Case Study

Vena Solutions Improves Conversion, Fuels ARR Growth

Cloud-based financial planning and analysis leader dramatically improves conversion rates using the SalesLoft Platform.

Adding SalesLoft to their sophisticated sales and marketing technology stack, Vena’s inbound reps convert up to 90 percent of qualified leads to sales opportunities in certain channels. They are directly responsible for more than 30 percent of the company’s ARR growth YTD.

Vena Solutions has quickly become the leader in cloud-based financial planning and analysis (FP&A) software. As the market leader in growth, product usability and customer satisfaction, Vena helps hundreds of companies make more-informed business decisions by making it easier for them to surface financial insights they can trust.

Unlike other financial solutions on the market today, Vena’s differentiation has been its focus on providing a native Excel interface for its customers’ end-users. The backend is supported by a centralized OLAP database, workflow automation, company-wide data integrations, and other enterprise-grade features. This approach helps Vena serve its customers – medium and large-sized organizations with growing demands on their finance teams – to work more efficiently and smarter in the ways they prefer to work.

Aidas Dirse leads the sales and marketing operations team for Vena Solutions. He is responsible for supporting the company’s sales efforts and manages marketing and sales operations. Working with the company’s digital marketing team, Dirse and his team have helped Vena achieve considerable conversion and revenue growth with the help of the right stack of sale and marketing technologies, notably including SalesLoft’s sales engagement platform.

The Challenge

Vena’s sales team primarily targets finance and accounting teams within both medium and large companies, across all industries. Its value proposition is to help companies spend significantly less time collecting and consolidating information while delivering accurate numbers that finance and management teams can trust. Vena’s offering helps them remain focused on valuable analysis, reporting, and insight discovery tasks that inform critical, strategic decisions.

Like any sales team talking to a broad range of potential customers, Vena’s biggest challenge is prioritizing prospecting efforts across organizations with a diverse range of financial management needs.

Sales reps need to evaluate and rank prospecting efforts on the fly. Their approach and pitch must be personalized for each prospect, based on the size of the organization or its unique business challenges. For example, in the financial services sector – one of Vena’s most represented verticals – the most common challenges facing customers include:

  • Navigating a constantly evolving landscape of regulations/restrictions
  • Managing and protecting against financial risks
  • Reducing risks which may result in costly financial statement corrections or even criminal liability
  • Helping customers improve the trust they have in their numbers, and the decisions based on them

In many organizations, these financial operations require an onerous degree of labor-intensive effort. Finance professionals rely on manual data entry and management of disparate, standalone spreadsheets, and often collaborate with numerous people.

“There is a lot of back and forth sharing of information and even more manual consolidation and sharing of information. In other words, a lot of inefficiency and room for error. Vena helps to automate and streamline these efforts, while also enabling teams to leverage the tools they are most comfortable using.”

– Aidas Dirse, Sales and Marketing Operations Specialist

The sales team is responsible for reaching a wide variety of prospects. In the past, the team built its approach around volume. The belief was that as long as reps achieved a certain number of touches, they would be successful. Reps would simply receive a list and start calling. The effort was haphazard and lacked standardization. Sales leaders also realized early on that this was not the most productive path.

Earlier in its history, the company relied primarily on Salesforce to organize prospecting efforts. However, managing the team while ensuring individual reps achieved the desired level of touches and conducted follow-up activity proved to be difficult.

Sales leaders knew their team could work smarter and faster. They decided to explore sales engagement platforms as a complementary solution.

Enter SalesLoft

Analytics Provide Insight and Improved Results

Vena had heard of other organizations who were having success using the SalesLoft platform. The company has been impressed with SalesLoft’s comprehensive offering out of the gate. As they become more familiar with the platform, confidence in the selection has continued to grow.

“One of the most impressive things about SalesLoft is how frequently the product team rolls out new features. We’ve been satisfied with SalesLoft since day one, but with every new release, we continue to see more and more value in our investment. Frequent releases motivate us to continually refine and improve our efforts and never get too comfortable.”

As part an increasingly sophisticated sales and marketing technology stack including, Marketo, Uberflip, and other solutions, SalesLoft immediately helped Vena create more consistent workflows. Cadences based on prospect types enable the team to maximize engagement. Using cadences, the team can better manage the number of touches with each prospect. They are qualified through a combination of progressive profiling and lead nurture campaigns. The following average touches per prospect have increased from 2-3 before implementing SalesLoft, to now as many as 12-14 touches.

Vena also trains and empowers their reps to create their own cadences. Leaders encourage sales reps to leverage a core set of cadences, templates, and snippets but also allows them to be creative in personalizing their communications.

Aidas relies on SalesLoft Analytics to help him monitor and evaluate performance and identify areas for improvement. Different versions of cadences and messages are tested to find the best-performing combinations.

For example, the team has a cadence that begins with multiple calls and emails early in the cadence. Emails are sent throughout the cadence, with efforts intensifying again towards the end. This particular effort has helped the team dramatically increase its closed-won rate for inbound leads.

Vena is fortunate to generate a high volume of inbound leads. Before implementing SalesLoft, the team discovered that too many leads weren’t being followed up on for days, weeks, or even months. Aidas aimed to shorten the time it took for his inbound team to follow-up on leads. When further analysis revealed that the best opportunities historically originated from inbound leads, the sense of urgency to reduce response time escalated.

“The results of automating our inbound lead follow-up have been incredible. SalesLoft and our marketing automation solution have helped us put a system in place that guarantees our leads are followed up with as fast as possible. As a result, we’ve seen a 50% improvement in inbound conversion rates from qualified lead to a sales opportunity, in some channels converting at a rate as high as 90%.”

– Aidas Dirse, Sales and Marketing Operations Specialist

The Results

Driving Results Through Efficiency

Using SalesLoft’s automation capabilities in tandem with a marketing automation solution, Vena is able to efficiently evaluate, score, assign, and map inbound leads to specific cadences.

The team now responds to inbound leads within an hour; in some instances, responses are sent in less than 30 minutes. They’re operating so efficiently that the team has achieved better results with fewer resources.

Doubling Conversion Rates

Vena Solutions has seen the strongest results in managing its pursuit of inbound opportunities. Sales is converting up to an incredible 95% of inbound leads in certain channels, and overall at a rate greater than 50% higher than before the SalesLoft implementation. As a result, the sales team is now achieving 80-100 percent of their targets and is still improving weekly.

Dirse personally attributes as much as one-third of ARR growth in the year to the SalesLoft platform. Furthermore, he believes this contribution has room to increase further based on the ongoing efficiency improvements he sees across the sales team.

“SalesLoft delivers one of the highest ROIs among our sales and marketing operations investments. From a sales standpoint, it’s the single biggest factor we can attribute to our trend of increasing conversion and close ratios across the team. There is no question that we’ll continue to dial in our use of SalesLoft to help us grow our pipeline and ARR to new heights at Vena.”

– Aidas Dirse, Sales and Marketing Operations Specialist

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

Best Practice & Benchmarks for Sales Cadences