Customer of the Week: Jim Hetzel




FlightStats, Inc. was formed in 2001 as Conducive Technologies 2001 (renamed FlightStats in 2005) because they saw an opportunity: that there was no provider of worldwide real-time and historical flight performance data.

They source, refine, and aggregate data from over 300 data points including:

  • airlines;

  • airports;

  • civil aviation authorities;

  • flight positional sources;

  • weather and global distribution systems;

  • etc.

All this data add up to the most reliable flight status and performance information from anywhere in the world.

Quality customer service is very important to FlightStats. They overcame early challenges in this area by using Collabspot to integrate Gmail with SugarCRM.

Jim tells us how Collabspot helped them to use SugarCRM to its fullest potential and help manage customers on a day-to-day basis. It kept administrative overhead to a minimum.


1.  What is your role and how long have you been with Flight Stats, Inc.?

I am the Vice President for Business Development of FlightStats, Inc. and have been with the company for over a year.


2. Can you tell us something about what Flight Stats, Inc. offers?

FlightStats, Inc. is the leading global provider of flight data services and applications to the travel industry and traveling public. We deliver reliable, relevant, and resourceful airline, airport and traveler information.

We are the first global provider of flight information in the marketplace. FlightStats now serves over 500 of the leading airlines, online travel providers, airports, travel agencies, and travelers through our B2B and B2C products.


3. What was your biggest challenge before installing Collabspot?

The value of using a CRM solution like SugarCRM is undisputable, however, using CRM does create some additional overhead that takes away from actual selling and engagement with the customer.


 4. What was your initial impression of Collabspot? Why do you love Collabspot?

When we began using Collabspot, we were looking for a way to reduce the overhead of using CRM, for myself as well as our sales team. We wanted a way to reduce the friction of using CRM so that our team can focus on customer engagement while still having all of the power of the CRM to manage, track and measure leads, opportunities and accounts.

Collabspot addressed all of those needs and then some. It allowed us to stay focused and work in our e-mail client. That is where we spend 90% of our time, while bringing all of the CRM history on the same screen. This is a big help. It keeps us from having to switch back and forth between email and CRM. This can save us hours of time per week.


5. What’s your favorite feature and why?

I love how Collabspot integrates CRM history and social media information  into my email display. When I receive an email from a customer or prospect, Collabspot shows the contact history right next to it.

Also, it brings to bear social media information on the contact such as their LinkedIn profile or Twitter activity. This enables me to interact better with the contact.


6. How has Collabspot made things easier for you and how did it help you close more deals?

Collabspot has made managing customer engagements in CRM much smoother. It is easier to create leads and opportunities directly from my email. Collabspot brings to bear my contact’s critical history and details right inside my email, making it easier to build strong customer relationship and closes deals faster.


7. What is the best sales tip you can share with other salespeople?

I often send useful content to engage to my prospects. If I see an online article or blog post written by or mentioning the prospect and their company, I often send emails regarding the piece to better connect to them. Using Collabspot’s email tracking and analytic features, I will know when my email is read and if it’s been forwarded to multiple people within the organization. From that I can infer some level of interest. This allows me to time my follow up call or emails when interest is at its peak.


8. Anything else you would want to share?

Collabspot is a natural extension of SugarCRM. Any small time investment of evaluating Collabspot should help your sales team quickly see the benefits.


To experience Collabspot for yourself, you can start a free trial here. Or you can contact us  for more information.