The Gong GOATs: How Demandbase grew its market presence and hiked win rates
Demandbase sensed that there were “huge marketplace opportunities” available, but wasn’t sure how to uncover them with something more reliable than opinions. They needed a reality-based solution that could detect areas where they could improve and grow, in order to generate more revenue.
Using Gong to get full visibility into its teams’ performance and market opportunities, Demandbase increased its annual contract value (ACV) by 25% in certain segments, bumped its competitive win rates by 11%, and reduced onboarding time by 15%. They also created an exciting internal program to highlight their impressive customer engagement and share best practices.
When Jay Tuel first heard about Gong, he blurted out, “I need that NOW!”
Jay is the VP of Strategy, Revenue Enablement, and Sales Development at Demandbase, a SaaS company that “delivers a no-limits, account-based sales and marketing solution that allows companies to think big, start fast, and adapt quickly.”
His main goal is ensuring that the field organization is “armed with the intelligence it needs to have better conversations with our prospects and customers and ultimately win more, renew our customers, and increase win rates.”
Gabe Rogol, the CEO at Demandbase, was concerned about an even bigger picture. He thought a lot about how to capitalize on huge opportunities in the marketplace.
Since implementing Gong, Demandbase has:
- Increased Annual Contract Value (ACV) by 25% in certain segments
- Increased win rates by 5% across the board
- Bumped up competitive win rates by 11%
- Reduced onboarding time by 15%
We’re going to share how Demandbase cloned its A-players, revamped its entire onboarding program, embedded Gong into its culture, and achieved incredibly positive results.
The shift to digital sales and marketing teams accelerated over the past 18+ months. Salespeople and marketers alike now require new tools and platforms to get their jobs done. They’re looking to Demandbase to be that solution — so there’s (almost literally) no end to the opportunities out there across many sectors.
Gong uncovered these marketplace opportunities — ones based not on opinions, but on reality — from within Demandbase. And both Jay and Gabe have been thrilled with the results.
Clone the A-players
When Jay first rose to his current role at Demandbase, he was tasked with implementing a new qualification methodology called MEDDIC, a “new muscle” for most of the sales team.
“We wanted to understand how the team implemented the MEDDIC methodology, assuming they used it at all.”
Jay hoped to identify his star performers and leverage their approaches to help train the rest of the field. “Any time you implement a new methodology, it’s helpful to have data-driven insights that showcase who does it best. Using that information to teach others is absolutely crucial to adoption success.”
At Gong, we refer to this technique as “cloning the A-players.” You learn what your top reps do to win and make sure the rest of the team uses those best practices.
Coming from a sales background, Gabe knew that no matter what his sales org challenges were, some people would still succeed.
Like Jay, he asked, “What are the successful ones doing well and how can we replicate their success?”
Jay initially assumed that sales managers would need to do the leg work on sharing best practices, but that move actually came from the sales reps themselves.
“Gong adoption really exploded at Demandbase when reps started organically sharing great calls without their manager requiring it. It was pretty cool to see in action.”
This accelerated Gong adoption wasn’t limited to tracking the implementation of MEDDIC. According to Gabe, Gong allowed Demandbase to “find nuggets of amazing work” in all facets of the business, and put them into practice for everyone.
Admittedly, Jay worried about whether the team would embrace Gong. Folks are often hesitant with any change in processes or technology. Gabe also said that he was initially skeptical. Would sales reps really want their calls recorded? Would they feel like Big Brother was watching, lurking …
But once Jay and Gabe saw how engaged the sales team was — like the time reps used Slack to ask if anyone had a Gong call that could help move a deal along — their concerns fell away.
That was the tipping point. If the sales org was behind Gong, so were Jay and Gabe.
Leverage Gong to uncover coaching opportunities
Coaching is about more than investing in skills transformation for your team. A lot of coaching opportunities allow you to transform your reps’ skill sets and deal outcomes at the same time. That’s because Gong pinpoints coaching opportunities that are tied to skills known to help close deals.
Demandbase recognized the power of using Gong to coach, pretty much from day one.
“We loved the fact that we could immediately understand what was happening in any rep’s pipeline,” shared Jay.
Specifically, Demandbase uses Gong’s Deal Boards to “pinpoint where we’re having conversations or where there is a lack of activity. That’s an opportunity to dive in and learn more: Why are certain deals at risk? How can we, as managers, help to ‘right the ship’ and get the deal back on track?”
Jay and the team also love getting into the nitty-gritty details of a call to understand what works (and what doesn’t).
Demandbase uses all the approaches listed below, and per Jay, is “only scratching the surface” of Gong’s capabilities:
- Call stats
- Key points to focus on
- Conversations that aren’t happening, but should
Lately, Jay has really been digging the weekly Gong email he gets as it’s always chock full of coaching insights.
“The Monday morning Risk Tracker email is one of my favorite emails I receive. It tells me which actions I need to take that week to get deals back on track. It’s pure gold!”
Jay loves how Gong’s data-driven insights and time-saving, automated emails focus on a handful of actionable items to course correct deals and get them rolling in the right direction.
“Having this level of insight just served up to me every Monday morning makes my job so much easier. It’s a huge time saver and an efficient tool.”
New Gong GOAT program builds connectedness and clarity
Tom Brady, Simone Biles, Michael Jordan, Beyoncé.
That’s just a handful of GOATs (Greatest of All Time) in their respective fields.
Demandbase also has a team of GOATs — Gong GOATs, to be precise.
Per Jay, Demandbase’s new GOAT program “crowdsources content and recognizes people for having great calls, pointing out individuals who are really nailing a certain topic.” It surfaces the best-of-the-best calls and bubbles relevant content to the top so it can be shared.
