Case Study

Honest Buildings Leverages Sales Engagement Platform, Grows Pipeline 322%

In just one year, Honest Buildings implemented the SalesLoft platform to yield big results in an evolving sales organization.

The company struggled with team adoption and alignment with the first solution it implemented. Switching to the SalesLoft platform while adding a business development team helped Honest Buildings put the right pieces in place to drive revenue.

Honest Buildings has earned a reputation as the leading real estate project management platform. Many of the largest real estate owners in the world trust the company with their business. The company has helped to modernize a real estate industry that has historically relied on spreadsheets, manual processes, and disconnected systems to manage construction and development projects. Using real-time data, it helps customers improve communication tools to execute projects more profitably.

Taking a page out of its own book, Honest Buildings wanted to streamline its processes for marketing and selling products. Despite having a SaaS offering, Honest Buildings operates in the real estate market. As a result, their sales function mimicked the real estate model of employing full-cycle Account Executives (AEs).

Leadership agreed to make adjust the sales organization to increase the efficiency of the existing sales force. They believed that creating a new Business Development Rep (BDR) team and implementing a new sales engagement platform would help accomplish this. The newly-minted BDRs would manage the upfront qualification and lead conversion activities. The end goal was to achieve a growth trajectory on par with other SaaS startups.

The strategy proved successful for Honest Buildings, but it didn’t happen overnight. The company had to overcome several hurdles before hitting its stride. Throughout the process, providing an excellent buying experience remained paramount. Sales activity would need to increase without straining relationships in the closely connected world of real estate development.

Jeb Pierce, Director of Business Development & Inside Sales, and Scott Gelber, Demand Generation and Marketing Operations Manager lead the charge at Honest Buildings.

Challenges

Lead Follow-Up

Honest Buildings’ marketing team was doing a good job generating a lot of leads. However, before using SalesLoft, they didn’t have an effective system in place to track how well the sales team was following-up on leads and converting them into opportunities. Jeb and Scott knew opportunities were falling through the cracks, but they weren’t able to easily pinpoint and quantify why.

Because it sells into a relatively finite market, it would be easy for Honest Buildings to segment buyer personas and improve the effectiveness of marketing efforts. First, a better system was needed for tracking and measuring follow-up, and to automate aspects lead qualification, assignment, and prioritization.

Creating a Business Development Team

Further complicating matters, the sales team still consisted of full-cycle reps. As a result, follow-up was second to working the deals most likely to close immediately. AEs were tasked with building relationships with senior-level decision makers at the largest organizations in the building industry across the globe. Increasing prospecting efforts in the current structure wasn’t sustainable.

A better long-term strategy was to create a business development (BDR) team. The new BDR team began to establish more relationships with high-value prospects. However, they still needed a solution to help manage communication at scale without being too overbearing and alienating executive-level prospects.

The Right Sales Engagement Platform

The right sales engagement platform could help BDRs engage with prospects on a more personal and predictive basis. Sales and marketing leaders, Jeb and Scott, searched for a system that would ensure BDRs were prioritizing the right opportunities and maximizing their value. They also wanted to be able to better measure and quantify results to justify investment in building out its BDR team.

“SalesLoft had a much better sales process than other competitors we evaluated. They sincerely wanted to help us solve our problems while ensuring we made an informed decision about the right solution for our team. SalesLoft backed up questions with facts and helped us understand the platform, while competitors simply told us they were better. This made a big difference in our decision.”

– Jeb Pierce, Director of Business Development & Inside Sales

Like any new technology deployment, the team wanted to ensure BDRs would embrace a new platform. A previous solution had been met with resistance by sales due to communication gaps and a lack of consistent adoption.

Measuring the effectiveness of marketing investments was an additional challenge. Making sure campaigns are optimized and converting into pipeline is necessary for recognizing a return on investment. With SalesLoft, the team would be able to follow up consistently and track activity. In turn, marketing would be better able to quantify campaign value to management.

Enter SalesLoft

One of the first priorities for Honest Buildings with the SalesLoft platform was to setup cadences to help BDRs stay organized. This way, they could ensure the teams were aligned and using SalesLoft in the same way, and quickly identify areas for performance improvements.

