RJMetrics is a cloud-based data infrastructure and analytics platform. After their Series B round of funding in 2014, they had nearly 100 employees, and a sales team that was growing fast, adding 3+ new sales reps every month.
One core challenge their sales team faced was market positioning. RJMetrics sits at the crossroads of buzzwords like "data analytics" and "big data". It can be a complicated space and a reps ability to quickly navigate this complexity while on a sales call will often determine their success.
Steve Mayernick joined the RJMetrics team as its first Sales Enablement employee. He was focused on getting these newly hired sales reps up to speed quickly, while also looking to provide ongoing knowledge needed for more seasoned reps to stay on top of the latest changes in their industry.
"The growing sophistication of both buyers and products places the onus on reps to respond with a fluid, consultative sales approach, which means new reps have a lot to learn in their first few months on the job. Our goal was to empower new sales reps to be able to successfully navigate this complexity in as little as two months."
He saw two immediate sales enablement challenges he wanted to solve for: Because the sales team was growing fast, experts training newer members were having the same inefficient one-off conversations with each new rep over and over again. They needed a better way to ask questions and store/access those answers. Their competitive intelligence was growing out of control. They had a growing amount of research on their competition and reps were struggling to keep up.
"I was tasked with a single goal: make our sales team more effective. This meant arming them with the context, knowledge, and tools that would free up their time to do what they do best — sell."- Steven Mayernick, Product Marketing
RJMetrics now uses Guru to store and share all of their sales related knowledge and assets. "From competitive intelligence to internal marketing docs — RJMetrics stores everything in Guru" Steve says. There are several distinct benefits in using Guru to enable sales reps (both new and old):
For RJMetrics, it was important to find a tool that was native to the sales reps workflow. With most of them familiar and comfortable with other Chrome extensions like Yesware and Toutapp, Guru was a natural fit. Now, when on sales calls, reps would have Gmail open, Salesforce open, and Guru open as a layer of knowledge on top of those apps.
"Great app – makes workflow so much easier to have answers right in the browser window."– Jordan Gradman, Sales Rep
"I've had many calls where I easily navigated competitive situations thanks to Guru."– Rob Lawless, Sales Rep
While having answers at their fingertips was important for the sales reps as knowledge consumers, for Steve and the other knowledge experts on RJMetrics' team, they needed a solution that would stop the constant 'shoulder taps' they were fielding from individual reps.
Steve explains, "I get tapped on the shoulder constantly, often when in the middle of something. While I'm always willing to help, it just wasn't an efficient way to communicate or collaborate. While chat minimizes some of the need there is no guarantee someone else won't ask the same question, or that they'll remember my answer. With Guru, they can ask me questions and there's accountability on both ends. Assuming the next person with that question is using Guru, there's no need for another tap on the shoulder". By using a solution like Guru for sales-related Q&A, Steve and the other knowledge experts on his team were able to remove a lot of the similar, one-off questions they received in other channels like chat or email.
Sales reps now know the fastest way to get their questions answered would be by going through Guru. As sales rep Leah Ard says, "It's a way to empower team members to solve problems and get to answers on their own before tapping someone on the shoulder".
Guru's verification workflow also plays a role in stopping the constant shoulder taps at RJMetrics. Without trust in the knowledge in Guru, no one would use it, leading back to inefficient methods to get answers like 'shoulder taps'. However, because each card in Guru is attached to one of the experts on the RJMetrics team, sales reps can tell in one glance whether the knowledge is up-to-date.
One of the unintended successes for Steve was seeing how Guru can aid in identifying the gaps in RJMetrics' enablement strategy.
"Before Guru, I'd have to constantly ask reps what was missing, or hope I remember something they told me to look into in passing. What I love about Guru right now is it really minimizes the human error; I can identify gaps in our enablement strategy without having to ask. When the sales reps tackle a tough question they are creating new cards in Guru, allowing me to understand what areas need to be built out more. That process benefits me by saving me time and allowing sales reps to give honest feedback without worrying about how it'll be perceived."
RJMetrics can now get qualitative insights into what knowledge is working, what needs improvement and where the knowledge gaps are. These insights were critical to improving how RJMetrics onboarded new sales reps. With the content gaps identified, Steve could onboard reps faster and arm them with more knowledge so they can impact the business sooner.
Accountability and empowerment were two of the huge themes we gathered from talking with Steve for this case study. In empowering reps to solve problems themselves and creating accountability on both knowledge experts and consumers to keep Guru content up-to-date, Guru was able to save time for both groups of users.
Steve says, "Both our product and our competitive landscape are incredibly dynamic. In order to ensure our sales reps were up to speed on everything, we'd need several meetings dedicated specifically to that – otherwise, we're relying on them to manually look at updates. Guru mitigates the risk of them not doing that, and allows them to continue to operate quickly. Instead of digging through six or seven docs, they can ask questions and get answers immediately in Guru."
Leah says, "Guru puts everyone on the same page and promotes a culture of increased self education and discovery." So not only were there quantitative impacts from the time saved using Guru, but also qualitative impacts on the whole culture of their sales team. Now, new sales reps are onboarded with Guru as an already entrenched part of their sales culture. And as the sales team grows, the shoulder taps will continue to decrease for knowledge experts like Steve, while the time savings for both Steve and the sales reps continue to compound.
Steve summarized it best saying, "With Guru sales reps can now answer questions faster, smarter and more accurately."
The biggest success metric for RJMetrics was ramp time for new sales reps. Using Guru, RJMetrics reduced sales rep onboarding time from five months down to two — a 60% improvement.
In addition, it takes their reps 37% fewer emails to get a prospect on the phone. Guru was able to provide reps with the information they need to send great emails, so they could be much more productive with their time. Thanks to the ability to onboard new reps, and save existing reps time, RJMetrics has managed to grow its user base while keeping customer-facing teams streamlined.
Statistics from RJMetric's original blog post can be found here.