Custom Salesforce Development for Agoro Carbon Alliance

Learn how Agoro Carbon Alliance revolutionized the carbon and agricultural space with our strategic Salesforce consolidation and customization services, achieving seamless data coherence, increased user adoption, uninterrupted custom service, and 360-degree business insights across various departments.


The Agoro Carbon Alliance, established in 2020, is at the forefront of the carbon space, standing out as one of the few actively advancing this segment. As a subsidiary of Yara, an international fertilizer company rooted in Norway, Agoro leverages its strong backing to foster sustainable practices.

With a targeted approach, Agoro encourages US and Brazilian farmers and ranchers to embrace regenerative agriculture. In 2021, Agoro teamed up with Ascendix to enhance its operations. This collaboration was aimed at the consolidation of separate systems for better business insights and customizing their Salesforce CRM to their growing needs.

Joining us today is Dan Koehler, Product Manager at Agoro Carbon Alliance. In our discussion, we’ll be exploring the challenges they encountered while adopting CRM technology and the subsequent value the Salesforce customization and system integration has added to their business.

Scope of Services We Delivered to Agoro:

  • Conducted a comprehensive audit and assessment of existing systems.
  • Designed system architecture to streamline operations.
  • Built a centralized data repository to aggregate analytics and statistics from external devices, the grower channel application, and Salesforce CRM.
  • Integrated disparate systems like payment, e-signature, bank accounting verification solutions and Salesforce CRM for supporting business growth.
  • Optimized Salesforce for enhanced functionality tailored to the needs of sales, marketing, customer service, financial, and legal departments.
  • Provided custom Salesforce development services to meet the evolving requirements of each business area.
Dan Koehler
Product Manager at Agoro Carbon Alliance
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Oslo, Norway
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Agriculture & Farming
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Number of Employees

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Agoro Salesforce Customization Project Challenges

Ascendix: What challenges did you face that made you seek external help?

Dan: We had been utilizing Salesforce as our core system but it was lacking specific configurations and customizations. At the time, we had very limited resources and no one dedicated to CRM to assist in configuring the system and understanding our needs.

That was our starting point. Our collaboration with Ascendix began there, and since then, it has been a progressive journey. We have been building and adapting as we go, gaining a deeper understanding of what our business processes should be.

This understanding of what Salesforce could offer, coupled with an iterative approach to development, has guided the evolution of our processes to match our operational needs.

Ascendix: What services did Ascendix deliver to you?

Dan: Initially, our focus was on basic configuration to meet the needs of our sales team. Over time, this has evolved into more complex development and customization work.

Now, Ascendix helps us support multiple areas of the business, extending beyond just the sales team.

Agoro Salesforce Customization Project Challenges
Salesforce Optimization Benefits for Agoro Ascendix

Ascendix: Could you give an example of departments that benefited from Salesforce optimization?

Dan: Salesforce is now being used across various departments within our company. The sales team has been using it, and the marketing team employs it for analytics and tracking of marketing campaigns.

Our legal department uses Salesforce as the centralized source of contract details and associated practices or products when managing and tracking our signed contracts.

The customer service department utilizes Salesforce to provide support to our clients. The system proves especially useful after a contract is signed, as it helps manage the client relationship and support for the duration of the contract, often up to 10 years.

We have also integrated automation within Salesforce to provide clients with recurring updates they require. In addition, our finance team is using Salesforce to track payments related to contracts.

Salesforce Team Composition for Agoro Ascendix

Ascendix: What Salesforce customizations did you need to align with your business processes?

Dan: Data quality is a critical aspect of our system, ensuring consistency across all data points. We’ve made significant efficiency gains by deploying numerous customizations, which have provided substantial benefits.

Our contracts typically span 10 years. This means that our work truly begins after the initial sales process, which could take about a year. Throughout the decade-long contract, we engage in ongoing activities to support our customers effectively.

To ensure continuous support over the 10-year period, we’ve implemented customizations that trigger necessary actions throughout the contract’s lifecycle. These measures are critical to ensure we consistently meet our customers’ needs without any gaps in service.

Salesforce Team Composition for Agoro Ascendix
Team Composition for Agoro Ascendix

Ascendix: What was the team composition mainly and how did it change over time?

Dan: The team composition has remained relatively stable throughout the project. Initially, the team structure was the following:

  • Project Manager (PM),
  • Business Analyst (BA),
  • Quality Assurance (QA).

Now, our development team includes:

  • Lead developer,
  • Part-time developer,
  • Full-time developer,
  • Full-time QA specialist.

The primary change over time has been the reallocation of resources rather than the overall team structure.

At the start, we had one full-time Salesforce developer and a lead developer, and later we brought on an additional part-time developer. While we’ve had to slightly adjust resource allocation, the team composition has proven to be very beneficial for the project in my view.

Beyond this adjustment, the team’s structure has stayed consistent during the project.

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Salesforce Solution Adoption Results Ascendix

Ascendix: Could you share some measurable results of user adoption that you’ve achieved thanks to Salesforce customization?

