How Rapid7 secured an increase in win rates using Gong
Rapid7 wanted to truly understand the voice of its customers so it could win more deals, but its teams were limited to anecdotal stories and haphazard, unorganized feedback.
With Gong, Rapid7 learned directly from their customers while enjoying an increase in BDR/SDR productivity, an increase in qualified pipeline, and an overall increase in win rates. Additionally, the team has an astonishing 99% adoption rate for Gong globally.
When you enter the Rapid7 Boston office, that’s the first thing you see — a giant moose.
Moose is also the collective name for Rapid7’s employees. Why? “Because there’s no plural for moose,” says Tim Burke, Senior Director, Global Growth Enablement at Rapid7. “We’re all in this together — one team, together.” That theme permeates everything they do at Rapid7.
When asked about his priorities, Tim immediately replied with three things:
- Develop our Moose (i.e., Rapid7’s employees)
- Ensure that customers have a top-notch experience
- Grow Rapid7’s business
“If we can train up our sellers and our CS [Customer Success] teams to ensure they’re productive, understand our customers’ pains, and use the tools necessary to be efficient, we’ll be unstoppable. Ultimately, that will help us grow our business — teams being more efficient, selling more to customers, and solving pain. That’s our focus.”
Initially, Rapid7 knew it wasn’t doing enough.
The vast majority of its customer interactions are conducted via phone and web meetings. As a result, the leadership team spent a large chunk of time gathering information and trying to find lessons learned during these calls and distilling them into trends, themes, and risks; things they could leverage to make critical business decisions.
Unfortunately, everything the data team received was anecdotal.
Worse yet, the information became distorted and less authentic as each person shared it with the next (like a game of telephone). This, along with a limited subset of customer interactions, made it nearly impossible to easily and quickly make sound decisions about where to focus their efforts, and how to really address the market’s needs.
Then Gong entered the picture.
It was time to move away from anecdotes and subjectivity and partial information (and opinions), and toward objectivity and the true voice of the customer (aka, reality).
Since implementing Gong, Rapid7 has had some early positive results. In just the first few months, Rapid7 saw a:
- Increase in BDR/SDR productivity
- Increase in qualified pipeline
- Overall increase in win rate
- 99% adoption rate for Gong globally
The Rapid7 sales and development teams were transformed into raving fans, with data to show for it.
Gong: An essential part of the Rapid7 strategy
“All hands on deck.”
That’s how Tim described Gong adoption at Rapid7.
“We obviously needed the sales team to be on board, but also the CFO, our product marketing teams, CSMs, and so on. We needed everyone if we were going to make Gong work effectively at our organization.”
Gong quickly became an essential part of Rapid7’s strategy to understand the voice of its customer and scale up reps through training and coaching. It saved frontline managers time and energy and allowed them to focus only on the calls that mattered most.
Alex Page, Sr. Director of Sales, Detection & Response and Automation, noticed that sales reps and managers saw immediate value from Gong, “finding new best practices and sharing them.”
One thing that stood out early to Tim was how the team jumped into Gong feet first. There was no hesitation, no concern about managers listening to calls.
In fact, Tim says it was the opposite. “It grew from the openness and transparency that lives within our team. They genuinely wanted to get better, to be coached.” For this team, better meant more efficient, more deals closed, more customer pains solved, and ultimately more money in reps’ pockets.
According to Tim, one of the biggest challenges when rolling out Gong was limiting who got access: “Everyone wanted to test-drive Gong!”
The impact of Gong was realized almost immediately during onboarding.
Pre-Gong, new hires were told to “get on a bunch of calls” to get a broad view of the sales process.
With Gong, Rapid7 was able to maximize the productivity of its team and rapidly duplicate its reps’ most successful behaviors.
New hires now see these best-practice behaviors immediately during the onboarding process. It’s a training experience that’s a lot more intentional, deliberate.
When new hires join Rapid7, there’s an extensive onboarding process that starts with industry education. “We don’t assume new employees have cybersecurity knowledge,” says Tim. “We start by setting the foundation, something that changes often.”
Rapid7 uses Gong as a training tool to introduce its selling skills, sales process, customers, competitors, objection handling, and positioning, as well as how reps are coached through the sales process.
Today, instead of shadowing random calls, new hires are assigned a dozen of the “best of the best” Gong calls to listen to, on their own time schedule. Each group of calls is tied to a category (discovery, demo, etc.) that together, covers an end-to-end sales process, from first contact to close.
The goal, per Tim, is to “give new reps exposure to a repeatable process of what success looks like from different perspectives.”
Rapid7 keeps a library of “gold-standard” calls that use different approaches and styles, but that maintain best-practices across the funnel and across products.
