Industrial Training International (ITI) is a world leader in the provision of crane and rigging training and consulting services. With a new sales department that is less than three years old, ITI needed to learn how to improve sales forecasting and account management to ensure clients’ needs were being met.
ITI wanted their sales and executive management teams to have better insight into current sales efforts and trends so they could see where to realign processes to improve close rates. ITI sought to help their sales team re-evaluate their opportunities and create more realistic forecasting schedules, but they had no clear way of doing this.
Once ITI began using InsightSquared they were able to:
- Make more accurate forecasts
- Look at the state of their pipeline at any time
- Use actual data to monitor the sales rep’s activities
- Collaborate on monthly and quarterly team goals
- Predict sales goals
Using InsightSquared to Manage Pipeline for Individual Sales Reps Allowed for Increased Accountability
InsightSquared integrated with ITI’s Salesforce data, which the sales team now uses to make more accurate forecasts and close more deals. ITI gave not only the management team, but each and every member of the sales team, access to their own InsightSquared account.
Now, each sales team member is armed with their own pipeline data and can access it at any time. The Pipeline Today Report is scheduled to automatically send to the team via email at the beginning of each week, which they can look at to see which stage their opportunities are in and which opportunities are closer to closing. If the rep’s pipeline is small, they know the priority for the week is to fill it. If they are merely forgetting to log their activity, that will be clear in the Pipeline Report and serve as a reminder to continue consistently entering their activity data.
ITI holds sales rep performance meetings weekly to discuss progress. During these meetings, management asks the reps questions like: Are you making enough calls? Do you need to fill your pipeline more? With InsightSquared, this information is readily available and keeps each member of the team accountable. Current wins, losses, problematic opportunities and activities logged can now be easily viewed by any member of the team whenever they wish.
Employee Scorecards as a Snapshot of Reps Current Efforts, Eliminates Guesswork
The Employee Scorecard report is a favorite of Christina Lanham, Manager for E-Learning and Digital Services: “It aligns several reports into one screen and provides an excellent snapshot of an employee’s current efforts.”
Both the management team and the sales reps are able to see immediately why deals have been won or lost. “We pull up Employee Scorecards in meetings to see which deals have closed-won and closed-lost. We look at the activities log to see where we are falling short. If we weren’t making a lot of calls one day, what was the reason for that?” said Lanham.
During these meetings, each rep stands up and presents their scorecard in front of the VP of Operations. With their InsightSquared data, the reps can give the management team an accurate, data-driven picture of what their week looked like. Before InsightSquared, everyone had to come up with their own activity numbers for that week. Much of the time this meant relying on memory when reporting on upcoming opportunities, current pipeline, recent losses and monthly goals. “Before, we had to run off our memory, now InsightSquared provides us with something that is much more visual and accurate than our memories,” Lanham explained, “We have a lot of data under our belt to look at now.”
Now that ITI has reliable data, the sales reps know exactly where they stand and there is no need for guesswork. “InsightSquared has been good in that we have a definitive visual representation of what’s going on and that helps make everyone accountable for what they’re doing,” said Lanham. “The sales reps can see how much time they’ve invested in an account, and if it might be time to move on. InsightSquared makes that much more apparent.”
Gamification with the Sales Team
ITI uses InsightSquared’s full-screen feature to increase friendly competition among the sales team. “We put a running list of reports on a TV screen in the sales office, which has helped spur competition and provide a continuous visual reminder of where the team stands for the month and the year,” said Lanham.
Every rep has individual goals they need to meet. Lanham explained that, “Even if we’re not competing against each other, we’re competing with each other. We use InsightSquared as a means of collaboration for monthly and quarterly goals as a team.”
Planning Ahead, Knowing the Best Opportunities
Before InsightSquared, when ITI had to pull these end-of-the-year reports (or any type of report) they used a mix of Excel spreadsheets and Salesforce reports. ITI had to use several dashboards in Salesforce to reflect sales stats. If ITI wanted to try and gain other metrics they had to run reports, and they experienced major filtering limitations with this process. If they wanted to filter a certain way, they had to create a different report for each filtering option, which took up a lot of valuable time. InsightSquared has alleviated ITI of these processes altogether and saved them at least fifteen valuable hours during the course of the year.
ITI uses InsightSquared at the end of the year to set goals for the upcoming year. “We’ve used InsightSquared to look at win/loss ratios for predicting sales goals for the next year. Our Vice President has looked at the reports and evaluated us based on those reports, as far as how many calls you need to be making and how much open business you need in order to get the closed business you want,” said Lanham.
Using InsightSquared, ITI understands which programs were their best sellers in 2013 and then can use that information to sell more business in 2014. “I like how InsightSquared can be broken down even further into different segments of opportunities, like which kinds of opportunities have a better chance of closing,” said Lanham. The information provided by InsightSquared is invaluable for planning for the future. ITI has to manage a staff of 12 full-time trainers, each of which has a different skillset. By seeing which programs have sold well in the past, we are able to be more efficient in the utilization of our training staff and improve the alignment between our sales team and the trainers.”
Lanham’s advice to another manager considering InsightSquared? “Use InsightSquared for coaching and for you results meetings and teach your entire team how to use it. If you want to have a data-driven approach to managing your assets and increasing the efficiency of your team, InsightSquared is a must-have tool.”
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