The Ballistix Sales Technology Stack
We give you all the technology you need to power your marketing, sales and customer service teams—all optimized for SPE.
Our Managed SPE service gives you immediate and ongoing access to our Sales Technology Stack.
Our stack is a suite of three intelligently-integrated applications
Manage your online promotional activities
Manage promotions, sales and customer service
Provide team members with real-time, visual feedback on the value they are generating
Additionally, our stack contains access to third party services like email broadcast and web hosting.
An Introduction to the
Ballistix Sales Technology Stack
All three applications in our stack are hosted in the cloud. Our Marketing Automation and CRM applications are our own builds of the leading open-source projects in their categories. In both cases, our build is a soft-fork of the community edition, augmented with our own enhancements (thousands of them, in the case of CRM).
Marketing Automation and CRM
As is typically the case with open-source projects (think WordPress or Linux) our Marketing Automation and CRM applications compare favorably on a feature-for-feature basis with the leading commercial alternatives (Marketo and Salesforce) but they are significantly more extensible because of their open architecture.
Our Dashboard is the only application we have developed in house. It might resemble a general reporting application (think DOMO) but it’s not a business-intelligence platform. It’s specifically designed to be a dashboard (or status board), and that’s where it excels.
How we price
Our Sales Technology Stack is provided to all organizations that embark on a Managed SPE engagement. Organizations can use any, or all, applications within the stack and pay no additional fee, irrespective of user counts.
Post-engagement, organizations can keep the technology stack, in perpetuity, for a flat fee (determined at the commencement of the engagement)—with a guarantee of:
- No per-user pricing, ever!
- No price increase, ever!*
In other words, if you double (or triple) the size of your business—as some of our clients have done—your fee remains fixed for as long as you maintain your subscription to our technology stack.
Equivalent features. Less than 50% of the price.
If you wonder how we price our post-engagement subscriptions, there’s good news here too.
Post-engagement, our fees are pegged at just under 50% of what organizations would otherwise spend on comparable applications.
And, because our subscription price is locked in perpetuity, the savings get better over time, as your business grows.
Intelligent integration, internally and externally
If you’ve read The Machine you’ll know that we’re not fans of deep integration of enterprise applications. In most cases, the requirement for extensive integration of applications is caused by poor organization design (generally, an absence of division of labor).
That said, applications within our technology stack are integrated with one another intelligently. Furthermore, there is the facility to set up important integrations with external applications.
- Marketing Automation pushes contacts to the Lead module of CRM
- Contacts within CRM are replicated back to Marketing Automation
- CRM Campaigns can be synchronized with Marketing Automation Segments
- The Dashboard can visualize any report in either Marketing Automation or CRM
- Organizations and Contacts from ERP (or any other application that contains an address book) can be replicated back to CRM
- Forms, dynamic content, assets (and other objects) from within Marketing Automation can be published on your company websites
- Marketing Automation and CRM both have extensive APIs, meaning additional integration is easy (no additional charge for API access)
Meet the Applications
Mautic (the Ballistix build)
Mautic is a marketing automation platform similar to Marketo, Pardot, Eloqua, Hubspot and the like. Mautic provides non-technical marketers with an advanced set of tools to automate their organization’s relationship with contacts. Within Mautic you’ll find a list of contacts. These contacts have either come from web responses or from CRM.
At the heart of Mautic is a list of contacts. Each contact has a point count reflective of the volume of interaction with your organization.See Screenshot
Mautic tracks the online activity of each contact. Web pages visited, emails read, assets downloaded and so on.See Screenshot
Mautic allows you to create forms, landing pages, emails and dynamic content for your website. You can create content using either a drag-n-drop designer or, if you know what you’re doing, you can use the html editor.See Screenshot
You can use Mautic’s WYSIWYG campaign builder to create workflows whose complexity is limited only by your imagination.
These workflows can send emails and text messages they can edit records, and they can even add and remove contacts from other campaigns. Workflows can also respond to actions that are performed (or not performed) by contacts (e.g. visiting a webpage or reading an email).See Screenshot
Ballistix has built a number of custom plugins for Mautic, including an Address Validator that verifies physical addresses before allowing web visitors to post forms. If, like many followers of SPE, you are giving away physical content, this will save you a fortune on careless (or spammy) form submissions.See Screenshot
Mautic tracks the online activity of all contacts. What pages they visit on your websites, which emails they read, what assets they download and so on. Mautic maintains a point count for each contact and points can be added (or subtracted) for different activities.
Mautic also enables marketers to build forms, landing pages, emails and dynamic web content. This content can either be served directly from Mautic or hosted within your websites.
The real power of Mautic, however, is campaigns. Campaigns allow marketers to build complex workflows that run on autopilot. These workflows can send emails (or sms messages) based on activities that contacts have (or have not) performed and they can even perform edits to contact records.
So, for example, a campaign might email a contact who meets certain criteria and invite them to visit a webpage and make a purchase. It could then respond differently to that person based upon whether or not they visited the page or, if they did, whether or not they actually made the purchase!
Here at Ballistix, our Mautic instance has about 27 active campaigns, containing a total of 83 emails. Those campaigns result in literally thousands of emails a day being broadcast, all without human intervention. To replicate this, without Mautic, would require a team of people or tens of thousands of dollars worth of custom software.
Most organizations will configure Mautic to push contacts into CRM when a certain point count is reached or when specific activities are performed. Additionally, most organizations replicate CRM contacts back into Mautic so that Mautic can be used to communicate with contacts that originated outside of Mautic.
