UX Design
Project Management
My role
Acting as a design team of one, I set priorities and methodologies, and goals for the project. I conducted & analyzed user research, proposed solutions, and gathered user testing insights throughout several rounds of iteration.
Collin Stewart
CEO, supervisor
Jason Logsdon
Software Engineer
Maria Fernanda Arjona
Project Details
When I started working at Predictable Revenue (PR), a company specializing in sales development or finding future clients for other companies, PR ran their business on spreadsheets. No product on the market was well suited to PR’s structure and data visibility needs. Frustrated by the inefficiency of spreadsheets, I was tasked with understanding information needs company-wide and creating a custom solution.
Managers are collecting data from various sources and piecing it together to form the big picture. The necessary data set is robust, and too much time is spent collecting and deciphering information
A lack of company-wide data visibility is affecting the performance of various teams. Managers do not have the necessary information to pinpoint specific performance issues. They have resorted to manually creating spreadsheets to track individual and team performance.
This lack of clear visibility has made it hard to manage client relationships, resulting in higher churn rates.
A crash course on sales development
Just as I couldn’t have worked on this project without developing a solid understanding of sales development processes, you won’t get very far into this case study without some context.
What is sales development anyways?

Sales Development consist of identifying, connecting with and qualifying leads.

The goal of sales development is to set up meetings between a salesperson and qualified potential buyers, referred to as prospects.

Verb finding possible customers to add to a sequence
Verb refers to a list of prospects (potential customers) and their contact information
Verb a series of steps (scripted calls & emails) that a prospect goes through in the sales cycle
Verb a bonus won by an SDR for achieving a specified goal (i.e. 400+ call per week)
Predictable Revenue's Team Structure
Companies that outsource their sales processes to PR, putting them in charge of outreach that will yield them a number of new customers every month.
SDR Managers create sequences while also managing and couching SDRs on their performance.
Customer Satisfaction Managers manage the relationship with PR’s client, providing them with information on their sales performance. Account Strategists create the outreach strategy, including messaging, who to reach out to and how.
A Sales Development Representative is the person making the calls and sending the emails to prospects. Each SDR is responsible for their call, email and meeting quotas.
PR's tech stack & the status quo
There are three core pieces of software that PR relies on for information and performance management needs. Our product pulls data from the APIs, so here’s some brief context.
Hereby known as the source of truth. Salesforce is a robust CRM. Its data is the most reliable, but building custom dashboards in it is such a janky process that it's someone's full-time job.
Outreach is a sales engagement platform. It provides day-to-day insights for SDRs. This is where PR's sequences are built and tracked and prospects are added to the sequence.
Apollo and Outreach serve the same purpose, but Apollo's reporting is much more robust. Halfway through the project, PR switched from using Outreach to Apollo.
In Short
Users must look through data across various platforms to form a complete picture. Data across all platforms doesn't always line up because they use different definitions for certain metrics. Not everyone on the team has the same understanding of the formula behind these metrics, making it very challenging to pin-point performance issues.
Qualitative Interviews
I ran interviews with about 70% of PR's employees, covering all the different roles that I would have to design for. The more I spoke to people, the more problems I uncovered; this helped me gather a robust set of user stories that would translate into features during the design phase.
I used the raw data from the interviews to create this affinity map, grouping all similar data points to highlight patterns. These patterns became the insights numbered below.
Design Mandates
Once I had my initial set of insights, I created a set of design mandates to inform the design phase. I’ll use these numbers throughout the case study to draw connections between design decisions and mandates.
Make it easy to see problems on a dashboard level.
Create dashboards to fit the needs of each specific role.
Clarify formulas behind confusing metrics & eliminate redundancies that muddy the data.
Make it easy to see how other teams are doing, and what techniques they are using.
Provide full granularity information about sequence steps.
Build in tools to help manage the client relationship.
Choosing the right process
Sometimes wire-frames and prototypes aren’t enough
During round two of interviews I used a low fidelity prototype to gather user insights. While  I did receive valuable feedback, one piece I heard all too often was:
"I'm sure I will have more feedback once I use it, and see the real data in there."
Clicking through a flow of screens wasn't enough. The users needed to be able to manipulate the data themselves to judge the value they could get from this new platform. Enter our fantastic developer and API genius Jason, who took my V1 designs and created a functioning web platform for our users to test. The web version pulled actual data from Outreach & Salesforce, allowing our team to finally move away from their exhausting spreadsheets.
We adopted this method for future testing and iteration. I designed features based on the data I gathered from the interviews. Before handing the new version over to Jason, I gathered feedback from key stakeholders. Once it was updated live, users had a chance to see how it affected their workflow, and I began another round of serious feedback gathering.
First Iterations
As the project progressed, I tackled all six design mandates, along with new needs that emerged throughout. But for the initial iterations, I focused on providing better dashboard visibility and more granularity in sequence data. To keep the dev effort manageable, I created the first versions using Tailwind components, so we could go from Figma to live in days.
The information architecture of version 1 follows PR’s team structure very closely.
Main dashboard

We solved the big visibility problem by pulling all the necessary data into one dashboard instead of scattered across various software. Getting this version out there allowed us to see what data was being used the most and what was missing. We also began to receive user requests for different ways to manipulate the data on the dashboard, giving us more insight into their workflows.

