Louisville City FC, a complex organization consisting of four multi-property LLC groups with upwards of 70 partners and overlapping assets, was in search of a solution to help streamline their sales process, pipeline management and partnership fulfillment. Louisville City FC of the USL Championship division leveraged Trak’s diverse capabilities of inventory tracking, task and asset management and report generation over the past year, to set their sights on long-term optimization and are already seeing immediate benefits.
Louisville City FC (LouCity) , who plays in the USL Championship - top division in the fastest-growing league in North America, has seen some significant changes over the past couple of years. This includes opening their new home of Lynn Family Stadium and welcoming NWSL team Racing Louisville FC to the LouCity family. These two properties hold significant sponsorship inventory in addition to Youth Academy assets and an upcoming youth training facility.
This presents tremendous opportunity for each property and their partners alike when it comes to diversity of assets, audience reach, and full integration with the LouCity organization. Yet with new opportunities come new challenges as increased sponsorship assets require substantial synergy when it comes to presenting asset mixes to partners, executing contracts, tracking inventory, fulfilling those assets, and measuring revenue generated accurately.
For LouCity, the stark increase in inventory along with an expanding sales team called into focus the need for more transparent and streamlined workflow management for partnership sales, operations, and fulfillment processes.
CRM systems veteran Pat Denbow joined LouCity as the Senior Director of Partnerships Strategy, thus bridging the Sales and Marketing departments. Denbow led with the vision of bringing in a similar corporate process from his prior experience (as he did when incorporating a CRM into his work at the Golf Channel) to establish long-term solutions for optimizing LouCity’s partnerships.
“As our staff was growing, the available inventory was growing and the number of partners were growing,” said Denbow. “We needed a solution that was more long term. As I explored some industry options, Trak really stood out in terms of functionality, ease of use, and providing everything we needed in one platform so we could properly manage the partnership department.”
Denbow went on to describe the benefits of such a diverse asset offering, and the challenges previously faced when trying to manage them. “We have these different properties and trying to keep track of all the available inventory was an undertaking. A lot of our partners are interested in the assets across different properties so we’ve got to stay really organized. Trak has allowed us a one-stop-shop to stay organized. All these assets live within their respective property, but Trak allows us to put together proposals and contracts that include all of the assets in one single view.”
Pipeline and inventory management, two prominent pieces of the sales process that Trak possesses, has allowed the LouCity team to streamline efficiencies, specifically calling out the benefits of the transparency provided. “In Trak we are able to take inventory and run it through a pipeline which is attached to accounts,” said Denbow..
“We'll take accounts at the prospect stage, and then we'll pitch a deal. And Trak allows us to attach the inventory of that pitched proposal, so that the other team members know what is currently out for bid or deliberation. Once we work it through and get a 'yes' we'll move it to a verbal 'yes', stage and now we’ve got to create a contract. And then ultimately, if we're successful, we'll move it to a 'closed/won' situation. We've moved things to 'closed/lost' from time to time, but it allows everybody an up-to-date understanding of the status of the inventory.”
Denbow went on to describe the asset management process in more detail, describing the features used most often by the LouCity team. “We rely most on the Tasks within Trak. Anytime we create a contract with assets, a Task is created for each of those assets so you know if / when it’s been fulfilled. We are, everyday, living inside of the Task view, to check on the status of where we stand on delivering or executing each asset.”
With the centralized nature of Trak, LouCity has been able to connect the dots between Sales and Operations teams and processes to ensure that partnerships are executed accurately, efficiently and swiftly. “We've created this playbook with all the inventory, we know what's been sold and what's available. Then all it takes is a weekly meeting to go through the assets account by account to make sure that nothing's slipping through the cracks. Trak also provides an opportunity for us to attach proof of performance, visuals, or metrics for everything we've been able to execute, and then tie a bow on it all.”
Denbow and the LouCity team have realized benefits that extend beyond new day-to-day operations. Ultimately, the team has saved time and money, been able to better capitalize on sales opportunities and has more in-depth insights into sales and revenue readily available in the system. “It allows us to understand, from a contractual standpoint, how much revenue has been received for each asset, for each classification or bucket of assets, and for us - revenue for each property. It also provides yield management of the inventory - in other words, how good are we at receiving revenue relative to the rate card value?”
“We always know where we stand in terms of revenue we've collected, revenue that may come in, and we have good insight into the pipeline at the prospect stage. We needed more transparency, so that everybody at all times knows what inventory is available. It’s an easy-to-reference place for up-to-date rate card pricing and statuses of all of the assets that we've committed to so that we're delivering and executing on all the partnerships that we've collected.”
In the middle of onboarding new users at the time of this interview, Denbow shared with us how the process was going. “We just onboarded two of our sales people here recently. They really appreciate the simplicity and ease-of-use of Trak. Now the sales team can quickly view the status of all of their accounts. They're also out hunting new deals so they can quickly figure out the available inventory and build proposals.”
“They are especially excited about the automated reporting and recap functionality. It can be cumbersome to put together good looking recaps. That's going to be a big thing as we provide quarterly, mid-season, or annual reports. That kind of functionality of Trak, being able to spit out what we've been able to deliver is going to save time and make everyone look good.”
Denbow is leading the way to a more efficient, more transparent, and more insights-driven process that ultimately allows his team to save time, stay on top of important client deliverables, all while maintaining a focus on revenue generation for the greater LouCity organization.
“Before we took the step with Trak, we felt very comfortable in Excel Docs and Google Sheets. Initially I was hesitant because I didn’t have the time to evaluate platforms. You have to mentally get past that, you take one step back so that you can take 2, 3, 4 steps forward. That's what we've been able to do with Trak. It's a very functional platform that, as we head into the next season, it's going to make things even easier than this season has been. Trak is a long term play for us.”