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How One Person Set Up Copper for Tank Connection's Team

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Author photo: Shabnam Kakar

Shabnam Kakar


We’ve all probably seen a bolted storage tank at some point in our lives (although we might not have known that’s what they were called). But have you ever wondered about the industry—and people—behind these tanks?

Meet Tank Connection.

Tank Connection is a leading storage tank solutions company serving clients on a global basis and headquartered in Parsons, Kansas. They specialize in the design, fabrication, and installation of bolted steel tanks and aluminum geodesic domes in pretty much any type of dry bulk or liquid market imaginable.

They’ve been around for just over 15 years. In 2014, Tank Connection became an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan)—the founders wanted to transition ownership in a way that would maintain the culture and further develop an attitude of success providing benefit through employee ownership. By doing so, the company has witnessed an increase in employee engagement along with an enhanced focus on exceeding the expectations of their clients.

We chatted with Matt Horton, the Director of Sales and Business Development at Tank Connection, about why his team chose Copper to help evolve the way they do business.

Before CRM, there were spreadsheets.

Like many companies, before switching to CRM, Tank Connection was using spreadsheets to manage their presales activity including database of contacts, projects they were working on, lists and markets they were tracking.

“We've got offices and direct employees in the USA, Singapore, Israel, and the United Kingdom,” Matt said. “So ensuring that everyone had the most current information and were all working from the same platform was a vitally important factor in what we were looking for. A spreadsheet wasn’t the best way to do that.”

And so the search for a CRM began.

All the ingredients for a perfect CRM.

When Matt was shopping for a CRM, he looked at a number of different options but eventually narrowed it down to three: Salesforce, Pipeliner, and Copper.

When asked what his criteria was when looking through his options, Matt’s answer was clear:

“Everything was centered on automation: lead management, lead nurturing, call automation, and deal management automation. And we operate from G Suite, so I wanted a seamless integration.”

See what it looks like:

The other options had some nice bells and whistles, but Copper had the features Tank Connection actually wanted and needed—sans feature bloat.

The sales structure, reinvented.

In addition to implementing a CRM, Matt also envisioned a change to Tank Connection’s sales structure overall. A tank is a huge sales opportunity, retailing from $100,000 to $10 million. So, defining a standardized sales structure for his team was extremely important to Matt. The Copper feature set provided them tools to use as they transitioned to this new sales structure.

“We changed a lot: people's roles, how we handle new opportunities... Adding in CRM has allowed us to execute that efficiently and with a high level of communication across our sales team.”

The sales structure at Tank Connection is now even more collaborative, with their sales reps working together to close big deals. With CRM, they’re able to do this—even when working out of separate offices, in separate countries, and with prospects in completely different markets.

“Physically being in different locations and working with prospects in different markets, having a system that pulled all communications together on the same platform and everyone being able to see the same information was vitally important. That's where Copper came in—to really be the glue holding our evolved sales team together.”

The tech without the burden on the tech team. 

Tank Connection had looked at “out-of-the-box” CRM solutions in the past, but they were never really that simple. “It had all these bells and whistles, but it was difficult to figure out how to make it work the way we needed it to work—even during the free trial,” Matt shared about another CRM he’d previously evaluated. “Then we found Copper, which gave us the flexibility to really mould it to how we operate and process information.”

And that’s without any help from the tech team!

Although Tank Connection has in-house developers and IT staff, Matt was able to set Copper up all by himself with ease.

When asked if he had any help, Matt replied, “I did probably 98% of it.”

And when changes are needed? "There’s no need to wait weeks for someone else to do it—I can make them myself on the fly. That was the one thing I was hopeful that Copper would deliver on, and it has absolutely delivered on it.”

Relationship software, backed by relationship people.

It wasn’t just the product Matt and his team were pleased by—Copper’s customer service and human appeal only reinforced Tank Connection’s purchase decision.

“I love Copper. My managers and other sales managers love Copper. The one-on-one communication and the realness to the relationships with the people at Copper have been outstanding. With every person I've dealt with, there's not been one bad contact, so you guys have some phenomenal people at Copper, for sure.”

Hey, relationship-building is what we live for! We look forward to seeing where Tank Connection goes next.

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