Rahul Gupta, Director of Revenue Strategy & Enablement at Demandbase, says its GOATs were born of a simple question, “Can we use Gong to gather the best of …?” Turned out, yes.
“Excitement took over and things went viral internally. And really, fundamentally, this isn’t about finding GOATs; that’s a secondary benefit. It’s about Gong fueling an ever-curious, data-driven, and celebratory culture for us. Within Strategy & Enablement, for example, we are well on our way to using Gong to get strong data points we can use alongside others to triangulate and validate the impact of our actions. In sales, a recent snippet of awesomeness set our sales Slack channel ablaze…”
The new GOATs program has made its way into the onboarding process. New SDRs and sales reps go on a Gong scavenger hunt, navigating their way through the Call Library to find Gong GOATs and listen to the calls.
Pinpointing essential onboarding content and noting performance gaps has been invaluable to Demandbase’s new team members. It also reduces the burden new hires place on internal teams, as newbies can toodle around in recorded best-practice calls without distracting reps from their sales activities.
The data proves it out. The average onboarding time has decreased by 15%. The goal in 2021 is to reduce ramp times by another 25%. Jay is confident that Gong can get his team to that lofty target.
Jay couldn’t be more pleased with this program: “Gong GOATs has become an integral part of our culture here at Demandbase.”
Win and grow with ‘the four Cs’
If there’s one thing successful businesses have in common, it’s that they understand their competitive landscape.
Thanks to Gong’s competitive trackers (i.e., automated notifications), the team at Demandbase now knows when competitors are mentioned, which types of questions customers or prospects ask, and which objections they present.
Trackers provide visibility into how top sales reps handle competition-related questions and objections. This has helped Demandbase build out objection handling responses and scale them out to the rest of the team.
“This real-time, real-world competitive intelligence is nearly impossible to gain without Gong,” says Jay. “The data have proven invaluable to our leadership team.”
This intelligence makes life so much easier for sales managers. It saves them hundreds of hours of listening to entire calls. Instead, they listen only to the most important snippet about the competition, as detected by Gong.
Bonus: Demandbase took competitive trackers to the next level using the Gong API to push that data directly into Salesforce.com. They use the data to build “intent scoring,” — deals and rate opportunities.
But competitive tracker data isn’t just for sales reps and managers. Demandbase also shares it with the executive team. Gabe keeps an eye on calls that come through, and learns so much about what Demandbase does well and where they need to improve. He shares the background stats and the insights with his C-suite colleagues.
Gabe says this type of intelligence led Demandbase to completely reconstruct its sales process. They now define how various stages are qualified, to more predictably drive revenue.
“Before Gong,” Gabe said, “we were missing some qualifications — stages of the sales process that successful reps always went through to close business. Our new, Gong-inspired process means reps can’t progress through various stages without doing the things identified by Gong as necessary to close deals.”
The insights from Gong have led to Demandbase building a more scalable sales process. This, in turn, resulted in an 11% boost to competitive win rates.
The net result is this: higher close rates, quicker deal velocity, and super-charged growth.
COLLABORATION, CO-SELLING, & CROSS-SELLING
Demandbase absorbed three new companies in recent years, and integrating their functionality into the current product is no small task. It has taken a truly collaborative approach, and luckily, that aligns perfectly with another Demandbase objective: uncovering data that demonstrates how to best increase their Average Contract Value (ACV).
Sales reps from the three companies all share best practices using recorded calls. They’ve created a Gong-specific Slack channel where SDRs and reps drop in Gong call snippets, and use them as “shout out” and learning opportunities. They’re also collaborating on objection handling best practices. It’s led to some pretty powerful co-selling and cross-selling opportunities as well.
Gabe says that from a sales, marketing, messaging, product, and customer success point of view, getting disparate teams aligned on co-selling and cross-selling was essential.
“Because we now have more products to sell and more areas of expertise, we have to educate our team in areas where we didn’t have to in the past. Gong is essential in helping us understand how to sell each product effectively to each persona.”
Gabe also says that with Gong’s help, Demandbase can better identify cross-sales signals, which means the team can expand in a strategic way. Instead of relying on outdated information, Gong gives Demandbase visibility into leading indicators of success. That means Demandbase can move from being “a disjointed, multiple-company organization” to a one-company, one-mission, one-sales-process business. They’re more aligned.
The four Cs — competitive intelligence, collaboration, co-selling, and cross-selling — have bumped Demandbase’s ACV by 25% in certain segments.
“Nobody is going to argue with those numbers,” says Jay.
The Demandbase-Gong relationship: What does the future hold?
“They are my favorite team to work with,” Jay stated quite matter-of-factly. “Our Gong team is dedicated to our success.”
Bi-weekly meetings, quick response times, and help implementing a new methodology (remember MEDDIC?) helped establish Gong as a trusted source of support. The Gong team advises on best practices and shares insider tips on how other customers have succeeded in similar circumstances.
As much success as Demandbase has experienced with Gong, it’s really only the first leg of their journey.
There’s so much more to come with deal trackers, stats and data for coaching, using data for forecasting and in pipeline reviews, and tapping into more Gong integrations. And that’s only naming a few options at Demandbase’s disposal.
“Gong is the future,” says Jay. He believes that working with Gong has been a game-changer.
And according to Gabe, Gong has enabled Demandbase to dramatically accelerate growth and improve retention.
“Gong is the feedback loop we need for sales excellence,” Gabe says. “As we become a more global organization, we’re excited to have Gong with us for the ride. We need Gong to make it to the next stage in our growth.”
We’re right there with you, Gabe, riding shotgun.
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