How Academic Work optimized their sales process improving all sales metrics


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Academic Work Finland >


Recruitment and Staffing


Helsinki, Finland





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The company

Academic Work is a company that specialized in the recruitment and staffing of young professionals. Their goal is to increase their annual turnover to 100€ million by 2022, which requires well-functioning sales tools on top of a competent sales organization.

Academic Work began using Vainu in autumn 2014 when they used Vainu side by side with another prospecting tool by Fonecta. "We saw pretty quickly that everyone began using just Vainu. Well, it was quite unnecessary to pay for two, so we resigned the competitor. Our employees are nuts about Vainu!" Jukka Pulkkinen, Academic Work's Head of Sales reveals. With the help of Vainu, the salespeople at Academic Work find new and better prospects faster which has resulted in better converting meetings as well.

“All our sales prospecting in Finland, Sweden, and Norway is done through Vainu, and our employees are nuts about it! Vainu Analyzer, on the other hand, is an amazing tool for improving our salespeople’s prospect and customer portfolios. Everyone uses Vainu, and it’s a part of the onboarding process of every new salesperson.”

Jukka Pulkkinen

Head of Sales at Academic Work Finland

The solution

More efficient processing of prospect and customer portfolios

Besides faster and more productive sales prospecting, Academic Works uses Vainu Analyzer data visualization tool to improve the "processing" of salespeople's prospect and customer portfolios. "We aim at the most efficient processing of our industry. The idea is that every salesperson needs to be able to process 100% of their portfolio – this is especially important as we hire more and more employees and the size of one's portfolio diminishes," Pulkkinen shares and clarifies: "Every salesperson at Academic Work runs their portfolio through Vainu Analyzer once a quarter. Based on the data, they then drop those prospects they don't have time for and in which they don't feel sensible to invest time."

Vainu Analyzer is especially capitalized on the management level as Account Manager / Team Manager Timo Koiso-Kanttila explains: "I use Vainu Analyzer tool when we're analyzing the customer portfolios of my subordinates' and fine-tuning sales alignment. I've found Vainu Analyzer to be a terrific tool for this use case."

In Timo's own words, he has been active in using Vainu throughout his three-year Academic Work sales career. "In the beginning, my sales prospecting was heavily focused on finding new potential clients, which was extremely easy with the help of Vainu. Nowadays, when I've already accumulated an extensive customer portfolio, I use Vainu's static lists to follow what's going on with my clients, what kinds of projects they're having or going to have, and, based on this knowledge, when resourcing would be a current topic of discussion to them. With Vainu, I get good‑quality and up‑to‑date data to be at the right place at the right time."


The tactic has seemed to work as Academic Work Finland has grown its revenue in three years by 145%; in 2017, the turnover will increase by 55% and the revenue backlog by 98%. "Obviously, this isn't due to one factor alone, but Vainu has noticeably helped our growth," Pulkkinen states. Academic Work has over 50,000 log-ins, and at the point of the interview, there had been more than 60 unique users during the past week. "We've put all our eggs in one basket when it comes to sales prospecting – and that basket has Vainu's name on it. First, we tested the software in Finland, and now we have Sweden and Norway as well using Vainu. All our operating countries would like to have Vainu if only Vainu's sales intelligence platform would be available in the countries."

Less time for calling, more time for helping customers

Before Vainu, every fifth phone call led to a meeting, whereas currently, almost every third results in a meeting. On average Academic Work salespeople are conducting 25% more meetings than in 2014, resulting in deals 36% more often.

Vainu has been optimizing and improving the whole sales pipeline of Academic Work, bringing salespeople better and more current prospects. This has enabled them to use 17% less time in calling and instead focus on the essential: mapping out the needs of prospects and customers and helping them to overcome them. In theory, the improvements by Vainu in the hit rate of phone calls (50%) and meetings (36%) mean 70% more sales per person on average! The annual turnover has grown from the pre-Vainu era by 145%. Besides Vainu, the future success of Academic Work is based on their 12‑week accelerated learning training concept Academy and their free ATS platform Happo.

During the three years of customership, the salespeople at Academic Work have logged in to Vainu more than 50 000 times. When asked how well their sales tools work, 100% consider their current tools well-functioning. No wonder the use rate of Vainu is 100%: "Everyone uses Vainu, and it is a part of the onboarding process of every new salesperson," Pulkkinen concludes.

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