At cloud networking company BlueCat Networks, enterprise deals are often nurtured over several months. But every minute counts for sales reps. Submitting support tickets and waiting for replies takes time away from chasing leads, engaging with prospects and pushing deals across the finish line.
Enter the sales operations team. Derek Lilliman, a sales operations analyst at BlueCat, and his colleagues are tasked with supporting a sales organization of more than 100 people, including account executives, solution architects and account managers. Lilliman is always looking for ways to optimize the critical systems that sustain the company’s sales processes and ultimately drive revenue.
So when he noticed support requests from sales professionals coming in from all corners of the company, some via Slack channel, others over direct message and still others by email, he sensed an opportunity to pull everything together in one streamlined, trackable helpdesk: Halp.
BlueCat had been using Slack as its digital sales floor for several years. By introducing the Halp app for Slack, Lilliman met reps where they were already working, allowing them to seamlessly submit queries without breaking their stride, and gather invaluable data as a result.
“We’ve reduced the number of times that reps are following up on internal requests so they can get back to selling faster.”
Resolving issues faster so reps can get back to selling
Prior to adopting Slack and Halp, routine tasks such as changing the opportunity or account owner on a Salesforce record required a multi-step process. “When you’re getting a lot of requests, even if they are simple ones, those steps add up and take up a lot of time,” Lilliman says.
Now the process is automated. After a rep submits a request in
#sales-ops, a sales operations team member adds a ticket emoji, which automatically creates a ticket and loops in the requestor’s manager to approve the change. Once the request is complete, Lilliman’s team uses a check mark emoji to close it out. “The workflow has eliminated a lot of the back-and-forth,” Lilliman says. “The issue is resolved more quickly so everyone can get back to focusing on the important things.”
Moving queries out of email and into Slack and Halp allows reps to source their own answers. Rather than asking questions that have already been addressed, reps can simply use Slack’s search functionality to pull up relevant information. “Having answers visible in the channel has reduced the number of requests we receive,” Lilliman says. “It also makes our replies very consistent and accurate.”
Halp’s integration with Slack allows the sales operation team to learn from the feedback that comes through
#sales-ops. By reviewing issues in Halp, the team can adjust their responses based on similar tickets rolling in—which is beneficial when the company implements a new process or sales tool.
“With Slack and Halp, we’ve made sales reps’ lives a lot easier and processes a lot quicker.”
Routing support requests to the right person
When tickets are sent to the wrong person, sales reps can spend days waiting for a resolution. This is especially problematic when reps need answers fast to move a deal forward. Case in point: The sales operations team frequently receives questions intended for the company’s Deal Desk, which handles complex, high-value negotiations.
“Before Slack and Halp, you had to @mention someone and hopefully it’s the right person,” Lilliman says. “If it’s not, that creates further delays. The whole process took forever.”
Lilliman and his colleagues simply add the correct team’s emoji, and the request is automatically routed to the corresponding queue. “With Halp, it’s super easy to make sure the request goes to the right team,” Lilliman says.
The visibility of Slack and Halp ensures that requests don’t slip through the cracks, especially across time zones. If a rep in Japan submits a request at 4 in the morning, someone on Lilliman’s team can follow up by assigning the ticket to the appropriate team once they’re online. “With Halp and Slack, we can see what’s come in overnight and assign it out within seconds,” Lilliman says.
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Making data-informed decisions to improve rep productivity
For years, sales operations had little insight into how the sales team was spending its time. Today sales ops has answers. Data from Halp’s categorized reports allows sales operations to identify poor user experiences and repetitive tasks that stall salespeople so the team can improve them.
For instance, many sales reps hit a snag when it came to closing out opportunities in the company’s CRM. It wasn’t intuitive. After receiving multiple requests regarding the same issue, Lilliman revamped the process to be more user-friendly.
“With Halp and Slack, I can answer questions like, ‘How many repetitive requests are we getting?’ ‘Where can I make improvements?’ ‘What’s the next project that I should be working on?’” Lilliman says. “That allows us to really home in on where we’re spending our time and where we need to make improvements.”
Halp and Slack have also been instrumental in guiding headcount planning when departments or employees are overwhelmed. For example, Lilliman’s colleague who manages order processing can show the head of sales operations a spike in tickets she’s receiving and ask for support. “Seeing that we have this many requests and we’re averaging this amount of time per ticket lets us know that we need more people,” Lilliman says.
Because Halp has saved Lilliman and his colleagues both time and frustration, he says they can’t imagine working without it today. “We could get by without Slack and Halp, but it would be a total mess and we’d miss a ton of data,” Lilliman says. “Let’s just say it wouldn’t be easy.”
- Turn direct messages or comments into tickets
- Customize forms to categorize requests
- Answer and edit tickets from Slack
- Route tickets to the right team or manager
- Search and filter tickets directly in Slack