In mid-February PMC Voice2insight (V2i), a provider of voice-based sales data input and analysis services, was named to Utah’s list of the top-100 fastest growing companies – but that’s only half the story. Without any marketing or advertising, V2i (www.voice2insight.com) is almost doubling its customer base and revenue every year. And while its core business is still a voice-based data-entry system that enables sales reps to call in their sales contact reports rather than type them into a CRM system, the company has been building on its core capability over the past two years by addressing three issues.
1. Once you’ve captured information, how do you use it? Although V2i customers finally were getting the information they needed out of their sales reps’ heads, generating reports with that information was still “a black hole,” says Eric Tippetts, executive vice president of sales for V2i. Sales reps put the information in, he says, but managers, often confounded by the complexities of their CRM system, didn’t know how to use it to get the big picture. V2i’s solution: the Battlefield Management Database (BMD), a dashboard that enables users to see at a glance forecasting information by sales rep; a rep-by-rep list of promises made to prospects and clients and when those items are due; and a rep-by-rep list of how many meetings were held in a specified period of time, broken down by type of meeting, such as a sales call, planning meeting, training session and so on. “Behind the dashboard is reams of information that you can sort and filter any way you want,” says Tippetts. The BMD can be a tab inside a CRM system or used independently.
2. How do you save time writing proposals? About a year ago, Tippetts realized salespeople were capturing all the information they needed to write proposals, yet proposal writing was still being done at the last minute, often late into the night with pizza and coffee. In response, the company rolled out V2i Proposals by Voice, which enables reps to call in information and generate a prototype of their proposal. Like reporting information from a sales call, reps follow a prompt card to give V2i agents all the required information. When they get back to the office there’s a proposal prototype waiting on their computer. “Now when they walk into a proposal meeting they’re 90% done rather than walking in with blank pieces of paper and saying: Okay, now we have to write this proposal,” says Tippetts. “We’ve found we can cut the proposal cycle by at least 75% to 80%.”
3. How do you get reliable feedback from customers? V2i has had a customer survey program in place since 1993, but it really has gained momentum only in the past two or three years as word has spread of V2i’s ability to generate return rates averaging 65% and greater. How? The company customizes a booklet that it sends through priority mail to its customers’ customers. The booklet includes a list of customer satisfaction questions and asks recipients to call in at a time convenient to them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Using the feedback it acquires, V2i then sends out a second booklet, “You Spoke, We Listened, We’re Responding.” This booklet outlines the top three to five problems customers raised in answer to the customer satisfaction questions and what the company is doing about them. About three months later, customers receive a third booklet, “Action Status,” that details what has been done to solve the problems raised in the surveys. Boeing is in its fifth year of doing these surveys and now gets about an 80% response rate, Tippetts says.