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Reality-based forecasts: Faster, smarter, more aligned

Headquarters

San Francisco, CA

Founded

2014

Company size

200+

industry

Software Development

66%

less time on forecasting-related activities

The challenge

Before Gong, Handshake's forecast information lived across disparate systems and every single opportunity needed to be assessed individually.

The outcome

With Gong Forecast plus Deal Insights the Handshake team is able to get a holistic picture within 15 minutes, making the process more efficient. The team at Handshake has been able to decrease the time they spend on forecasting by 66% and allowing for more alignment across deals.

“I’m a HUGE fan of Gong.”

Parth Thaker is the Sr. Director of Sales at Handshake, the largest career network for early talent, built to democratize opportunity and transform the college recruiting experience.

Parth’s Gong fandom began with a previous employer and when he arrived at Handshake a few years ago, he could not wait to get reunited with Gong.

I already knew the value of Gong. I just needed to determine how we could best implement it at Handshake to maximize value.

Parth Thaker Senior Director of Sales @ Handshake

It didn’t take long to get his answer. 

One of the first questions Parth asked his CRO when he joined Handshake was, “If I go out on that sales pit right now and I ask eight different individuals how they closed their last deals, how many answers would I get?”

The reply was short, sweet, and quick: “8. 8 different answers.”

Parth was excited by this reply. If a business could be successful yet still have tremendous opportunity to improve and refine process and motion… life was good.

Sales leaders want — crave — a consistent (predictable) sales process and motion. Therefore, they must ensure reps spend more time on high-impact sales activities and less on low-value tasks.

Gong has enabled Handshake to move smarter, be faster, and be more aligned throughout its entire sales process. Along the way, Gong also helped Handshake spend 66% less time on forecasting activities per week.

Here is how Parth and his team realized those enormous time savings.

Gong: An essential aspect of Handshake’s playbook

As the Sr. Director of Sales at Handshake, Parth Thaker is constantly asking himself the following questions about the team he manages: 

Are they receiving the optimal level of support from the business, managers, and leaders? Are they set up to deliver predictable results? Do they have work/life balance? 

Thanks in part to Gong, the answer is yes, yes, and YES.

Gong has become a part of the Handshake DNA.

“Gong is an essential portion of our playbook,” shared Parth. “It starts from the moment we bring a new rep through onboarding. Our enablement team has curated call libraries (the best-of-the-best calls) that get updated frequently.”

Having access to “A player” recordings frees up time for Parth, his managers, and the top reps — those individuals who are typically tasked with educating newbies.

This “bonus time” can be spent on more high-impact, strategic initiatives and helps create a predictable process and motion that can quickly scale.

Gong helps provide the Handshake team full transparency into deals and opportunities for existing and new reps. This means deal risks are spotted early. Bonus: Gong Insights provides feedback on how to mitigate possible deal loss.

Pipeline hygiene is a time suck.

Poor pipeline hygiene is a common pain point shared by sales leaders in almost every organization. 

Why so poor? Why so painful? Typically, reps have to open dozens of opportunities, click through on multiple fields within each opportunity, change a few bits of information, and hit save. Over and over and over again.

That’s because forecast information — in a non-Gong world — lives across disparate systems. So every single opportunity needs to be touched and assessed individually. 

“As managers,” shared Parth, “we click on individual opportunities to uncover the engagement points reps have with prospects.” It’s painstakingly slow. Because of this, Parth and the team (pre-Gong) could only unpack 1-2 deals per week.

So when Parth was given “one wish” to increase efficiency, he did not hesitate. “I told Gong I wanted to enable my team to manage every bit of their pipeline directly out of Gong.” This would give reps more time to sell; less time searching for data in multiple tools.

An enhanced Gong Forecast was the answer. With Gong Forecast + Deal Insights, the Handshake team is able to get a holistic picture within 15 minutes, making the process more efficient.

Everything lives on Gong Forecast. There is no longer a need to “hunt around” for information. A single, comprehensive view means one place to update — saving time and reducing (human) error. 

“It’s just so much more efficient,” says Parth. “With Gong, we can easily dig into every deal with every rep, every week. That is transparency.”

Gong provides Handshake with the ability to pinpoint changes in forecasting. With over 225 opportunities in the pipeline at any given time, it’s inevitable deals will slip through the cracks. However, Deals Board empowers Parth not only to see what is happening with each opportunity but why it is occurring. This means he can then spend more time strategizing on the next steps.

Thanks to Gong, Handshake now spends 66% less time on forecasting-related activities.

Gong Forecasting: Less review; more strategy.

It’s no secret Parth is a raving fan of Gong. 

“Gong Forecast has been a game changer. It has transformed our 15-minute Friday sessions with reps. Our time is now spent with strategy.”

Less time spent on forecasting activities means more time to actually sell, more time to spend with reps (coaching), and more alignment across teams.

“If we didn’t have Gong, our productivity would be significantly lower both as a business and for our reps”. 

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