If you’ve ever wondered what a business run by Excel spreadsheets looks like, just ask Crystal McLoughlin.
When McLoughlin rejoined PACE as a Corporate Sales Manager in January of 2016, the company was stuck in the dark ages, using spreadsheets to manage their business.
McLoughlin said, "When I came back on, the very first thing I did was find a company like [PipelineDeals] to manage the sales cycle."
And when switching from spreadsheets to a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software like PipelineDeals, it opened up a world of visibility and communication within the company.
She said, "Being able to see what the [sales team] is working on and where things are in the pipeline is priceless."
So how exactly did the switch to a CRM help PACE grow? It all comes back to the idea of finding a simple solution that everyone could adopt.
When searching for a CRM, "We wanted something that we as the sales team could legitimately manage by ourselves, without having to involve our tech team," McLoughlin said. "We didn’t want to add another software that they were going to have to support."
She says with PipelineDeals, the interface is simple and easy to use. "When I would describe PipelineDeals to the team I would say, ‘It’s just like Facebook. It’s so easy, it’s just natural.’"
She says when she shows team members how to use the platform, it becomes innate to them. They know what to click, and it’s easy to guess what to do next. With other platforms, it would have taken a lot of training and time they didn’t have.
And because of the ease of use that came with PipelineDeals, it was able to be adopted by the entire team. This led to what McLoughlin believes is the most valuable feature of the app — visibility.
When I first started, PACE was a 6-million-dollar company. This last year we hit the 100-million-dollar mark. So, we’ve had exponential growth over a five-year span.
Since adopting the PipelineDeals CRM, McLoughlin says the company’s visibility has increased by a huge margin. She says just having the ability to know what’s in the sales pipeline and where it’s at in the process is something she doesn’t take for granted.
To put it into perspective, PACE is a multiregional company. This means several people may be working on a deal from multiple locations. Because of this, they need consistency, and that’s what they got from PipelineDeals.
They now have a centralized location where all of their contacts are kept. McLoughlin says if one of her account managers is working with a customer and they are out that day, she is able to access their information from the CRM. Since all email correspondences are connected to the CRM, she can see everything that is going on.
With PipelineDeals, she says it’s easy to find a customer’s information. Whereas before, when they were using spreadsheets, "All we were doing was listing the customer and a brief statement about what business they were looking for and maybe some dates."
McLoughlin says. "There was no auxiliary information, there was no email chain, which made it difficult to see what had been done or where it was in the pipeline."
She loves how now, on the PipelineDeals homepage she can see how many deals are in the company's pipeline, and the revenue it could potentially generate, as well as the stage of the deal.
"Just being able to see that at a quick glance every day when I open up the app, it’s like, ‘Oh, okay, so we have 12 million dollars’ worth of business in our pipeline.’ It makes you feel like you’re accomplishing something."
Since switching to PipelineDeals, McLoughlin has not only been able to see an increase in visibility, but better efficiency and productivity across their company.
Before making the switch to a CRM, PACE could only keep an eye on their top three customers. With spreadsheets, they didn’t have the resources to keep track of all their clients. Their smaller customers would get lost in the shuffle.
But when switching to a CRM, they could now focus on the entirety of their customer base. This has led to a much higher increase in the number of sales they have closed.
For example, in terms of their smaller customers, McLoughlin says they did two and a half million dollars in revenue from July to December of 2016. Because the CRM has increased productivity, their smaller client base grew exponentially in a five-month period.
"Those smaller customers have started to grow because we’re actually handling bids and deals in a faster manner."
One thing visibility and efficiency have in common? They have led to a cleaner organizational structure within the company.
PACE has a dynamic pricing structure that varies based on a customer’s needs. McLoughlin says, just having a history of how they’ve quoted work before so they don’t have to reinvent the wheel has been a major advantage to them.
She said, "Having to look back at the history and see where deals were and how much we closed them at and what the client was asking for is a lot of work. It’s too much for spreadsheets. With PipelineDeals it’s very easy to look at, it’s all simplified."
The organizational channels built into PipelineDeals has allowed for major growth.
Mcloughlin says, "A fast moving part of our business has grown 34 percent in revenue since implementing PipelineDeals in July last year. This has to do with having a place to keep and review which deals are in play, won, lost, and quoted—along with due dates."
She says now they are closing a larger percentage of deals flowing into their pipeline.
"Before, so many of them were just being left on the table."