LEAD School is an integrated system for affordable private schools in India to provide excellent education outcomes for every child. They use HyperTrack to automatically log customer appointment visits and routes in their CRM. This is an interview with Shreyas Nangalia, AVP Strategy & Operations.

HyperTrack interview with Shreyas Nangalia of LEAD

Leigh: Okay, so we're going to start off with an easy question here. And that is, what is your name? What's your title? And what's the name of your company?

Shreyas: Hi, I'm Shreyas Nangalia and I work as AVP strategy and operations at Lead.

Leigh: Perfect, thank you. If you have to say what your company does, say in five seconds, a short description, what would you say?

Shreyas: We make sure that affordable private schools in India provide excellent education to every child.

Leigh: What kinds of problems or issues were you facing, before you started using HyperTrack?

Shreyas: At Lead, we have a 500 people expansion team or sales team. Since we work with schools, we have to go and meet with them and explain our products. We do that around the country in hundreds of cities. The biggest challenge that we faced is it was very difficult to track productivity of our team when they were on ground.

We found HyperTrack as a perfect location solution through which we will be able to track whether our team is actually meeting schools or not, how long are they meeting them for, how many meetings is it taking for us to convert a school and make them are basically customers.

So that was one challenge that we were facing. And the other challenge was being a startup, we were growing very fast. And naturally, our expenses were also going growing very fast. And then we had a budget and we had to ensure that we never exceeded that budget. So, with HyperTrack, we are now able to actually track whether the travel of our employees on ground is accurately happening. We are able to find out if there are any unwanted pilferages on ground.

Broadly, there are two areas that we wanted to solve through HyperTrack. One was productivity of our team, and the other was to keep our travel budget in control.

Leigh: Right, I understand. Thank you for that. So these two issues, how are they affecting your company's performance or your KPIs before you started using HyperTrack?

Shreyas: Before we used HyperTrack, there was no way for us to track how many meetings are actually being done on ground, how much time it is taking for us to conduct a meeting or talk about a solution to our potential customers, or even check how many meetings is it taking for us to finally close a customer.

Now we are able to do that we are able to see all those insights, we are also able to see how much distance our team is traveling around the country to actually meet different schools. One more challenge we face is our customers are not concentrated in a small location, they are spread out wider around the country. Obviously, with that, we are also able to identify regions where the schools are more widely spaced apart, and the places where they are closely spaced. So with time, what we also expect is to be able to place our team in such a way that wherever we have clusters of schools, we have strategically more people located so that we do not spend as much but also are able to convert more customers in that same budget. So that is something we will not be able to do without HyperTrack. Now we have that data, we have that insight and now it's giving us that ability to do that.

Leigh: Fantastic, how did it feel? Not having that data or not having access to that information?

Shreyas: Frankly, there was very little we could do in terms of tracking productivity of the team. So naturally, there would come a moment when we will try to answer questions, If we are meeting our targets, why are we meeting our targets, and we'll just hit a roadblock as we did not have enough data. If we don't hit our target, then why don't we hit our target, what can we do more!

Now we have deeper level of data that we can go to, if we are not hitting our targets, how many meetings are we doing, how long are they taking, is our team productive enough, are they meeting enough customers, etc. We go to this data, check that, and that's able to give us more insights. And then we're able to find out places where we need to course correct our actions, or even look at places where things are going well and draw insights from there. Like it takes six or seven meetings for us to convert a customer and that's what we need to do in this region B, where this is not happening, things like that.

Leigh: Right, got you. What was the breaking point? What was the moment where you said enough's enough, we need to find a solution?

Shreyas: So we've been scaling up our business for the last five years. Last year was a point where we scaled our team, we almost had three times more people than we had before that. So that was a time we realized, managing such a large team will be very difficult to not know what everybody is doing. I think that is the point where we got really serious about getting a location tracking application. And we found out about HyperTrack.

We already had an application before, it was a customized application built by one of our developers who was actually helping us with our CRM. But that application was only able to do check-in and check-out at schools. We were not able to track distances. Moreover, in terms of our field team who was using it, it required them to login into the app every time they visited the school.

With HyperTrack, we do not have to do that. And we realized it was also ensuring that cases where people forget to check themselves in and check themselves out are avoided. And number two, we are also able to see distances traveled more exactly, or more accurately. So these were the two points that helped us move to HyperTrack.