As an initial sign the cadences were working, two weeks after deploying team cadences Honest Buildings’ BDRs set more meetings than in the entire quarter before.

Alongside the SalesLoft team, Honest Buildings set out to ensure everything marketing was doing to generate leads mapped to the appropriate reps and cadences in the platform. Marketing embraced SalesLoft’s automation features, which were second nature given their use of marketing automation.

“SalesLoft’s automation features helped our teams prioritize work and execute efficiently. It has been easier for reps to target and personalize communications. We constantly A/B test new messaging and cadences. Our focus is on doing more of what works, and less of what doesn’t.”

– Scott Gelber, Demand Generation & Marketing Operations Manager

Unlike its previous experience, the sales team adopted the SalesLoft platform on Day 1… some in less than 30 minutes! They found the platform so intuitive that they were able to start booking meetings immediately.

An area that stood out to Honest Buildings throughout the sales process was how invested the SalesLoft team was in helping the company succeed. The tailored, personal approach inspired Jeb to model some aspects of his sales team after SalesLoft’s.

“We were so impressed by SalesLoft’s sales process that we’ve incorporated it into how our reps engage with and pursue prospects. They were responsive to our needs and went above and beyond our expectations of what a vendor should do to win our business. The process was fast and fluid, and we couldn’t be happier with our decision.”

– Jeb Pierce, Director of Business Development & Inside Sales

Since adopting SalesLoft, Honest Buildings has built its new BDR function to a team of seven. As BDRs onboard, the platform makes it easy to bring them up to speed quickly.

“In a year since establishing a BDR team, we were able to generate 28% of new business from BDRs. We wouldn’t have been able to ramp them up to this level of productivity without SalesLoft.”

– Jeb Pierce, Director of Business Development & Inside Sales

Honest Buildings regularly monitors the performance of its cadences to recognize improvement areas. For example, Analytics helped the team identify the optimal duration and number of touches for engagement with a prospect. They have also been able to determine the best day and time to communicate with buyers in each persona based on open and reply rates.

With the visibility SalesLoft provides into activities, the team can prioritize prospecting efforts to ensure opportunities don’t fall through the cracks. Marketing and Sales leaders are also more informed about pursuits and follow-ups.

“If you’re going to invest in a sales engagement platform, remember that it’s not a ‘set it and forget it’ decision. You need a partner like we have in SalesLoft to help continually maximize your investment.”

– Jeb Pierce, Director of Business Development & Inside Sales

The Results

The two most important metrics for the BDR team are the number of qualified accounts generated and the percentage that turn into pipeline after the product demo. In the year since implementing SalesLoft, Honest Buildings has seen pipeline increase 322%.

The team is more focused on how to personalize messaging and leverage content to improve performance. Using SalesLoft’s Analytics and CRM dashboard, they are able to surface insights to guide optimization and strategy.

For example, Honest Buildings found Tuesdays between 11 am and noon to be best for emails and Wednesdays between 3 pm and 4 pm for reaching prospects by phone. Reps have also learned that it takes between 3 and 3.5 touches to convert a lead into a qualified account. These patterns may fluctuate, but Honest Buildings is able to monitor it and make quick adjustments.

A year ago, the team wasn’t able to accurately report on the percentage of marketing-qualified leads (MQLs). Jeb and Scott now rest easy knowing that 100% of all qualified accounts are followed up on within 24 hours of being generated.

But perhaps the greatest result Honest Buildings has enjoyed since implementing SalesLoft is less tangible. The sales team has improved how reps pursue and engage with prospects.


“We continue to rely on SalesLoft for mentoring and guidance about how to build a marketing and sales engine that generates the opportunity volume our team needs to meet growth goals in a way that supports our genuine desire to serve customers in the most sincere and authentic way possible. We believe in SalesLoft’s ‘SalesLove’ mantra and have seen firsthand how the company lives and breathes it in everything they do.”

– Scott Gelber, Demand Generation & Marketing Operations Manager


Get the full picture about leveraging cadences to increase efficiency and increase conversions in our latest guide here.

Best Practice & Benchmarks for Sales Cadences