A refined pipeline: EdgePetrol boosts their pipe feed by 300% with Gong
A rapidly growing startup, EdgePetrol wanted to optimise its sales process to ensure that it created predictable revenue and maximised its pipeline.
Using Gong helped EdgePetrol qualify more deals, increase its pipeline by 300%, improve its coaching process, and bring its pricing strategy in line with its value.
Oil and energy software
What’s on Mark Truman’s wish list? Filling his sales team’s pipeline with truly qualified leads and knowing when to disqualify a prospect.
Mark is the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at EdgePetrol, a UK-based software company that specialises in fuel price optimisation. Their pricing software gives petrol station owners real-time, accurate insights to help them maintain or increase volume and fend off aggressive competition by making better pricing decisions.
But Mark and his team ran into some roadblocks while trying to meet their pipeline goals.
EdgePetrol’s prospect base was so used to the status quo, they didn’t recognize their situation as problematic, or see a need for a solution. With a global pandemic and an off-kilter economy, EdgePetrol needed new ways to build a highly qualified pipeline and communicate its product’s value so it could close big deals.
How did the company regain its balance? Gong’s Revenue Intelligence platform helped EdgePetrol create predictable revenue and understand its customers’ needs.
In a matter of months, thanks in part to Gong, EdgePetrol hit meaningful milestones:
- 300% increase in pipeline
- 66% decrease in employee ramp time (from 18 to 6 months)
- 10% increase in close rate
- Shortened sales cycle
- Larger average deal size
- Saved at-risk deals
- Gained insights about the business and the market
- Retained and grew existing customer accounts
- More qualified opportunities
Meaningful milestones, indeed! This is the story of how it all happened.
No pain, no pipeline.
As the CRO, Mark spends a lot of time thinking about how to optimise everything sales-oriented to ensure he’s maximising revenue.
“When it comes to our pipeline,” says Mark, “qualified opportunities are our best indicator of predictable revenue. And while revenue is important, predictable revenue allows me to get a good night’s rest.”
Today, in order to live in the EdgePetrol pipeline, a lead must have a pain point that is easily articulated.
“No pain, no pipeline” is Mark’s new mantra.
If a lead qualifies, it moves through the entire EdgePetrol sales cycle:
Stage 1: Lead is qualified
Stage 2: Demo meeting is booked
Stage 3: Demo is complete
Stage 4: Opportunity is qualified
Stage 5: Proposal is sent
Stage 6: Deal is closed-WON (or lost)
That’s why lead qualification is so critical: If Mark and his sales team can ensure that leads are well-qualified and they can book a demo, they can be confident that they will get to a qualified opportunity.
The rest is paperwork (in theory).
Gong has helped EdgePetrol optimise this process.
“Gong saves us lots of time that used to be spent focusing on top-of-the-funnel activities. We’ve increased our pipeline feed by 300% using that time more productively. More deals are qualified, meaning we see the more predictable and repeatable revenue streams we’re striving for. I couldn’t live without Gong now.”
“We get real value on the sales team from our improved coaching.”
As Mark has discovered, coaching based on data is incredibly valuable, and a Gong differentiator.
We call it “Gong for Coaching”.
Here’s why it matters: Managers know that coaching is important, but they struggle to get good (and consistent) results. Why? They face three barriers:
- Managers have limited data: It’s tough to recognise patterns if you can’t see every interaction from every rep.
- Reviews are time intensive: Sitting in on every call is inefficient and impractical.
- Coaching is inconsistent: A poor plan (or no plan) to keep managers accountable for coaching makes it nearly impossible to drive real change.
As EdgePetrol found out in short order, Gong customers never play a guessing game with coaching. The platform gives managers complete visibility into their coaching opportunities. You can quickly spot problem areas using benchmarked data, and close crucial skills gaps based on data-driven recommendations.
As Mark put it “When we brought in Gong, I geeked out. From day one, I was all over it. Gong was like a new toy, a new sports car for me. I wanted to know everything about it. Like a new car, I wanted to put my foot down and see what it could do.”
His sales reps recognised the value immediately and “loved Gong right out of the gate.”
Mark was pleasantly surprised—even shocked—by how quickly and wholeheartedly his sales team adopted Gong. He believes this was due in part to the reps understanding that the company was committed to investing in its salespeople’s development.
Mark remembered watching reps put notes into their own calls as they “reviewed the game tape” (AKA, listened to and self-critiqued their previous calls).
Reps were self-coaching! Mark was beside himself.
“There’s no way we can do this without Gong. I’ve never seen ‘self-coaching reps’ to this degree in my entire career.”
Mark shared that, beside the obvious benefits of sales reps honing and perfecting their skills, this self-coaching gave managers and executives more time to help with fine-tuning the sales process instead of working on the “basics” (think: BANT).
Time = Money.
That time equals money isn’t a new concept. But in the case of EdgePetrol, Mark actually ran the numbers and calculated a value for each sales rep.
“If we get a new hire wrong, it sets our team back by about six months. That means a loss of real dollars. Six months with the right salesperson—someone who can self-coach using Gong or incorporate new skills based on evidence around their selling behaviours—means they’re bringing in new deals worth hundreds of thousands in earnings,” Mark shares.
Those are real dollars. Not a change in focus or resource-hours saved. But REAL dollars earned.
