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11/01/2021

Case Study: Mountain Source Drives Rapid Transformation in Sales Engagement

Alarice Rajagopal
Senior Editor
Alarice Rajagopal profile picture
a group of people riding on the back of a bicycle
Rooted in all things outdoors, Mountain Source is a mountaineering, running, rafting, biking and snow sports sales agency based in the Rocky Mountains.

Rooted in all things outdoors, Mountain Source is a mountaineering, running, rafting, biking and snow sports sales agency based in the Rocky Mountains, serving retailers in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico.

“We pride ourselves on being the source and essential link between major brands and retailers, building relationships through our unparalleled experience, knowledge and first-rate customer service,” according to Mountain Source Partner Zach Branson.

“This is not just a job for us, it’s a passion. We love the sports and the brands we serve. But we add value by blending the authenticity of the sports and the passion, with the experience, expertise and tools that are needed to succeed,” he explains.

However, like many businesses, Mountain Source experienced major challenges with the global pandemic. While the company does distribute brands that are sold online, its primary channel is the retail store as many of its consumers often care as much about the knowledge and experience gained during the buying experience as much as the cost of the product.

Branson adds, “Times were tough, and we knew we needed to pivot the business and address these issues head-on to survive.”

Growth presented its own challenges, with the straight up cost of doing business continuing to rise. Whilst Mountain Source is very specific about the brands we partner with, there is always a continued pressure to perform at a higher level with each brand, according to Branson, which demands more tasks, more time, and more experienced resources.

Ensuring that the sales team is efficient and effective is a key challenge for Mountain Source. The team needed to optimize its time for the most high-value activities and have the required knowledge and expertise to authentically represent the brands they serve.

“With such a dynamic and fast changing environment, Mountain Source was also up against a lack of insight and visibility into our sales performance,” says Branson. “When questions were asked by management, the answers were often retrospective rather than real-time, and often required lots of manual intervention. This needed to change.”

graphical user interface, text, application, chat or text message
The Aforza offline Retail Execution (REX) application supports the sales team with seamless pre-call enablement to drive a consistent message from sell-in to sell-through.

That’s when Mountain Source Partner Bruce Gordon, says, “We chose to work with Aforza as they provide an out-of-the-box solution that has been game-changing for the Mountain Source sales team, providing both a powerful platform to manage the business and state-of-the-art apps to make the individual sales members more effective.”

Gordon notes that the implementation process was extremely smooth and Mountain Source was able to go live in under two weeks. The implementation was a partnership between Mountain Source and Aforza's Customer Success team. John Wilson, Aforza GM of the Americas, adds that customer success is a top priority and a new central location in Denver, Colorado will allow them to continue this success with Mountain Source and other customers in the region.

Gordon also mentions that going live in such a short period of time has been “game-changing for the Mountain Source sales team, providing both a powerful platform to manage the business and state-of-the-art apps to make the individual sales members more effective.” He adds, “It’s important to partner with a vendor that delivers industry-specific functionality and make sure you align with the out-of-the-box capabilities.”

From a sales visit perspective, the Aforza offline on-device application supports the sales team with seamless pre-call enablement to drive a consistent message from sell-in to sell-through. This allows the sales team to get access to the pre-call knowledge they need before going into a store and educating themselves on new products coming out in real-time. This stops any disconnects between training and what happens in store, according to Branson.

[See also: How Distell Is Digitizing REX & TPM to Seize Global Growth]

“Powerful account segmentation and route planning capabilities allow Mountain Source to narrow down the focus to the accounts that really matter. This allows us to make a bigger impact with the growing team we have and the visits they make,” Branson adds. They can also drive specific tasks off of these segments, making the team confident that they are taking the right actions, in the right stores, at the right time.

From an overall management perspective, the platform is also changing the way Mountain Source does business. The reporting and dashboards give the ability to give a 360-degree view of the business, so teams can report back and communicate with the brands they support in real-time. Branson says, “This has been a step change to the way we operate, proactively sharing insight and information with management before they ask for it.”

As for next steps, Gordon says, “Mountain Source will continue its drive to be a first-choice agency and partner with brands that align with their values and authenticity. As they work with brands, sell into retailers and onboard new team members and retail staff, they are confident in their ability to maximize the sell-in and sell-through process with the Aforza Industry Cloud and Mobile solution.”

He notes that they are going into the fall season with its strongest team, new showroom, and a powerful platform. “We are set up for success, driving consistent growth and education while being a first-in-class agency for the brands and retailers we serve,” Gordon closes.