When you speak to any member of Gem’s revenue team, that’s the feeling you leave with — a group that moves fast. 

Gem set up shop in 2017 on the premise that the best people already have jobs.  And recruiters and hiring managers have to manage and nurture passive relationships with these “Gems.” 

Over the past 4+ years, Gem has evolved into the go-to platform for modern recruiting. Or, as Kenrick Cai of Forbes puts it, ‘the middleman between LinkedIn and Workday.’

We spoke with Catherine Ladd, Account Executive, Gem, and Darwin Irby, Sales Operations Analyst, Gem, to learn how UserGems empowered Gem (some wordplay there) to boost win rates by tracking customer job changes. And automating their outreach playbooks.

It all started over a cup of coffee.

The challenge: tracking customer job changes

Catherine joined Gem as a Sales Development Rep (SDR) in May 2019. Six months later, she moved into a management position — leading and scaling out the SDR team. 

“This meant I was always trying to find creative ideas for outreach and trying to leverage as many signals as we could to identify accounts that would be good to go after,” she says. 

“I usually met with an SDR manager at another company. So, we could pick each other's brains on management best practices. And at one of those meetings, she mentioned that her team was finding a lot of value out of UserGems,” Catherine continues. 

On the operational side of things, Gem did have a solution in place. 

“We drive a good amount of revenue from referrals, so surfacing prospects was something that we had been looking into for some time,” Darwin says. 

“The solution serviced us for a period of time. The difficult part from my perspective was how to operationalize this workflow and make it less manual. There wasn’t a true integration with Salesforce. So, it meant I had to do a lot of manual tasks like downloading data from the platform, then formatting it before pushing it into Salesforce,” Darwin continues. 

While Darwin could make it work for him, he knew this wasn’t a sustainable workflow considering how fast things moved at Gem. 

“I did get to a place where I was able to automate a lot of account ownership changes. But it still had to come from me. So, I definitely wanted to find something that was more seamless for me where I wouldn't have to touch it quite a bit,” Darwin says. 

“I'm sure that you hear the same stories, like no one wants to be doing manual tasks and support all day long. So it's nice if I can set it, forget it, and only check them out once in a while,” he continues.

We've got you, Darwin!


In addition to a seamless “set it and forget it” Salesforce integration, Gem’s team also evaluated UserGems on the following: 

Data quality

Catherine wanted to get the biggest bang for her buck. 

“I wanted to make sure we got a tool that could surface the type of contacts we wanted to track. I want to track the people I want, rather than have [everyone’s job changes] come through,” she explains.

“It would create a lot of clutter and noise. So, control over who we could track and the quality of the leads was important to me,” she continues.  And UserGems didn't disappoint on that front. Its unparalleled ability to turn job movements and relationships into annual revenue by:

  • Notifying revenue teams whenever active or former champions move jobs along with their new information
  • And give marketing control of the contact discovery process while saving SDR teams the pain of manually looking for contact details of prospects

Guaranteed Catherine's success with finding every key unknown account her SDR team could go after.

Thoughtful product design

“I feel like UserGems was really thoughtful [in its product design],” Darwin says. 

“For example, when it creates a new job-change lead, we still have the old contact. That way, we can keep that history with the person. We like to know where they came from so that when we add them into sales sequences, we can reference some of that context. So it’s super helpful,” he continues. 

Long-term commitment

No one likes being left out in the cold. But that’s exactly what happened to Gem with their previous pipeline generation tool. 

“Our previous tool had some product gaps. But more importantly, it seemed their vision for the product changed. Because we were left in a lurch without the support we needed to get the best out of the tool,” Darwin explains. 

“So, having a team that would support us in our efforts with integration and also with best practices for using their tool was high on our list of priorities. We were thrilled that the UserGems Customer Success (CS) team [Go Steven!] was able to jump in and help us get started,” he continues. 

Gem’s playbook for getting the ‘Gems’ out of UserGems leads

1. Automate repeat business through lead capturing, routing, and notifications

Catherine and the team made sure to have as much coverage of the UserGems leads as they come in. “We feel like they provide a significant amount of value,” she says. 

“When UserGems creates a new job-change lead, we have LeanData check to see if there’s a duplicate. If it's different, it does its normal checks and balances. Outside of that, we essentially go through different round robins. For instance, if the person already owns the account, it’s routed to that person based upon different segmenting and marketing avenues. If it's unowned, we actually push that to the inbound SDR team,” she continues. 

But it doesn’t end there!

