commerce purchasing portal on our Lightning Experience platform in just 30 days. This launch — which was the first of its kind — showcases just how quickly small- to medium-sized businesses like Ovation Medical can achieve fast time to value through Salesforce’s B2B Commerce app on Lightning Experience.”
— Paul Chong, Senior Director of Product Management, B2B Commerce at Salesforce
Working together, Ovation, Salesforce and Forte Group’s cross-functional teams built the following features into the platform in less than 30 days:
The automated sales process for repeat business. To cut order processing actions down to the minimum for the sales reps, the Forte Group team focused on automating existing order flow. Since Ovation manages more than 500 active product items coming in different variations of sizes and colors, automation enabled customers to place orders and perform slight order modifications instantly without calling. For the customers new to the portal, all it takes to negotiate pricing options is a registration request and a follow-up by a sales rep — from there, the reordering is streamlined.
Custom “Order Now” page. Due to the practice of reordering the same set of items, adopted by Ovation’s customers, the company needed hassle-free order placement possible with no involvement required from the sales team. The B2B Commerce-native “Lists” feature provided an ideal foundation for enhanced functionality like the “Order Now” page. On this page, registered customers have instant access to their previous orders with individual pricing already applied.
Order data integration. Prior to launching its B2B purchasing portal, Ovation used an integration between Salesforce CRM and an inventory management system Fishbowl. To keep the order fulfillment process uninterrupted with the introduction of B2B Commerce, Forte Group adapted it to the platform. The Forte Group team also built several customizations to preserve the standard order processing on the back-end of the platform.
Custom order flow. To solve the issue of switching between different apps to access the same data, Ovation needed to convert B2B orders into Salesforce “opportunities.” To meet this goal, Forte Group engineers implemented features that facilitated a smooth order handling process. Orders placed on the B2B Commerce platform appeared in Salesforce CRM as closed with the status “Opportunity” allowing for automated sales pipeline monitoring. Following the confirmation, orders flow from the new portal into Fishbowl for fulfillment.
I thought the timeframe would be a challenge, but the Forte team managed expectations, was always available, and was completely committed to getting our platform deployed. We were all connected and on the same page, which created a great, collaborative vibe.
Ovation Medical now utilizes a powerful, self-service B2B purchasing portal with personalized and simple order experiences for corporate buyers. The Ovation purchasing portal automates processes that were previously manual, resulting in a more efficient, stable, sales organization that is primed and ready for growth.
- Smooth integrations between the B2B commerce storefront and order processing in the Salesforce CRM enabled sales representatives to ramp up their productivity by 2x, managing up to 400 customer accounts per representative simultaneously.
- Being the pioneers in launching an integrated and customized Salesforce-based B2B Commerce project, Ovation Medical achieved an unprecedented acceleration of delivery — 30 days after an initial roadmap discussion, Ovation Medical welcomed its first online order on the new platform.
- Between 30-40 percent of the portal’s feature implementation was custom, resulting in a frictionless and streamlined buying process and a user-friendly quick reorder for registered customers.
- Multiple integrations and customizations between sales and order fulfillment software eliminated manual data entry and accelerated processing time by as much as 200 percent, freeing up the sales team to reallocate their resources and focus on business growth.
“Now, we can shift our focus to drive incremental business. It puts our current accounts on autopilot, which frees up our reps to engage in meaningful conversations about new products that help our customers. This platform allows us to provide our customers with killer products in a portal that’s so easy to use.”
— Erik Rost, Vice President of Sales at Ovation Medical