August 2, 2017

InsightSquared – Sales Analytics and Operations in the Modern Era

Analyzing data is a task every sales-driven company will have to partake in at some point. Having the right kinds of tools to automate this process will not only make things easier for its employees but will also create new understandings of a company’s sales processes and results.

One such company providing these tools is InsightSquared, founded in 2011 by Fred Shilmover, Samuel Clemens and Bryan Stevenson. The concept behind InsightSquared initially started while they were looking at the market of business intelligence at large.

Fred Shilmover, co-founder and CEO of InsightSquared
Fred Shilmover, co-founder and CEO of InsightSquared

“When we started. We found that some of the business intelligence software was written almost 30 years ago,” says Shilmover. “Essentially, lots of companies were still using Microsoft Excel.”

While Excel is great for companies who have data and quantitative analysts on staff, it’s unlikely that small and midsize businesses (SMBs) have these roles in-house. On the other end of the spectrum, larger companies need a business user to pull all of the analysis together, which requires a significant manual effort.

The founders started to take note of their advantage over the legacy business intelligence companies in the market. “We were able to start with a clean slate as a SaaS company born in the cloud,” Shilmover says. “This allowed us to think about how to address the key issues faced by our customers and what they needed from their sales data.”

InsightSquared’s products have always focused on helping companies leverage their sales data, but since starting the company, there’s been a significant change in terms of how sales teams are run today. The emergence of Sales Operations started to unfold, which has become a strategic area within companies to help them yield greater levels of sales efficiency and results.

InsightSquared is able to address the critical needs of Sales Operations by providing two major products. Tiles, which is InsightSquared’s pre-existing product, provides a library of over 80 ready to use sales reports and visuals which pull from a company’s Salesforce data. In October of 2016, InsightSquared launched their second product, called Slate. The new product is a full-service sales analytics solution which allows their customers to dig deeper into their data by creating custom reports.

InsightSquared product screenshot

These products have multiple benefits for high growth companies. For example, managers are able to coach business development representatives more effectively and help them ramp up faster.

Another benefit is pipeline management, wherein Shilmover compares sales leads to a head of lettuce. “You want to make as much salad as you can with that head of lettuce while it’s still fresh, just like sales leads” the CEO says.

Since the company’s founding, an abundance of clients has begun using InsightSquared’s products, including various Fortune 1000 companies and SMBs.

Similar to how their products have evolved, InsightSquared’s culture has also developed and matured for this 135 person company. It is not just about the perks but it is really about the company’s core values, which Shilmover describes as having a focus on diversity, along with a collaborative and competitive environment.

InsightSquared company culture
InsightSquared Halloween party!

Shilmover remembers a particular scenario at their yearly company kickoff, where the employees showcased their collaborative work ethic. “We had employees break off into groups and then write about our culture,” Shilmover says. “Everyone was very consistent and what was outlined was absolutely perfect.” The company has also works with TUGG and has raised money for the last three Boston Marathons, sponsoring ICW, Resilient Coders and Y2Y.

InsightSquared has grown into one of the Boston tech scene’s premier companies and is now hosting a yearly conference to bring the Sales Operations industry together.

On August 17th, Fenway Park will be the site of InsightSquared’s first annual Ramp conference. Along with holding workshops, the conference itself will feature keynote speakers from many different businesses. Some of the speakers include Jessica Kelman of Kraft Analytics Group and, Jon Hay, the Senior Manager of Business Analytics of the Boston Red Sox. The company is expecting over 200 guests to attend the conference.

Colin Barry is a contributor to VentureFizz. Follow him on Twitter @ColinKrash.

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