Scoring a ticket to a popular event may prove challenging for consumers, but what goes on behind the scenes is much more complicated. For those internal operations, event venues and organizers look to companies such as ShowClix, which helps handle ticketing for events ranging from New York's Comic-Con to special exhibits at the Museum of Modern Art. The company offers point or end-to-end solutions to its customers, providing everything from a ticketing Web site that can handle a rush of users to marketing support and on-site ticket redemption. Its four-member sales team was using Salesforce.com as part of its efforts to gain new accounts, but wanted better insight into its pipeline than spreadsheet-focused solutions could offer.
ShowClix CEO Tom Costa tried a half-dozen pipeline visualization and management tools before choosing SalesClic in January 2013. "I was drawn to the statistics, the things like 'time to next phase,' 'time to close,' and its ability to flag when the deal is running behind the average benchmarks. I wanted it to be intelligent," Costa says. The solution was also simple, and presented the information visually, while others "were too complex for my needs."
Within 30 days of implementation, the proportion of outdated closing dates among ShowClix's opportunities decreased by 30 percent. "Before, I was continually having to tell the salespeople, 'We're at the twenty-eighth day of the month. You're saying it's going to close, and it's still in the demo phase.' Now we have a much cleaner forecast,"; Costa says.
The improvement is consistent with the quick wins most clients see, says SalesClic CEO Thomas Oriol. "We see a significant improvement in data quality. ... It demonstrates the impact of making the data more visual."
As the ShowClix sales team continued to use SalesClic, they saw additional gains. Four months after implementing SalesClic, the team had decreased the time from demo to proposal by 20 percent. The forecast visualization in SalesClic can list the average number of days it takes to get through each stage, which made Costa realize it was taking his salespeople too long to prepare presentations and move forward to proposals. "We developed a number of job aids to help salespeople in their demos. We have an introductory presentation, and we have scripts that we were able to fine tune," Costa says.
Six months into implementation, ShowClix increased the percentage of deals that move from proposal to close by 30 percent. Costa said he likes that SalesClic gives a probability of closing based on stage. When deals get to the proposal stage, he can see that they usually close five out of seven times, for example. SalesClic is working on developing additional granularity as well. If a deal's closing date is postponed several times, for example, that might indicate a sale is becoming more of a long shot, affecting its likelihood of closing. Costa appreciates that SalesClic gives supervisors multiple views. "I can have a consolidated pipeline, or I can go into each individual salesperson's pipeline and see the average stay in each particular phase. If a salesperson is averaging twenty-eight days in demo phase when the average salesperson is making it through in fourteen days, there may be an opportunity for coaching," he says.
While Costa checks SalesClic once a day, his salespeople are in the system constantly. "They're very big fans," he says, for the ability it gives them to visualize all their deals. "If I see a deal in the pipeline, it shows me as a salesperson the relative size of the deal, with an image that is larger or smaller based on how big it is. If I click on it, it gives me the vital statistics of the deal, like average value, instead of having to go through text reports. I can easily see how many [deals] are at the bottom of the funnel."
SalesClic is also continually refining the look of the visualization, and is currently working on adding more color coding to the pipeline visualization. "The visual alerts will let [sales managers] know when they have a potential troubled child, but they also know when they have a potential star," Oriol explains.Costa sees the product as continuing to be an asset to streamlining ShowClix's sales processes as the company grows. "We've had consecutive record quarters. It's been going great."
After implementing SalesClic to better visualize its sales pipeline, ShowClix saw:
- the proportion of outdated closing dates decrease by 30 percent in the first month;
- the time from demo to proposal decrease by 20 percent within 120 days of implementation; and
- an increase of 30 percent in the deals that move from proposal to close in 180 days.