Managing a 300+ team across 20 countries
Leading any size of sales team is a challenge. But when your operation comprises 300+ sales employees across 20 countries—as it does for M Square Media (MSM)—that challenge takes on a whole new level of complexity.
Head of Strategy for MSM Unify, Avinav Sharma, explains, “Managing a large, international sales team comes with unique challenges, such as maintaining clear communication, ensuring efficient collaboration, and providing personalized support to individual team members.”
Avinav knew he could get more from his team, but MSM didn’t have the right technologies in place. Legacy systems and painfully manual processes affected team productivity, blocked efficient collaboration, and limited the company’s ability to scale.
Tracking sales performance manually
MSM needed to track the performance and productivity of their sales team to identify issues, help the team hit their goals, and ultimately increase revenue.
But it was an onerous task with the tools they had in place. They relied on spreadsheets and manual reporting to track individual and team performance across metrics such as emails sent, meetings scheduled, and deals closed.
“This approach didn’t provide us with real-time insights, and it was difficult to identify specific bottlenecks in our sales processes,” says Avinav. “Consequently, we were unable to make data-driven decisions for optimizing our sales strategies.”
Scheduling meetings across time zones
Manual meeting scheduling also created inefficiencies and decreased the sales team’s productivity.
Often, MSM needed to coordinate the schedules of multiple people—spanning a 16-hour time zone difference—for meetings to happen. Emails and WhatsApp messages bounced around the world before anything could be scheduled.
“Scheduling meetings was like a game of hide and seek, with people asking, ‘Are you available this Monday? Are you available this Friday? Are you available next Wednesday?’ There was so much friction in the process,” says Avinav.
Manual processes killing productivity
These manual processes wasted time and distracted the sales team from their goals.
“It was killing the team’s productivity,” says Avinav. “If I saw an issue and asked the team why productivity was going low, they’d tell me, ‘Oh, sir, I've been handling this spreadsheet or entering this data manually, because there are no efficient tools available.’”
Avinav’s own productivity was also impacted. He spent almost 20% of his time digging through data to identify actionable insights about his team.
“I had to go through a lot of spreadsheets, run around different time zones, and run around to different teams,” says Avinav.
Struggling to coordinate prospect outreach
With their global team and disparate tools, MSM also struggled to align sales, marketing, and customer relationship teams and coordinate their communications with prospects.
“Our outreach was sometimes fragmented,” says Avinav. “The disorganization caused by siloed systems made it difficult to maintain a consistent follow-up process, track our interactions with prospects, and gain insights into the effectiveness of our sales strategies.”
Coordinating a global sales team with Sales Hub
MSM set about finding a powerful sales CRM and quickly zeroed in on Sales Hub. At first, MSM considered a Professional subscription, but with their large and growing team, the Enterprise version was the perfect fit.
“We agreed on the Enterprise edition of HubSpot because I wanted the best and highest-level solution for our teams,” says Avinav. “Our goal was to move from a traditional spreadsheet business to become a tech-driven and tech-enabled business, built for more scale and success.”
Onboarding was surprisingly easy and disruption-free, particularly given the size and complexity of their team.
With support from a dedicated HubSpot expert, they uploaded 60,000 data entries to the new platform, upskilled the entire team through online training, and had a fully fledged CRM solution in place in less than two months.
Consolidated data and insights
Sales Hub made tracking and analyzing team performance fast and seamless for Avinav and other managers.
“I can easily track meetings and emails that sales teams have with prospects and clients, which are the two important KPIs,” he says. “By tracking these KPIs, we can continuously assess our sales efforts and make improvements where needed.”
Avinav also measures productivity by tracking the number of leads generated, conversion rates, deals closed, average deal size, and sales cycle length.
Incredibly, he’s cut the time he spends on data-related activities from 20% to just 5% of his time.
“Now, I spend my time reading the data and making decisions based upon that data rather than wasting time chasing it down,” he says. “It has freed up my time—and other team members—to focus on pure business goals.”
Collaborating globally with ease
Scheduling meetings is also faster and more efficient. Team members have their calendars synced on HubSpot, giving visibility into availability. They can schedule meetings instantaneously, without playing email ping-pong.
The meetings themselves are also more efficient thanks to HubSpot. With granular, real-time data at hand, teams have concrete numbers on which to base their discussions and make better decisions.
“What we can do in a 30-minute power meeting now used to take us one and a half hours,” says Avinav. “Everyone stays productive.”
Aligning sales and marketing operations
Sales Hub was such a success, MSM also chose to implement Marketing Hub. By having sales and marketing on the same platform, MSM can align the two teams and deliver a more cohesive customer journey.
By implementing Marketing Hub, MSM was able to eliminate 10 disconnected tools, saving on costs while consolidating data.
“Our marketing and digital content creation teams come from Canada, India, Philippines, and UK. Now, all of them work through Marketing Hub,” says Avinav.
Generating higher-quality leads
The marketing team is contributing to the growth in meetings booked and deals closed by funneling higher-quality leads to sales. MSM uses HubSpot to track, evolve, and constantly improve their marketing campaigns.
Avinav estimates that before HubSpot, “as an organization we were converting about 3% of generated leads. Now, we’re converting a staggering 15%!”
He adds, “Our campaigns have become more targeted, focused, effective, and efficient—and tracking them has become easier.”
More time to generate new revenue
With the time saving gained with the HubSpot platform, Avinav has been freed up to innovate three new, revenue-driving products for MSM in the past 12 months.
“As an executive—and strategy professional—I can utilize my free time to think and innovate in ways that bring more revenue to the organization,” he says. “The three products we have scaled so far are likely to generate multi-million dollar deals for the business in the coming years.”
Avinav believes HubSpot is an essential tool for any sales leader managing very large and sophisticated teams.
“HubSpot enables me to have a comprehensive view of the entire sales pipeline and monitor the performance of individual team members. I can also identify trends, address bottlenecks and make data-driven decisions to improve our sales strategies,” says Avinav.