“With Salesforce there’s no such thing as no, only how.”

Don Cooper, President and General Manager, Innovator Industrial

From improving safety to optimizing productivity, Don Cooper recognizes the power of an intuitive app. President and General Manager at Innovator Industrial, Don is blazing a trail in digitalization not just across the business he founded but also across the heavy industry sector that it serves.

If you want something done, give it to a busy person… And Don is a busy person. When he’s not coaching his team, building apps, or starting a new business, he’s taking his daughter swimming or settling down with a good book. We talked to Don about how he’s harnessing the power of innovative apps and digital processes to make the most of everyone’s time.

Tell us about Innovator Industrial and your role at the company

I founded the company in 2009 to provide specialty services to companies in heavy industry, such as construction support, repair, maintenance, and inspection services. Our goal is to grow 10-fold in the next 10 years. I see my role as the navigator guiding the ship.

What makes Innovator Industrial different to other contractors?

Our digital and data-driven approach. Heavy industry has got a lot of catching up to do when it comes to the Internet of Things, AI, and the digital revolution. It’s going to be a massive transformation for the industry and we intend to be at the forefront. Unlike many of our competitors, we’ve already digitalized most of our processes, which means we have the data we need to take advantage of advanced analytics and AI. I’m a very analytical guy - I like to spot patterns, especially when it comes to human behavior. And in sales, understanding how your prospects or customers are going to behave is key to winning new business.

How is Salesforce supporting your analytical ambitions?

By centralizing and digitalising our processes and data, we can see trends and unlock new insights. We’ve used Sales Cloud to develop a best practise guide to sales based on past successes, which has enabled us to increase our win rate to 95%. With the right systems in place, it’s easy to measure results like these, but it’s harder to measure behaviors. And it’s behaviors that often hold the key to achieving even greater success. With Salesforce, we can correlate behaviors with results to see what works and what doesn’t. We’ve also built dozens of apps that help us encourage the right behaviors and achieve the right outcomes – from safety and productivity to project planning and team optimization.

How do make sure you get the most from the Salesforce Platform?

I introduced an initiative in mid 2017 to encourage everyone at the company to use Trailhead, and several of my sharpest admins have just finished a training course. I’m building a team of experts across Canada who will be our Salesforce champions; our use of the platform is only going to grow. I rely on the Salesforce community heaps to find out about best practice approaches to tackling development challenges – I’m a member of about 20 different forums! Whenever I get stuck, there’s always someone to ask.

What’s next on your to do list?

I’m starting a spin-off company called Impact Performance. We’ve built some great apps in Salesforce, and there’s been a lot of interest at events and across our customer base, so there’s a gap in the market – and I plan to fill it! My aim is to help heavy industry companies digitalize core processes, such as safety and productivity management, analyze what they’re doing, and learn how to do it better.

What does being a Trailblazer mean to you?

As a Trailblazer, I like to look at things and think to myself ‘how do I make that better?’. And Salesforce supports that way of thinking – with Salesforce there’s no such thing as no, only how. I also want to coach my teams to help them do things better. I’m part of a national executive program called Strategic Coach, which helps people maximize their unique skill-sets. I’ve got a close-knit team that’s worked with me since the day I started Innovator, and it’s been really satisfying to watch them flourish into great managers and inspirational leaders. There’s a reason why I put Innovator in the title of the business: I am an innovator by name and by nature!

Read more about Don Cooper and Innovator Industrial in our Customer Success Stories.


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