Apperian and InsightSquared: Using Salesforce Data to Improve Forecasting and Increase Deal Size

20% increase in pipeline and increased average deal size of almost 30% over 6 months

Restructuring Sales & Marketing Operations and the Limitations of Salesforce Reports:

[image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”31632″ align=”left” width=”174″ height=”87″ quality=”100″] Apperian is the industry pioneer for mobile application management and helps enterprises deploy apps to their employees. The company’s cloud-based platform offers a branded enterprise app catalog to users while providing a comprehensive management backend that helps IT professionals manage the full lifecycle of mobile apps and content.

In late 2012 Apperian restructured their sales organization, brought on a new SVP of Sales and revamped their go-to-market strategy to better align with their target market.

Prior to revamping their sales organization and process, sales leadership at Apperian struggled with the limitations of Salesforce reports, and spent over 20 hours each week building sales forecast reports, tracking revenue and pipeline, and reviewing sales performance metrics in Excel spreadsheets. Like many other organizations, they were also concerned with the accuracy of their monthly sales forecasts: their forecasting structure was based on traditional sales forecasting methods that relied on their reps’ projections about the outcomes of their opportunities. Little historic data informed their projected quarterly revenue outcome.

During their reorganization, Apperian’s new sales leadership highlighted the need for a better way to evaluate sales performance without spending hours building reports in Excel or Salesforce. They did not have the visibility  into their sales forecasting, pipeline history, or rep performance that they needed. “We needed more data,” Tyler Stone, head of field operations, explained, “We couldn’t get pipeline history in Salesforce and weren’t diligently taking the weekly snapshots we would have needed to see pipeline changes in Excel.”

Apperian needed to claim back the 20 hours of work involved in creating reports and reduce the risk in their sales forecasts in order to focus on their new go-to-market strategy, building the sales team and other crucial aspects of sales operations.

Introduction to InsightSquared:

During their sales restructure, Apperian was introduced to InsightSquared and quickly realized after initial conversations that InsightSquared could leverage their current Salesforce data and reduce their reporting workload so they could focus on running operations and creating a more effective sales team.

“We were immediately impressed by how visual and intuitive InsightSquared was,” Stone explained. “We were up and running in less than 24 hours, and it became very apparent that we could dramatically reduce the time needed for report building and data analysis.” Apperian recognized the value of InsightSquared immediately after connecting to their historic Salesforce data, and this value continued to grow not only in time-savings across their team, but also in Apperian’s ability to drill more meaningfully into their data.

Real-Time Wins for Apperian Since Implementing InsightSquared:

  • 20% increase in pipeline and increased average deal size of almost 30% in past 6 months.
  • 30% increase in activity levels among reps and improved adoption of their Salesforce CRM.
  • A dependable sales forecast, and faster adoption of data-driven forecasting internally.
  • A total overhaul of their data-quality in Salesforce, which improved accuracy and alerted them to issues they would never have found except through manual opportunity inspection.

InsightSquared in Action:

Apperian now uses InsightSquared to measure sales performance metrics, create data-driven sales forecasts, and monitor their pipeline performance, all of which were previously restricted behind Salesforce reports and hours of report building. “InsightSquared gives us a line of sight into our data that we didn’t have previously,” which Stone says immediately made their sales forecasting more accurate, among other attributes. “We no longer have to worry about Salesforce reporting, pipeline reports, or forecast decay – it’s just taken care of.”

The critical reports that help Apperian better run their sales operations are:

  1. Sales Funnel: Measuring conversion rates by stage and visualizing the progression helps Apperian get a fast grasp on their conversions and deal value over time.
  2. Smart Forecast: Apperian now complements the subjective forecasts of its reps with the Smart Forecast report in InsightSquared, allowing them to use historic rep performance and stage conversion rates to more accurately determine that quarter’s revenue.
  3. Opportunity Changes: Apperian uses the Opportunity Changes report to track how individual deals are changing in value and anticipated close date, enabling rapid and deep visibility into how pipeline is morphing over time.
  4. Bookings Trends: Apperian uses their historic performance over their last 6 months to better understand and estimate future revenue for upcoming quarters.

InsightSquared provides the foundation of reliable reports that leaders at Apperian turn to as a jumping off point; these reports allow stakeholders to stop focusing on the day-to-day report building, and start analyzing their sales performance at the deeper level needed to build pipeline and increase revenue.

Apperian Today:

“We knew we didn’t have all the data we needed, but it was nearly impossible to get. Working manually was taking too much time, and reducing the amount of time we spent on analysis. When we switched to InsightSquared we were quickly able to drive more activity, and even more importantly, identify which activities drove the most sales.”

Apperian has seen a significant transition in their sales operations over the past 6 months, and InsightSquared helped drive and influence many of these changes, including an overall increase in pipeline of 20% and an increase in average deal size of almost 30%. InsightSquared has helped validate the new efforts and priorities Apperian has set for their sales team, and allows for their team to use their data in faster, more effective ways so they can focus on identifying new markets and growing their business faster.

If you wish to learn more about Apperian’s story, or speak with a member of their team, contact us for more details.

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