My name is Steve Monroe, I’m the director of Sales Operations for Meridian Software.Meridian is a supplier of enterprise software and professional services, so we not only sell software, but we help our customers create an environment for safety and planning of facilities and equipment and management, along with emergency systems and reporting.
Why did Meridian need a sales methodology?
We have a very complex product, very complex setup products, and our customers are actually quite large multinationals involving large groups of people, so the sales process can take a great deal of time, over a year in many cases. The environment is complicated, the product is complicated, so we needed a really good structure in our sales and really all the way back to the marketing of our products, lead generation all the way through the final sales process, to bring it all together and make for an organized environment, to make sure, in a sense,all the boxes are checked, and the process is moving in a nice organized manner to a complete sales engagement.
How has SPI’s approach helped?
Well, it has helped us put together a nice format, not just in software, the software is very elegant and nicely formatted, but it also defines the process for the sales organization, so that the sales account executive, if you will, knows the steps to follow, there’s a check process they can go through to make sure that they’re reaching each gain, and each gain is completed. But then also for folks like myself to go back and verify that the process has been completed accurately, and we’re moving in a long and organized manner, and we’re not rushing to the point of trying to close the deal before really ready to.
How is SPI a partner?
Spi has been a great partner, always there with loads of resources, the website, the blogs, the information that gets pushed out to us is very valuable. As we’re mature customers it’s great to get that information available to us, after our system has been configured and our processes evolved and rolled out, it’s great refresher tools. So, we always had information in our fingertips, I’m relatively new to the process myself so I’ve been using all the other information that SPI provides to get myself up to speed in a nice organized manner, at my own convenience, so, very easy to access the information from SPI in many ways.
How has the process and training been received?
The sales team is actually fairly mature in our organization, loads of folks who had sales training in other areas, so the SPI training has been very complimentary, helped bring everything back together, organized some different skills set, different level of skills in our organization to get everybody out to the same level in the same platform. Then, as we bring new people on, the SPI organization and their materials are always there for us to create a good onboarding process, so our on boarding process is tightly integrated with the SPI tools to make sure that the new people are doing the same things as the people who have been on-board for many years.
What benefits have you realized?
I think just the fact that our forecasting has become much more accurate has been a tremendous help for our management team, it ensures us that the numbers in our forecast are valid, are documented and we’re sure that things don’t slip from quarter to quarter unnecessarily, it has really helped us in that sense, in validating the numbers that were expecting going forward in time, but it also helped us with things like win-loss analysis, so we can go back and look at the processes that were followed, the documents that were posted to the system, it helped us understand why we won and where we loss and we can improve our processes.
How valuable was the client conference?
The summit has been tremendous, so again, from my own perspective, somebody that’s new to the process a bit, it’s given me a chance to talk to some really tremendous organization like hp, Avnet, and the more sophisticated user and customers of SPI, to really learn best practices so, not just in the sessions during the day but to socialize afterwards had been very useful, where I can learn best practices and get some really good secrets that people would put into the process and into play. So, it surely brought together kind of the best of all the worlds into one form here.