BrightTALK’s sales development team is the engine behind the steep growth for the UK-based, virtual events platform provider, according to Andy Wiggans, Vice President and Managing Director of EMEA for BrightTALK. BrightTALK is the largest global platform for B2B webinars and virtual events where marketers engage with over 8 million professionals on the platform.
Andy leads the fast-growing sales development team for the company where one in ten BrightTALK employees is a sales development rep.
“The sales development team is a powerhouse. It’s a machine that produces lots of great opportunities. We needed a competent, qualified sales development team and account reps to really articulate the value of our platform to customers,” Andy said.
When the pandemic hit, BrightTALK was flooded with new prospects and customers eager to move their marketing events and presentations to BrightTALK’s virtual platform. BrightTALK found their existing sales engagement tool wasn’t providing the insights and clarity they needed to take full advantage of the market opportunity before them.
“The desire to switch to Outreach really came from sales leadership. We just weren’t getting the depth of insight we needed. We could see basic data across all of our sequences but we didn’t have insight into individual rep performance or broadly across the team.”
BrightTALK switched to Outreach to gain more detailed reporting across the sales development process. Once they had all of their reps using Outreach, they also had better tools and actionable insights to improve team performance.
“We felt that Outreach had a leg up,” Andy said. “The need to switch was a no-brainer when you realize what the tool can do versus the limitations of our previous solution.”
With the ability to track deal activity across the entire team and visibility into the full funnel, Andy said the sales team is able to make the right decisions to improve their sales process.
Before Outreach, BrightTALK was struggling to track individual rep performance, blind to incremental losses in productivity and efficiency that could impact revenue and the customer experience.
“One of the points of frustration was, we weren't able to look at sequence performance from an individual level,” Andy said.
With Outreach, Andy’s team is able to track individual rep performance, including using Outreach’s sentiment analysis to understand whether customer and prospect email responses are positive or not. With more insight into email replies beyond vanity metrics like open rates, sellers are able to make better-informed follow up decisions.
“Everything is at the rep's fingertips. The visibility Outreach provides is super beneficial. Reps can easily listen to calls, see what other reps are doing in their workflows— that’s a big part of the efficiency.”
BrightTALK uses Outreach Insights, a combination of AI-driven reports with actionable insights, to coach individual reps, as well as optimize their messaging, and operationalize playbooks for team-wide enablement.
In addition, their Outreach customer success manager makes recommendations based on how they are performing versus aggregate industry benchmarks.
“He tells us where we may be underperforming and that’s very useful,” Andy said.
Although the catalyst for switching to Outreach was to give sales leaders the depth of reporting they need, BrightTALK found that their reps embraced Outreach because it helps them hit their individual goals.
“Ultimately what I want as a sales development leader is irrelevant if the tool doesn't do the job that the people on the frontline need it to do, the way they need to do it,” Andy said.
The relationship between sales and marketing is now more coordinated and collaborative. Using Outreach Insights and sentiment analysis, both teams regularly get together to better understand how customers are experiencing different sales and marketing messaging, content and tactics, and figure out where to make changes to improve the end to end process.
“Outreach is a tool that’s jointly owned and jointly appreciated by both teams. Before, we weren’t really having good conversations with marketing about what success looks like— we just didn’t have the data to even start. Now, as we get more insights, we’re able to have those conversations.”
Using Outreach’s insights across the entire sales process, BrightTALK has solid metrics to track their sales team’s increase in productivity and effectiveness. In the past seven months the team increased their number of calls by 28%, the number of meetings booked by 25% and in just three months they’ve improved their positive email response rate by 66%.
Outreach helped BrightTALK achieve:
“The strategy is unchanged,” Andy said. “Super aggressive on customer acquisition and laser-focused on retention, and Outreach helps with all aspects of that.”