"It's an exciting time to be in the LED (light emitting diode) lighting space because the need has exploded. It's the sexy thing now and we wanted to take advantage of that as quickly and efficiently as possible," said Dean Pritchard, CEO at WLS Companies.
However, the company had several growing pains to take care of first as they continued to take on a range of clients for interior, exterior and custom lighting projects. They needed a much better way to keep track of their expanding client base which meant finding customer relationship management (CRM) software that could scale and suit their needs.
They outgrew the Act! CRM which didn't have the reporting features they needed to drive growth. Furthermore, the company's new sales people didn't want to use the Act! CRM because it lacked the functionality they expected. Meanwhile, the senior salespeople were used to the system and didn't want to change. The WLS Companies leadership team foresaw the challenges ahead but knew it was important to find a new CRM.
"The ability to quantify and organize the reasons a deal was lost improved our sales training practices and that has led to new solutions for our clients," said Tammy Bertrand, Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations.
Bertrand led the group to develop a software requirements review (SRS) checklist of CRM features that WLS Companies needed. She searched for CRMs that would enhance marketing efforts, track deals rather than just people, and offer insight into the company's pipeline of opportunities.
"We did our homework. There were more than 30 CRMs on our initial list. We didn't want to make a mistake," said Bertrand.
One of those CRM options was Salesforce.
"I've looked at Salesforce three times during my tenure and ruled it out all three times. It was being sold to us as one stop shop for everything we'll ever need. It really wasn't."
In the end, WLS Companies chose PipelineDeals.
"We're a project-based company and Salesforce does not track deals as well as PipelineDeals which is more conducive to our business model. Salesforce was designed for call centers. It wasn't designed for what we do," she said. "Then there was the cost factor. Not only is Salesforce much more expensive, it doesn't have the customer support that PipelineDeals has."
PipelineDeals hit all of our checkmarks, offering everything we need in a CRM. It's customizable. It's affordable for our size company. It was clearly the right fit.
"We love how user-friendly it is," added Grant Hensarling, Database Manager at WLS Companies. "PipelineDeals hit all of our checkmarks, offering everything we need in a CRM. It's customizable. It's affordable for our size company. It was clearly the right fit."
Hensarling said veteran sales people and new sales people learned how to use PipelineDeals through a planned phased roll out.
"Adoptability needs to be considered. If you're looking from a 100 percent buy in, you're not going to get it from your sales team right away," said Hensarling. "What you need is something like PipelineDeals. It is quick and easy to learn, and it is very user friendly so that's why training was an easy process for our entire sales team."
Hensarling and Bertrand agreed that PipelineDeals' customer support was "phenomenal."
"We introduced eight new types of software to our company thanks to our growth. The best service experience has been with PipelineDeals," said Bertrand.
After more than a year of using PipelineDeals, WLS Companies has seen a 100 percent uptick in efficiency and sales process. Bertrand says she is confident that the company's data is accurate and updated, thanks to the easy adoption of their CRM. Now, they can produce the reports they need to make better business decisions.
As far as experiencing a return on investment (ROI), WLS Companies aims to double or even triple their revenue by 2020. Since they began using PipelineDeals, the company has hired 30 percent more staff so far to help reach their profit goals.
Another characteristic stood out to WLS Companies about PipelineDeals: a commitment to relationship building.
"This company is more than 40 years old and we think of ourselves as a relationship-based company that was successfully founded on networking and good business," said Dean Pritchard, CEO at WLS Companies. "PipelineDeals is about building those relationships. You can see that in it features and you can see how the PipelineDeals functions as a company. This has helped us immensely."
We introduced eight new types of software to our company thanks to our growth. The best service experience has been with PipelineDeals.