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How OpenPhone’s sales and success team use product usage data to generate pipeline

In this customer story, we talked to OpenPhone’s Head of Sales and Success, Giancarlo Gialle; Makalie Reed, Revenue Operations Manager, and Justine Delgadillo, Senior Customer Success Manager. You’ll learn how OpenPhone uses Pocus to find higher converting leads, proactively manage customers, and scale their PLS motion.

Giancarlo Gialle
April 17, 2023
How OpenPhone’s sales and success team use product usage data to generate pipeline

Turns out, businesses need to use the phone to get things done, but they no longer want the antiquated systems of the 90s. 

OpenPhone provides users with a business line and related phone services with a simple app, making it easy to keep their business calls separate while still using their own devices. 

Two years and two rounds of funding totaling $56M later, OpenPhone is trusted by companies like GetAround, Deloitte, Bungalow Sonder, Y Combinator, Ramp, and more. 

In the last two years, OpenPhone has seen massive growth. The company first focused on building the perfect solution, opening a beta version for free while they found product-market fit. Today, OpenPhone is available on all types of devices, has integrations to popular tools (Salesforce, Hubspot, Slack, Zapier), and advanced team features like shared address books, call recordings, analytics, and more.

The Challenge

Now that OpenPhone has 50K+ customers and reliably generates new business through their free trial motion, the go-to-market team has evolved toward a more product usage-driven approach. As Giancarlo looked to scale revenue from self-serve, this massive volume posed two different challenges: 

  1. Increasing conversions: Surfacing sales-ready sign-ups based on their product usage and ICP fit — so sales could take action with the right message at the right time.
  2. Retention and expansion: Quickly identifying opportunities for growth within existing accounts, proactive churn prevention, and maintaining happy customers.

Giancarlo needed a way to use product usage signals to inform both his sales and customer success teams’ Playbooks. The problem? Both teams needed help accessing the right data and insights for their various Playbooks. 

With Pocus, they’ve been able to tackle both challenges. Here’s how they did it:

  1. Increase conversions with a free trial PQL Playbook.
  2. Improve retention and expansion through customer success Playbooks: grow, defend, and maintain.

Surfacing high potential free trial users 

OpenPhone has a higher weekly volume of new free trial sign-ups than a sales team with manual workflows could feasibly handle. Before Pocus, the sales team did their best to book high quality meetings. However, the volume made it challenging, and the result was booking meetings with every hand raiser or trial user, many of whom were low quality. 

Giancarlo and his RevOps lead, Makalie, had to find a way to sort through these leads to find those with the highest potential to convert. Sorting and prioritizing leads became the first use case for Pocus. By scoring free trial users based on product usage and firmographic fit, the OpenPhone team made it easier to surface product-qualified leads (PQLs) from their self-serve user-base to sales. 

Flexible and transparent PQL scoring for sales conversion 

“We identified a few friction points within the sales journey at OpenPhone, including the fact that 50% of users who started a free trial converted into paying customers (we knew we could get that rate even higher),” Giancarlo explained.

To increase free-to-paid conversions Giancarlo decided reps should be actively reaching out to users during their trials at the right moment. To help sales reps prioritize their outreach, the team uses Pocus to score prospects based on product usage behavior, such as:

  • Inviting their team to use OpenPhone
  • Sending messages within the platform
  • Using integrations with other tools

OpenPhone also integrates third-party data enrichment data from Clearbit into their Pocus PQL scoring to further refine outreach prioritization based on firmographic profiles.

Combining the power of Salesforce and Pocus into a robust sales motion

Salesforce integration - Pocus

Each new trial user gets a Pocus lead score added to the lead’s record in Salesforce. From there, Makalie has set up workflows that run automatically to surface those leads to reps or launch an automated sequence. For example, when a lead reaches a certain score, they receive a personalized yet automated email from the product specialist, who manages product-qualified leads. 

These automated workflows were a major unlock, allowing reps to spend their time having conversations with qualified leads rather than spending a third of their day manually emailing prospects. The PQL score enables OpenPhone’s sales team to prioritize the best opportunities with targeted outreach aimed at helping them get more value out of OpenPhone — and turning them into paying customers.

“With the help of Pocus scoring, not only was sales able to quickly identify their highest potential inbound leads, but also reach out to free trial users likely to convert based on their product usage signals. Compared to the previous strategy, reps are saving tons of calendar time and spending more time on higher quality conversations,” Makalie explained of the results of implementing a PQL score for free trial sign-ups. 

Experimentation and iteration with flexible data

Getting to this state wasn’t easy. OpenPhone explored different lead scoring options but decided those tools didn’t offer the transparency and visibility the RevOps team needed. Blackbox scores weren’t enough. The RevOps team  wanted the ability to experiment, update, and refine their scoring models without engineering support. Pocus’ no-code interface and flexible data model allowed them to do just that.

Makalie spent years working with internal teams on tooling to give go-to-market leaders control over  valuable customer data with poor results. The ability to access, analyze, and action this data so easily is one of the reasons she loves using Pocus. 

“The ability to easily access all of our data and analyze it at any level of granularity across different time horizons is incredibly valuable. Salesforce, in comparison, can’t do this very well.”

