The Distribution Blog

Will Proton Work for my Distribution Business?

April 13, 2023

Table of Contents

How our team ensures Proton will work for you, your unique business requirements and your team.

If you are concerned about whether Proton will work for you – specifically whether your team will use the tool – this overview is for you.

As you’ve likely experienced, not all sales and growth tools are created equal. Most generate more work for your sales team, not less. And if your investment doesn’t help the team sell faster and better, it’s painful. 

We understand your hesitation.

One of our company values is to “blow our customers’ minds.” For that reason, we invest countless resources in creating the product, building a fantastic onboarding experience, and developing an account management plan that will set you up for success. 

  1. Here’s how it looks:

It starts with the product

We are obsessed with building a product that your reps actually want to use. Compared with traditional CRM or sales enablement tools, Proton CRM and Proton Sales AI are built explicitly for B2B distributors. We are a team of data scientists, product managers, and software engineers working every day to address the needs of this industry. That means the product itself is already tuned to handle the data unique to distributors and is fit to improve the quality of life for its users. 

Distributors are rich with data: tens and even hundreds of thousands of products, documents, customer information (including profitability metrics and cross-channel activity), and more. Because we centralize all this data in one system, and because the product is built based on conversations with real reps and managers like yourself, Proton’s adoption metrics are the best in the industry. 

Our usage stats trump other enterprise-software averages and are closer to that of a highly engaging social media app. In other words, when customers buy Proton, they use it.

Based on interviews with Proton users, a few of our most loved features – many of which save time for outside sales reps, inside sales reps, and customer service reps – are:

  • Ease of use (Proton is user-friendly for tech-savvy users – and those who are not.)
  • Automatically finding similar/substitute products
  • Locating product information via semantic search
  • Catching up on customer activity/history, including cross-channel information like Products Viewed Online 
  • Emailing product information to customers with two clicks
  • Logging customer interactions or notes with the click of a button rather than a multi-click, manual notes or tasks process
  • Sales Plays, which are AI- or activity-generated sales recommendations for each customer (reorder reminders, wallet-share gaps, open quotes, items browsed online, etc.)
  • Information about your customers in one place – A lot of leaders worry about adding yet another application for their team to learn and use. Proton minimizes the digging and research your team has to do to get basic customer information and insights.

To keep a pulse on your company’s needs, our product designers will likely shadow your Proton users on occasion. They’re looking for ways to improve workflows, features that could add value, or opportunities for additional Proton education/training. We like to stay close to the customer.

We get off on the right foot

Proton offers free access to a value engineer during your buying-evaluation process. They sit down with a handful of potential Proton users from your organization to understand their current day in the life. They’ll put together an analysis of how Proton will add value, and how much impact it may have on productivity, revenue, and happiness/quality of life. This step can help ensure the ROI you expect is attainable and that our expectations are aligned.

We’ll also scope out integration requirements before asking you to make a commitment. We have several fast or instant integrations with common ERPs, and we’ve helped distributors set up automated SFTP transfers with less-modern ones. We’ll make sure we can get the right data from the right systems so Proton looks and feels the way it should.

When you sign up with us, we’ll assign a dedicated team to accommodate your success: 

  • Executive Sponsor 
  • Customer Success Manager (CSM)
  • Onboarding Specialist
  • Integrations Engineer

This team will be briefed on the needs uncovered during the sales process. Together, this group manages your Implementation, consults your business on best practices, and solidifies short- and long-term goals. When we know what success means to you, we can help craft the best practices and usage metrics to support it. 

Your Onboarding Specialist will put together a hands-on training plan to get new users comfortable with using Proton daily.

During the integration, your assigned Customer Success team will hold shadow sessions with members of your team. This helps us see how your reps function, what applications they use, how they track notes about their customers, how they decide who to contact, etc. That way we can determine which Proton features will be the most beneficial for your reps. We like to focus on those during training sessions. 

This is also an easy way to get reps excited about using Proton before it’s formally introduced to them. We’ll know right off the bat what features will get them excited.

We ensure quick time to value, running right out of the gate

Historically, Proton customers ramp up to full productivity within two to three months of going live. This quick time to value can be attributed to the strong onboarding program mentioned above, and the fact that Proton’s AI has already been chewing on tons of your data. When we start working with a new distributor, we ingest as much transaction history as possible. That might mean we have two, five, or tens of years of sales data. Our AI models are trained on that data, and as a result, provide strong insights and recommendations to your team right out of the gate. 

Even after implementation, you will have support from the Proton team, including optional Q&A sessions for reps to ask questions after going live, support chat for reps to use if they have issues or questions once they’re in the app, Help Center articles, and more.

We serve as an ongoing consultant to your business

On an ongoing basis, two things need to be true: Proton needs to support ad-hoc needs (new sales reps, retraining on a feature, etc.), and Proton needs to support your long-term needs (For example, how does Proton support the company-wide objective to increase digital sales next year?). 

Our approach to solving ad-hoc needs starts with our Head of Customer Education. Their team manages Proton’s Help Center, chat support and ticketing, new feature announcements, and ongoing training sessions. If you hire new reps, this team can help ensure they ramp up Proton as quickly as possible. 

The strategy to ensure your overall business success and resilience year after year is handled in partnership by your CSM and Executive Sponsor. Your CSM will keep an eye on usage and adoption metrics. If they’re up or down, they’ll investigate to reinforce good behavior, and come up with solutions if anything looks amiss. 

In other words, they keep a pulse on the health of your account on a day-to-day basis. We’ll host Quarterly Business Reviews to talk about strategic and long-term objectives, including updates to our product roadmap and alignment with mutual goals for upcoming planning cycles. You should consider Proton a strategic and long-term partner in your growth and omnichannel sales strategy.

Check out our other blog articles

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