Case Study
Redbooks replaces SalesLoft with Outreach for ease of use and powerful features

When it comes to sales engagement platforms, the competitive advantage you deliver becomes the
competitive advantage that defines you. And when Outreach went head-to-head with SalesLoft in healthy competition, Outreach took advantage to knock them out of their position.

But unseating an entrenched platform is no mean feat. Beyond battling the inertia of status quo, you have to get your foot in the door. In the case of Redbooks in NYC, that door to opportunity was opened by Biz Dev Manager, Phil Arbeiter.

Arbeiter knew Outreach from his previous role at a company called Collibra, where he had been instrumental in developing their sales team as well. It was there that he discovered and implemented Outreach, and quickly learned that its organization, insights, and ease-of-use were invaluable in turning a nebulous startup sales team into a structured, fine-tuned machine.

“When we first started we pretty much had inbound only, and the marketing team was still getting up and going,” Arbeiter recalled. “We realized pretty quickly that trying to keep yourself organized in Gmail alone was pretty hard – trying to keep track of who called whom and when, how many emails you sent, and very basic things like that.

“When you line them up—apples to apples–does SalesLoft have a lot of the same functionality as Outreach? On the face of it, yes. But Outreach takes everything one step deeper. The UI is smoother, the integrations are easier, and it’s just not as clunky.”
Phil Arbeiter, Business Development Manager, Redbooks

“As the team started to scale, we needed more analytics and insights, and have that sort of organization on top of it. Outreach was the perfect solution. It’s SO simple and easy to use, but at the same time you can get more complex to go a level deeper if you want. It quickly became my window of choice, because it was so intuitive. Without any manual or training, within 4 hours I was able to just make things work in the system.”

Armed with that experience, Arbeiter arrived at a nascent Redbooks with an Outreach ace up his sleeve. But he didn’t want to play that card right away. As a new hire, he didn’t want to rock the boat while he was still getting into it as one of their first SDRs, but soon enough he was tasked with building their outbound team from scratch.

Unseating an incumbent.

It soon became obvious to Arbeiter, that compared to what he was used to, the SalesLoft platform being used at Redbooks was simply not up to par. Their SDRs and CS managers were valiantly grinding through it, but he knew from experience there was a better way.

“When I came on at Redbooks, they had SalesLoft already and I didn’t want to start demanding
things right away,” Arbeiter recalled. “I started out doing inbound but the goal has always been to have a fully dedicated outbound team, so I started building that team. I said, ‘Listen, I get Salesloft, but in terms of their UI, it’s just clunky.’ It was pretty hard to use – even for me as a nerdy tech guy who knows his way around technology. It wasn’t easy to use even at a basic level, never mind the more complex stuff.

“Once I recommended Outreach and started showing some of the analytics and the potential use cases for the customer success team at Redbooks, that kind of opened their eyes. They saw I wasn’t asking just for me to get a shiny new tool, but because it can actually apply to the team as a whole to accomplish X,Y and Z.”

“As the team started to scale, we needed more analytics and insights, and have that sort of organization on top of it. Outreach was the perfect solution."

Arbeiter knew the value of Outreach laddered up as well as down into the trenches and made the case to Redbooks’ Head of Sales, Brandon Cohen. He highlighted the visibility and analytics for management in addition to the organizational efficiency and automation for team members.

“When I conveyed the value of Outreach based on my experience, people listened,” explained Arbeiter. “From Brandon’s perspective, he can see all these analytics and we can set up all these sequences that automate a lot of tasks to make SDR jobs easier, so they don’t have to try and juggle 50 tasks at once.

“Right now we have two customer success managers and we’re thinking about hiring another due to bandwidth. Those two managers have probably 1000 different accounts to manage, and their job is to renew and upsell. When I showed them that they can have a sequence for re-engagement with a customer—whether it’s two months out, or six months out— and they can use these tasks to help keep themselves organized, they thought it was fantastic.”

A blueprint for success.

Between Outreach’s automated sequencing, easier organization of tasks, and analytical insights,
the sales team was on board to streamline daily operations and make life easier. But for Brandon
and upper management, it was Outreach Blueprints that drove the sale home with real-world
success stories and proven strategies to implement right out of the box.

“What got Brandon especially excited were the blueprints. Once he saw that you can use Outreach
for the customer success angle, it was obvious that would help him too. It was like ‘hey don’t take
my word for it – these blueprints are their top customers along with the top sequences or templates
that got the best reply rates and had the most success.’ You can’t argue with real-world success.”

Going beyond the power of the platform itself and providing that strategic element, of a tactical
blueprint with proven steps to implement for success, was a key differentiator as well.

