Needless to say, it’s been a crazy year, but we got through it together. Now more than ever, we want to thank all our Agents for trusting Innovative to be their Master Agent. Thanks to our dedicated and hard-working Agents, Innovative Business Solutions was able to pull off a record-breaking year. For the 5th year in a row we continued to be one of Inc. 50000 fastest growing companies in the US. So join us as we recap our shared 2020 success with Shane Fugazy, Gina Standlee, and Matt Marshall from our Executive Team.
Innovative’ s themes for 2020 were automation, evolution, and improvement upon our established processes. Integrating CableFinder into our ecosystem has been a huge win for us this year. The tool has really helped our Agents win more deals than ever before, as well as enable teams to automate and simplify processes.
Outside of new tools and technology, the main difference between our success and other Master Agent’s is the way we can support our Agents. According to Shane Fugazy, Vice President of Sales and Equity-Owner at Innovative, “A change in approach this year, has been one of the biggest wins for Innovative. Once COVID hit, we recognized the need to focus on enabling Agents in different ways. Selling changed and the ways in which opportunities were discovered, solved, and transacted was absolutely altered. Simply offering “the best back office” was not enough. We had to empower our Agents with what their businesses needed individually. We understand that we don’t live in a one-size-fits-all world and we give our Agents options on how they’d like to sell and be supported.” Our teams are here to help coordinate for you, behind you, or beside you.
Speaking of teams, we’ve doubled our internal headcount this year! There have been a few promotions and job title changes as well that leverage our internal team’s strengths to provide our Agents with a better overall experience. We realize investing in our Agents is vital. They’re more than just sales and numbers at Innovative – they are the key component to our overall business success.
Commissions keep everyone’s doors open, and as a small business ourselves, we understand how crucial it is to receive accurate, on-time payments. Innovative will proactively dispute commissions on behalf of our Agents. That’s right, we’ll even do it without being prompted! We constantly have a pulse on our commissions through RPM automation, and manual review of every commission. We encourage all our Agents to take advantage of this and to do the same. “This year alone, we have proactively disputed over 6,000 orders which has so far resulted in almost $100,000 in Agent commissions recovered,” details Mathew Marshall, our Manager of Business Intelligence and Compensation.
Gina Standlee, Innovative’ s Vice President of Operations, joined the team this year in early March. Having previously come from an extensive background in telecom and operations, Gina was quickly able to implement the solutions we needed to define our operational processes and provide our Agents with a better experience as we grew. According to Gina, “The main goals for 2020 were twofold – refresh our processes and improve our overall pipeline management.” Along with these goals, Gina has transformed our operations by re-defining internal roles, creating dedicated paths from pre- to post-sales support, and documenting these processes to ensure Agent success as we continue to grow.
“From signature to install we now have enhanced parameters, SLA’s, and status updates established to maximize our install success. All of these changes were crucial to successfully manage our pipeline. The results are reflected in the dramatic increase in install percentages, increase in revenue, and overall reduction of aging in the pipeline,” says Gina. As a Master Agent, we really have done a great job diversifying to ensure there is a path for every opportunity that comes our way. As we look towards next year, the Innovative team is defining measurable metrics to evaluate the overall operational performance that we can internally use as a measurement of success and build upon from an operations point of view.
Stay tuned for December’s blog post where we’ll be sharing more of our goals and how they’ll positively impact our Agent community next year.