How a Sales Talk Show Boosted ACV by 45% at Demandbase
The Sales Enablement team at Demandbase wanted to uncover new ways in which they could amplify the efficiencies and deal insights highlighted by Gong so others could learn from them as well.
They created virtual sessions where reps would get live feedback on Gong calls. The results of these educational sessions were incredibly impactful in terms of rep productivity and overall efficiency.
San Francisco, California
My dream as a kid was to grow up and become a film director. I loved creating and editing videos and telling stories, and I spent countless hours with a camcorder in my hand, trying to tell as many stories as possible.
Though my name doesn’t grace Hollywood screens, I still love creating video content at home and in my sales enablement work to capture people’s attention and effectively communicate a message. There’s an emotional element to videos that — when used properly — lets the video’s creator drive action and get fantastic outcomes.
Because of my love for the art of video, I’m always looking for ways to incorporate it into my activities. I knew when I joined Demandbase in 2022 that this would be a key tool in how we moved forward. It was a great opportunity to rally our sales team around value messaging through the power of storytelling.
How I keep my finger on the pulse of our business efficiency and sales enablement needs
I signed on to a sales team in transition, and it wasn’t the right time to roll out new messaging, sales methodologies, or forecasting improvements. As I became familiar with my new role, I sought out the best way to add value in the midst of a lot of change. Luckily, Demandbase had an established relationship with Gong, and I began to spend a lot of time in the platform.
Pretty soon, it became clear to me that I could add value to the sales team by using Gong to support their productivity and effectiveness. This proved to be true in my work with both managers and frontline reps.
We have thousands of recorded customer interactions available in Gong, and the platform makes it easy to stay in touch with our sales team’s context and spot trends arising across thousands of their customer interactions. I can keep my finger on the pulse of our teams and ensure that I understand the issues they encounter in the market.
When someone asks which team member can execute a particular technique especially well, it’s easy for me to answer because of the information surfaced by Gong. And when it’s time to create new enablement programs, Gong gives me the data I need to make those programs targeted and successful.
The platform surfaces some amazingly productive sales moments for me, alongside plenty that aren’t so great. I wanted to amplify the efficiencies and deal insights highlighted by Gong so others could learn from them as well.
“Gong GOATs Live” increased our uptake of best practices across the sales team
Before Demandbase, I had experience running best practice sessions for sales teams. In our sessions, we shared knowledge and experiences so people could learn from others’ mistakes and successes.
I wanted to take this idea further at Demandbase by making the format more interactive and using the video storytelling approach I knew was so powerful. I thought it would be great to relive some of our deal-winning moments together as a team. Since everyone wants to learn from a GOAT (Greatest of all Time), I launched Gong GOATs Live.
During these live virtual sessions, I interviewed a sales rep and included space for audience participation. It felt like a late-night talk show! I’d ask the rep to set up the moment we were about to experience by telling us about the outcome they were trying to generate with the customer and the lesson(s) they learned. After we played the call snippet (a feature available in Gong), we’d open the floor and invite the audience to participate using one of the three Cs: They could offer a compliment, provide constructive criticism, or ask for clarity.
Gong GOATs Live became something our sales teams looked forward to attending. It’s very easy to get into a silo as a sales rep, and these sessions were an opportunity to align with people on other teams. We ran the sessions biweekly, and they soon began to take on a life of their own, with managers running Gong GOATs Live sessions to boost productivity and efficiency on their respective teams. While we have taken a break from facilitating these recently, we have plans for them to make a comeback when we launch our methodology next year.
We boosted annual contract values (ACVs) by 45% and opportunity values by 111%
The Gong GOATS sessions are amazing. You can feel the connection-building happening in the room when we watch these videos together. That’s the result of clear story arcs that connect viewers to the reps, the prospects, the challenges, and the approaches our reps use. Plus, the results of these educational sessions are hard to beat!
We saw some big wins based on our Gong usage:
- When Gong is used in an opportunity valued over $100K, win rates increased from 59.93% to 66.47%.
- Quarter over quarter, Gong adoption by both managers and reps increased.
- When a manager reviewed opportunities, the deal value increased by 111%.
- When the opportunity owner reviewed an opportunity, the deal value increased by 61%.
- Opportunities with any call reviewed in Gong increased the annual contract value (ACV) by 45%.
Those were outstanding numbers for our sales teams. Productivity was high and our revenue numbers were climbing.
Our meetings and follow up focus on connection, alignment, and replication
Other success factors were less tangible but still meaningful. People have told us they feel like they’re getting to relate more with one another and have more shared experiences. This alignment across teams is important. Remote work can be lonely, so making time for meaningful connection matters. It also helps everyone stay on the same page in terms of our sales messaging and playbook, and keeps productive behaviors at the forefront of ICs’ minds. Gong GOATs Live has been an excellent opportunity to build our culture of feedback, sharing best practices, and coaching.
We highlight moments when someone can easily replicate a winning technique to make it actionable. I might point out three tactics used in a call and ask the folks in the session which one they can add to their toolbox immediately. Their managers can then follow up — using Gong’s adoption tracking to help them, of course — and hold the reps accountable. By establishing positive sentiment and psychological safety, participants can collaborate and use Gong’s insights to solve common challenges, such as how to handle competitor mentions on a call.
Gong’s features make all of this easy. For instance, its Smart Trackers allow us to track trends emerging across our customer interactions as well as the use of our approved messaging. If a manager gets an alert that a particular topic was discussed on a call, they can easily review that customer’s history. They can navigate backward and forward in the deal, which helps them understand its entire context quickly and efficiently. Gong’s smart guidance also identifies the action items reps should follow up on during the next call.
Gong’s AI now supports our leadership team’s business decisions
We’re now using Gong’s AI capabilities to keep our executive leadership team informed. For example, we use it to better understand market conditions and how they affect our ability to renew existing customers or attract new customers. (We have a Slack channel dedicated entirely to specific Trackers, and our C-Suite uses them regularly.) Understanding those market forces helps our leadership team make better-informed business decisions that affect how we run our frontline initiatives. They’re critically important to our future successes.
We were proud to win a Golden Gong award for Gong GOATs Live; it’s been a great success. As we move forward with our Gong GOATs program, we have two priorities:
- We’ll use Gong to help us uncover what works in the deals we win as well as what moves deals through our sales cycle efficiently. We’ll share those insights in the Gong GOATs Live environment.
- We’ll also use the platform to drive accountability, especially when we adjust our messaging. Gong’s AI and Smart Trackers will be incredibly helpful in tracking new messaging adoption during rollouts and measuring changes in sentiment or deal speed. We’re also counting on Gong to help us learn more about our key personas and decision-maker engagement so we can adjust our messaging accordingly.
I also want to build trust and psychological safety so we can review calls where there were challenges. That will help us go beyond “good” and dig into coaching opportunities that will make us even more productive.
With Gong, I’m using my favorite medium — video — to help my sales team overcome challenges. It’s how we’re enriching our content, programs, and enablement. That’s what we’re all after, and we’re using Gong to get there.
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