In 2015, Vista Equity bought Advanced and recruited hundreds of new employees to carry out an aggressive growth plan. Many of the new hires were in their first job, which created sales challenges around alignment, consistency, and tracking rep behaviour and activities. With a goal to increase BDR leads by 25%, Advanced relied on SalesLoft’s Live Call Studio and analytics to focus on call quality and monitor how buyers received its messaging. By gaining consistency and learning best practices, Advanced BDRs exceeded the goal and increased leads by 31%.
Who Is Advanced?
Advanced is the UK’s third largest provider of business software and services. Advanced develops software solutions that transform organisations of all sizes, in industries like finance, healthcare, and education. With 20,000+ customers and 2,400+ employees, Advanced helps companies take the headache out of running a business or streamlining organisational processes.
Challenge: Gaining Process Consistency and Visibility With a Green Team
Advanced’s new BDR team wrestled with using Salesforce in a uniform and efficient way, making it hard to understand reps’ activities and patterns. If they weren’t producing MQLs or SQLs, it was difficult to understand how BDRs were spending their time or where their efforts were falling short. Lacking solid activity metrics, leadership had many blind spots. For instance, how much time were reps spending going after new leads versus nurturing leads through MQL? Ultimately, Advanced couldn’t determine how quickly it could convert a lead down the funnel.
Plus, ramping a mostly-new team posed challenges in aligning BDRs’ skills with Advanced’s growth goals: increasing leads and valuation. As Pete Sadler, Director of Customer and Product Marketing explains, “We wanted to give our customers a consistent buying experience that is based on best practices and focused on them, with a relatively new team.”
In addition to educating and elevating a new team, Advanced’s year-end goals included growing the value of the company by increasing BDR-generated leads by 25% in 2019. This required efficiency, a faster funnel, and more opportunities — three big asks of a team with little-to-no prior experience.
Solution: Combining Call Tracking, Coaching, and Analytics To Streamline the Process
Pete credits Advanced’s use of Live Call Studio with improving call quality and creating a baseline from which to model other calls. “We’ve done more with team leaders and the individuals themselves around personal development,” Pete said. “The members of the team also helped coach each other.” Through call review and coaching, Advanced identified strong sales calls so that new BDRs had clear examples of what success looks like.
Rob Cummerson, Head of Marketing Operations, echoed the value of Live Call Studio. “In weekly catch ups and one-to-ones, we are doing one good call and one challenging call, and learning what we think is good, bad, or indifferent.”
Call review helped leadership see how prospects were reacting to calls. Additionally, Analytics helped Advanced gauge the efficacy of its messaging. These insights proved integral to determining if BDRs were delivering the right message to the right personas.
The experience that I want Advanced’s customers to have is based on what we have had from SalesLoft. The solution itself is great, but without the service that’s wrapped around it, it wouldn’t be anywhere near as valuable.
— Rob Cummerson, Head of Marketing Operations at Advanced
Results: Blasting Past Benchmarks With a Trained and Capable Team
From the start, efficiency skyrocketed among the BDRs who embraced SalesLoft. Pete said that certain reps “could see the benefit of it straightaway, and they were our super users from day one. They could see that they could contact a higher number of leads in a shorter amount of time and make sure their time was spent efficiently on people that were interested.”
Advanced BDRs increased leads by 31%, beating the 25% target. They now convert leads above the industry benchmark rate, giving the sales team better quality buyers and improving win rates. Even during a global pandemic, Pete credits much of the team’s ability to pull through unscathed to the visibility that SalesLoft provided.
I think about us going through lockdown without SalesLoft as a fully remote team, and I shudder! But with the insight SalesLoft provides reps for decision making, plus the coaching and help they receive from team leaders, we feel satisfied that we’re doing our very best in what has been a hugely challenging situation.
– Pete Sadler, Director of Customer and Product Marketing at Advanced
Now, Advanced is seeing sparks of recovery — SalesLoft acts as a barometer for prospect engagement. “We don’t have to just watch lead generation or wins,” Pete said. “We can see engagement through the funnel and that encourages the team and sales leadership.”