In this series, we ask Sales Tech Executives to describe how their solution can change a sales organization in a significant way. We call it Sales Tech Game Changers.

This week I interview Darryl Praill, CMO for VanillaSoft.

How to Dramatically Speed Up Sales Productivity

Nancy: What are the top 3 ways your solution changes the game for a sales organization?

Darryl: VanillaSoft provides a sales engagement platform that enables sales development teams to respond to new leads faster, interact with leads more consistently, across more channels, and generate more qualified sales opportunities.

Many people would suggest this is the role of the CRM system, however studies have shown that CRM is ineffective when it comes to qualifying sales leads. For example, when using CRM, sales leads are engaged less than two times on average, with 48% of new leads never being contacted, and the average time to contact a new lead taking in excess of 35 hours. Those results do not result in new pipeline. That’s why sales engagement platforms, like VanillaSoft, change the game for sales organizations.

Sitting between the marketing automation and CRM platforms, it takes marketing qualified leads, then sales qualifies them, then passes them onto the CRM for pursuit. As a result, VanillaSoft’s impact can be measured and demonstrated in three tangible ways:

  1. Speed-to-lead – contact new leads within minutes and triple your engagement rate;
  2. Persistency – engage those new leads as many times as necessary, which can often require ten attempts or more; and,
  3. Cadence – optimize your outreach across an optimal schedule, and across multiple channels, such that the likelihood of connecting and starting a dialog dramatically increases.

Nancy: What are the top 5 things your solution allows salespeople to do better, or faster than they can today?

Darryl: For salespeople, all they want to do is be productive, have conversations, identify potential opportunities, and be able to compete for the business. Anything that prevents that is costing them money. VanillaSoft was designed for the sales development professional, and their pursuit of these goals. Specifically, it provides the following capabilities which allow salespeople to be better, and faster, than they currently are:

  1. Our queue-based interface presents the next lead for follow-up. There is no such concept as a list. The system tells you who to engage with next. This dramatically speeds up sales productivity.
  2. VanillaSoft’s Intellective Routing ensures the highest priority leads — those closest to being sales qualified and that ultimately will generate the highest value for the business – are always dynamically served to sales agents and SDR’s as the next best lead. The priorities are pre-determined by sales managers, who build key sales indicators such as prospect title, industry, company size, engagement history, or any other indicator that the organization considers important, into the Intellective Routing engine.
  3. One of the simplest ways to increase your sales rep’s productivity is to remove the tedious task of manually dialing telephone numbers – and our auto-dialing software makes it simple. Decrease downtime between sales calls to increase the flow of communication and ensure the highest level of efficiency on your sales floor. VanillaSoft offers two types of auto dialing, Progressive and Preview, that utilized with our queue-based lead management platform have shown to increase call activity and productivity by 296% over the industry standard.
  4. Our logical-branch scripting allows the sales rep to easily adapt to the changes in a conversation with prospects. Build out all the potential responses and objections a prospect may have at each stage of the conversation, then with one click your sales reps will see the appropriate information to handle any direction the conversation may take.
  5. VanillaSoft’s SMS and email features help you stay in front of your customers and prospects. Integrate your emails and SMS with your phone calls to educate, qualify and build your brand. It’s easy to build an effective email strategy that increases contact and response rates. Easily create templates, send automated drip emails, manage mass email campaigns, and even automate appointment reminders with SMS texting.

Nancy: Describe the first 30 days after a company purchases your solution.

Darryl: During the first thirty days, new customers are supported with automated education programs along with a dedicated success manager. Both approaches are designed to ensure rapid setup, user adoption, and positive outcomes. Specifically, the on-boarding email nurture process provides step-by-step instructions and tutorials delivered via video, interactive tutorials, getting started guides, and best practices. In support of this, the dedicated success manager meets regularly with the customer to discuss their progress, utilizes tools to automatically monitor their deployment and advise when a new customer may need ad hoc assistance, and delivers weekly webinars on best practices and case studies.

Nancy: How have companies determined the ROI of your solution?

Darryl: There are many ways to determine ROI, although the industry accepted formula is simply revenue divided by cost. If I earn $100 in revenue, but it cost me $50 to generate that, than I have an ROI factor of 2x. Hence, to improve ROI you can either reduce your costs or increase your revenue. In the case of VanillaSoft, we impact both of these measures. For example:

  •  In a CRM system, users are productive approximately 35% of the time, according to numerous studies. This is a result of their list-based approach. In a sales engagement platform, users are productive 100% of the time. This is because of the queue-based interface. This means your users are up to three times more productive, thereby engaging more leads in the same amount of time, thereby lowering your costs and increasing your revenue.
  • Because most marketing generated leads are contacted less than two times, or never at all, leads go stale. With a system like VanillaSoft, the ongoing persistent attempts to engage with new leads, executed at an optimal cadence, ensures more leads turn into opportunities. This increases your revenue and subsequently increases your ROI.
  • Studies have shown the likelihood of connecting with a new web lead triples if you contact them within the first hour of submission. As previously stated, most CRM systems fail miserably at this. With VanillaSoft, our speed-to-lead capabilities means you can increase your sales pipeline by a factor of three, which should clearly result in more revenue, which generates a much improved ROI over traditional systems.

Nancy: What should companies do to ensure success of your solution?

Darryl: The biggest advice for companies to ensure they are successful with VanillaSoft is to simply engage with us regularly and frequently. Our support organization is designed to assist you when you have a problem. Our customer success team is mandated to ensure customers are continually growing, maturing, expanding, and enhancing their utilization of the platform. Never hesitate to reach out, but don’t be surprised if we reach out first. We can only be successful if our customers are successful.

Nancy: What are some good resources if someone wanted to learn what questions to ask, what others are doing, and purchase considerations?

Darryl: VanillaSoft provides a number of white papers, webinars, and case studies in our Resource Library. They focus on the key issues around speed-to-lead, persistency, cadence, coaching, and best practices.

By consuming these resources, you will be advised how to identify issues within your current technology stack, or processes, that are impacting your ability to succeed. These resources will then provide a variety of ways you can remedy your issues; and such remedies do not necessarily require subscribing to VanillaSoft. Beyond that, VanillaSoft is extremely active on social media including LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. We strongly encourage you to join the discussions we initiate, or contact us directly for our advice.