Prospects receive a lot of emails every day, which makes it challenging to get their attention. Connecting with and nurturing executives at target accounts is harder still.
Despite these challenges, UserTesting — an on-demand consumer research SaaS platform — has doubled its response rate and drove $25 million in revenue between 2021 and April 2023.
By using champion tracking to bring in new customers.
This involves proactively tracking and reaching out to past champions who have used or evaluated your tool and hopefully loved it to get the warmest paths into target accounts. The good news: our tool, UserGems automatically tracks your customers’ job changes, dropping them as warm leads in your CRM so you can build a healthy pipeline that’s ready to be nurtured.
Curious how UserTesting uses this pipeline generation strategy? We sat down with Priscilla Converse, UserTesting’s Senior Demand Generation Manager to learn how they build relationships with potential buyers to grow pipeline.
Why is tracking champion job changes so important?
Analyzing over 5,000 opportunities at UserGems, we found that 20% of customers or champions change jobs every year.
Proactively reconnecting with them to sell to the new company they join is an efficient pipeline generation tactic that’s often underused.
In fact, in part 2 of our Hidden Gems series, we found these alumni customers, or ‘Gems’ as we call them, generated 5% of the overall closed won revenue for the defined quarter.
The key, however, is to actively target these Gems because 91% of them don’t come back on their own — even after they’ve been in their new role for more than 90 days.
If you don’t track customer job changes, you miss out on a ton of great opportunities. Here are three of the biggest reasons you should keep an eye on your Gems to improve your B2B lead generation.
1. Double your win rate
Keeping tabs on job changes lets you identify past champions who have previously used (and hopefully loved) your product.
In turn, these Gems give you the warmest paths to potential customers as they already know and trust your product, improving your conversion rates and helping to streamline your lead generation process.
Data from part 1 of our Hidden Gems series confirms these Gems more than double your win rate. In fact, deals involving Gems see:
- 114% higher win rates
- 54% bigger deal sizes
- 12% shorter sales cycles
2. Get an internal cheerleader in the buying committee
The decision to buy no longer rests with 1-2 people in an organization. Instead, buying committees now involve 7-12 decision-makers on average.
Having a satisfied champion on board is equivalent to having a cheerleader on the buying committee, someone who understands your product’s worth and makes the case for it internally.
3. Multithread your way into the buying committee
Gems also make it easy to connect with other stakeholders in an ideal customer account.
In fact, in part 3 of our Hidden Gems series, we found that multi-threaded deals involving previous champions have:
- An additional 63% higher win rate
- A 66% increase in the size of multithreaded deals
So, what exactly are Gems again?
Gems are people who have previously used, bought, or evaluated your product and have since changed jobs.
This means they’re folks who have been through the different stages of the buyer’s journey with you. They already know how your tool works and the results it can drive, which makes them qualified leads who can convince the buying committee to move forward at new target accounts.
You can always find these Gems manually using B2B prospecting tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Or you can automate your process with a pipeline generation tool like UserGems, which alerts your sales team every time a customer changes their job.
UserTesting’s VP of Demand Generation, Steve Jones commented:
UserTesting’s playbook to add new warm leads to its sales pipeline
UserTesting’s lead gen strategy boils down to targeting Gems at scale.
The process involves champion tracking with UserGems, followed by lead scoring and assignment, and ending with personalized outreach prior to closing deals.
Here’s a complete step-by-step breakdown of their approach.
Step 1: Track past customers
UserTesting tracks its past customers with UserGems — dividing warm leads into two broad categories:
- Alumni customers or past customers who have moved to new companies
- Warm prospects or folks who showed a high likelihood to convert in the past but didn’t for some reason
This second category of prospects further splits into two types of people to target.
The first one includes people who reached out for a demo request but went dark, say because they went on vacation, Priscilla Converse, a Senior Demand Generation Manager at UserTesting suggests. But because they reached out themselves, they have high purchase intent.
The second sub-category includes closed lost opportunities. “So people who were actually part of a buying cycle in the past and for some reason or another, it did not make it through to the lovely closed won [stage] that we all like to see,” explains Priscilla.
