Case Study: Couchbase
Couchbase optimizes Sales Development, aligns Demand Generation and grows pipeline opportunities by 620%
Couchbase delivers the world’s highest performing NoSQL distributed database platform. Developers around the world use the Couchbase platform to build enterprise web, mobile, and Internet of Things applications that support massive data volumes in real time.
Since it’s formation in 2011, Couchbase base has grown rapidly. Couchbase sees strong and growing demand for the Couchbase Server community open source distribution. Development, IT infrastructure and DevOps all download the software distribution for evaluation, testing and to build application prototypes. As these applications reach production, customers often opt for commercial licenses and support available with Couchbase Enterprise. Each quarter Couchbase adds new customers and including many of the Fortune 500.
Couchbase created a new sales development team because they recognized the potential for this function to provide a predictable pipeline of new business opportunities to the inside sales and enterprise sales teams. As they began modeling for the next financial year, they realized that the productivity of the team at current staffing levels was insufficient to support the growth rates anticipated by the business. They knew they could add staff, but wanted to explore other ways to increase the productivity.
Preparing for Scale
One of the key mandates from Sheykar Iyer, SVP Global Field Operations, at the start of the project was that the new process and tools within the sales development function would provide a foundation for growth and support the business as it expands in the next few years.
With a very active community and strong inbound interest from developers, Couchbase wanted to engage prospective customers earlier in their research. This included customers of Cassandra and MongoDB who had now outgrown these first-generation NoSQL projects. The business applications that use Couchbase often have one or more very high-performance demand requirements. Couchbase wanted to introduce their technical resources early in the research and testing process and ensure that customers were well informed about Couchbase Enterprise Edition in the design phase. This would ensure that customers could leverage the capabilities of the product to ensure quicker time-to-market for their applications, and high-performance applications that delighted their users.
Led by the VP, Worldwide Corporate Sales, Jim Mongiello, and with support from Sujan Jain, CFO, Shekyar Iyer, Global Field Operations, Doug Laird, CMO, and the demand generation, sales operations and marketing operations teams, Replystream helped deploy the following solutions:
Ideal Customer Profile
The team identified, cleansed and appended key attributes to Couchbase existing customer accounts, and the business contacts associated with the selection and buying process. This included relevant stories from the customer base by industry, use-case, technology and a range of other attributes. The ICP provides an empirical understanding of existing customers and the personas that Couchbase interacts with during the sales process.
With the results of the ICP in-hand, the existing CRM database was classified to determine competitors, partners, existing customers, potential partners and new prospects. The classification also ranked people and organizations against the empirical information that was learned from the ICP enabling Leads to be segmented and prioritized.
- Engage early with customers researching and testing NoSQL solutions
- Assist customers migrate from first-generation NoSQL solutions to Couchbase
- Predictable new business pipeline generation
- A sales development function that could scale with the business
- Developed Ideal Customer Profile
- Deployed Lead and Activity Management Process
- Launched Conversation Guide
- Leveraged Automated Dialing Technology
- Better conversations with prospects
- 620% increase in monthly pipeline opportunities created
- Accurate and reliable Salesforce CRM metrics
- Predictable conversion rates from sales meetings to new pipeline creation
- New sales development staff productive in first month
- Tightly integrated marketing and sales campaigns
Lead and Activity Management Process (LAMP)
By leveraging basic out-of-box functionality of Salesforce.com, LAMP ensures that the sales development team reached out to contacts that registered interest in Couchbase, and that they followed-up in an appropriate, timely and respectful manner. When a contact requests immediate assistance, the sales development team schedules a meeting and engages the enterprise sales and technical teams to lead a formal discovery meeting to determine how Couchbase products could meet the business and technical requirements of the customer.
The Conversation Guide is a new type of application that is designed for users as they are having real-time conversations, so is highly intuitive and easy-to-use. The Conversation Guide dynamically adjusts the content presented to the user based on the attributes of the person, organization, user-role and the replies received from the person during the real-time conversation. The Conversation Guide logs information in Salesforce.com and can be used to determine appropriate next steps for salespeople, sales engineering, services and marketing operations.
First Phase: Existing Team
The project started with an existing sales development team of 10 staff located in both the United States and United Kingdom. By the third month of the project the sales development team was completing over hundreds of prospect conversations per month. Over the initial period of 6 months the number of pipeline opportunities generated monthly grew by 620%.
Second Phase: New Hires Fully-Ramped in First Month
The Conversation Guide has allowed Couchbase to capture critical information about the marketplace, trends, incumbent vendors, top competitors, the timing of new application development and database projects. This is being used to determine next steps for salespeople and for new nurturing programs being developed using marketing automation.
Third Phase: Adding the Marketing Supercharger
Couchbase quickly grasped the potential of the new sales development process. Doug Laird, CMO, and his marketing team worked quickly to develop highly-focused marketing programs that would leverage this new approach.
The marketing team conceived and launched a program aimed at helping the growing number of organizations migrating from MongoDB