Tri-State has been providing complete truck sales and leasing as well as parts, and service in the USA for over 70 years, sales-i’s sales performance software has transformed their business with up to date information about their customers.
- 75+ years in business
- 250 employees
- 9 locations over the U.S.
Tri-State Mack began trading in 1945, selling Class-8 trucks, with just seven employees in tow.
Tri-State Truck Center Inc. is now a fourth generation family business with over 250 employees spread across 9 locations in Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri and Mississippi.
Tri-State has expanded their offering over time and now provide complete truck sales and leasing as well as parts, and service. They are an authorized dealer of Mack, Volvo and International products.
The trucking industry is a competitive market, with the number of competitors constantly increasing; “Approximately 80% of parts, regardless of make are available after market. In such a competitive marketplace, it’s easy for someone to steal your business before you realize it,” Tina Rollins, Corporate Parts Manager at Tri-State told us.
“Wasting time means losing money.” So, the fact Tri-State was spending up to two weeks every month analyzing data from various CRM systems and reports using Excel, pivot tables and vlook ups was a waste of time and resource in such a competitive environment.
Tri-State has 9 parts managers and 18 outside sales team representatives, all of which have their own data and their own way of working. The lack of a single CRM system for all to use meant “it was impossible to see a clear picture of what was happening within a market, and made it impossible to ask our salesman to remember everything. You can’t hold someone accountable if they don’t have the proper tools.”
Tri-State’s previous CRM systems were also quite limited in what they allowed the user to do. Tina could see how an individual customer was doing, but could not break down the performance of how various customers, products, salespeople and territorial areas were doing.
Tri-State needed a CRM system that “could connect the dots and could drill down a million feet and not just a hundred.”
One summers’ day, Tina answered a call from a sales-i advisor, informing her of the benefits of the sales-i system. She instantly liked the sound of what she heard and asked for a demo; she liked what she saw, too.
“It was quick, easy to use, all the data was in one place and I liked the fact that Parts Managers and our sales staff could use it without having to be an expert at Excel.”
“sales-i ticked all the boxes, it provided an all-in-one sales solution.”
"sales-i ticked all the boxes, it provided an all-in-one sales solution. It's given us the tools to see the big picture."
Tina Rollins, Corporate Parts Manager
Since introducing sales-i in the summer of 2016, Tri-State Truck Center, Inc. has noticed various improvements.
“Without delay sales-i helped identify areas and products that our sales team hadn’t been strong at selling. This lead to additional training with vendors so they could better understand the products and subsequently sell more.”
“sales-i has given us the tools to see the big picture.”
The Parts Managers have been getting impressive benefits from their use of an area of sales-i called Campaigns: “It gives our salespeople all the information they could need at their fingertips,” making each team member more efficient and effective.
“They can now see who isn’t buying as many drums or batteries as they used to and straightaway can schedule a call or meeting to see these customers and understand why this is.”
“Every sales visit now has a purpose. No more need to talk about fishing, hunting, football – sales-i constantly identifies precise areas of what needs to be talked about.”
After a customer meeting, Tri-State’s Parts Managers expressed that they liked the ability for their salespeople to record their notes in sales-i after the meeting and email them to their managers, whilst on the move and out of the office.
This keeps the Parts Managers constantly up-to-date with how their sales teams are doing, negating the need to set up progress update meetings, which saves everyone time and has led to a faster company response rate.
At the top level, Tina was thankful of the ability to run smarter, automated reports, which gave a more in-depth analysis where required. The ease-of-use and ability to produce reports so quickly means she can take action in any needing improvement quickly rather than waiting two weeks to pull all relevant data together, which, by the time it has been collated, is out of date.
“In a competitive market we are fighting to keep business at the moment. Our customers’ % spend may be dropping but we are keeping their business and sales–i has played a big role in that.”
“Key wins are that the managers can see what’s going on with their sales guys and the sales guys can see what’s going on with their customers. This takes away any “I don’t know” excuses, gives more transparency and sets up the whole company to perform well.”
Further to this, Tina believes the implementation of sales-i has put in place “a foundation for building a team that feels better about the company, as they feel more supported in every aspect.”
For Tri-State, the sales-i journey has only just begun. Tina and the team wish to grow their sales-i knowledge by using it more and more every day, spreading sales-i further internally to the 25-30 counter people Tri-State employ.
“We’ll take this chunk by chunk, not all at once”, sales-i’s ‘at your own pace’ training workshops are another positive for Tina and the team.
“You only have one shot to get implementation right with your sales teams. If you don’t give them an effective and efficient tool to help them grow their business, they are not going to see the benefit”
Tina would recommend sales-i 100% and the workshops too: “if you don’t take part in a workshop then you are setting your sales guys up to fail. If they think the system is too hard to use or you can’t answer a question they have then they will lose faith before you even get started. ‘The sales-i customer success workshops have made us more successful’.”
Moving onwards, Tina has said she can already see the benefits of sales-i when it comes to staff turnover too. If there’s a change in personnel, any new Outside Sales employee can see contact details, notes, what’s been brought/not brought, opportunities and more, giving them the immediate knowledge they need to hit the ground running.