When EdgePetrol hires a new rep, Gong provides them and their manager with “game tape” and best practice recommendations. Managers immediately gain complete visibility into possible coaching opportunities. They can see problem areas and quickly close crucial skills gaps. That means the rep wins more often.
And that makes Mark happy.
Gong’s insights also made a raving fan of EdgePetrol’s CEO, Gideon Carroll. Gideon is a “rather inquisitive” sort, “obsessed with customers.” When he first saw Gong, Gideon was impressed and “absolutely loved it.” EdgePetrol went from zero visibility into rep behaviours to full transparency.
Today, EdgePetrol’s CEO is also taking advantage of the insights that can be gained from the sales team’s calls. As Mark says, “He’ll come to me and say, ‘Just listen to this call.’ We’re all learning about how to best sell the product.”
The new (COVID) sales model
Pre-COVID and pre-Gong, the EdgePetrol sales team operated exclusively as field reps, conducting outside sales at face-to-face events.
As with many sales teams, the global pandemic changed all of that, almost instantly.
“Our pipeline and customer access diminished overnight,” Mark said.
EdgePetrol was forced to become an inside sales team. “We bought Gong and hired more people. Generally, you have to choose one or the other, but we took a risk and did both—invested in technology and humans.”
The bet paid off.
According to Mark, this transition would not have gone as smoothly (or possibly even have happened) without the boost from Gong’s insights.
During the first few months of inside sales, the team’s conversion rate hovered around 10%. Not great, but understandable. This was a massive shift for everyone.
Fast forward a few months, and thanks to the learnings and insights they gained from Gong, the qualified-to-closed-won rate moved north of 30%.
Mark attributes this three-fold increase to a few factors:
- Reps know they have to up their game, because they’re being recorded.
- Reps know exactly which mistakes they made in previous calls and constantly improve.
- Reps have learned that if they don’t ask certain questions, the deal will not convert.
Mark knows that, “Without Gong, we’re not able to see whether a deal is qualified or not. This intelligence has a huge impact on deals closing.”
EdgePetrol used Gong’s insights to encourage reps to up their game. The reps take these lessons and apply them to their next conversation.
New reps need to be on script (i.e., using the right messaging) as quickly as possible, but they also need to sound human, and move from active listening to reacting to what the buyer is saying. Thanks to Gong, in an average of just six months, new reps incorporate talk tracks into their conversation naturally. They become unconsciously competent in the EdgePetrol messaging.
Proof point: EdgePetrol’s current top rep got on script by listening to Gong calls over and over. And they weren’t just his own calls (self-coaching); he also learned from calls made by other reps on the team.
Gong Interaction metrics are next level
The EdgePetrol team has really taken advantage of Gong’s many interaction metrics:
- Talk ratio: The relative amount of time the buyer and the seller each spent speaking
- Longest monologue: The duration (in minutes) of the longest speech by a team member
- Longest customer story: The duration (in minutes) of the longest customer-talking segment (including very brief team member interruptions)
- Interactivity: How often the conversation switched between the team member and the customer (scale of 0-10)
- Patience: How long the team member waited after the customer stopped talking before taking over
- Question rate: How many questions the team member asked in one hour of conversation
Mark specifically loves the individual reps’ Interaction and Patience data. Gong even tells him whether a stat falls within best practice parameters.
“I have one rep who (like me) does not tend to score high on the patience index,” Mark told us. “I’m pleased, however, to see that this salesperson is digging into the Gong data and constantly trying to improve. He knows—and believes in—the data. If he can increase his patience score, his win rates will increase as well.”
The early results are promising: This rep has moved from .53 seconds to .62 seconds in the last 90 days. “It’s like Kaizen—continuous improvement!”
For Mark, Gong’s “not enough contacts” warning is also brilliant. Thanks to Gong’s blog, Mark knows the importance of multi-threaded conversations. Gong data show that on average, winning deals have at least three people from the buyer’s side involved in meetings across the sales cycle.
But that number is just a starting point. Gong’s AI looks at your company, your deals, your calls, your emails, to pull team-specific insights.
The Deal Insights screenshot above shows that win rates for another company (not EdgePetrol) were 8.4x higher when the rep engaged with four or more contacts (compared to single-threaded deals).
Mark loves digging into this type of individual data to track his reps and hold them accountable. (Some friendly team competition never hurts either!)
What’s next for Gong and EdgePetrol?
Mark is thrilled with how things have progressed thus far.
He shared that he’s most proud of how Gong “completely revamped the team—from field sales to in-house sales.” Mark is adamant that this would not have been possible without Gong’s insights.
“I genuinely do not believe we would have been as successful without Gong. It would have taken 18 months to make the switch instead of six. That’s huge. It’s an entire year’s run rate!”
As the Gong-EdgePetrol relationship evolves, Mark imagines using Gong as the “source of truth” for all things pipeline. He also envisions more teams within the organisation leveraging Gong’s insights.
Customer Success uses Gong to close deals because they think like sales reps, knowing that their activities directly impact renewal rates, and Product Marketing executives listen to Gong calls for messaging, feedback, and typical industry language.
Sidenote: Thanks to Gong insights, EdgePetrol realised it was actually UNDERpricing its solution. After looking at Gong data, they saw an opportunity to increase pricing across the board. “We would not have had the confidence that this would work without those insights from Gong.”
Real-time insights for the win.
Mark is certain that this cross-functional use of Gong will only increase in the future.
“We can’t wait to keep growing with Gong.”
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