Vendasta is a leading platform for channel partners who provide digital solutions to small- and medium-sized businesses. Our customers include some of the biggest media companies in North America. Our mission is to help local businesses win.
As Vendasta’s Chief Customer Officer, I lead Vendasta’s Sales Guild of more than 200 professionals. These teams are dedicated to ensuring the success of our global vendors, channel partners and end-users.
The main problem we solve with Wingman
Vendasta has been growing at an exponential rate. We raised $40M about 36 months ago and $120M in the last six months. We've added 175 people to the organization during the past year alone.
With this growth, we need to create a repeatable sales motion.
And while call coaching was always part of the culture at Vendasta, it gets harder to do when you have more people, more value propositions, and more services and products to sell. It’s crucial to our continued success that all our reps follow a common narrative.
For this, we as sales leaders need to provide them with the support and coaching they need to get those stories right. And as we had our growth spurts and our teams got larger, call coaching would have been the first thing to go away if we didn't focus on setting up a scalable motion.
Before we found Wingman, we did try other solutions. We had teams of people who were pulling calls, we did spot checks.
But as our sales organization grew, we found it was getting increasingly more difficult to understand what was being said on sales calls—whether those conversations were following the prescribed talk tracks. So, it became apparent that we were going to need some sort of technology to be able to do this at scale.
Even more than that, I'd always wanted to get to a point where we were doing film review as a part of the daily coaching for every one of the reps with their managers.
How we found and chose Wingman
I’m part of the Revenue Collective community and discovered that many members were speaking highly of Wingman. We were looking for a solution to get us intelligence into what was happening on our calls.
Secondly, we were looking for a high level of flexibility and access to influence some other integrations that we might need. We have our own proprietary CRM that is provided to our 58,000+ channel partners all over the world and having something that would integrate with that system was important. So, Wingman's acceptance of that and ability to be flexible was a big part of us making that decision.
Very soon, we hope to be turning on Wingman for the 80,000 odd salespeople that have a login to our platform so that they can see the benefit of having this intelligence.
Enter Wingman. After just one week, everybody was all in. They thought it was fantastic!
How we coach at scale with Wingman
Before Wingman, we would actually have people pull calls manually and put them into a folder for the managers to use them. It was horribly inefficient and probably not the best use of people's time to skim a game tape.
But with Wingman, we've really been able to make call reviews a habit. In a 1:1 or team meeting every week, there is the expectation that the manager is going to bring the game tape to review. And if they don't bring one, it's a little embarrassing! I think Wingman’s made it way easier for managers to get that information.
The sales rep knows that the managers are watching and are there to coach. With Wingman, our managers have the ability to help and do it at scale. So as part of their day, they are spending time in Wingman listening to their reps’ calls. That's what I want as the leader of the revenue motions of this company — I want our managers helping our reps. That's why they're managing.
How we create one company story with Wingman
The second thing that Wingman really helps us with is making sure that we are following the narrative that matches our brand. We don’t want our sales reps to do trial-and-error to come up with the value propositions that are going to work. I'd rather give them ones that we have a good hypothesis for—and then do some iteration on it. With Wingman, we can ensure that we're able to deliver that narrative.
We then also let product marketing listen to the narrative, live on a call and see if that messaging is working or not. It gives them the ability to test the messaging way ahead of release time as well.
You didn't hear it from me, but Wingman helps a lot with the common fear that sales leaders have of missing out because we feel like we’re not missing out as often!
Sharing the voice of the customer
We have an initiative that we started last year called the voice of customer squad, which I lead as the chief customer officer. As part of this initiative, we meet with the corporate reputation team to review the Vendasta brand. We actually listen to tapes of what our customers are saying—and what we're saying to the customer.
With Wingman, we can easily review these stories—whether they are consistent, or if there are any gaps, or whether we need to refine them. So these game tapes are used by the entire organization, right through to the senior team and the C-suite, to have a look at our customer conversations.
I don't think too many meetings go by where the words “Pull the call” or “Pull the film review” don’t come up, which has been a pretty cool thing to see.
I see Wingman as a very important tool for us. It enables our leadership group to hear firsthand what the customer is saying. We can actually hear the way that our value propositions are landing and whether our reps are articulating the story that solves the customer's problem.
And I think that if you were a sales professional, you'd have a much better job if your messaging and communication were set up for success to begin with. And finally, we're doing everything we can to coach our reps to deliver the message that we know we can back up and deliver to the client. With Wingman, we have the ability to be everywhere with a coaching lens, which has led to a very positive culture overall.
You can have all the technology in the world but if you don't know how to articulate the value to the client, you're not going to be effective.
So, would I recommend Wingman?
I would definitely recommend Wingman. People can say a lot of stuff but can they actually deliver? Wingman does.
I’ve been very impressed with Wingman’s culture of listening to the customer. We have a legacy platform that we've been building for 14 years and that comes with various challenges. But Wingman’s team understood the challenge of integrating with it and delivered on their promises. The technology, itself, is very good and reliable. And that’s why Wingman meets all the items on my checklist!
I believe that Wingman has the ability to be our partner and grow with us to meet the common goal of enabling all the sales teams that have a login to our platform to utilize the solution.