Kareo: Using InsightSquared to Forecast Better, Measure Conversion Rates and Grow Sales

InsightSquared recently spoke with Rick Palmer, the Sales Operations Manager at Kareo, a cloud-based, medical software company that provides Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Practice Management (PM) software to medical practices.  In early 2013, Kareo launched two new products: a Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) service and an iPad application for their EHR service.

Kareo’s Challenge

Because of this product expansion, Kareo needed to rapidly grow their new EHR product and RCM service, while still maintaining strong growth with their Practice Management (PM) Application.  Metrics and visibility were difficult to harvest as the sales team grew and changed.  When it came to sales efforts, Kareo could only measure results – they did very little forward or backward analysis.

How Kareo Solved Sales Analytics

Palmer came across InsightSquared while searching the internet for a solution to these specific sales problems. Due to the limitations of Salesforce Reports, Kareo quickly realized that InsightSquared could help them with their initial issues, and more. Since becoming a customer, InsightSquared helped the team at Kareo:

  • 5% improvement in their win rates across all the sales teams over the last year
  • Use Salesforce better
  • Forecast accurately using historical data
  • Automate sales stage conversion rates
  • Align the sales and marketing teams with integrated reports

What Palmer had not anticipated was that InsightSquared would also help him:

  • Report daily to the sales team
  • Report to the board of directors with no headaches and without Excel
  • Evaluate sales rep performance easily

Using Salesforce Better

Before InsightSquared, Kareo only used leads in Salesforce.com and did not convert leads into opportunities until that lead signed up for a live demo.  This process gave the sales team a huge backlog of leads with no way to differentiate any of them, or tell what their pipeline looked like.

“We had thousands of leads coming in every month and couldn’t differentiate them at all,” said Palmer.  “Now that we’ve split them into leads and opportunities, we started actually using close dates and updating them.  That, and InsightSquared allows us to sit down and actually say, ‘Alright, we’ve got forty verbal commits in the pipeline with a total pipeline value of $60,000.  We know we close verbal commits at an 80% rate, so we know we’ve got $48,000 that’s going to come out of the pipeline this month.’  This is awesome for us because we had no way at all to do that before.”

Forecasting Using Historical Data

InsightSquared’s Sales Forecasting reports answer Palmer’s questions about how much the team is going to close that month, if the reps have enough pipeline available to hit their goals, and if they need to feed more leads to certain reps.

Because Salesforce only allows real-time “snapshots” of data to be accessed at any one time, there is no way to look at historical data – so Kareo had been struggling to follow the progression of leads to opportunities to deals.  They all started out as leads, but prior to InsightSquared, Palmer couldn’t tell month-by-month how they moved through the pipeline and what their sales cycle was. InsightSquared’s Sales Results reports were the answer.

Automating Conversion Rate Tracking

Before InsightSquared, each stage conversion rate needed to be exported separately and then calculated in Excel – a difficult and time consuming task.  “We couldn’t do any intelligent looking back to see what the conversion rates were at specific points in time,” Palmer explained.  InsightSquared gave Kareo the ability to properly segment leads and implement practical stages. “We wanted our forecast to have some predictability,” Palmer explained.  “We wanted to know that if this lead made it through these four stages then there was an x% chance it will actually close.  As the lead moves further and further down the lead-to-opportunity funnel, it’s more and more likely to close – and before InsightSquared, we had no way to measure that.”

Because of this, Kareo has seen about a 5% improvement in their win rates across all sales teams over the last year, increasing their overall business.  With InsightSquared, Kareo can know their closed-ratios by stage, making sure they are optimizing the leads coming in and that the lead sources are strong.

Bringing the Sales Team Out of the Dark

Kareo’s marketing department was always very organized.   At meetings, they had a lot of information and data to present, but when the marketing team handed off their leads to the sales team, it was like tossing the leads into a black hole.

When Palmer joined Kareo he wanted their sales metrics to progress all the way down the funnel, from top to bottom, so that “marketing didn’t feel like they were handing us a certain number of leads and then have no idea what would happen to them.”

Now during the weekly sales and marketing huddle, InsightSquared helps the teams connect.  “We generally look at Conversion Rates from each stage of the funnel, as well as the Current Forecast during these meetings,” said Palmer.  “In the past, the sales team has focused largely on results and activities, while marketing focused more on the funnel conversions.  With InsightSquared, both teams are now looking at very specific conversion rates each week to see exactly where we are improving as a lead moves to an opportunity and progresses towards a closed deal.  We have been able to watch these conversion rates normalize over the last year with InsightSquared.  Now we can forecast much more accurately by knowing what we are pouring into our sales funnel, and what we should expect to come out the bottom.”

As Palmer explained, “We’ve got all this data from the top through the bottom of the funnel whereas before, the sales team was pretty anecdotal in these meetings saying things like, ‘Yeah we feel good, we think it’s going to be a great month.’   That’s about all we would have to offer, and the marketing team would have all their data and be very organized which made the sales team look bad.”  Now the sales team is completely up to speed.

Reporting to the Sales Team

Palmer emails the Forecast By Period and Forecast by Employee reports to the sales team every morning.  This report allows the sale team to project bookings in advance of the close of the time period, as well as what each employee can expect to book that particular month or quarter.

As Palmer explained, “We’ve got all this data from the top through the bottom of the funnel whereas before, the sales team was pretty anecdotal in these meetings saying things like, ‘Yeah we feel good, we think it’s going to be a great month.’   That’s about all we would have to offer, and the marketing team would have all their data and be very organized which made the sales team look bad.”  Now the sales team is completely up to speed.

On a daily basis, Palmer also checks the Pipeline Today reports, which include reports on Open Opportunity by Employee (Close Date), By Product, By Close Month and so on.  He can see if anyone has good potential deals coming up and which ones they should be working.  He looks at the Sales Funnel and Sales Cycle reports a few times a week to see how conversion rates are looking, and if they are going up or down.

Kareo’s sales cycle is short, so their sales team needs to react quickly.  Now, with InsightSquared, management can easily see which reps are winning and which are coming up short.

The next step for Palmer is to get granular. “For example, we want to actually break things down and say, ‘If I make seven calls after I get a lead, my likelihood of contacting that lead drops.’  You have these diminishing returns that need to be taken into account,” he said.

Reporting to the Board of Directors

Because Kareo is growing and receiving more funding, they have to be accountable to the members of the board.  InsightSquared allows Kareo to provide accurate reports they can then present to the board.   “We can actually report this back to our board. Being able to provide those projection numbers is a big deal.  If my CEO comes and taps me on the shoulder, I can give him a good visualization of these projections instead of just licking my finger, putting it in the air and saying, ‘Oh I don’t know, maybe we’ll book a hundred thousand this month?’”

For Kareo, when it comes to running the sales team and marketing department Palmer said, “We have Marketo, we have Salesforce and we have InsightSquared.” 

If you’d like to learn more about how InsightSquared can help you get more from your Salesforce data, sign up for a Free Trial.