Leigh: Tell us a little bit about finding HyperTrack, what was it like when you found them?

Shreyas: So we found out through an internal referral. When we looked at them, we realized there's a company who is dedicated to building location services. As I told you, before HyperTrack, we also had a solution that was customized for us. But the team that was working on that solution, that was not their core competency. With HyperTrack one advantage was they had their entire team dedicated to building the location service app, that was good. Number two, when we went on their website, when we had the first conversation with the HyperTrack team, it felt like, this is exactly what they are doing since a long time and they understand the problem. They understand different ways, different use cases where their solution can actually impact. And it made us believe that, even if you start using them, we will have enough support later on, to help us tweak the product to our other use cases. Because normally such solutions, you do not just switch them time and again very quickly. So you needed a team that would ensure that once you move to the solution, everything that your business needs is taken care of. And it looked like HyperTrack is dedicated to that part or that technology. It looked like these guys could be able to do so. So that way we felt, yeah ok, there is a company there out there who is actually doing this all the time that they have and yeah, we were intrigued!

Leigh: Great. What do you feel sets HyperTrack apart from other companies like it?

Shreyas: Frankly, I've not really looked at many other companies in this regard. As I told you, we earlier had an application, which was very customized for us. So naturally, the competency of HyperTrack is much, much better than what we came across before that. And what we've also seen is, during our experience, when we were basically working with HyperTrack, to meet our solution, they were very quick in response, which I think is very important. Also, because they are basically in different locations, and in the pandemic time or even without it, you want to be sure that there is no reason why service should suffer, no matter where you are in the world. You have to basically support a 500 people team, and they were able to basically do that very quickly for us. And I think that is one thing that also made us believe that even if there are other solutions existing as long as there is someone who can competently and quickly respond to our queries, respond to problems and help us provide answers and effectively solves them, then I think it should be good enough.

Leigh: Great, thank you. In your own words, similar to how we had you described your company in sort of a five second short sentence, how would you describe HyperTrack in one short sentence?

Shreyas: I think HyperTrack is very user friendly, accurate, productivity tracking system of your sales team.

Leigh: It was great. That sounded really good. Thanks. Can you talk to us a little bit about how you and your team are using HyperTrack?

Shreyas: Yeah. So as I told you, we have a 500 people team on ground. Some of them basically meet potential clients, tell them about our products, and do a few meetings before they convince them to opt for us. Then there's a team that comes after the school signs up with us. Basically our key account management team, who have to go visit our customers and ensure that all their needs are taken care of. Should there be any problems that arise, they ensure that it is solved. So all of this activity is happening on ground.

You can imagine every day 500 people wake up, they leave their homes and they go visit our customers. And naturally, there's a lot of activity happening on field that needs to be tracked for us to know more about our business is happening. So HyperTrack is able to do that for us. Every day, I can log on to HyperTrack dashboard, I can see clearly how many people from my 500 people have actually logged in. Of those who have logged in, how much time are they spending on ground, how much distance have they traveled, which are the schools they are visiting, how much time they're visiting them for, you know, all those things. Moreover, as many schools they're visiting, they're also able to collect the exact geographical location of those schools, which I think is a very, very, very useful data in terms of if I just talk about competitive advantage on ground. So HyperTrack is helping us basically provide insights or get those insights, which I think is really cool. I mean, if you have 500 people and are able to see what they're doing daily, that's, that's amazing! And without, obviously, intruding into their privacy.

Leigh: What do you like best about HyperTrack?

Shreyas: Yeah, I think the best thing about them is the mobile app that HyperTrack has and is actually very simple to use. It's very user friendly. So if, as a user all I have to do is just clock in, and then I have to just put it into my pocket, and I'm done for the day. And at the end of the day, say 9-10 hours later, I just have to click clock-out and rest everything is managed. I think that's the most beautiful part. Because at the end of the day, you don't want to keep dabbling with the application and realize during the day, oh my god, this is not working, etc. All those things. So just from a user point of view that I think is amazing.

Leigh: Is there anything that doesn't quite work for you or you'd like to see improved?

Shreyas: We always have conversations about things as we basically go on ground. And I think those are very minor things. When you know, people start using it, you realize, maybe this point of data, if we get it into this format, or maybe we can start tracking this point of data as well. It's very hard to come up with anything major. But again, when you have so much data, you always have asks that what if the team can get this done for me.

