We just launched our newest customer story with Granicus, who’s been using Qualified to identify high-value website visitors to prompt high-quality sales conversations. The result? A 40% increase in MQLs, 150% increase in demo requests, and 52% YoY growth in Stage-2 Opportunities. The case study breaks down their approach to conversational marketing as well as Granicus’ challenges, integrations, and key learnings.
Behind their success is Drew Leach, Senior Director of Business Development. Drew is a seasoned marketing pro and analytics advocate who oversees the global BDR team, marketing operations, and lead generation strategy for Granicus. He’s worked to build a program that’s turned his entire BDR team into Qualified champions. Tune in below to learn more. ⬇️
Drew: Our website has always been one of the main tools for lead generation and being able to engage with prospects or customers; but they've always had to fill out a form. It would then push that person to Salesforce via Marketo and create the lead. BDRs then manually put them into a cadence and start outreach. Then it would be hours and even days before we got a hold of that person who at that time was interested in speaking to us. So we were really interested in a solution that would be able to engage with customers right then and there in real time when they're actually thinking of us and on our website to not only improve the speed to follow up and get to them faster, but then also to provide an alternate channel for them to be able to engage with us.
Even for myself going to certain sites as a consumer, I feel like I'm always more receptive to chatting with the bot that might pop up in the corner than I am to go fill out a full form. I know I'm going to get a response right away. And I know if I go through the form, I'm like, well, it's gonna take forever to get back. And by then, I'm gonna probably purchase something else or move on with my life. So we started looking into different solutions.
Drew: The fact that our Salesforce instance is very complicated—we have a lot of custom fields and customer objects—and our teams as well are complex—we have like five different teams within our BDR organization—I was looking for something that could basically adopt that and handle that type of customization and Qualified really stuck out as having the ability to connect well and integrate well with Salesforce.
Being able to map to custom fields, update certain things with Salesforce for us through automation that we would want, and be able to route to the right BDR team based off what information we might already know about someone was crucial to us. And Qualified, both in terms of looking at it beforehand and what we've been seeing since implementation, has checked the box of being able to handle all that; which may sound like a simple thing. But it's very important with five different BDR teams that you route the right person to the right team and that the correct follow-up happens. A lot of our business is repeat customers, so that was really crucial for us.
And then also just the ease of setting it up and running it. So on the back end, being able to create all these different custom experiences based off what webpage someone is on, or if we know certain information about them already—if they're a customer, if they're a hot account, if they're an open opportunity—and be able to easily create all these different customer experiences, drag things around, clone an experience and make some tweaks or A/B testing...all those things meant it would 1) connect well to our process and 2) be easy to build and use going forward as a new tool.
Drew: The goal is always to get more bookings—that's definitely the ultimate. And then it worked its way up from there to get more opportunities that are better qualified and convert faster, higher ASP's, etc. I'd actually say one of our core KPIs or things that we're trying to solve is actually on the very front end: the speed to follow-up. The fact that it could take us over a day to follow up with someone who had expressed interest to learn more about our solutions was a problem. And it's not a great customer experience either if they want that information then and there, and we didn't have a way to get a hold of them. It wasn’t an issue that our BDRs didn't want to call fast enough. It's just that it takes time for that form to flow over through Marketo to Salesforce, and then they put it in a cadence and prospects miss them trying to call. So our first thing was speeding that up.
Drew: At first I think some were skeptical; “here's another tool we have to use” type of thing. But we started with some power users—which is definitely the way to go, you don't want to roll it out to the entire team and have them all hit the ground running at the same time. So we started with a group of about five users out of our team of 35 who were more senior BDRs so that we can get them to actually use the tool and put the ownership on them to help promote those to the rest of the team as well. But once other BDRs started seeing people getting meetings off of Qualified, which they’re getting and paid for, all of a sudden it was like,” oh, wait, this is actually a tool that's really going to help me.”
And now, everyone is on there all the time. You see everyone's alarm in the backend, checking on things, and I'll see people responding quickly. They see the opportunities coming in so that obviously means that we're using the tool properly. So I think people are pretty happy with it.
And the rollout has also been really helpful where Hung's been spending time with the team; doing the training and actually walking through real examples. Whenever we would have an issue, he'd come back and walk everyone through “well, this is what you're doing and this is where you're actually getting someone routed to you versus someone who's just on the site,” those types of things. And really helped us work through all the kinks pretty quickly. And if we're able to do that, then the team buys into it a lot faster. It's adopted well. Whereas, if we are constantly having issues—like with other tools in the past—then they start to lose trust and it becomes just another tool. So regardless, that's not been the case and Qualified has been really well adopted across the team.
Alex: I think the number one thing is don't just implement the solution and then have it on in the background and assume it's gonna rake in the leads. You should always be tweaking it and making adjustments. So from day one, working with our customer success team, we've been making tweaks and adjustments and adding new experiences or A/B testing and trying out this different messaging, adding different qualification aspects to weed people out who aren't the right fit...but you can't just leave it there, sit back, and let the leads come to you. You have to keep tweaking it and adjusting it. We've been doing that on almost a weekly basis for the last six or seven months and each adjustment we make helps, even if it's a slight improvement, it keeps making those improvements, which definitely add up over time.
Drew—thank you so much for taking the time to share your story. We can’t wait to see Granicus' continued success with Qualified. Want to learn more about their strategy with Qualified? Cruise on over to the Granicus case study.
Alation harnessed the power of the Pipeline Cloud to achieve 375% growth, 278% increase in ARR, and 150% increase in meetings booked via chat.
See how our customers are surpassing their ROI goals when they implement the Pipeline Cloud.