Pivotal CRM Plants Revenue Growth &
Customer Loyalty for Syngenta
Real customer intelligence from farmer and growers’ reward
programme realises a six times return on marketing investment
for leading crop protection and seed growing business.
• Bio-science — crop protection and seed production
• Syngenta is one of the world’s leading providers of field crops, vegetables and flower seeds; seed
care products; herbicides, insecticides and fungicides for crop protection, and turf, garden, home
care and public health products. The majority of its products are sold to farmers and growers via
wholesale and retail specialists.
• To maximise the return on marketing and sales investments by better understanding the un-bulked
product end-user, on micro, as well as macro level.
• Pivotal 5.9 from CDC Software, upgraded to Pivotal 6 in August 2011, which included full integration
with Microsoft Outlook and address book functionality with Blackberry. Full Blackberry software
integration expected to be completed by summer 2012.
CDC Software | The Customer-Driven Company™ CRM Case Study | 1
Customer Summary • Microsoft Outlook and Blackberry assimilation has
After evaluating a number of options, Syngenta increased efficiencies and streamlined customer
implemented Pivotal CRM, largely because of its management, profiling and communications
ability to streamline customer records and build a
• 360 view of promotion reactions against demand
complex database of end-user product usage.
vs. supply fluctuations visualises campaign
In 2010, after 12 years of total CRM support from effectiveness
CDC Software, the maker of Pivotal CRM, Syngenta
• Underpins all that ensures a happy, well supported
reviewed the market options and established that no
and increasingly loyal customer base
other commercial CRM solution could match the pin-
point customer intelligence generated by Pivotal CRM, Fully Supported Customer
nor had the feature flexibility Relationship Management
that enabled Syngenta to Syngenta is committed to supporting sustainable
Pivotal CRM is customise and add the agriculture through innovative research and
functionality it needed to
not just a contacts technology. It provides the crucial link between crop
meet its specific business success and failure for farmers and plant growers. It
database. It needs. is vital that Syngenta understands the needs of each
underpins all As a result, the option was customer, both the business and the environmental
factors that impact crop success.
our customer taken to upgrade to Pivotal
CRM 6, with its Microsoft End-user intelligence holds the key to Syngenta’s
interaction. Our Outlook and Blackberry success. The only way to get this is to understand,
go-to-market integration. The system firstly who the end customers are and then, establish
was set-up in parallel to their growing profiles and methods of plant husbandry
strategy could not Pivotal CRM 5.9 to ensure and crop protection. With this intelligence it is then
function without a smooth transition. possible to market effectively to them, targeting
Syngenta had seen a four- them with promotions or advice on how to combine
Pivotal. fold return on marketing products for better results, for example.
Simon Laidler and sales investment
CRM Lead, Syngenta This was a challenge in itself. Syngenta products
since using Pivotal CRM
as the lynch-pin to its are sold in bulk to wholesale and retail suppliers to
marketing programmes. It is also seeing significant the farming and plant growing markets and therefore
turnover increases from existing product lines, plus there was no direct sales relationship with the end-
the opportunity for new promotions and revenue user.
streams as the result of further refining customer
responsiveness by integrating with MS Outlook. Prior Engagement
Prior to Pivotal CRM, the Syngenta field sales teams
Benefits of Pivotal CRM to Syngenta used a disparate mix of pen and paper; spread sheet
and basic database customer records. There was
• Actual customer intelligence enabling highly
little process cohesion and records had to be shared
targeted promotions - realising a four times return
manually and updated individually, all time consuming
on campaign investment
processes and leaving very little scope for customer
• Analytical breakdown of purchasing profiles analytics.
and trend mapping has opened up revenue and
co-operative marketing opportunities with sales
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What Changed? Once a year these farmers and growers are now
In 1999, this changed with the initial Pivotal asked to submit details of their product usage for that
installation. A significant upgrade in 2004 completely year. This qualifies them for a credit payment based
revolutionised the way that Syngenta interfaced with on variables including purchase volumes and product
its customers and there was an immediate parallel types, which can be exchanged for goods from a
increase in revenue versus increased customer catalogue of business related products, for example,
satisfaction. IT hardware, weather stations, or protective clothing.
Syngenta needed a CRM tool that could support Data Analysis
its end-to-end sale process; a platform that could Pivotal CRM not only issues the loyalty statements to
combine traditional customer contact tools with an customers, it is used to collate and analyse the entries,
extremely sophisticated, data-heavy customer rewards creating management reports for use by the marketing
programme, potentially holding the details of the UK’s and sales teams that provide a picture of trends
24,000 potential farmer and grower records, plus those including the impact that environmental changes are
of industry advisory and influencer groups. having on growing processes, future customer needs
The storage requirement, and that of the analytics, and the current provision against customer demand.
meant realistically only a bespoke CRM platform could “The information we get from farmers is gold dust.
support Syngenta’s business needs, but a bespoke Once we’ve engaged with a farmer we start to
solution was beyond its budget bounds. Pivotal CRM understand about his growing processes, the varieties
bridged both by combining the price point of an off- he grows and
the-shelf solution with the ability for the CRM team to his opinions on
easily customise fields to ensure absolute compatibility protection methods. Pivotal is the
with the businesses requirements, not only now, but
into the future.
