Consumer goods & services | CASE STUDY

10% improvement in call conversion

7% increase in sales retention rates

25% more second-year representatives

11% increase in representative commission dollars

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Revenue Growth

TruGreen partners with Tethr to turn sales team into superstars

TruGreen, the nation’s largest lawn care company, provides lawn, tree and shrub care to almost 2 million residential and commercial customers across the U.S. TruGreen’s 700 sales agents communicate directly with customers and prospects via phone on topics ranging from new business, service rescheduling, service canceling and other customer issues. Inbound and outbound calls account for the bulk of TruGreen’s customer interaction.

As TruGreen entered its peak season and a new sales management team came on board, the company looked for ways to increase the effectiveness of its sales agents and to become a best-in-class call center organization. Knowing that it was sitting on a gold mine of dark, unstructured data in the form of customer phone conversations, TruGreen sought to deploy a scalable, easy-to-use conversation intelligence platform that would help it turn that information into actionable insights.

TruGreen turned to Tethr to record, transcribe and analyze phone calls, with the goal of improving their sales agent effectiveness and, ultimately, increasing sales and the value of each customer relationship.

The Challenge:

Elevate all sales agents to “top performer” status. Recruit/select the right sales agents. Create less time-consuming, more targeted sales training. Accurately measure success of special offers & marketing campaigns. Improve sale effectiveness and conversion rate. Reduce the cost per sale. Create consistency in sales process.


  • Increased second-year representative return by 25%
  • Improved call conversion by 10%
  • Increased sales retention rates by 7% - a record high
  • 11% increase in commission dollars for representatives
  • Reinvesting the 60+ hours a month once spent on diagnosing sales issues into taking actions that directly improve sales results

Key features and benefits:

  • Sales management and agents can identify and analyze calls to determine key elements leading to their success or failure and train others to replicate top-performer behaviors
  • Sales agent candidates review actual calls with the hiring manager to fully understand job requirements and determine organizational fit
  • Sales management receives real-time alerts of key phrases and customer/agent behavior, enabling them to provide immediate, targeted training
  • Call analytics and dashboards allow managers to view granular call-specific information and high-level trends over time
  • User-friendly dashboards and personalized reports are easily integrated into everyday workflow
  • Cloud platform is deployed quickly and can scale to meet the demands of peak seasons

Knowing is half the battle: Better tracking = better results

Matt Zoller, TruGreen National Sales Director, aimed to find ways to elevate the performance of his team, marketing campaigns and every single interaction TruGreen agents have with customers. The first step on that journey: simplify, standardize and improve the way calls are captured and categorized so Zoller could more easily and effectively analyze the rich data being generated every day by his team.

“I turned to Tethr to provide me with a more complete picture of the health of my contact center, our sales team and our marketing campaigns.”

“I wanted to know why people were calling, why customers were canceling or signing up for service, and why some agents were successful while others were not. But, because we were only recording a fraction of the phone conversations, I had to rely on information derived from the generic disposition codes applied to calls by sales agents, or on agents’ memories of call occurrences. I turned to Tethr to provide me with a more complete picture of the health of my contact center, our sales team and our marketing campaigns.”

Tethr’s cloud-based platform records and transcribes every TruGreen call center call, and makes every word searchable. Tethr worked with TruGreen to identify nuanced key terms that properly identify the reason and outcome of each call, giving sales executives the ability to get to the true core of customer churn and uptick. The calls are categorized automatically by Tethr, requiring no action by the TruGreen agent. Now, agents can focus on delivering the best customer experience.

Managers receive alerts when certain terms are mentioned during calls, can build dashboards to show the correlations between reasons for calls, and use the information to provide targeted training for specific sales representatives and to create stronger marketing offers and campaigns.

With this level of insight, TruGreen has helped increase sales retention rates by 7%, improved call conversion by 10%, improved the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and lowered the cost per sale across the board

"Because it provides analytics over all calls that are easily interpreted, actionable and measurable, Tethr has driven an increase in conversion of leads, value of sale, and retention of sales,” said Zoller.

Everyone’s a winner: Building a stronger sales team

Managers frequently meet with their sales teams to provide training, overviews of new offers and answers to agent questions. Before Tethr, managers spent more time uncovering issues, diagnosing causes and searching for calls that exemplified the challenges than they did remedying the problems. Training was time-consuming and not scalable, especially as new agents were hired during peak seasons.

