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For VisioneersPartner, Pipeliner CRM Is the Perfect Fit
All About CRM / Mar 26, 2015 / Posted by Alyson Stone / 220 

For VisioneersPartner, Pipeliner CRM Is the Perfect Fit

chris houghtaling.jpg

VisioneersPartner (@VPAustria) is a sales consulting, implementation, and training company headquartered in Vienna, Austria, and servicing Europe and North America. A Pipeliner CRM partner, the company has several unique value propositions that set it apart from other sales consultancies.

“We help sales organizations from the top line strategy, all the way down to training the first sales rep coming on board,” explains Chris Houghtaling, VisioneersPartner Founder and Managing Director. “We bridge people both vertically and horizontally throughout an organization, especially a sales organization, along with the policies, processes, procedures, and anything that a successful sales organization is going to need.”

“We also work with departments other than sales; for example Marketing and Sales alignment is something that in the States has been around for quite a while as a concept, but it’s still relatively new here in Europe, and especially in Austria.”

VisioneersPartner focuses on four key areas:

  • Basic sales training
  • Leadership, Coaching and Development Culture, which provides a lasting, sustainable foundation for the sales training administered
  • An approach called Bridging Accelerates Success, which aligns policies, processes, procedures and people—vertically and horizontally throughout the organization
  • Information systems and sales technologies

Pipeliner CRM

Houghtaling elaborates: “If we go to a customer and help them with their sales strategies, and recommend that they follow a course of action, we want also to be able to provide them suggestions on how to implement and carry out that course of action,” he says. “A key player for sales is CRM, right in the center spot. What’s really great about Pipeliner CRM is that the functionality and the ability for it to bridge to other departments like Marketing, quite seamlessly, allows us to really hold true to our ideals of bridging and accelerating success.”

Benefits for Sales Reps

“For sales professionals, Pipeliner is extremely friendly to use, easy to look at, to navigate,” Houghtaling explains. “You know exactly where you stand, from forecasting to data entry.”

“We really appreciate the ability to be able to bring in LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ directly into Pipeliner, right on the contact page and the feeds. We also like that we can easily schedule events, keep track of ourselves, and stay organized. From a salesperson’s perspective I think that’s fantastic.”

“Another thing that I like from a salesperson’s perspective is that the tool combines a couple of different variables in trying to figure out your target. You have the stages of your sales process, and what percentage of business you should close in each stage, and it makes an impact on your forecast. But then as a salesperson you also have the ability to give a 20, 40, 60, 80, 100 old-fashioned gut feeling on what you think your chances of winning this business are. I think that’s a great feature — one not built into most CRM systems that are trying to stay very qualitative and not quantitative.”

Resonates with Sales Management

“From the standpoint of sales management, we really like the easy way you can use Pipeliner,” Houghtaling continues. “Part of sales management is monitoring and making sure things are done, but using the monitoring functionality in Pipeliner very easily and seamlessly moves you into coaching. You have the ability to have a sales process that salespeople can easily follow; it gives them clarity and shows them right where to focus. Then you as a sales manager will be able to help coach them regardless of how they’re performing, and dig deeper into the sales process to see where each individual salesperson really needs help.”

Strengthens the Sales Process

Interestingly, Houghtaling has discovered that a majority of the companies VisioneersPartner consults need guidance when it comes to the sales process, and it’s one of the elements VisioneersPartner ends up strengthening. “They may have an idea of one, but they do not have a formal sales process,” he says. “If you ask the salespeople or the sales manager, they often know the steps. But in terms of actually documenting one, most have not. And in terms of actually having a formal one that is coached or trained or followed up on or monitored, again the vast majority do not at this point.” Due to its visual nature, Pipeliner CRM greatly assists with the strengthening of a company’s sales process.

Instant Adoption from Salespeople

One of the major issues with traditional CRM solutions is the lack of adoption by salespeople. But as VisioneersPartner regularly hears, this is not the case with Pipeliner CRM. “The feedback has been absolutely positive,” Houghtaling reports. “There are little things, like suggestions for tweaks, but that’s been the only ‘negative’ if you can call it that. For salespeople it takes just literally one day of training, and then a day of coaching for people who have never used CRM, and they’re up and running. They’re really excited when they start putting deals in and start seeing the target roll off right there—that’s been very powerful. It’s been a great motivator for them.”

Houghtaling says that feedback from sales managers has also been very positive. “Managers have said Pipeliner gives them better and faster clarity on the status of future sales, through the functions of the pipeline, and more specific information for closed opportunities, both won and lost. This allows them to make course corrections in strategy, sales processes, call management, and ultimately the development of their sales professionals through group and individually targeted training and coaching.”

“What’s really great about Pipeliner CRM is that the functionality and the ability for it to bridge to other departments like Marketing, quite seamlessly, allows us to really hold true to our ideals of bridging and accelerating success.” – Chris Houghtaling

Shared Philosophy of Organization

When a company is selling a product, it is always recommended the company use it themselves—sometimes referred to as “drinking your own champagne.” VisioneersPartner is no exception — they use Pipeliner CRM, too. “We have everybody on board with Pipeliner, Houghtaling says. “It’s been a fantastic tool to help keep us organized, especially during our two major phases of starting up.”

In fact Houghtaling first heard of Pipeliner CRM when VisioneersPartner was just getting off the ground. “It was just me and an intern at the time,” he says, laughing. “Because we were so small, we started off with Zoho, their free version, thinking it would cover us. After two weeks, we said, ‘This is ridiculous. If we really grow to where we want to be in a couple of years, we’re wasting our time. We need to find a better solution.’ That is exactly when we got an invitation to attend a Pipeliner event here in Vienna.”

It turned out that Pipeliner was exactly what they needed. “We were really impressed both the capabilities of Pipeliner CRM, and just as importantly the philosophy for Pipeliner as a company, for salespeople and the profession of sales in general; for me it was a perfect match.”

A Complete Solution

“I really would recommend other companies in our line of work become Pipeliner CRM partners,  Houghtaling concludes. “Sales training and sales consulting organizations exist to help sales organizations and companies enable sales and improve performance. You’ve got to be able to provide a complete solution. As a Pipeliner partner, I would definitely suggest that. Selling it is really a no-brainer—it works seamlessly, quickly, efficiently and it’s not a hard sell. It’s really more of ‘Here, look—this is how we use it, and how you can use it, and look how quick you can enter something in’ and you’re all set.”

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