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How Temp Staffing Firm Kelly Services Got a 36% Lift in Placement Rates and 50% Faster Ramp

Coaching Deal Execution Enterprise Global Staffing & Recruiting
Decrease in ramp time

The challenge

The surge in remote work put Kelly Services’s people-oriented approach in jeopardy. It needed a solution that could reconnect its internal teams around advanced insights for coaching and onboarding and provide them with a unified view of buyers’ accounts so customer journeys (and sales) remained strong.

The outcome

Thanks to Gong, Kelly Services ramped up its self- and manager-led coaching. This resulted in 50% faster ramp times and a 36% lift in the number of placements made with customers.


Troy, Michigan



company size



Staffing & Recruiting

“Everyone is competing for the same talent. We need to stand out.”

That’s not a throwaway statement from Brad Sibbald, Senior Vice President, Science Domain Leader at Kelly Services, a global leader in HR and staffing services.

He means it.

The HR and staffing industry has faced seismic shifts in recent years: 2x more jobs than talent available, increased competition across the 25,000 staffing and HR firms in the US, and a move to remote work.

All three changes impacted Kelly Services, but the move to more digital interactions affected the team the most. 

It had the potential to really disrupt their organizational effectiveness, particularly where pipeline management was concerned. That’s because it happened at a time when the industry was moving from having an influx of business to requiring highly polished sales skills to win new clients. 

If Kelly Services was going to stand out from the competition, its leaders know they’d need to focus on upskilling talent and retraining sales skills based on the current market and macro economic state. And they’d need to do it while facing increased pressure to find efficiency gains and win business faster.

That’s why Kelly Services went all in on Gong’s Revenue Intelligence Platform —  to lean into better, more connected insights and more unified selling. 

Gong provided actionable insights to grow pipeline and drive higher margins

Gong’s AI-powered insights transformed how Kelly Services managed their pipeline. The team even called it their “Sales Excellence Platform” for the noticeable change in selling behavior it created. Reps began to source and develop pipeline around higher margin services and products. 

Initially, Kelly Services used a Gong Smart Tracker to better understand how well (and frequently) reps were pushing for conversations to open the door to “higher authority” people. 

The data didn’t lie — the behavior wasn’t happening as often as expected. This insight helped inform a need for more coaching on multi-threading (i.e., connecting with multiple people inside the buyer’s organization to help drive the deal). It worked and eventually led to more growth with high-margin services.

The move to Gong also helped Kelly Services leaders gain more real-time visibility into deals in flight.

Kelly Services had long used the industry standard of a CRM backend coupled with an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) database. Gong’s front-end technology helped separate Kelly Services from the rest of the crowd. John Giseburt, VP of Strategic Enablement, said, “We needed to upscale our sales team … we needed the visibility to ‘watch’ them talk.”

Pre-Gong, Kelly Services used “old” sales coaching, i.e., role-playing. “Gong flipped role-play into ‘real’ play. We have actual game tape to review now,” said Brad. While slightly skeptical initially, sellers quickly went all in on Gong as they began reviewing their own game tape. 

Suddenly, a lot of introspection was happening. Sellers also reviewed their peers’ game tapes and started mimicking the top reps, incorporating valuable moves into their conversations. 

Increased efficiency: 50% faster ramp and 36% higher placement rates

John said it best: “With Gong, we’ve seen a 36% lift in fill rate, with shorter times to close. That means we’re placing more talent in our accounts and creating a better experience for our customers.” This resulted from using Gong’s platform to manage pipeline more efficiently.

For example, with increased visibility into customer interactions across every account, sales leaders know exactly who each rep is talking to, about what, and when, and whether they’ve discussed the right topics. Having this information across multiple sales reps in different territories who are all selling into the same account means both reps and managers are better able to collaborate without relying on subjective or biased notes in the CRM. 

Sales leaders were also better able to track how much pipeline was at risk because of poor qualification. If reps aren’t asking the right qualifying questions, leaders are able to identify how and when to de-risk, before it becomes too late.

In a rapidly changing industry, this meant Kelly Services could overcome critical shifts and set their revenue teams up for success to stand out from the competition.

Moreover, with key information available to everyone in one place, there was less friction during internal knowledge transfers. That helped teams move clients more smoothly between delivery and sales. The tighter candidate experience meant a faster time to close. 

Recruiters also used Gong to accelerate the intake process, which took at least one or two hours off both the reps’ and recruiters’ calendars. Gong helps recruiters better differentiate between roles, write better job descriptions, and sell candidates into those roles. (And analyze and understand their losses if there are any.)

These same capabilities in Gong also contributed to a 50% faster ramp time for new reps.

Before Gong, getting new hires — with no previous knowledge of the staffing industry and limited technical knowledge — up to speed took at least six months. Gong’s insights cut that time in half. Today, new reps, “know how to effectively do their job, how to speak their clients’ language, and how to talk to them about their job specification needs in under 90 days to close business sooner.”

Reps are also receiving up-to-date information about what works on calls, so they can incorporate those winning moves into their processes. The connectedness and ease with which information is now shared benefits internal teams as well as the customers they serve.

Pay it forward: Advice for other industry leaders

The team at Kelly Services is thrilled with Gong. 

The leadership team is certainly reaping the benefits of advanced visibility into its pipeline and AI-backed insights into what goes on in customer interactions. Gong’s consolidated platform keeps everyone up to date on what’s working, which makes it easier to achieve consistently positive behaviors. (This consolidated approach is also very helpful in terms of business continuity and creating an accurate database of every client interaction.) Whether it’s on their own or with support from a manager, employees are tapping into Gong’s AI-backed insights to onboard faster and hit higher fill rates. 

The team is excited to expand its use cases for Gong while focusing on the people-centered approach at the core of the company’s mission.

As a fully-fledged Gong user, Brad had some words of wisdom for other industry leaders: “Get comfortable with this new technology. Embrace it, and take advantage of the AI workflows. Just remember, you still need to be personal and have a human touch.”

As John said, “Don’t underestimate your team, your culture. Some of our earliest detractors of Gong are now its biggest advocates. Once they ‘saw the light,’ they went all in.”

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