“The blueprint piece of it is a huge advantage you have over Salesloft,” Arbeiter emphasized. “You
guys are definitely trying to be thought leaders and establish best practices around cold outreach
and emails, and that’s super important. I’m always going to try to leverage insights from other
people. Lots of people go to these SDR meetups or sales think tanks where you bounce ideas off
of other people, but if you bring that right into the platform and you’re taking that directly from
customers results then that’s extra powerful.”

The difference is in the details.

Asked what sets Outreach so far apart from SalesLoft and the reasons come tumbling out of Arbeiter
fast and furious. But the common theme throughout is attention to detail – the little things that add up to make everything easier, creating an overall sales experience that’s truly greater than the sum of its parts.

“Is there one massive pain point that Salesloft can’t do that Outreach can?” Arbeiter reflected. “Probably not. But there are so many little things that Outreach does better they just keep adding up to tip the balance.”

Just like any platform, or just about anything, the first thing that strikes you is the first thing you see, and Outreach’s UI stood out immediately for its concise clarity compared to SalesLoft.

“The UI is incredibly clear and intuitive,” raved Arbeiter. “Even from an admin perspective with
analytics. For example, yes, SalesLoft has AB testing too, but the insights and analytics that Outreach has—and the way you organize and present analytics like opens and replies—is much cleaner and way more insightful. SalesLoft had these weird line graphs and bar graphs going every which way. It took time to digest that information, translate its meaning, and just make sense of it. Whereas with Outreach, it simply says, ‘These are your best sequences” or “This template isn’t working. Turn this one off and turn that one on for better results.’ Again, all with just a couple clicks.”

Beyond the clear and concise UI to interact with features, the actual UX for those features, with its
ease-of-use and dramatic time-savings, added to Outreach’s lead in outpacing SalesLoft’s usability.
Especially for maxed out SDRs in the trenches, trying to juggle their leads and set their sequences.

“When it comes to importing leads from Salesforce into SalesLoft, it’s simply too many clicks to get
there,” Arbeiter began. “And then with the cadences, there aren’t as many safeguards as Outreach
to help manage things when they get fast and heavy. When I was at Collibra, for instance, there were times when I would lose track of a lead, and I would try to add them into a sequence again, and Outreach would tell me ‘Hey, he’s already in this sequence!’ So little details like that add up to help keep you organized and on the right track.”

"There are so many little things that Outreach does better they just keep adding up to tip the balance."

It’s a straightforward equation that Outreach has perfected: streamlined organization leads to
streamlined efficiency, which in turn leads to time saved. Time being money (literally for SDRs) it’s an exponential domino effect that adds up to huge operational efficiency in day-to-day operations.

“Another big thing for me from the organizational standpoint, is the ability to create and manage
tasks like follow-ups. You can set your priorities, like how important is this? High, medium or low?
With Outreach you can can pick the date and time, and set the follow-up with just 2-3 clicks. While
in SalesLoft it took me way too long,” Arbeiter laughed. “Like 2-3 minutes. So little things like that
add up quickly.

“And if you’re an SDR especially, shaving a couple of seconds here or there – over the course of the
day, or a month, those numbers add up, and it helps reduce the frustration of those tasks.”

80 percent of success is showing up.

As in any competition, you can’t win if you don’t show up. And when it came to customer success,
the lack of support was the straw that broke SaleLoft’s hold on Redbooks, and Head of Sales,
Brandon Cohen, in particular. Especially in comparison to Outreach’s ultra-responsive, personal
post-sales support.

“The customer success at SalesLoft definitely rubbed Brandon the wrong way,” Arbeiter explained.
“It’s really important to him to have a real live expert to talk to, so he can say ‘My team is having
trouble with X, hop on the phone with us and walk us through it in real-time.’ SalesLoft customer
support appeared to only be available through the app. And he got into it with them. If you have an
issue you should be able to call and speak to somebody on the phone! I don’t think they even had
that basic service set up, to be honest.

“With Outreach it’s night and day. Our Technical Success Manager, Amanda, is super responsive and
at the top of her game in terms of expertise and help. Plus, you have a great onboarding program
and that means a lot to Brandon as well, so Outreach definitely won us over from the customer
success angle for sure.”

In summing up the key differentiators that led Outreach to oust an entrenched SalesLoft as Redbooks’ sales engagement platform of choice, Arbeiter describes what upset the apple cart: “When you line them up— apples to apples–does SalesLoft have a lot of the same functionality as Outreach? On the face of it, yes. But Outreach takes everything one step deeper. The UI is smoother, the integrations are easier, and it’s just not as “clunky” is the best way I can describe it.”