“Once they go through that process, we send notifications to the rest of the team about it and let them know what type of contact it is. Like ‘Hey, this is a UserGems lead. Do you want to reach out?’ and we tag these leads appropriately. That way, it's easy for the team to push them into a sequence in Outreach,” Darwin continues.

“Also, we've created reports so that sales reps and SDRs can see all of their UserGems. The AEs also get one-off alerts like ‘A new UserGem joined your company!’

We have alerts for when a UserGem joined your account and when a UserGem left your account. We're actually looking to leverage more UserGems for the Customer Success side as well,” he continues. 

2. Automated outreach messaging

Part of the UserGems onboarding process is sharing a raft of best practices for buyer trigger events with the customer, including checklists and outreach email sequences that the UserGems CS team had tested. 

“We’ve relied on some of the recommendations that UserGems shared around sales outreach messaging. What we have today that works well are two sequences; one is called ‘Tenured,’ and the other is called ‘Recently Moved,’ Catherine says. 

“For the ‘Tenured’ sequence, our messaging is tailored this way, ‘How is your experience with Gem at your previous company? How's it going in your current role? Do you think it makes sense? Is there potential alignment at this role?’ Whereas the “Recently Moved” sequence is more like ‘Hey, congrats on the new role! Are you interested in bringing Gem’s’ type of messaging,’ Catherine explains. 

3. Enable AEs and SDRs

Right out of the gate after implementation, Gem’s sales team contacted over 50% of the UserGems leads. 

We did say they loved to move fast, remember? 

“We’re data-driven at Gem. You can ask anyone from Ops to the AEs, to the SDRs. And you’ll find out they are all looking at the numbers to see how they can improve. So, I would say that’s one piece of the puzzle,” Darwin says. 

“The next piece is communication. The team leads bought into the idea that this sales motion was going to generate revenue because we’ve generated revenue through this tactic before,” he continues. 

Aside from communication and a consistent drive to improve, driving implementation through sales enablement also played a significant role in driving adoption for Gem. 

“We held a GTM meeting where I talked about UserGems and the sort of impact it could have on the team. This got everyone fired up and they bought into the product ahead of time. So, before we turned the product on, the team knew about it and what it could do”
Darwin Irby, Sales Operations Analyst, Gem.

“And when I was like, ‘Hey, you’re going to have a whole bunch of contacts you can reach out to’, the SDR team was ready to jump right in. That’s how we got such quick adoption from the get-go,” Darwin continues.  

“The team-specific sessions that Steven Farina, our CS manager, led for our AEs and SDRs were also helpful,” Catherine adds. 


High rep adoption rates. ✅

Relevant sales outreach messaging. ✅

Increase sales ops productivity. ✅

Since implementing UserGems, Gem’s revenue team has been firing on all cylinders. 

“We had our first closed-won deal within a couple of weeks! I was like, “oh wow, that's fast. This is going to be a good revenue generator for us,” Darwin says. 

“Our prospects are super impressed with the level of personalization that we’re able to do thanks to UserGems,” Catherine adds. 

“I think one of the things I actually really enjoyed, if I'm being quite honest, from an Ops perspective, is that a lot of the Salesforce process builders were already thought out and planned within the UserGems app, which saved me a lot of time. Our implementation process was like an hour. It was really short,” Darwin continues. 

“[UserGems] just works the way it’s supposed to. It’s 'set it and forget it'. It’s been great for me in comparison to other tools where I'm always having to put out a fire somewhere.”
Darwin Irby, Sales Operations Analyst, Gem.

What’s next for Gem?

“We have account tiering based on what we view as a Tier 1 top account. So, if there are UserGems at an account, that could be a positive signal that would bring it more towards a Tier 1.”
Catherine Ladd, Account Executive, Gem.

“Another use case that we’re thinking for next year is; someone who was previously at a customer account but didn’t work there at the time the customer used Gem. How can we still leverage them? Can we reach out and say, ‘hey, your past team used this tool; have you heard about them? If not, would you be open to taking a look?’” She continues. 

“We’re also thinking about getting a Slack notification that a UserGem lead has joined an open opportunity,” Darwin adds. 

Tips for other revenue teams looking to replicate this sales motion

“Having the sequences and structure of the follow-up ready to go before those leads go out is something to keep in mind. Also, think through different use cases and make sure to prepare sequences for those use cases,” Catherine explains. 

“One of the things that I wish I would have done a little bit sooner is thinking of all possible use cases with UserGems for the entire team, not just for sales, but also for CSM, for example. It would make the job a lot easier. I wouldn’t have to come back and repeat all the work that I did for the sales team,” Darwin adds. 

And that’s it, folks.

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