The Ballistix build of Mautic has tighter integration with Vtiger (see below) than the community build. Additionally, it contains an address validation plugin that can validate postal addresses prior to form submission.
Vtiger (the Ballistix build)
Vtiger is a CRM application, similar to Salesforce, MS Dynamics (CRM) and Netsuite (CRM). CRMs tend to fall into two categories: enterprise grade applications and salespeople’s productivity tools. Vtiger is definitely in the first category (as are the other applications above), because of its significant capability set and because of its extensibility.
Mautic pushes contacts into Vtiger’s Lead module. Here they can be cleaned, de-duped and mass-converted to Organizations and Contacts. (In this image, duplicates have a value in the Vtiger Contact ID column.)See Screenshot
The Vtiger campaign module enables the mass-conversion of Leads, as well as the mass-generation of Sales Opportunities. The latter is a critical requirement of SPE and, interestingly, a feature that’s missing on almost every mainstream CRM (including Salesforce).See Screenshot
All modules have a summary view. This enables a mash-up of fields from the primary module (e.g. Opportunities) and fields from related modules (e.g. Comments, Activities and Contacts). Like everything in Vtiger this view is fully configurable.See Screenshot
Vtiger provides administrators with extraordinary control. Fields of all types can be added to forms with a drag-n-drop interface. Administrators can even create cascading picklists—with items that are visible only to users with specific roles.See Screenshot
Vtiger has a powerful workflow engine. Workflows to be triggered either by updates to forms or on a schedule. And workflows can modify field values, create new records and send emails.See Screenshot
Emails can be broadcast directly from Vtiger. This is useful for sending small daily batches of preapproach emails on behalf of salespeople (which is standard practice in SPE).See Screenshot
Vtiger contains a number of useful utilities that can be accessed from any module. These include workflows, a powerful reporting engine, deduplication, and the ability to mass-edit records, mass-generate comments and mass-send emails and sms messages. There’s even a geo-mapping module which is invaluable for scheduling field operators.See Screenshot
Vtiger is used by marketing personnel to run campaigns and generate sales opportunities. It’s used by salespeople (and BDCs) to prosecute those sales opportunities and, in many cases, it’s used by customer service representatives to manage customer-service cases. Additionally, many organizations use it to manage simple projects, to manage service contracts or even to maintain databases of products or industry-wide events, sites or similar.
The community build of Vtiger compares very favorably on a feature-by-feature basis with Salesforce. However, the Ballistix build contains around 3,000 customizations and enhancements—all designed around the requirements of organizations that are implementing SPE. (Ballistix deploys a new build of Vtiger every weekday.)
Nsyteful is a cloud-based dashboard (or status board). It’s designed to provide a real-time visual display for operators in marketing, sales, customer service and other departments. Nsyteful features a number of charts that are custom designed to meet the requirements of SPE. Additionally, users can build reports using standard charting objects (bar charts, pie charts, gauges, etc).
The Nsyteful dashboard consists of movable widgets, each of which contains a chart, a table or any one of a number of other objects you can use to visualize your critical information.See Screenshot
The dashboard has two themes (light and dark), with more themes on the way.See Screenshot
You can add as many pages as you like and configure each page with up to 12 widget containers (on a 4 x 3 grid).See Screenshot
Pages can be set to auto-rotate at different cadences (and, soon, you’ll have the ability to build custom rotation sequences).See Screenshot
You can connect each widget to a variety of data sources (including Google Sheets and Vtiger Reports) and you can have Ballistix build custom data sources for you that blend data from multiple sources. Additionally, the powerful Filter Builder gives you precise control over what data is displayed.See Screenshot
What really sets Nsyteful apart from other reporting solutions is our special-purpose widgets. Three are pictured here. The Sales Activity widget on the left tracks both activity and outcomes for inside sales teams. The On Time Case Completion widget (top right) displays both on-time performance and load over four consecutive periods. And the Video Widget enables organizations with remote teams to share live video feeds.See Screenshot
Within Nsyteful, charts sit within movable widgets. And widgets sit on pages. Users can add as many pages as they wish and they can configure pages to auto-rotate.
Nsyteful can visualize data from Mautic, Vtiger or from any other enterprise system. Additionally, Ballistix can create custom data sources that blend data from multiple systems.
Custom widgets include:
Sales Activity Widget
This widget visualizes both the volume of sales activity performed over the course of a day and the dollar-value of sales stages completed. Additionally, it displays Protected Calling Times and personalized tokens that celebrate the achievement of milestones by salespeople.
On-time Case Completion Widget
This widget summarizes the performance of a customer-service team (or similar) on a rolling four-week basis. As well as displaying the week-by-week average OTCC percentage, it also shows the trend and the volumes of cases processed.
Video Feed Widget
This widget enables you to add a video feed from a Nest camera to Nsyteful. It may seem like a strange inclusion but followers of SPE insist that all remote teams are united with a real-time video feed.
Additional applications and services
SendGrid is the world’s leading SMTP provider. Ballistix integrates all instances of Mautic and Vtiger with our SendGrid account, meaning that our clients can send (virtually) unlimited emails with no email charges whatsoever.
If the Ballistix team has built you a website or two, an ecommerce site or any kind of online property, then we will continue to provide hosting, at no additional charge for as long as you maintain a subscription to our tech stack.