Now with Tethr, sales managers have access to all call recordings and transcripts and can search for calls based on specific keywords or actions. Because Tethr is always listening, managers no longer review every call or depend on a small sampling of calls to create training curricula. They can set alerts for when certain phrases are used, easily replay these calls for the entire team or specific agents, and provide guidance on what went well and what can be improved. Managers have saved time and increased the effectiveness of training by focusing the right type of training on the right agent, instead of providing less targeted training to the entire group.

“My number-one priority is to drive more commission earnings for our salespeople by improving their selling skills,” continued Zoller. “As our team continues to grow, we need to scale our training programs and spend time enabling agent success. With Tethr, our coaches focus on facilitating skills development instead of searching for and listening to calls. Now, I have leading indicators of sales agent performance success or issues and can help agents replicate positive behavior and mitigate challenges. The results: more consistent sales processes, and more commission for our sales agents.”

TruGreen managers wanted to create stronger scripts and messaging and to measure how script compliance impacts sales results. Using Tethr, TruGreen sales managers analyzed the frequency by which sales agents encouraged customers to select the preferred payment options, and discovered that a very low percentage of them offered this payment method, despite receiving training to do so. By providing targeted training, TruGreen saw an immediate surge of sales agents offering better payment options. And, because all calls are recorded and analyzed 100% of the time, managers can track which agents are following scripts and measure how sales are impacted as a result.

Using Tethr, TruGreen realized that it needed to develop more options within its scripts. “After analyzing our calls in Tethr, we realized that our scripts were, in some cases, making it challenging for our sales agents to provide necessary guidance to our customers. Without effective scripts, our agents had to improvise, which is a hard skill to teach at scale,” said Zoller. Because Tethr analyzes why customers have entered the voice channel and correlates that data with the results of the interaction, Zoller and his team were able to create more sophisticated and personalized scripts that focused on more effectively servicing the customer.

Managers are also finding Tethr invaluable in the hiring process. Hiring managers play calls and review transcripts with job candidates, and have the candidate share their thoughts on what worked and what they would do differently. “Because they are hearing actual calls, they get a good sense of the role they’ll play if they join our team. We’ve found some of our strongest candidates and have had others self-select out of the process because they realize this job isn’t for them. We also use the system to get new hires up to speed more quickly, using real-world calls to prepare them for their new position.”

Go with the flow: Improving business processes with Tethr

Tethr gives managers full control over the information they see in dashboards and alerts sent to their devices. The system becomes a part of their daily workflow, arming them with quantitative and qualitative data and key metrics that help them make timely business decisions.

“Before Tethr, sales processes, campaigns and tactics were built based on institutional knowledge and best practices from the top-performing sales agents. We’d often find that the best agents were doing something entirely different from the rest of the sales population. These successful behaviors were not repeatable. Tethr helps us more accurately identify best practices and create sales processes that are effective for each member of the sales organization–whether they’re a Clark Kent or a Superman.”

Managers can drill down into each call to find correlations and change business processes based on real-world events. They can also analyze and share information at a macro level, to show trends over time and to visualize ways process changes have impacted the business. Key data points and insights are integrated into TruGreen’s CRM system, enabling the entire organization to take action based on important customer insights. Now, TruGreen can create a dynamic sales process that can easily shift to take variables such as customer demand and agent skillset into account.

“With access to the analytics, transcripts and search tools, I can refine our sales process, training practices and offers to make my sales teams more likely to address customer concerns, set proper customer expectations and ultimately close a deal. I have used technologies in the past that have required the business to make big, painful adjustments within the sales channel, or that quickly become antiquated once they meet a specific benchmark,” said Zoller.

“Tethr is easy to use and, like a good sales coach, constantly helps us adjust and improve. It helps us evolve by uncovering the next actionable opportunity, pulling our business into the future with quantitative analytics.”

Zoller and TruGreen plan to expand the use of Tethr across the organization. “My team has used Tethr to build a foundation for growth and to become a best-in-class call center organization,” said Zoller. “For next year, we’ve set even higher goals for all agents and campaigns. Tethr will be at the center of our success as we continue to use the real voice of the customer and intelligent, actionable analytics to make smarter business decisions.”

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