Do Your Salespeople Really Use CRM? A Case Study on CRM Adoption

By Jesse Kurth, TinderBox

Customer relationship management (CRM) is the bedrock of technology-driven businesses, with organizations of all sizes around the world adopting CRM as their single source of truth. In fact, Gartner reports CRM increasing to a $36 billion market by 2017, eclipsing all others - including ERP, which is no small feat.

Despite significant investment in CRM, however, adoption continues to be the biggest universal challenge. Why? Because CRM is an executive initiative, benefitting management by providing visibility into the sales pipeline, customer retention, marketing investments and workforce productivity - that is, if the workforce actually uses it. So, what value des CRM offer your workforce - especially your sales organization?

Answering this critical question can shed light on how to combat adoption challenges with the people who need to use CRM the most: salespeople.

A 2015 study from Gartner affirms this trend and identifies that "digital CRM technologies that drive growth and elevate the customer experience top the list of CEOs' investment priorities for the next five years." It's a powerful statistic that underscores the surging importance of a more personalized buying experience.

The Need to Grow

Insightpool is an innovator in making sales more personalized. Their products provide companies a powerful technology that makes it easy to find, connect and communicate with new influencers on social media. With cutting-edge technology and the acquisition of social media analytics startup in early 2015, Insightpool needed to scale its sales process to ensure it continued to deliver results as the company continued its meteoric growth.

Insightpool implemented Salesforce CRM, but experienced a gap between data stored in the CRM and the sales deliverables its team sent to customers. Specifically, the company needed a faster way for its rapidly scaling sales team to create accurate sales proposals and contracts that automatically used information stored in Salesforce to create the right document for the right person - every time.

Scattered Systems and Disparate Processes

"It was a tedious, cumbersome process," said Adam Lewites, head of client partnerships at Insightpool, when explaining how their salespeople developed and closed deals. The sales team relied on a Dropbox folder to store proposals and agreements, which were created with Word or Pages templates. This process proved inefficient: duplicate templates led to confusion and inconsistency.

"We had one template, but that one template turned into 10," said Lewites. "Reps would customize a template and save it in Dropbox, which was a very manual process ... it became a bit of a mess. After creating a proposal or agreement, sales professionals would send them as email attachments, and we had no way to track who opened, viewed or forwarded the documents."

Creating offline documents required manual data entry that cost the team time and were prone to error. "If you edited a document and the alignment was off, you'd have to reformat the entire document," added Lewites. "These little things add up. It would take up to 35 minutes to build a proposal or agreement, and none of that was attached to Salesforce." Because their sales team had to manually key Salesforce data into each proposal or agreement, documents could take as long as 45 minutes to create, with plenty of room for human error.

A 21st Century Solution to an Age-Old Problem

When Adam decided to search for a solution that made it easier for the sales team to create documents quickly and maintain consistency, he quickly latched on to the idea of a connected, online process that integrated seamlessly with Salesforce. He turned to TinderBox Propose - an online sales productivity product - to streamline InsightPool's proposal and agreement generation process.

"When we looked at technologies, we wanted something that allowed us to live in Salesforce," said Lewites. "Not having to jump back and forth from different sources or websites is a huge benefit." With TinderBox, anyone on the sales team can see information about proposals or agreements with a simple click inside Salesforce. And, Adam can manage and modify sales materials from one place, making administration much more scalable.

Results with Real Business Impact

Since implementing TinderBox, Insightpool has saved time, increased accuracy and achieved new levels of consistency by integrating more of their business processes into their CRM, resulting in a 48 percent increase in monthly proposal generation.

"The entire process is a whole lot simpler and easier," said Lewites. "There's one single template that lives in Salesforce, so reps don't have to save templates to Dropbox or a desktop. Numbers are pulled directly from Salesforce, so we don't have to go digging for them, cutting down the amount of time it takes to create documents."

Insightpool cut the average proposal generation time of 45 minutes down to just 10 minutes, and agreements take them as little as five minutes.

Jesse Kurth is the Director of Client Success at TinderBox, a sales productivity suite that helps companies sell faster with a more effective way to create and deliver sales proposals, contracts and presentations, entirely online. Jesse oversees all professional services, support and account management operations.