Visibility, Flexibility and Relationships Make Pipeliner CRM a Must for Tenaska MarketingMarketing Marketing is the field, set of actions, or practice of making a product or service desirable to a target consumer segment, with the ultimate aim of effecting a purchase. Ventures

Tenaska Marketing Ventures (TMV) is more than just a natural gas market maker. As the leading physical natural gas marketer in the U.S., TMV is proud of its reputation for reliability, stability, and an unwavering commitment to customerCustomer Customer is an individual or an organization that purchases a product or signs up for a service offered by a business. service. Operating as the natural gas marketing arm of Tenaska, a private independent energy company based in Omaha, Nebraska, TMV connects natural gas producers and buyers, as well as local distributors, utilities, and other market participants.

The most significant benefit that Pipeliner CRM has brought to TMV deals is cross-company communication.

“The main benefit of the new system is the increased transparency of our dataData Data is a set of quantitative and qualitative facts that can be used as reference or inputs for computations, analyses, descriptions, predictions, reasoning and planning. and processes,” said Kathleen McClung, Director of TMV’s
business intelligence team. “We can now collaborate more effectively across teams, regions and accounts, as we have a single source of truth for all our information. This has improved the quality and consistency of our work and enhanced our communication with each other.”

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Pipeliner CRM transforms Tenaska Marketing Ventures’ operations by unlocking seamless cross-company communication and unparalleled flexibility.

CRM Requirements

TMV serves a wide range of customers and needed a CRM platform that could adapt to specific needs and offer tailored solutions.

We were looking for the best CRM system for our business. We had a database for management reporting, but it was not userUser User means a person who uses or consumes a product or a service, usually a digital device or an online service. friendly or interactive. Our end users could not edit the data directly. They sent us spreadsheets with updates, and we imported them into our database. Then we used Tableau or Excel to visualize or export the data.”

McClung explained how they struggled to keep track of their current and potential customers as the business expanded across multiple regions and the company opened more office locations. “In person visits are highly encouraged and we had situations where we didn’t know that someone from our team had already contacted or visited a customer. We would hear things like, ‘Oh, another TMV person was here yesterday. I didn’t know that!’

We realized that we urgently needed a CRM solutionSolution Solution is a combination of ideas, strategies, processes, technologies and services that effectively helps an organization achieve its goals or hurdle its challenges. to coordinate, communicate and ensure we were fully optimizing our efforts.”

At one point, McClung and another team member were tasked with trying to build a CRM-like solution. “It wasn’t a CRM, but a solution that contained all the accounts, the people assigned to them, and the business being done with each one,” she said. As the demand for more types of information kept pouring in, McClung realized they were headed down the path of building a CRM and recommended to executive management that they identify CRM options on the market and evaluate them. McClung and team evaluated five different companies to determine the best solution.

The Pipeliner Decision

One crucial deciding factor on the CRM chosen was CRM maintenance and administration.

McClung was impressed by how easy it was to use Pipeliner CRM without any extra support. “TMV is a lean shop with just over 200 employees. We do a lot of business by building long-term relationships with customers, partnering with them on solutions and earning their loyalty. It’s amazing how much we achieve with a small team.”

We didn’t want to hire personnel just for managing the CRM, creating new screens, answering questions and training users.

McClung and the team found that Pipeliner CRM met these challenges—and more. “When we did our interview process, we had a matrix that scored the different vendors we interviewed. For the boxes that Pipeliner didn’t check, they told us that even though they may not have such-and-such functionality now, that’s not to say it’s not coming.”

Having the CRM developer work so cooperatively and closely with TMV is what eventually closed them on Pipeliner. “Tenaska and TMV are huge on personal relationships,” said McClung. “Meeting with Pipeliner’s people and the personal relationships was the final selling point for us. We could speak with our implementation manager, our productProduct Product refers to anything (an idea, item, service, process or information) that meets a need or a desire and is offered to a market, usually but not always at a price. manager or even the CEO anytime we wanted. Everyone is accessible and highly responsive. That was big for us”

Tenaska Marketing Ventures Case Study
Photo © Tenaska

Incredible Rollout and Benefit

Because of the COVID lockdown, TMV was forced to implement Pipeliner twice. Their first implementation was interrupted and minimized by COVID.

Once the pandemic ended, they picked up the implementation once again—with great results. “We rebooted Pipeliner in 2022, and functions have improved,” McClung said. “We’ve seen utilization increase tremendously. Our management is 100 percent behind it, and on top of that, Pipeliner has rolled out new features for us, such as the online forms we use for our event planning.”

Easy Administration

One of TMV’s first requirements for a CRM was ease of administration—and Pipeliner delivers.

The platform is incredibly user-friendly, catering to employees across the entire company with diverse roles and responsibilities, regardless of their technical backgrounds.

Sales Rep Adoption

Anyone who has ever implemented a CRM solution knows that getting users to record activities, opportunity progress, and manage their processes can be a constant challenge.

This has not been the case with TMV and Pipeliner CRM. “Initially, users felt like it was a bit overwhelming,” says McClung. “Any initial pushback was because we hadn’t implemented anything like it before. When I sat down one-on-one and explained how they could personally use Pipeliner CRM, it was extremely beneficial to our key users. They fully understood why we were using it and immediately recognized the benefits.”

“Getting everyone on board with using the feeds has made a huge difference,” McClung explained. “It has transitioned beyond mere quotaQuota Quota is a predefined benchmark indicating the amount of sales a selling unit such as a sales rep or a regional sales team should achieve within a given period, often used as a measure of success, performance and eligibility for commissions and other rewards. fulfillment; it now encompasses sharing valuable insights, such as recent conversations or coverage updates on accounts during absences. Pipeliner has become a genuine communication tool. Now that people see its value and use it this way, complaints have become few and far between.”

McClung emphasized that Pipeliner hasn’t necessarily replaced earlier communication. Instead, it has provided information they didn’t have before in a transparent and readily available format, such that communication is enhanced.

Pipeliner Recommendation

Not only would McClung highly recommend Pipeliner CRM to others, but she does so consistently. She just recommended it to another department within Tenaska.

McClung concludes by saying, “I recommend Pipeliner because it’s user-friendly, requires no administrative team, is customizable for our business, and makes data visible for everyone,”

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