Sequence step visibility saves the day

The most beneficial aspect of this early version was that it provided fully granular data on sequence performance down to each individual step. It even displayed the copy of the specific email or call script, giving managers all the insight they needed when specific steps were underperforming.

Implementing Feedback
While the first versions were very well received, as soon as the team understood how much could be improved, they had many thoughts. I ran more interviews throughout the process, and as I formed a deeper understanding of the team's needs, the project scope grew.
“I want to know as soon as an SDR is underperforming, so that I can help them before it becomes a larger problem.”
Ana Caltzontzin, SDR Manager
“Spiffs are a great way to keep SDRs motivated. Unfortunately they create a lot more work for us.”
Joksan Cabrera, SDR Manager
“On slow months it's especially important that we have detailed info on all the replies we’ve gotten to help add depth to discussions with the client.”
Ryan Wood, CSM
“Sometimes clients will have meetings and not update us on how they went, so we could be missing information that would help us improve our targeting.”
Rajat Kaushik, CSM
It became clear that there were two main issues plaguing the team.
1. Managers are responsible for 5-12 SDRs. It's hard to keep tabs on all of them, things fall through the cracks. The existing software doesn't  provide managers with clear information on specific metrics (like calls, which can be faked by calling and hanging up immediately). Due to the lack of good tools, they've come up with motivational rewards like spiffs (bonuses for meeting specific goals), but these are manual processes that take time to maintain.
2. Relationships with clients can deteriorate quickly. CSMs need to have more detailed information (logs of all replies & meetings booked) at their fingertips to better manage expectations. Clients want to see more than just numbers; they want to see what happened, when and with who.
PR also underwent a re-brand, and as we polished this product I gave it an updated visual style and ditched the tailwind components of the early versions.
Clear visibility for SDR Managers
The data that matters, at a glance

The latest version of Predictable makes it easy for managers to get an overview of key performance metrics for their whole team. I worked closely with the managers to determine specific parameters that would trigger alerts like this one.

Understanding performance = better coaching & improved performance

The SDR Manager dashboard also provides data on every SDR's activity; this includes when they're making calls or sending emails throughout the day and total volumes throughout the month.

This data is essential to verify earned spiffs and generate performance trends & insights.

Oh, and that manual spreadsheet to track spiffs? All automated now.

Optimizing for core company needs
Team-wide visibility & building in knowledge

For the needs of the higher-ups, Predictable also measures company-wide performance, providing better insights that can apply to forecasting and budgeting.

Teams across the company can view project strategies and how these performed; because why re-invent the wheel if you don't have to?

By building in bits of knowledge like the one highlighted below, Predictable also helps create a  solid base understanding of the meaning of metrics across the company.

Sharing the big picture with clients

Predictable also provides a much-needed solution for CMSs to maintain clients well informed. The "Handoffs" tab keeps track of every single reply received by an SDR, how it was generated, and the whole context around it. This is vital for strategy purposes and allows CMSs to have more informed discussions with clients on weekly progress calls.

The dashboard has lots of built-in triggers that make it the most reliable source of truth for the project's status. One is the SDR handoff reminder, ensuring that SDRs provide context notes.

Wrapping up the project

Over the project's last few weeks, I received feedback supporting the latest designs from all the users involved in testing/ feedback rounds. Unfortunately, our team lost our developer near the end of the project, so development is currently on pause while PR finds someone to complete it.

I focused my energy on the design documentation to ensure that a new future developer will have all the necessary information to complete the work. Regardless, the existing version is functional and has already significantly improved workflows.

Lessons from a sole designer in a non-design centered organization
As the first designer to be part of Predictable Revenue, the team rapidly got excited about my skillset, and the potential for this new software. The project's scope became a moving target as the company changed its tech stacks and practices. Acting as a PM, it was my responsibility to understand changing needs and establish a direction for the project.
1. Maintaining constant communication

Teams are always adapting, and workflows are always changing. As the leader of the design efforts, it was my responsibility to ensure I was in the loop about the latest relevant changes. I did this by regularly checking in and sharing work with users.

2. Validate feature requests

I got many feature requests from users. Many were easy to prioritize, but others were harder. I often discussed feature requests with key stakeholders to get a read on how many users would benefit from said feature, before rushing to prioritize its development.

3. Information doesn't always flow upwards

While I was encouraged to focus my research on talking to Managers, I rapidly understood that they didn't have the whole picture. Members of their team had often developed workflows they were unaware of, or had their own methodologies. I made sure to speak users at all levels of the organization to form a clear picture.

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