These people have high intent too. “[…] Because they probably have ran through a demo or maybe even tried out a trial of it. But then they changed jobs and now they’re at a new company.”
Step 2: Prioritize and assign UserGems leads
Once UserGems finds a champion who’s recently changed jobs, it drops the warm lead into UserTesting’s CRM.
From there, the well-oiled system the team has in place scores leads based on internal metrics and assigns them to the right rep.
Priscilla notes that most of these leads are well-aligned with their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). “Because [the lead has] been in our platform before, they are spot on. They come to us, they get assigned to the correct sales rep, they get routed correctly.”
For leads that may not align with their ICP, Priscilla shares the system gives them a lower lead score. As a result, the lead is then sent off to the marketing team instead of a rep so they can start lead nurturing before adding them to their outreach sales funnel.
Step 3: Rep studies the prospect
Priscilla shares sales enablement also plays a key role in UserTesting’s lead generation process.
Done well, it ensures all outreach messaging is personalized and speaks to the lead’s pain points. In turn, this helps them build trust with their target audience.
This is why, Priscilla shares:
It’s also why sales reps pause to ask these questions before initiating a follow-up with a UserGems lead assigned to them:
- “What company did [the Gem] work for previously?
- How long has that company been a customer of ours?
- What kind of a user was [this particular person] within the platform? Did they actually use it themselves or were they just a viewer of somebody else’s work?”
It’s only after UserTesting’s reps study their lead that they enter them into an automated outreach sequence.
Step 4: Multi-channel, personalized outreach
In addition to UserTesting’s outreach focus on personalization, the team aims to connect with leads through different channels.
“So it includes steps such as email, LinkedIn InMail as well as calling. [Because] we want to try and hit them through all the different avenues that we can and […want] to make sure that we have all those different touch points involved.”
Priscilla also shares an email example, pointing out the important elements of outreach messages:
- Reference: The email starts off by making a reference to the previous company the Gem worked with.
- Value proposition: It then shares the value of the tool as a reminder.
- Call-to-action: The message closes with an invite to introduce their tool to the Gem’s new team.
This email in particular got UserTesting’s team a meeting that took place the very next day. From there, it only took about a month and a half to close the deal.
Note that it’s really a simple outreach email. It’s short and to the point. But what makes it a winner is its relevance to the recipient — it’s aimed towards making their new role better.
Results UserTesting drove from their playbook
UserTesting’s lead generation efforts have delivered incredible results. In fact, they’ve doubled their response rate by going after the warm leads that UserGems tracks for them.
Their typical outreach sequence sees a 10% response rate. With UserGems’ alumni leads though, their response rate is a whopping 20%.
Priscilla also adds:
Bonus tip: Use champions to connect with the buying committee
At the end of your first meeting with a Gem, you can ask them to connect you with other stakeholders at their new company. This will help you to expand your relationship-building efforts to key decision-makers.
Reach out to C-suite executives on your own as well, again using multiple channels such as LinkedIn messaging and email.
But instead of asking them to jump on a call with you directly, show that you respect their time. You can do this by sending low-commitment messages at first. These messages should aim to update the executive, without asking them for anything. Here’s an example from our multi-threading executives playbook:
After a couple of these messages — each sharing an update after meetings you’ve had with the target account’s team — add a direct CTA, inviting the executive to join the next meeting.
Yet another idea is to run multithreaded ads on marketing channels the C-suite uses to nurture them. We ran this playbook at UserGems and it increased our win rates by 31%, shortening the sales process by 17%.
Using this playbook to boost pipeline generation at your organization
Remember: efficient pipeline generation boils down to finding your Gems and recognizing them as high-quality leads that are the warmest paths into target accounts. Simply tracking them isn’t enough though. You’ll also need to develop a scoring system, sorting process, and outreach plan.
But you don’t need to do it all on your own.
UserGems gives you a monthly list of all the alumni customers you should be reaching out to. And we offer a ton of playbooks and resources for you to optimize and tweak for your own strategy.
So what are you waiting for? Take a free demo today to boost your conversion rates.