Like most businesses in the corporate travel management sector, Egencia, an Expedia company, needed to adapt to a new selling environment after the recession.
Buyers today have endless information at their disposal. Research can be conducted prior to a salesperson's pitch. Customers have easy access to competitive offerings, with user reviews to boot. Prospects can chat freely on social networks about a product or service.
"What we [had] to do was really synchronize our sales cycle with this new buying cycle, and that's where…embracing both social media and social selling applications and tools was critical," says Melissa Cole, manager of learning and development at Egencia.
This is why Egencia, in early 2011 began searching for a sales intelligence solution it could combine with Salesforce.com, which it uses for sales and marketing automation, to tailor its selling efforts to its customers and their buying cycles.
Cole says Egencia asked three questions: "How do we improve productivity by making more time for salespeople to focus on opportunities that [are] more likely to result in revenue?" "How do we improve our knowledge of the business needs of our prospects?" and "How do we improve identifying and disqualifying prospects with more accuracy?"
Egencia's lead generation, sales operations, and marketing teams tried several providers before opting to go with InsideView People Insights and InsideView ROI Dashboard, which it implemented in August 2011.
Within nine months, Egencia identified more than 150 active sales opportunities and 1,200 key sales contacts.
"Those active opportunities, combined with finding better, more relevant contacts, drove revenue for the organization," Cole says.
InsideView's People Insights lets users obtain introductions to prospects through personal networks, coworkers, previous employers, and fellow alumni. Users can gain deeper insight into prospects through news mentions, social conversations, affiliations, and work history. The ROI Dashboard helps determine bottom-line revenue impact from a company's social selling efforts.
"The ROI Dashboard allows us to…identify coaching and training opportunities," Cole adds. "I can see who our super user is and who has really embraced the technology and who's delivering the biggest results because of that. I can go to them and engage them in bringing their peers into the fold."
By receiving dynamic alerts through InsideView People Insights, Egencia's salespeople have been able to react more constructively, and plan for personnel changes at client companies instead of being thrown off or delayed by them.
Egencia's sales, marketing, and lead generation teams will soon expand the use of the tool to its account management team.
The company has noticed a real sense of collaboration across its sales and marketing departments. "It's fantastic to be at a point in the life cycle of all of these changes and implementations," comments Jennifer O'Brien, director of North America marketing at Egencia. "It was a shift of the role and the culture and the way we approached the process…to have [sales] thinking like marketers and to have marketing start to think about what sales needs."
Using Salesforce.com with InsideView, Egencia has added:
- 150 active sales opportunities;
- 1,200 key sales contacts; and
- deeper knowledge of personnel changes on leads earlier in the sales process.