All of these changes are translating into real numbers. AI + coaching gets major results for reps
Gong’s revenue intelligence platform automatically captures customer interactions, analyzes them using AI, and provides insights. It applies lessons learned in millions of Gong’s (anonymized) recorded calls to determine the best course of action to win outcomes.
Rapid7 used Gong’s AI to provide clarity on things they believed were true, but couldn’t confirm without Gong’s insights.
That data point was huge for Rapid7. Clearly it was a winning behavior everyone should use.
Rapid7’s managers learned that their top sales reps did a lot more self-coaching than expected. “They’re striving to be even 1% better each month,” said Alex, “and that sure does add up.”
Plus, Rapid7 reps are loving Gong.
“Gong lets me swiftly hone in on specific examples so I can improve my sales craft and conversion rates proactively while learning from my past work,” shared a sales rep.
Said another, “As a rep, I leveraged Gong as my personal coach to help:
- Improve my patience and active listening stats
- Identify gaps in my sales process
- Eliminate my speaking ticks
“But most importantly, I leverage Gong to learn from our larger sales group.”
This peer-to-peer coaching has freed up managers’ time so they can focus on major deals and more strategic initiatives. It’s also helped the sales team grow closer.
From the managers’ perspective, Gong allows them “to be in multiple places at once, reducing the amount of time we spend questioning reps in meetings about current opportunities. We already have that data from Gong, so we can spend our meeting time focused on strategies to win deals.”
Deal execution helps Rapid7 accelerate revenue growth
One of the advantages of a revenue intelligence platform like Gong is its ability to guide users to successful outcomes with improved forecasts, deal warnings, and action recommendations.
Gong helped uncover some real opportunities for Rapid7, specifically, in areas for improvement.
As Alex put it, “We realized our reps were having too many single-threaded conversations, especially later in the sales cycle when you want to be wider and involve more of the buying team” (with an “army of champions,” as we call it here at Gong).
This deal execution insight led Rapid7 to look more closely at deals that were multi-threaded. It was clear from the data that multi-threaded deals were more successful. Thus emerged another best practice everyone could use.
Another nugget Rapid7 got from Gong was around rep email velocity (i.e., the number of emails exchanged between a sales rep and prospect over a given period of time).
As it turns out, email velocity is the best indicator of whether a deal will close.
Gong proactively pushes these insights to Rapid7’s frontline managers, empowering them to act on the data immediately.
The voice of the customer isn’t just for sales
Rapid7 puts the customer at the center of everything it does.
And while the Sales team tends to be on the front lines of customer interactions, others should be as well, including the Marketing team, the Product team, and the Customer Success team.
So many teams within Rapid7 truly “crave the voice of the customer.” It helps them understand the people they want to connect with.
Gong insights provide a reliable means for getting first-hand visibility into what works with customers and what doesn’t.
As a Rapid7 product marketer said, “I feel lucky to get looped into prospect and customer calls. Thanks to Gong, I can easily listen to tons of calls at my convenience, and even better, I can sort and filter them to find the topics that are relevant to my work.”
Per Alex, “Cybersecurity is an incredibly competitive space. Our customers hear from lots of vendors with similar-sounding messages. With Gong, we’re able to get examples directly from customers about what they hear from competitors, as opposed to what we’d find on their websites.”
“Our customers’ perception of our competitors is the most important intelligence Gong helps us uncover.”
To be clear, that doesn’t happen haphazardly.
With Gong, Rapid7 can quantitatively track how often its competitors are mentioned by customers. Even better, Gong ties that data to outcomes to see whether or not the deals are closing.
Security at a cybersecurity firm is paramount
As a cybersecurity organization, it’s not surprising that Rapid7 did its due diligence around Gong’s security infrastructure. The team performed a “deep dive on Gong” — our technology, the security of our call recordings, our privacy policies — everything.
Gong passed with flying colors.
That’s because although we don’t take ourselves too seriously here at Gong — our messaging is fun and lighthearted and inviting (we hope) — when it comes to security, we’re all business.
The Rapid7 and Gong partnership continues
“Working with Gong is awesome,” says Alex. “They’re super-responsive to Rapid7 requests and always ensure that we get the most out of our Gong instance.”
Tim echoed that sentiment, saying Gong is “Refreshing. Energetic. It’s important to have a good product. It’s important to have a good culture and team. But when you have both (like Gong does), that’s when the real magic comes together.”
Globally, there is a 99% adoption rate for Gong within Rapid7, across a large volume of global sellers (BDRs, SDRs, AEs, SEs). “That rate is extremely rare in any industry,” said Alex, who attributes this success to Rapid7’s partnership with Gong.
“It wasn’t a ‘here’s the tool, good luck!’ scenario. Instead, we had a strategic implementation.” Gong was — and remains — by Rapid7’s side as they continue to leverage the platform to its fullest potential.
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