The highest performing technology companies trace their success back to the fact that they base their business decisions in hard data. But, all of the data in the world can’t help if it’s not organized, analyzed, and acted upon.
A major technology services association, the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA), was collecting a lot of data on their customers and industry through paper surveys.
While they knew their data was valuable, the limitations of their survey distribution method and workflow inefficiencies meant they weren’t able to use it effectively.
Not to mention that, as an organization that often provides recommendations for enterprise-level software to others, TSIA has a particularly high standard for value, flexibility, usability, and data-processing power.
They found their solution with enterprise-level survey software.
By combining Alchemer and Salesforce, they increased member retention by 10% and prospect conversions by 5%.
This is how they did it.
4 Challenges of Dispersed Survey Data
Every business faces their own unique set of challenges. But despite a wide range of causes, the results of these challenges are the same; they sap productivity and reduce efficiency.
TSIA is an industry leading professional network. They set the example for a diverse field of technology movers, shakers, and leaders.
To serve their members and partners, TSIA can’t settle for software solutions that are “just okay.” They needed a flexible system that will grow and adapt to their needs, especially when it comes to collecting, analyzing, presenting, and acting on data about their audience.
Frustrated with their current workflow, TSIA sat down as a team and identified their four major challenges as:
- Missed connections between customer pipeline and Salesforce
- Struggles to communicate effectively within and between departments
- Missing out on growth opportunities
- Neglected prospects
For TSIA, many of their challenges were the result of inefficient workflow. Their current processes just weren’t fulfilling the needs of the team as a whole.
It was clear that they didn’t need lots of little quick fixes. Instead, what they were looking for was one holistic solution to accomplish their goals and better serve their members.
In particular, one of their biggest challenges was keeping prospect and member information up to date, so that the sales team could communicate effectively and provide value during their conversations.
They were happy using Salesforce as their current CRM platform, but found that it was difficult to keep profiles updated.
For the content team, they were churning out in-depth research, but they wondered if the topics they chose were really what their audience needed.
When they turned to the profiles logged in their CRM, they ran into the same problem as the sales team; profiles were not always updated with new information.
The technology services industry changes quickly. Their CRM couldn’t lag behind. They needed a streamlined system for maintaining up-to-the-minute data.
Getting the Most From What’s Already Working
Once they decided enough was enough, the team got to work researching and developing a solution.
First, they identified what was working for them:
- Sales team was happy with their current CRM, Salesforce
- Processes were already in place to add members and prospects to Salesforce
- Paper questionnaires sent to prospects and members delivered insightful data
Their goal was not to replace the tools they already had, but rather to augment their tools and streamline their processes to ensure that they were getting the most out of these tools.
Imagining the Ideal Data Collection Tool
After identifying what worked and what did not, TSIA developed a wish list of features and capabilities that they wanted.
This list included:
- Automate the process of sharing questionnaires with members and prospects alike
- Identify where a customer or prospect is in the pipeline when they are completing the questionnaire
- Create an electronic questionnaire to augment their current pen-and-paper solution
- Automate the syncing of completed questionnaires with Salesforce
- Populate new cases automatically
- Easily share completed questionnaires and updated data with the sales team
Not only were they committed to reaching all of these goals, as lofty as they may seem, but whatever solution they came up with had to be easy for their customers and sales team to use, have no learning curve, and be affordably priced.
After trying a few different software systems, TSIA found that Alchemer did all of this and more.
Let’s look at just one of their successful projects that was implemented after their Alchemer adoption.
TSIA Case Study: Initiatives Mapping Questionnaire (IMQ)
The TSIA leadership team had a question. What are the biggest business challenges our members and prospects’ face?
To answer this question, TSIA decided to go right to the source. They developed and emailed the first Initiatives Mapping Questionnaire (IMQ) to their audience.
While they collected important data from their questionnaire, there were problems. The original was a static word document sent as an email attachment.
Completing the questionnaire was inconvenient to potential respondents, lowering response rates. For those who did respond, their answers had to be manually inputted into TSIA’s CRM, forcing the team to spend their valuable time and resources on data entry, when they could have been acting on the feedback instead.
TSIA also found that it was difficult to find insights in the data they collected.
To identify trends, they needed to look at all responses together, but the Word document format made this prohibitively time consuming and difficult.
Fortunately, there was a better way.
Transitioning to Online Surveys
Moving from paper to an electronic survey solution was the first step.
Integrating their survey software with Salesforce automated many of the most time consuming aspects of surveying, as well as updating their customer and prospect lists.
Now, sales representatives, member success managers, and research executives are all on the same page. They’re empowered with an up-to-the-minute log of the top issues affecting each prospect and member.
This information isn’t just good-to-know for TSIA.
As René Grossrieder, senior VP of Global Membership and Partner Development says, “The IMQ is a powerful tool that enables the Sales team to have engaged briefings and position TSIA’s value to each prospect.”
Measurable Results for the Tech Services Industry
The main benefit of moving the IMQ online is that it has positively affected their bottom line.
Being better informed about industry needs has resulted in a 5% increase in win rate for prospects who have taken the new, improved IMQ.
Now that sales team is well prepared when they engage with prospects, they’re able to offer tools, service, and counsel that are targeted and personalized for what each prospect cares about and needs.
For the member success team, the benefits are even more profound.
The improved IMQ system keeps TSIA up to date on the actual needs of their members, which has resulted in a tailored list of new content that addresses frustrations and challenges within the industry. TSIA is then able to connect members directly with the resources they need to improve their business practices.
First year accounts who completed an IMQ have a 10% higher renewal rate than those who do not.
This is a boon not just for sales and marketing. It’s good for the business at large.
Emmet and Mark Murphy’s study, “Leading on the Edge of Chaos” reveals that a 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%.
A 10% higher renewal rate equals big returns for TSIA, which in turn gives them more resources with which to help their members.
The Magic of Integrating Alchemer and Salesforce
TSIA found the flexible, powerful, affordable tool they needed in Alchemer. By integrating with Salesforce and adding additional capabilities with Alteryx (REST API) and Tableau, their clunky, inefficient processes are now sleek, fast, and largely automated.
Here is just a sampling of what Alchemer has helped TSIA automate:
- Organizing multiple email templates created in Salesforce
- Sending survey invitations from the Contact record
- Appending unique Salesforce contact IDs to the Alchemer share link for each IMQ survey sent
- Auto-populating known information in surveys sent to members and known prospects
- Automatically creating and updating lead and member profiles
- Tracking a survey respondent’s position within the sales funnel
What Can Alchemer Do For You?
This only scratches the surface of what integrating Alchemer with your CRM software can do for increasing productivity and return measurable results.
What’s more, Salesforce is not the only service that we integrate with. For a full list, see our integrations in our Help Documentation.