How Academic Work optimized their sales process improving all sales metrics
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Academic Work Finland
Recruitment and Staffing
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.
Head of Sales at Academic Work Finland
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.
Vainu has made us see the value of unique data points that help us be more relevant than our competitors. We already know how we add value for our customers, but the timing has been a hard nut to crack–that’s where Vainu comes in and gives us good prospects to contact at the right time.
Vainu is clearly the best comparable software I've ever used. In less than one month our investment reached positive ROI, and in less than 9 months we gained 350 new customers – all of them practically from Vainu.
At the beginning of the year we recruited three new sales reps to solely search for new business and they have closed new deals worth 5 million euros with the help of Vainu.
When we get a scent of a customer, we are fast to react and use the data from Vainu to tailor an offer to fit the particular customer and their current situation.
We were impressed by the Vainu playbook and the atmosphere at the Academy. We listened carefully, and think it was an excellent idea to take part in this.
Vainu has been the right solution for us. What Vainu excels at is consolidating all the necessary company information in one place.
All our sales prospecting in Finland, Sweden and Norway is done through Vainu and our employees are nuts about it! Everyone uses Vainu and it is a part of the onboarding process of every new salesperson.
Earlier I could have spent a whole afternoon finding a list of 100 prospects. With Vainu, I'm able to get the list instantaneously with a few clicks.
We've grown 300% year-to-year so far, and without Vainu, it would have impossible to do that.
Previously our salespeople could spend a whole day on prospecting. Now all that's needed to get the same job done is one search in Vainu. We find better prospects while spending a staggering 90 percent less time on prospecting.
Vainu is a genuinely useful tool. I've recommended it to many colleagues in other companies, and many of them have chosen Vainu.
Our transformation was about establishing a crystal clear goal and a routine for our sales. The insights provided by Vainu's data are inseparable from our sales process and fundamental for the team's success every day.
Our first call resolution has gone up from 75% to around 90%. Also, our contact volume has gone down about 20%, and our net benefit can be counted in millions by the end of the year. And we’re just getting started.
I think it's fantastic that Vainu develops continuously and I think there are many ways of using Vainu that neither party has yet realized.
Soon after starting to use Vainu, we won a public tender which translated into a large deal. The fact that we were even involved in a deal like this gave us enough reason to count the yearly investment of Vainu as profitable. We would never have been part of this deal without Vainu.
I've acquired several new accounts by simply following the reports of new companies from Vainu. In this business, being the first is being the winner!"
When we're managing a significant customer portfolio either in terms of the number of customers or the value, Vainu helps us prioritize them and focus our efforts on the ones that matter the most right now. Vainu's notifications help us find new opportunities to do business.
When data moves automatically between different systems without manual work, it does not only make our work easier but improves our sales results.
Vainu enables us to use our time and energy more wisely. Our business figures are heading in a positive direction, and Vainu supports our journey.
Our time spent on prospecting has decreased by 67% from what it was before Vainu. It is now extremely easy to identify the companies with many open positions who are already using other SaaS technologies.
What's really good about Vainu, is that you can find companies that aren't that visible everywhere - hidden gems! Those are also easier to close because they haven't been contacted that heavily. For 95% of prospects that we're looking for it's much much faster with Vainu.
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