Guest post by Graham Lee, Marketing Automation Manager at Vonigo, makers of cloud-based field service software
At Vonigo, we make business software for mobile service companies across a range of industries like moving, cleaning, and junk removal. Since our target customers are in such a clearly defined niche, we employ an account-based marketing strategy that involves using Outreach in our sales workflows. But we’ve also had success using Outreach after the deal is closed to distribute NPS surveys and, coupled with Advocately, encourage customer reviews and case studies.
Let’s break it down from the beginning of the customer journey, and I’ll highlight all the ways we use sales engagement as our clients advance from one stage to the next.
First, I’ll start by saying Outreach’s integration with Salesforce is vital; it’s enabled us to streamline and automate much of the repetitive and time-consuming tasks across our various departments. From Salesforce, we pull lists into Outreach, and we can use campaigns and copy that has all the fields mapped correctly from Salesforce.
We rely heavily on inbound marketing for a lot of our traffic. We have vertical-specific case studies and tips that help get the attention of our target audience. We use a number of offers, including an invitation for a private demo, to convert them to a potential lead. When a subscriber takes that next step and requests a demo, they don’t always schedule one right away. This is when our first use of Outreach comes into play.
Instead of manually following up with leads to reschedule meetings and share next steps, the sales team can leave that to Outreach. We use a series of emails to engage and encourage them to actually choose a time on our calendar. For leads and opportunities who aren’t ready to buy, our collection of triggers and sequences ensures that we remain engaged with them until the timing is right. With Outreach at their disposal, our sales team is now able to focus their time on meetings with leads that are ready to buy, instead of spending time chasing and following up with them. We have even converted sales leads that originally entered our system months in advance, but weren’t ready to make a purchase at the time, and were brought back by an Outreach sequence that was set to touch base with them periodically.
Once we have converted a new customer and are ready to begin onboarding, Outreach helps us improve the customer experience by assisting new customers in understanding the next steps and what to expect as they progress through each onboarding stage. Before Outreach, onboarding managers’ busy schedules inevitably caused some customers to fall through the cracks, resulting in extended onboarding times and potentially putting them at risk.
The sales and onboarding experience plays a crucial role in shaping our customers’ first impressions and overall satisfaction. Timely and consistent follow-up ensures that we are not leaving opportunities on the table due to inaction. As customers progress through each onboarding stage, onboarding managers have corresponding sequences at their disposal to ensure the next steps are being completed. Even after the account executive has closed a deal and handed it off to our onboarding team, an Outreach sequence maintains the relationship by having the account executive check in periodically over the first year. Each team at Vonigo develops a relationship with our customers, and it’s important for us to be there for them at all times!
Once a customer has had a chance to use and familiarize themselves with our software, we’re able to send our users persona-specific NPS email sequences to gather relevant feedback. We use Outreach to distribute the NPS surveys and then Advocately takes over. When a customer is identified to be a promoter, Advocately further automates the experience by inviting them to leave a review on various review sites and to be featured in a customer story or case study. Each of our Customer Success Managers have their own Advocately sequence, making the request personal and leveraging the established rapport.
If a customer is deemed to be a detractor, a follow-up Outreach sequence seeks to get clarity on their concerns, and see if we can engage them in a dialogue about how we can improve.
As a company, we’ve been able to maintain our growth trajectory, while keeping our team lean and agile. Our use of automation tools allows us to do more with less, and save ourselves duplicated effort, especially with sales and customer success follow-ups that use a formulaic approach.
That kind of consistency is helpful both in sales enablement, customer success, and in inviting more customers to take an NPS survey. Without Outreach, we simply wouldn't be able to communicate with potential and existing customers at scale and get the same results as we have. The result is that we regularly get customer reviews, and more importantly, a product and experience that is continuously improving based on the feedback we receive.
No matter how good software can be, it can only drive success for your customers if they actually want to use it. We are able to use Outreach to massively increase our customer engagement before and after the sale, to keep leads and customers engaged, and to show that we have a shared interest in their success, both in their business and with their use of our product. While automation is what makes this possible, it’s the human component of responding when a lead or customer re-engages that keeps the system working. We continually test and deploy new playbooks and insights from deeper customer success information.
It’s less about “set it and forget it,” and more about “set it and finesse it.”