Boomi & Guru Case Study

Boomi is a leader in cloud integration. It's main product AtomSphere allows businesses to connect any combination of their SaaS, cloud and on-premises applications and systems without the burden of installing and maintaining any hardware or software.

After being acquired by Dell in 2010, Boomi has continued to grow rapidly, moving upmarket and expanding its sales team worldwide. With that growth, the selling process has become increasingly more complex. They needed a sales enablement solution that could help reduce time spent answering a constant flow of RFP proposals and keep their new worldwide sales team consistent and on-message with their North American colleagues.

The Challenge

With a growing international sales team to support, John DiStasio, Sales Engineering Director at Boomi knew something had to change about the way their team shared and accessed knowledge. Like most organizations, information was spread all over the place. Whether it was documents stored in Google Drive, articles in their internal wiki, or knowledge shared within Salesforce content libraries, information was hard to find.

This was particularly challenging due to the way prospects often evaluated Boomi: an RFP. Each proposal required coordination between multiple stakeholders in sales, product, platform, and engineering. That meant constant emails back and forth to find out where the content was stored and then determine if it was even up to date. The whole process could take multiple days of concentrated effort to complete. James Texeira, an experienced account executive with over ten years experience shared his challenges in regards to the difficulty of finding knowledge: "The issue became you'd go in and search for a specific document but 3 would pop up. Now you have 3 different documents uploaded from 3 different people. One from 2011, one from 2013, and one from last year. So now I need to open up these 3 docs and see what are the differences between them, are they material differences, who do I need to ask to find out if it's still accurate."

Adding to that difficulty, Boomi had begun to expand its sales team worldwide. John needed a way to ensure that the rapidly growing EMEA and APJ sales team could take advantage of the tribal knowledge of the US team. Instant communication was tough due to time zone differences and he needed a solution that could keep all of his reps and sales engineers on the same page.

John's requirements when evaluating a solution were twofold:

The Solution

Guru helps Boomi answer RFP proposals much faster

To evaluate Guru properly, John enlisted help from Boomi's Sales Enablement leader, Paul Pasko to run a pilot with a smaller group of people first before rolling it out to the broader team. By limiting the scope of the pilot team and amount of content stored in Guru, Boomi was able to see how Guru fit into the team's daily workflow. Paul made it a point to load a few of their RFP responses in Guru, and the "aha" moment for him was when he got emails from his reps and sales engineers saying Guru helped them answer an RFP proposal much faster. Here's what James had to say about how the solution helped him answer RFP questions on data security: "I was going through security questions and typing verbatim the questions and was able to finish answering all the security questions of that RFP. The idea of completing an RFP independent of any support from a product manager or sales engineer or whoever else it may be was something so incredibly foreign to me or any account executive, before we had Guru."

It was especially good timing as the pilot project was wrapping up right before their sales kick-off, where they were able to share the results of the pilot and have their entire sales team on hand for the official rollout, ensuring a seamless implementation.

Guru is now the single source of truth for sales knowledge at Boomi

Now, Boomi stores a majority of their sales knowledge and assets in Guru whether that be competitive battle cards, implementation partners, or common RFP proposal answers. A common use case for James is answering customer questions on the fly. Recently, on an on-site with a customer, they asked a very specific question about the exact number of times they have integrated a specific application for customers. Traditionally, that means he would have had to send an email to a product manager, and have them look in the system to do a manual query to see how many times its been deployed across all of their customers. Instead he just typed the name of the application in Guru and knew in seconds the exact number of times they have integrated that application because the product manager verifies its accuracy regularly. Guru is now the central go-to repository for sales knowledge.

Guru's Q&A feature organically grows Boomi's knowledge base

Using Guru's Q&A functionality, Paul is able to confidently direct his reps to search Guru first because if an answer is not there, a rep can just ask an expert or group of experts a question. The resulting answer is then captured and stored for the entire team's benefit, growing their knowledge base organically and eliminating shoulder taps or one-off messages that would previously distract Boomi's subject matter experts.

"We really want to influence our sales team to use Guru as their first line of defense. Go there first. If you don't find what you're looking for, great. That might mean we have a gap in our enablement strategy. That's why I love Guru's Q&A feature, because it helps fill gaps in our knowledge repository."

- Paul Pasko, Sales Enablement

This is even more crucial now that Boomi has sales teams located worldwide across EMEA and APJ regions.

Guru keeps Boomi's entire worldwide sales team up-to-date

Every one of Boomi's sales engineers, and account executives worldwide use Guru and they create an account for them as a part of the onboarding process. Since Paul is one of the go-to subject matter experts, when one of the sales engineers in EMEA or APJ Region have questions, he is able to easily answer them in Guru. Paul shared his thoughts on the changes he's seen since using Guru: "Since implementing Guru, I'm finding I haven't been getting as many phone calls or emails asking where to find things. Our international teams are able to find information more readily on their own. I think it helps too with the time zones. They might be working 9AM their time on a customer site and they need to serve up knowledge really quickly, but I'm asleep. If we can continually make sure our content is fresh and verified, anyone in the world can take advantage of our knowledge repository."

The Results

Since implementing Guru, Boomi has seen actionable results in two key metrics:

  • The RFP response process has been reduced by approximately 50%. What used to take 4 days, now only takes 2 days because reps no longer have to sort through multiple sources or email questions to subject matter experts as that knowledge is now stored in Guru.
  • A 67% reduction in onboarding ramp time in new sales engineers. Here's how Paul has described the change: "We're already seeing a difference from the sales engineers I onboarded a year ago to the ones I onboarded recently. Last year it would have taken 3 months before they could comfortably lead their first demo. Now that we have Guru in place, the knowledge is readily available to them so they can focus their time on demo preparation. Now, for example, both of our newest sales engineers have been able to successfully deliver their first demo in the first month."

Guru has also had a tangible impact on James' day to day as well. Even as a seasoned 10 year veteran, Guru was able to increase his confidence and mentality on sales calls because its verification engine allows him to trust that the information he is using is accurate. Here is James explaining the change in his own words: "In the past you have to be so strategic with how you're going to approach a call. What are your specific goals? What are the specific items you're going to talk through? Unfortunately, we don't ever know exactly the direction that the conversation is going to take. We can do all we want to try to steer it in that direction, but we have no guarantee the customer's not gonna take the steering wheel out of our hands and drive down a different road. So being able to be flexible and nimble on the fly, and know, not think, know that the information you are passing along to the customer is accurate and verified is very helpful."

So not only has Guru quantitatively impacted key sales team metrics for Boomi, it has also positively impacted the day-to-day workload of both Paul (the subject matter expert) and James (the knowledge consumer) so they can focus on the work that truly adds value to Boomi.

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