Miura Empowers Its Distributors with a Revamped Partner Community

“Torrent is very good at being honest, giving us honest feedback when we come up with an idea that isn’t right… The other thing I like is that [the Torrent team] is very conscientious of our billing hours… [It means] we can get all the work done that we want to [complete] every month.”

Doug MacMaster | Executive Vice President of U.S. Operations | Miura

Miura’s story began nearly a century ago. Founded in 1927 in Japan, the company initially manufactured steam-powered rice threshing machines. After several decades in the agricultural industry, however, it became clear there was a need for Miura’s compact and efficient boilers in other sectors. Japan, after all, was a country that imported all its fuel and where space was extremely limited. As a result, the company has spent the last 60 years focused on selling its unique boilers — ultimately finding enough success to go global. In 2009, Miura opened its first factory in the U.S., in Rockmart, Georgia.

Business Challenge

 

Doug MacMaster is Executive Vice President of Miura’s U.S. operations; his job is to manage the entirety of the company’s sales and maintenance activities across America and the Caribbean. That means he’s tasked with overseeing direct sales reps in 10 different offices as well as an extensive network of distributors responsible for the bulk of the organization’s sales.

 

When he first joined Miura, however, the company was using a less-than-ideal Excel-based CRM tool — a result of its parent company’s commitment to using in-house systems. Recognizing that this wasn’t the best tool for tracking key sales data, MacMaster spoke up about the need for a better solution: “I said, ‘Can we talk about something like Salesforce?’” At first, the answer was no. Eventually, however, he and a few colleagues were able to make a strong case for the industry-leading CRM.

 

To get started, Miura’s U.S. team hired an implementation firm to build a custom partner portal using Salesforce’s Community Cloud platform. The goal? To create a tool that enabled better lead management. Unfortunately, though, the end product didn’t hit the mark.

Outdated technology

Difficulties with lead management

Poor initial implementation

Solution

 

Unhappy with this initial build, Miura brought in Torrent Consulting to make some improvements. Together, the two companies collaborated on an optimization that empowered Miura’s users — both internal and external — with the features they really needed. Now, it’s easy for members of the Miura team to route leads to their distributors. And for those distributors — who don’t work in exclusive territories — it’s possible to submit registration requests for their own sourced leads.

 

“The first company [that we worked with] turned out to be a disaster,” MacMaster said. “Basically, whatever harebrained idea we came up with, they said, ‘Okay, we’ll build it for you.’ What we found out later is that we needed somebody to stand up and say, ‘That doesn’t make sense, and here’s a better way to do it. Here are best practices.’”

Salesforce optimization

Community Cloud

Managed services

Results

Easier lead distribution and registration

High adoption rate

Greater data visibility

According to MacMaster, Miura’s revamped partner community has been a success. By his estimate, 75% of distributors are using the portal at least once a week. “I travel around to all of our offices and meet with a lot of our reps,” he added. “I met with three reps on the west coast [recently], and all three of them said they use it almost every day.”

 

Going forward, Miura plans to use a managed services contract with Torrent to add even greater functionality for its users, including sales dashboards, a resource library, a marketing calendar and more. The ultimate goal is for distributors to be able to “get everything they need in a timely manner and not have to make a phone call or send an email” — and the company is well on its way there.

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