This post is part of an occasional series on the AppExchange as Salesforce.com celebrates the seventh anniversary of its launch. The series will focus on some of the most interesting AppExchange applications of the last year.
The TAS Group is anything but an emerging company and its Salesforce Platform native sales solutions are powerful tools for enterprise sales teams trying to improve. This company has focused on sales methods and has been affiliated with Salesforce for many years. But more than simply providing a paper-based sales methodology, TAS leverages predictive modeling based on data contained in its knowledge base — and in Salesforce — to coach people through their sales processes and help to make better forecasts.
TAS AppExchange products are found under the TAS Dealmaker brand and include, Smart Opportunity Manager, Smart Account Manager and Smart Playbook and Forecast. TAS carries on a theme from other successful companies in this series by leveraging predictive modeling to greatly improve what has historically been a manual process.
There’s nothing more manual than managing a pipeline full of sales opportunities and determining next steps or forecasting which deals will close. For many years sales people have succeeded with manual systems in part because there have been so many opportunities that, usually, there were enough to make quota no matter what happened in a particular deal. But in a tough economy with intense competition, sales teams have learned they can’t just “wing it” they need to be able to prove the value of their propositions and that often means adherence to processes geared to demonstrating that value. This is where predictive modeling comes in.
There are three major advantages to the TAS predictive modeling approach over paper methods and simple rules based systems. First, TAS has captured data about hundreds of thousands of sales processes which it has used to develop its knowledge base. Using its patented coaching engine TAS Dealmaker can access this knowledge base full of past sales cycles and make predictions about current processes.
Second, by capturing relevant data about each sales process from Salesforce, Dealmaker can build probability models that coach a sales person or manager in the specific instance. This provides added confidence that a deal will advance to the next step in the process or close or to a determination that the deal it is not ready to move ahead.
Finally, TAS Dealmaker solutions operate at a level beyond simple rules. A rules based solution might recommend that a sales person perform a particular action or behavior sequentially regardless of what conditions are present. That might sound like a good idea, but it’s a one-size-fits-all approach that does not take into account the variables presented by a particular deal or sales person. But, using its predictive modeling engine to coach sales people, Dealmaker takes into account all of the variables of the particular sales process before making its recommendation. By tailoring its recommendations, TAS helps its customers to improve sales results.
The Dealmaker suite uses Salesforce data and as most people know, users can add data fields to their Salesforce instances to provide more fields that are diagnostic of their sales processes. Dealmaker works with the TAS knowledge base when it is first deployed but quickly assembles data from a particular company’s people and processes through Salesforce CRM, refining its models as it goes along so that in a short time its rules have adjusted and its predictions are incredibly accurate. The result is more accurate forecasts, better close rates and improved revenue flow.
The TAS Group is based in Seattle with offices in Atlanta, Dublin and Reading UK.