Dan: We have observed an increase in system logins and overall duration of system usage following the delivery of our objectives. Initially, we began with approximately 15 users, and this number has grown to around 65.

I can generate and present a report detailing the differences in login activity. As previously mentioned, we can measure the time spent in the system now compared to before.

However, the most significant benefit is that other departments are recognizing the system’s value. They are proactively reaching out with questions and suggestions, asking if certain actions can be taken within the system.

This shift in engagement is critical from a change management perspective. Gaining buy-in by demonstrating the system’s value and having others approach us with inquiries like “Can we do this?” represents a significant stride in organizational adoption and utilization.

Salesforce Solution Adoption Results Ascendix
Salesforce Professional Services by Ascendix

Ascendix: What do you think of the quality of the professional services performed by Ascendix?

Dan: Working with various development teams and providers, I have noticed a tendency for some to quickly agree with client demands, regardless of the veracity of those demands. However, with Ascendix, I appreciate receiving honest feedback. This authenticity is crucial because it’s challenging to engage with users if they are promised something that isn’t in line with reality.

I value the transparency within the Ascendix team and our ability to discuss all aspects of a project, whether they are positive or negative.

It’s important to have confidence in the people who are developing the system. This trust is essential so that when I communicate with my internal clients, I can accurately describe what to expect, and they will indeed see the results that were promised.

Ascendix’s team carefully deliberates to determine the best solution and how we can substantiate and implement it. So, we currently have a very transparent and trustworthy system in place.

Moreover, Ascendix’s team focuses on addressing the root cause of any issue rather than offering a temporary workaround that might only lead to further frustration for the user.

Ascendix’s team is focused on efficiency and genuinely addressing the root causes of problems rather than just applying superficial fixes. They are dedicated to coming up with ideas to enhance efficiency and are committed to delivering quality work that meets the clients' needs, avoiding the trap of simply agreeing to every request.

Dan Koehler, Product Manager at Agoro Carbon Alliance
Salesforce Customization Services for Agoro by Ascendix

Ascendix: What efficiencies or improvements have you realized through operational automation?

Dan: Operational improvements have been significant. Initially, Salesforce was only used by the sales department, but now it has expanded to other departments, which is a notable change.

The ability for information from an opportunity to feed into other areas of the business allows us to see the data in action and eliminates the need to consult separate systems or personnel, making the information flow a considerable benefit.

We have integrated some of our information with an internally developed platform.

This has enabled Salesforce and our platform to communicate seamlessly, enhancing the efficiency and accuracy of our data management, and giving us a single source of truth.


Salesforce Customization Services for Agoro by Ascendix
Ascendix Professional Services Feedback by Agoro

Our focus has also been on improving sales efficiency. By streamlining the process of how leads enter the system and enabling the sales team to access and process information more effectively, we reduce the time spent on lead qualification.

Essentially the leads are pre-qualified by the time they reach the sales team, which we expect will lead to significant time savings.

Some of these improvements have already been implemented, benefiting our inside sales department. And we’re planning to introduce more enhancements, which we anticipate will further increase our efficiency.

In addition to our internally developed app, we’ve adopted a variety of other technologies as part of our digital transformation.

These include Power BI, DocuSign, MailChimp, and QGIS, among others. However, Salesforce remains the primary tool, with our internal platform as the second key technology.

Ascendix Professional Services Feedback by Agoro
Salesforce Adoption Tips by Agoro

Ascendix: Do you have some specific techniques for overcoming poor technology adoption?

Dan: Initially, it was somewhat challenging because not all salespeople were inclined to use a CRM system or input data into it.

However, if the system is tailored to their needs and enhances their efficiency, they are more than willing to adopt it.

Adoption is more than just about the system’s usability and efficiency; it’s largely about change management. It involves helping the sales team realize the benefits, which encourages them to fully engage with the system.

The key is to deliver these improvements quickly, which helps maintain momentum in the system’s adoption.

In essence, it’s a balance between managing the change in mindset and ensuring the system is intuitive, straightforward, and accurate, which are all critical aspects.

Technology Tips by Agoro

Ascendix: How do you stay up to date with new technologies?

Dan: I make it a point to attend Salesforce webinars and stay informed through news articles and press releases related to our project, which the Ascendix team forwards to me.

We hold a weekly product meeting to discuss the upcoming week and any pertinent topics. During these meetings, we explore new technologies and discuss ongoing challenges, considering potential solutions and innovations we haven’t yet considered.

Salesforce is particularly helpful as it provides extensive documentation and webinars. These resources are invaluable for staying updated on forthcoming developments and updates.

Ascendix: Are you going to adopt new technologies in the near future?

Dan: In the next year, we’re expecting an increase in our team size. While we are open to the possibility of adopting new tools, the current focus for our organization is on stabilizing the tools we are already using.

Ensuring that our existing tools are used effectively is our priority and likely the most strategic approach for us moving into 2024.

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