How a custom CRM integration helps Keysight improve sales pipeline management

Global electronics manufacturer Keysight builds products to test and measure various types of hardware and software, from oscilloscopes to network analyzers. Keysight provides design, emulation, and test services for industries including aerospace, telecommunications, defense and healthcare. It is ranked in Forbes' list of Top 5 America's Best Midsize Companies.

The challenge

Manual data entry led to inaccurate, out-of-sync sales pipeline data between Keysight and its partners.
Keysight uses Salesforce CRM to track and manage customer and sales data. However, for legal compliance reasons Keysight cannot give full access to its Salesforce data to its 3,000+ distributors and resellers. Instead, these channel partners use the Impartner platform to track and manage their customer relationships and sales opportunities.
With no automatic data sharing between Salesforce and Impartner, staff had to manually exchange data updates about the sales pipeline. This process was time-consuming, slow, and error-prone.
This data disconnect between Keysight's channel partner sales teams and regional sales teams had far-reaching implications. Updates on new activity related to sales opportunities that partners had registered often weren't fed back quickly or accurately. This led to mismatched financial projections and deal status info between Salesforce and Impartner.
Keysight's channel partners didn't always know if Keysight was following up on sales opportunities they had flagged, or if they'd been overlooked. The lack of accuracy and timeliness posed a risk to Keysight's relationships with its channel partners.
"These sales cycles are very long. There could be months & months of time before anything happens, and the longer that time extends, the more partner confidence can diminish. Some partners might assume that we let them lose an opportunity because we didn't work fast enough."
Although Impartner offered a way to automatically exchange data with Salesforce, this didn't meet Keysight's legal compliance re- quirements for safeguarding its data.
But Keysight's Program Manager of Channel Enablement, John Adams, didn't give up. After using Zato's automation platform to build other products requiring complex, secure integrations, he knew Zato could also help with the CRM data integration.

The solution

A highly secure, custom-built automation resolves Keysight's 'out-of-sync' pain and eliminates manual data entry.
Keysight and Zato Source built a bespoke automation system using Zato's flexible integration platform. Zato Source created a one-way synchronization between Salesforce and Impartner which provides the sales data updates needed, while complying fully with Keysight's legal requirements around data protection.
The new system automatically synchronizes relevant sales data between Salesforce and Impartner on an hourly basis. It also sends automatic email notifications to users about data changes in specified records, to help individuals keep track of particular deals and customers.

The outcome

A seamless sales data sync saves 1,000s of hours per year, improves user experience and strengthens partner relationships.
Keysight will fully launch the new automated sync process soon, once an initial data cleansing exercise is complete. Meanwhile, initial feedback from test users has been extremely positive, thanks to the significantly improved data accuracy, user-friendly interface, and automated notifications.
Once the automated sync is fully up and running, John anticipates Keysight will save 40 hours daily - or 10,400 hours annually - by freeing up all account managers worldwide from manual data processing. Keysight partners will also gain efficiency savings from no longer checking and chasing for updated sales pipeline information.
Keysight is also expecting important qualitative benefits that contribute to improved business outcomes. Freeing up channel account managers from manual data processing tasks will reduce overall team stress and allow greater focus on higher-value tasks. And having reliable, accurate data fortifies working relationships between Keysight and its partners.
"We now have operational efficiency because everything stays in sync. Account managers have fewer data migration tasks and can focus on more profitable tasks. And partners will start to see positive, timely changes on their sales tracking dashboards, leading to an increased confidence and stronger relationships between us and them."
After working on three automation projects together, Keysight and Zato Source have forged a strong, professional relationship. Their collaboration has also benefited John's own professional development.
"For me, Zato Source is the only technology partner to help with operational improvements."

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"For me, Zato Source is the only technology partner to help with operational improvements."

John Adams, Program Manager of Channel Enablement at Keysight

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