Farmers have only way we
“Pivotal CRM was the only CRM platform able to attachment to can confirm
manage such a complex customer database. No other their crops. Like who is actually
product had the flexibility in terms of existing features a child, they want
and customisation,” explained Simon Laidler, CRM to protect them, using our
lead at Syngenta. give them the best products in
food and the most
Customer Rewards effective medicines the field.
to ensure that they Simon Laidler
To fulfil the need for customer intelligence, to identify
areas for product development, improvement and thrive,” explained
to consistently provide the level of service needed Simon Laidler.
by its customers, Syngenta set-up its customer
From this data, highly targeted marketing campaigns
rewards programme, creating a feedback capture and
can be developed, with the correct messaging for the
management process tool.
audience, right down to simple word changes that
With the tool in place, Syngenta set about a major reflect customer differences such as breed of crop
marketing programme to identify who the users of grown, type of soil, preferred crop protection methods
its unbulked product were. Loaded with the 24,000 or region of country, for example.
farmer’ records, the marketing team used Pivotal CRM
to identify customer types, which in turn were sent Value Analysis
targeted mailings inviting them to register with the This intelligence also tiers customers in terms of
Syngenta customer loyalty programme. revenue value to Syngenta. Of the 24,000 customers
entered on its Pivotal database, just 2,500 of these
Very much a pioneer in customer information in return account for a massive 75% of potential income for
for a reward, Syngenta found itself party to bespoke Syngenta and its competitors, which include Bayer and
market intelligence that money could not buy. BASF.
CDC Software | The Customer-Driven Company™ CRM Case Study | 3
Talking the Talk Pivotal Points
With this combined knowledge, Syngenta can talk All marketing campaigns are now managed from
informatively to each customer; package promotions Pivotal CRM. New campaigns are distributed to the
that resonate, a seed plus crop protection deal sales teams via the platform; customer personalisation
perhaps or bulk purchase discounts; real deals that managed; response rates to promotions analysed and
speak value or opportunity to the customer, whilst supply versus demand monitored.
increasing revenues for Syngenta.
“We recognise the strategic business benefits of
gathering and understanding customer usage.
Using the data captured by Pivotal CRM, Syngenta
In August 2011, the Pivotal 6 upgrade brought
can adapt and change to ensure it is consistently
integration with MS Outlook. The result is a ‘link’
delivering the best sales and market support to its
button from the customer record straight to MS
direct and in-direct customers,” explained Simon
Outlook. The sales team can work from the customer
record or Outlook to create activities, for example,
emails, notes or tasks, as well as sales calls,
customer responses and literature fulfilment. The
Simon Laidler has worked at Syngenta for over 30
operational benefits have been immediate. Sales
years. Having worked in field sales before moving
cohesion with marketing programmes and response to
to a customer relationship management role, he fully
customer reaction has never been better.
understands the needs of farmers and growers, and
the difference that quality seeds and crop protection
Field Sales Team Reaps Benefits
products can have on the success or failure of a
The field sales team has probably benefited the most
from the integration with MS Outlook. All 34 field
sales people now have access to exactly the same No two farmers will experience the same growing
information. Their territories are arranged equally, season. Therefore, no two farmers will have the
based on farm numbers and value but it is possible same requirements from Syngenta. To this end,
that more than one account manager will be looking Simon can’t stress the importance of communicating
after the same customer, if it is a multi-site farming or with customers on a one-to-one basis.
growing business, for example.
“Pivotal CRM provides us with the data we need to
Account administration has been simplified and the personalise our customer contact. It has not changed
one time necessary duplication of entries in multiple the way that we work; it has made us better and more
places removed. Records and entries can be linked efficient. Syngenta will always meet its customers
and hyper-linked for further simplification. The face-to-face. There is no replacement for human
margins for errors have all but been eliminated. interaction. In parallel with technical advancement in
farm procedures, Pivotal CRM rationalises processes,
Getting Smart with Blackberry germinates opportunities and ensures a far greater
The sales team is also benefiting from the initial yield,” continued Simon Laidler.
integration of Pivotal CRM with Blackberry. At present
it is restricted to customer contacts, but greater
assimilation is planned and in the next 12 months
account managers will be able to view customer
contact forms, add notes and communicate directly
with customers via their Blackberries.
According to one of the field sales managers; “Pivotal
CRM’s integration with Blackberry is a phenomenal
sales tool. I have the contact details of the entire UK
farming community in my Blackberry.”
CDC Software | The Customer-Driven Company™ CRM Case Study | 4
Under the Bonnet Formal project management methodology was
Pivotal CRM is hosted on a secure server at followed throughout the course of the recent upgrade
Syngenta’s head office in Grenoble, France. It is project. The CDC Software project team provided
accessed by users via the Syngenta network, or clearly defined process and controls and ensured
remotely by the sales teams across the UK and that adequate quality assurance measures were in
Ireland. Within 12 months it is expected that the sales place from planning, through the solution and user
team will connect increasingly via their Blackberry’s, acceptance testing phases, to the point of go-live
further reducing the amount of administration required and throughout the settling in period. Syngenta
post-customer visit. continues to be supported by the CDC Software
issues management team and on-going CDC Software
Pivotal CRM is also used by Syngenta sales teams in
France, Australia, USA, Canada, Mexico and some
additional South American countries.
Over the last 12 years, CDC Software, Syngenta UK
and the regional Syngenta offices have established an
extremely solid and collaborative working relationship.
“To support a system as vital as Pivotal CRM is
to Syngenta, it is essential that we have a close
relationship with CDC Software. We’re constantly
tweaking the software, adding new fields and
intensifying the complexity of the platform. We
therefore believe it is essential to have it regularly
MOTed to ensure it remains as robust as the core
technology,” concluded Simon Laidler, CRM lead,
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