In 2018, Chad Trabucco, Head of Sales Enablement at Glint, discovered he had a problem. The sales asset management (SAM) spreadsheet he’d spent the last two years lovingly maintaining had stopped making sense to him.
“My job is to instill the confidence needed to convert a few more nos into yes. My job is to create a system of nets that empower the sales team to walk into any meeting or call knowing they have the resources, the training, they need to face the no and get the yes. The confidence to face a fresh quarter or just-launched product with a sense of how it will become gold,” he explains. If his role was to onboard new reps quickly and drive revenue growth, and his own knowledge repository had become unusable, Chad knew that he wouldn’t be able to fulfill some of his core responsibilities. How could he ensure a continuous learning sales culture, let alone deliver just-in-time knowledge or drive program effectiveness when it took minutes just to get the data-heavy doc to open?
– Chad Trabucco
The SAM spreadsheet was Chad’s baby. “One of my first jobs was to map the universe of content, so I built out this amazing spreadsheet (SAM), and it was essentially a table of contents that linked to where everything was in Google Drive.” And while it certainly was comprehensive when it came to external sales collateral, the SAM didn’t include much in way of quick, just-in-time knowledge or bite-size battlecards; that was all stored in Slack. With no consistent way of capturing that kind of implicit knowledge, and a library of content that could take minutes to search through to find a particular asset, the sales rep onboarding process was slow, difficult, and inconsistent.
Eventually, the difficulties started to snowball. Because it was so unwieldy to access critical sales knowledge, let alone content, Glint’s reps were starting to lose competitive deals while stumbling over softball questions, like examples of Glint customers in a particular industry. Slack was noisy with repeat questions — some of which lead to inaccurate or out-of-date answers — frustrating to search, and nearly impossible to support for the long term.
For Chad, the decision to pilot Guru came from those knowledge and content accessibility pain points that were slowing down onboarding, sales cycles, and revenue growth. “When the SAM started to not make sense to me, and I started to get confused by my own thing — you know, the thing that I built — that was when I thought Guru would make a lot more sense.”
Chad and the rest of the Glint sales and marketing leadership team decided to try a new approach, one that would both reduce time spent searching for knowledge and content, and eliminate repeat questions in Slack (especially those that lead to untrusted answers). They needed a solution that would scale as the sales org grew, and something that their sales reps would want to use; something that didn’t require a ton of explanation; something lightweight. So they decided to try Guru.
“I used the pilot to see how our sales reps actually used Guru, so I had them record themselves using it,” he says. When he added these team-made demo videos to Glint’s LMS, other sales reps took notice. “It was our reps showing things like, ‘When I'm with a prospect and they asked this question on a call, all I have to do is just like type this in.’ That quick confidence was a game-changer.”
One of Glint’s sales leaders, Nick S., lays it out explicitly: “Guru makes it incredibly easy to find relevant information, and this improved the quality and speed of client interaction. As you know, the main reason people buy is their sales experience (not price, not product): whether the client learned something valuable from the salesperson; responsiveness; quality and speed of interaction.” Katie L., an account executive, agrees, explaining, “When you're on the phone with a prospect or customer and you're getting deeper into the conversation on a particular topic, you can quickly search, find relevant content and share it immediately. Guru has given me the confidence in speaking with prospects knowing that the answers to the questions they are asking are readily available to me.”
Across the board, reactions to the pilot were unequivocal: “When I asked my sales reps ‘Does Guru make you better at your job every day?’ Across the board, they rated Guru a 4 or 5 out of 5. Every single person on the sales team said ‘this makes me more confident in my day job.’
While confidence is, by nature, a subjective metric, the objective math backed up the sales team’s evaluation: in the six months after the initial rollout, Glint saw an increase of 16% in average contract value across all business segments. Additionally, the percentage of reps contributing to each quarter’s bookings goal is now ~90% — including new hires.
Time spent searching for knowledge is down significantly from the SAM days, and Slack is far quieter when it comes to repeat questions — leading to unexpected benefits. “Not only has Guru reduced the number of repeat questions, but it’s also changed the nature of the questions our team asks the experts. Questions are much more detailed and sophisticated — proof to me that the team is using and learning the content.”
The effect on employee onboarding has been equally dramatic. “Knowing very little as a new sales rep, almost every question I had could be answered by using Guru. From learning about Glint’s POV on various topics and accessing Glint branded presentations, case studies, product overviews, to reading up on competitor intel, better understanding Glint’s internal processes and our service capabilities… it was all available, easy to find, and very easy to understand,” says sales rep Erika N.
This change couldn’t have come at a better time for Glint. 2018 was also the year LinkedIn acquired the company — and change on that scale comes with its own sales enablement challenges. “Ahead of the acquisition announcement, we pre-populated [Guru with] key FAQs for the team. Nearly instantly, these Cards became our most-viewed cards from the frontline teams. [...] The ability to communicate out to the team what they needed to know, when they needed to know it, and have it written down in a place they knew they could find it was phenomenal,” says Chad.
With the acquisition by LinkedIn complete and the SAM retired, Glint is ready to take on its next phase of corporate growth, and Chad is ready to see enablement continue to play a foundational role.
– Chad Trabucco