case study

A 40% Increase in Pipeline Development in Four Months

How we transformed A Global Account Development Team into a high performance sales pipeline development star in four months.

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Leads Called in the 1st Month

Overview

*The name of the company has been withheld at their request*

The client is a publicly traded global company operating in North America, Europe, and APAC, selling to over 100 of the largest manufacturers, transportation and logistics, and energy companies. The company used a multi-tier selling model, including Account Development Representatives (ADRs), who qualified and set appointments with prospects for its Sales reps.

Key Challenges

The client had very little pipeline development activity from the Account Development (AD) team. Thousands of marketing leads remained untouched, and the team complained that most of the leads were “junk”.

Although the client had the Ultimate Edition of Salesforce, it was not properly utilized to manage prospecting and lead pipeline development.

Additionally, there weren’t any effective metrics or Key Performance Indicators to enable the team to track their progress and effectiveness in prospecting and pipeline development. 

Furthermore, the Account Development Reps (ADRs) needed significant training in phone prospecting as well as in understanding the industries and sectors into which they would call.

The sales reps also complained that the very few appointments set for them were with the wrong people, and that the sales reps had to qualify, find the right contacts, and do their own appointment setting with the right contact.

In the end, Sales Leadership brought in Alicia Assefa to reboot the Account Development department, as she has had significant experience and track record in transforming Account Development teams.


What We Did

Alicia worked with a global, cross-functional team consisting of HR, Marketing, Marketing and Sales Ops, Sales leadership, and IT to understand the key issues.

  • One of the first tasks was to set the target and determine how much pipeline should be developed by each rep, every quarter, and set their pipeline development quota.
  • Next, Alicia worked with the cross-functional team to design the workflow for lead management and tracking and re-engineered Salesforce to track ADR activity and lead development process from start to hand-off to Sales. This included Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as dials, connects, key conversations, as well as email connects and meaningful communication via emails.
  • Alicia also required each ADR to submit a GOSPA (Goals, Objectives, Strategies, Plans, and Activities) to show the ADR will meet his or her pipeline development goal. She then trained the team on SPIN Selling to increase their effectiveness on qualifying, identifying opportunities, and setting high quality meetings for the sales team.
  • Additionally, Alicia brought in a powerful prospecting tool called Outreach to increase the reach and prospecting effectiveness of each ADR.
  • Finally, she built team and management reports and dashboards around agreed-upon metrics and KPIs to provide feedback to each ADR as to progress, and to enable Senior Management to see how much pipeline was being built on a weekly basis.

As the global AD Team lead, Alicia held each ADR accountable to the agreed upon metrics, KPIs, and pipeline quota, and tied their compensation to approved Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) submitted and accepted by the Sales Organization. Further bonuses were paid when these SQLs went on the sales pipeline, and additional bonuses were paid when the leads closed.

Results

The results from the above changes were dramatic.

In terms of improvement in Process:

  • Over 1,000 leads were called and dispositioned in the first month–something that would have taken several months to complete in the past.
  • A closed-loop feedback system was put into place to track success of each SQL submitted, leading to rapid improvements in the qualities of leads submitted to the Sales team.
  • All new leads were required to be followed up on within 4 hours of being created in Salesforce.
  • Management reports and dashboards were readily available and emailed to senior management on a weekly basis. This was on a global basis.

More importantly, the quality of the lead pipeline significantly improved. Within four months, over 40% of the sales pipeline was now coming from the ADR teams, whereas before it was negligible. This resulted in a much improved working partnership between the AD and the Sales teams, further supporting the quality feedback loop.

As Celia Fleischaker, Chief Marketing Officer, said “I can’t believe we are at the end of the project.  It went by so quickly.  Alicia is amazing! I thank her so much for all that she did for us at PROS.  She made such a difference and she was so much fun to work with.  We will miss having her here.

 

0
Leads Called in the 1st Month
0 %
Increase in Pipeline Development

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