When I decided to join Mintigo back in August 2016, I recognized our company had amazing people and technology with huge potential for growth. I knew the company was small, however I saw how the product was driving tremendous value with our growing number of clients. We were like a talented basketball team: small, agile, and collaborative. We just needed to upgrade our offensive plays to win.
After some time, our challenges became clear to me. Since we are in the complex and nuanced business of applying AI to help sales and marketing teams, there was often a long ramp-up period where we would educate potential buyers and strategize how to plug in our solution to everyday workflows. The sales process was long and inefficient. There was confusion in the market around AI for marketing and sales, and buyers often needed coaching to be able to distinguish the nuance among different options in the market.
Coming from an analytics background, I quickly recognized the tremendous value of the rich database and self-service AI capabilities our team had invested in, but it was difficult to explain how Mintigo would drive value on a day-to-day basis. Our opportunity close rate back then was under 50%. We needed to up our game. The question was- how can we prove our product’s capabilities to our prospects so they see the huge potential and value of our offerings?
Our solution was to revamp our sales process in order to clearly and concisely demonstrate the value of AI to our prospective clients. In tandem, our product team was developing new tools and features to more easily integrate the AI into our clients’ existing sales and marketing processes.
We took a close look at how our clients were thinking about their challenges. What was the ultimate pain or challenge that our clients needed to overcome? How could AI alleviate those challenges and generate value? We flipped the script and instead of beginning with the merits of our technology, we began with the challenges and goals of our prospective clients. We were able to then create very customized product demos that were laser focused on the business pain and showcased how Mintigo users interact with the technology on a daily basis. Some examples of these business pains were:
- Were SDRs overwhelmed with the volume of inbound leads?
- Were BDRs confused about which accounts to target?
- Was there a need to strategically expand into new verticals or geographies?
Once we identified the pain, we could align on which of Mintigo’s solutions were best suited for that client.
Having an efficient sales process was only part of the equation, however. Our product team listened closely to feedback from our clients and prospective clients in order to continuously improve the ease and applicability of our technology. This is one of the advantages of being in a small and nimble team. We could easily develop greater collaboration between sales, customer success, and the product team to ensure that investment in our technology was completely driven by our users. We also hired a number of marketing and sales practitioners who had used Mintigo in their past positions who could coach our users on how to be successful with the technology.
The result? Our late-stage opportunity close rate jumped from 50% up to a whopping 90%. Even better, we cut the pre-sales proof-of-concept project time in half. Using this new approach, we also see many prospective clients who are ready to buy without going through a full proof-of-concept process; a straightforward product demo combined with understanding and alignment to the client’s needs were sufficient to gain confidence from buyers. We came up with a new game plan that played on all our teams’ strengths in order to win—with amazing results.