But I think what I've observed is HyperTrack team is also learning how we are using the application, and they are also providing us solutions. And the best part is they are also improving their application as they are seeing those solutions might be beneficial to some of their other customers as well. So I think that keeps happening it's difficult to just point out one single thing.

Leigh: So how do you and your team feel after you started using HyperTrack? How did it feel overall for your team?

Shreyas: Yeah, I think one thing was we were very relieved because before HyperTrack the app that we were using used to face a lot of queries from ground and at the end of the day you want to just launch an application and you want it to work and then you want to move on to other things. So I think, one thing that we were relieved about is, once we deployed HyperTrack to our team it took us a couple of weeks to get things straight but after that, with time the adoption grew very fast compared to how it was earlier and now things are just rolling on ground and centrally we are just a team of three to four people who are able to look at the data and basically share reports, dashboards with the decision makers, and help them conduct their business in a more efficient manner. So I think one thing that we felt was extremely relieved and extremely able, capacitated to be able to see so much data.

Leigh: Great awesome. What features are you benefiting the most from and why? If you can just go through one or two of the features that you feel are most useful for you and your team?

Shreyas: I think the geofence feature is very good. It ensures that all our destinations are highlighted or tracked in advance and all we need to do is our team just goes there and they don't have to take out their phones and check-in or check-out every time. So that saves us a lot of inefficiencies on ground. That is one amazing feature.

The second obviously is the dashboards that we see on HyperTrack. It basically aggregates the data of a week or 10 days and in that we are able to see how much distance our team is traveling, which schools they are visiting, how much time they're taking. Basically build on top of what is happening on ground and helps us take useful decisions centrally to ensure that we are basically diverting our energies just to the right actions on the ground.

Leigh: Perfect. Do you have any KPIs or metrics of success that you'd be able to share with us? Do you have any numbers available that you could talk about?

Shreyas: Yeah, so one thing that we track from HyperTrack data is average number of meetings done per person per day in our team and normally we expect that to be somewhere between 1 and 2 given the amount of distance one person has to travel. That number is 1+ for now and that's really good for us because it means that on an average every day every person is meeting at least one potential customer. And that also is in line with the conversion ratios that we have targeted internally to achieve our goals and wherever we are not able to reach that ratio, we are immediately able to identify the gaps and we are able to share it with the right people and help them in plugging the gaps and ensure that they are back on track to achieve their goals.

We were also able to look at, on an average, how many meetings are we taking to basically sign up at school. And we observed that the number of meetings took to sign a school was very different in different regions of India. So for example, our north region takes typically two to three times more meetings to sign a school than what our south region does.

It's very soon to basically jump onto that data because our sales cycle is one year long, so this is just an initial insight that we have drawn and we plan to observe it consistently and constantly week by week through this year and see how it evolves.

Leigh: Do you feel that the original problem that you are facing is solved or is on the way to being solved?

Shreyas: Yeah Definitely, The biggest problem that we faced, as I told you, was to track the activity on ground, which we are able to do very well. The second problem was to make a very user-friendly application for a team to ensure that adoption is good and they also use it every time that they do. That is also happening very well. And finally, we wanted to see that data in a manner that will help us take good decisions and that is also happening.

I think the next step is obviously lies in our hands where we have to constantly see the trends in the activity and all the data that we're tracking and how it converts to getting more business, getting more customers that we're doing more efficiently. It's been very recent when we signed up with HyperTrack. I think it's just two months since we started, typically our sales cycle is for a year. So when we look back at the end of the year, I'm sure we'll have a lot of data that will help us plan for the next year, for the next sale cycle.

Leigh: Perfect and so the last question here is would you recommend HyperTrack and if so why?

Shreyas: I've already recommended HyperTrack. In fact, after using HyperTrack, someone from my team called me up and asked 'you know I have a friend who works with this company and they saw this application and they want to connect with the people'. So I was happy to recommend HyperTrack.

The reason I do it is because number one we have tried that and we've seen how user-friendly it is. So it's important that if there is any other people that we know of who can benefit from this, why not! And we've done that. We will be happy to do that. HyperTrack is serving us well and I'm sure it'll serve the other customers to satisfaction.

Leigh: Excellent. So that's the end of our Questions.

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