Conductor & Guru Case Study

Conductor provides content & SEO technology with proven workflows that guide you to revenue. The solution gives you everything you need to create great content, increase conversions, and get organic marketing ROI.

Conductor was in the market for a new sales enablement solution. They tried a few different solutions: one hard-coded into Salesforce and internal wikis, but both failed to gain adoption amongst their sales reps. Their sales engineers, product, and marketing teams were frustrated that all of the useful content they were creating was going unused by their sales team. Conductor needed a solution that would keep all of their teams on the same page and one their sales reps would actually adopt so they could find and access content in one single place.

The Challenge

Ben Gibson, Director of Sales Productivity at Conductor was quickly getting used to a familiar pattern: no matter how many new sales enablement solutions he tried to bring in, they all led to the same result, little to no adoption. They first tried one of the biggest players in the space. But, it wasn't easy for reps to find content and it was another portal they had to log in to, disrupting their finely tuned workflows.

"Once reps feel like they are going to our enablement solution and there's a case study they know would be helpful but it's not there or they can't find it, they lose faith that it's a tool that can actually help them with their day-to-day and fit into their workflow."

- Ben Gibson, Director of Sales Productivity

Then they tried a Salesforce plug-in. However, it was an enterprise heavy solution, with a lot of manual, upfront work needed to modify their team's Salesforce layout. Charity Stebbins, Senior Manager of Content & Product Marketing summed up best the main issues Conductor had with previous sales enablement solutions:

"Prior solutions were overly complex and had a high barrier of entry for use. We had to retrain people to use it, and sales reps weren't going to take the time to fit a whole new user experience into their workflow."

- Charity Stebbins, Senior Manager of Content & Product Marketing

Adding to the complexity, each of the marketing, customer success, and product teams used different repositories to host content. As a result, there was no single source of truth for the reps to consistently find the information they needed.

The lack of adoption was putting strain on Conductor's subject matter experts like Ben, Charity, and Alex Hallenbeck, one of their solutions engineers. As their team was growing to over 20 reps, with an additional market development and cold calling team, experts couldn't go an hour without a couple people swinging by their desk to ask a question. Even worse, there were many instances where experts were getting one-off emails asking for collateral that could be leveraged for a given sales situation. Yet, that content which would take weeks or even months to create still wasn't getting leveraged at all. They quickly realized that spending valuable time and energy to create collateral that wasn't able to be found was too big of a problem to ignore.

With that in mind Conductor need a solution that:

  1. Sales reps would adopt and would fit seamlessly into their workflow
  2. Reduce the one-off inquiries experts were getting
  3. Align their whole organization to keep all of their reps consistent and on-message

The Solution

Guru is easy to adopt because it lives in a sales reps workflow

Quickly after implementing Guru, Conductor was able to see instant success over previous solutions simply due to the way it naturally fit into their team's workflow. Before, even just uploading something or linking an asset in their sales enablement solution was very difficult. Esther Chung, content marketing manager said it previously took almost 5 times longer than it does in Guru.

Rather than leveraging a solution built into Salesforce, Ben and their reps liked Guru because it lived in a normal workflow of anyone who uses a web browser. Every department could host their information wherever they wanted, as long as they could get a link to it and put it in Guru. The key for Conductor was to have transparency across the entire organization.

"Guru uses a knowledge architecture that's already in people's brains: web search. People are very comfortable searching, and Guru mirrors that experience. It's even in their browser. That made driving adoption easy."

- Charity Stebbins, Senior Manager of Content & Product Marketing

The drop off in shoulder taps was also quick to take effect. For example, one frequent use case of Guru for the sales team is around the demo environments they show to prospects. Reps need to know which features are turned on, what demo accounts are set up, and what types of data are available in each environment. Instead of coming over to shoulder tap experts like Ben or Alex, they have Guru cards that outline what's turned on in each of those environments so reps have a good idea of which is the best approach for their prospect. Thus, Guru has a big impact on how Conductor's reps strategically sell into different prospects.

Guru's search report uncovers the gaps in Conductor's enablement strategy

Now, anything a rep could want to find is stored in Guru. From marketing blog posts and case studies, to specific sales process documentation like demo environments or pricing protocols, to HR assets like PTO policies. One particular feature which Ben loves is our search report which he believes drives adoption. It consists of what keywords were most searched for as well as keywords people are searching for that do not produce any results. For Conductor, it produced some unexpected results as Ben explains: "We hadn't really thought of putting HR stuff in Guru, so when we first saw reps searching for PTO policies on the report we kind of laughed. But we realized the more knowledge we put in Guru the more it would get adopted. It helps build muscle memory they have of going to Guru and knowing it's a place to find information they need."

The search report is a great internal audit for Ben and his team to get an understanding of the gaps in their enablement strategy and build content that reps are explicitly searching for. Importantly for him, Conductor is not a transactional business with thousands of opportunities at a time, so patterns are tougher to recognize. Using Guru they can identify if reps are searching for new or secondary competitors and then bring it up during weekly meetings to understand how they can build out their battle cards to better enable their reps.

Guru gives the Marketing team confidence that sales is using the content they create

From a Marketing perspective, Charity can see if reps are searching for content in a way that the sales team doesn't understand, and using the report can adjust the keywords and language they are using to help them find it easier. Most importantly for Charity, Guru is able to give the Marketing team more control over their assets and ensure the Sales team is using approved collateral that is accurate and up-to-date. Here's how Charity describes it in her own words: "A Marketing team needs to have control over the assets their sales team uses. We don't want them using any out of date messaging or old case studies. I appreciate that Guru gives us that control over our assets so we feel more comfortable and confident that we have unified and aligned messaging across the company."

The Results

After implementing Guru, Conductor was able to see tangible results in a few key areas:

  • After implementing Guru and uploading all of their content, competitive win rates immediately went up. Ben explained why he thinks that is: "If you're an organization that has a lot of different content creators, have documentation that lives all over the place, and you need people to find things more easily, it just works. It actually had an impact on how people find information and their day-to-day's got easier. It's just a well thought way to manage our need to search for documentation and use the right content at the right time."
  • Within 3 weeks subject matter experts stopped getting shoulder taps. If they did, they directed them to Guru. Thus, a layer of accountability is created. There is no more excuse for sales reps to not use appropriate and approved collateral. And if information wasn't in Guru already, it was made a top priority to upload that content to Guru to keep driving positive behavior.
"I can't remember the last time someone has asked me where something is"

- Ben Gibson, Director of Sales Productivity

Finally, Conductor experienced changes that reflect a new culture around how knowledge is shared across the organization. Charity described the changes as such: "On a high level, Guru is great at breaking down internal silos. It's really easy for anyone to adopt, because it's just that intuitive. We struggled for years to try and find a way to get our disparate sales, CS, and product teams to use and understand the same thing. It's been really easy with Guru."

With Guru, Conductor is finally confident in their sales enablement solution with their knowledge aligned across all of their teams.