The results of PQL scoring with automated sales outreach

OpenPhone + Pocus - case study results

Time saved: 13 hours per week. Product specialists are saving a third of their day! 

Increased Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR): Openphone’s Product-Led Sales motion saw a 10% increase in customer conversion rates.

32% Average Contract Value (ACV) increase: The team has seen a 32% lift in ACV from leads surfaced through the free trial PQL Playbook. This single shift has turned into a six-figure incremental gain in ARR  for the company.

”50% percent of our incremental sales revenue comes from our free trial PQLs. With Pocus, we’ve been able to reliably uncover high priority sign-ups faster. These sales-assist leads convert 10% higher with a 32% higher ACV  because our team is able to reach out at the right time.” — Giancarlo Gialle, Head of Sales and Success, OpenPhone 

It doesn’t stop here. OpenPhone has scaled their use of Pocus to the customer success team, allowing the entire go-to-market function to rely on a unified data set about customers and prospects. 

Turning product data into retention and expansion revenue

With the success of their free trial PQL Playbook, Giancarlo wanted to arm the customer success team with the same product usage and customer data to inform a proactive retention and expansion strategy. 

Before Pocus, the CS team would spend about a day and a half each week looking at the health metrics for every account and digging for valuable insights. Based on their daily audits, customer success managers would devise a plan of action for each customer, making it a time-intensive and reactive process.

With Pocus, customer success has identified key product usage signals to trigger specific workflows — creating a repeatable and scalable process while ensuring no customers slip through the cracks.

“Consolidating all of our data into a single view and driving retention and expansion plays has been a big unlock. I save 8-10  hours per week digging for data, giving me more time to personalize outreach to customers.” — Justine Delgadillo, Senior Customer Success Manager

Customer success Playbooks mapped to desired outcomes

Giancarlo explained that the customer success Playbooks are all about being proactive with  their existing user-base. By looking at their customer data, OpenPhone’s customer success team decided that the two most important vectors to drive retention and expansion were growth potential and current happiness with the product. 

OpenPhone customer success playbook - Pocus

The customer success team configured three Playbooks in Pocus to qualify users based on signals for these two vectors: 1) Grow 2) Defend 3) Maintain.

This is how Giancarlo describes the leads surfaced by each customer success Playbook:

Grow

There is high growth potential, the customer is very happy, and we can potentially upsell or cross-sell to them. 

Defend

This could be a great account but they are currently not happy - need to prevent them from churning. 

Maintain

These accounts no longer have growth potential, they have grown all they can, they are happy, and we need to keep their business by continuing to offer them our support.  

Identify the right signals for CS Playbooks

Each Playbook has product usage signals to qualify users into the right one.

Grow signals indicate whether the account has potential upside opportunity: 

  • Ratio of # of employees in the account to # of users on the product 
  • Spend increases in the last week or month 
  • User growth in the last week or month 
  • New feature usage 
  • Recently hit a paywall 
  • High NPS 

OpenPhone pushes Clearbit data into Pocus to layer in firmographic signals that tell them if the accounts fit other use cases for upsell or cross-sell. For example, they use Clearbit data to find out if a customer has Salesforce so customer success can upsell OpenPhone’s Salesforce integration. 

Defend uses leading and lagging signals that indicate a potential for churn:

  • Low NPS
  • Reduction in key metrics like users (seat-based) or dollars spent (if you are usage based),
  • Lack of activity on key features
  • Cancelled plan at a future date (i.e. did not renew for next billing cycle)
  • Stripe failure (billing failed or they removed credit card)  

Maintain signals are necessary to keep the account’s current usage level and ensure customers remain happy:

  • High NPS
  • Full expansion potential (seat usage) 

Run the Playbooks  

Each of these CS Playbooks requires a nuanced human touch point. The Pocus Inbox is where CSMs check in every morning. It has their highest priority customers organized by Playbook ready for them to take action.

The prioritized inbox has simplified the CSM workflow from reconciling data across multiple tools (Data Warehouse, CRM, Zendesk, Stripe, etc.) to one source of truth with proactive alerts for where to focus their time and effort.

For example, while going through her Pocus Inbox, one CSM noticed the rate of invites accepted could be much higher. So, she decided to go after this low-hanging fruit by building an expansion Playbook for accounts with pending invites. With Pocus, she was able to instantly surface these accounts and automatically pull them into an outreach sequence. As a result, there was an immediate 15% uplift in the accepted invites rate. 

"Going after this low-hanging fruit has had a company-wide impact. Our marketing team is now taking this on and putting it within their lifecycle. We weren't doing that. Pocus was able to flag that because all the data is there and easily visible for everyone even if they don't know how to code."  

The Results of scaling CS with product data

OpenPhone - Pocus case study results

13 hours saved per week per CSM. CSMs now have access to insights about their customers in a single platform instead of digging across multiple sources.

Offense instead of defense. With insights readily available to the CSM team, OpenPhone can now run an offensive Playbook. By monitoring specific signals, the team can proactively get in front of customers with the right message instead of reactively running damage control.

Giancarlo Gialle
Head of Sales and Success at OpenPhone
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