Aquent Improves Sales Tracking, Productivity, and Outcomes with Groove
As the world’s largest marketing and creative staffing firm, Aquent has a dedicated team of sales reps to help prospects and clients meet their staffing needs. Aquent recently switched to Salesforce to get more visibility into their sales efforts, but they felt they could get more value out of the new system. Additionally, while some reps had been using Yesware to track emails and do mail merges, they thought they could improve with more sophisticated message flows and real-time activity tracking. Initially, Aquent implemented Outreach to try and solve the problem, but it failed to gain traction across the broader organization. With lagging Salesforce adoption and a collection of competing sales tools, Aquent formed a Salesforce taskforce to address their challenges. After evaluating several platforms, Aquent decided to move its sales team off of Yesware and Outreach and onto Groove. Since rolling out Groove, Aquent has seen rapid adoption among its various sales teams, giving leadership visibility into sales activity and empowering reps with easy access to valuable Salesforce data for personalizing every email.
Nearly 2X increase in activity being tracked in Salesforce
Streamlined email and call prospecting with automated flows
Increased visibility of outbound efforts across multiple business units
Accessible real-time Salesforce data drives more relevant conversations
As the world’s largest marketing and creative staffing firm, Aquent’s mission is to harness the power of individuals to change the way the world works. Aquent has come a long way from its beginnings as MacTemps, where it specialized in staffing Mac-savvy talent. Today, Aquent has more than 27 domestic and 10 international offices that provide staffing services to two-thirds of the Fortune 500, including the 10 most valuable brands in the world.
Founded in 1986 as MacTemps, Aquent has grown and evolved dramatically since its early days connecting businesses with Mac-savvy talent. Today, Aquent is a leading talent services company, providing marketing and creative talent, managed services, extended workforce benefits, project management, and professional development. Headquartered in Boston, Aquent employs more than 10,000 people in eight countries across multiple business units.
Aquent relies on a large sales team to win new business and place talent at thousands of client companies around the globe. In late 2019, Aquent implemented Salesforce to gain better visibility into sales activity for more accurate reporting and forecasting. At the same time, they also switched from Yesware to Outreach in an effort to increase Salesforce adoption and activity logging, as well as to facilitate the use of more complicated messages flows. Unfortunately, shortly after roll-out, Aquent encountered a major obstacle: Outreach’s complicated UI was preventing widespread adoption by its sales reps.
“We thought we had found a good solution for reps who didn’t want to be working in Salesforce, but our sales team found Outreach to be too complicated.”
“We knew we had to find another platform,” said Bart.
Aquent formed an internal Salesforce task force to investigate how to best leverage the CRM system within their organization. The task force had three key goals: increase Salesforce adoption, remove barriers to documentation, and gain visibility into all activity so it’s not lost when individuals leave the organization. Aquent’s CIO Larry Bolick also saw an opportunity to standardize Aquent’s sales teams on a core set of enabling technologies.
“Historically, Aquent’s different divisions had been operating fairly independently, each choosing what they thought was best for them,” said Larry Bolick, CIO of Aquent. “It was getting to be a bit of a ‘Noah’s Ark’ scenario, so I knew it was time to get things better aligned and organized.”
As Larry and other senior leaders of the task force began looking at making fundamental changes to Aquent’s sales processes and systems, they knew ease-of-use was essential.
“Salesforce only works if people use it, and one of our biggest hurdles was around documentation,” said Bart. “Our sales people didn’t want to document activity in Salesforce.”
With Outreach and Yesware ruled out, Aquent began evaluating Groove. Its number one priority was being able to accurately and comprehensively track its sales teams’ activities, which were largely happening in Gmail.
“As a task force, we wanted to stop having conversations with sales people about documentation,” said Bart. “We knew a lot of activity was happening in Gmail, but we had no way to see it.”
When evaluating the different sales engagement platforms against this standard, Groove stood out for its overall simplicity, ease of use, and value. Additionally, Groove’s native Salesforce integration didn’t just make it easier to manage, it also ensured that data was easily accessed and always up-to-date.
“We had major issues with getting our sales teams to document what they were doing in Gmail, and this is where Groove really shines,” said Bart. “We’ve found Groove to be transparent and extremely easy to use, which has led to incredibly high adoption among our sales teams. Now we don’t have to worry about getting our salespeople into Salesforce - Groove solves that for us.”
Since rolling out Groove, Aquent has seen 93% adoption among its sales teams across multiple business units. That increase in adoption has also had a huge impact on the amount of activity being captured in Salesforce.
“Our reps have really taken to Groove, and as a result, we’ve seen the amount of email activity being captured in Salesforce jump by nearly 200%.”
Groove’s Gmail integration made it easy for Aquent’s sales team to quickly access Salesforce information right from their inbox. With Salesforce account information available for every message received or sent, reps can easily personalize messages based on any number of data attributes. Even better, Aquent can customize the data shown for users based on their roles to ensure that the most relevant information is displayed.
“One of the reasons we’ve seen such high adoption of Groove by our reps is because of its ability to pull data out of Salesforce so quickly,” said Bart. “We’re keeping people in Groove because it’s faster, and that also means that critical activities are being tracked.”
Aquent is also taking advantage of Groove’s multi-step, automated campaign flows to keep in regular contact with its customers and prospects. From within Gmail, Aquent’s sales reps can view upcoming flow steps and complete emails and calls without having to leave their inboxes.
“Groove has been a real game-changer for us,” said Bart. “Before Groove, it was a challenge to understand who was reaching out to whom, which was really problematic because of Aquent’s multiple brands and entities. So this is a big win for us.”
Since rolling out Groove, Aquent has seen productivity increase significantly among its sales teams. Aquent’s CIO believes that one of the main reasons for this productivity boost is Groove’s ease of use.
“A happy salesperson is a productive sales person, and that’s why Groove is so valuable for Aquent.”
“We evaluated several sales engagement platforms, and Groove stood out for its ease of use. Implementation was a breeze, and we now have a happy and productive sales team as a result,” said Larry.
Another important benefit from using Groove is the visibility it provides to different sales teams. Before Groove, reps wouldn’t always know if another division was already selling into an account. Now, right from Gmail, reps can see if an account is already being engaged with before sending a message.
“Groove isn’t just a huge timer saver for our reps, it also gives them ‘cross-vision’ into the different orgs and groups selling into accounts,” said Bart. “With this new visibility, our reps have the context they need to be more coordinated in their conversations and emails.”
While Groove’s ease-of-use and reliability have made it easy to manage, Aquent has also been impressed with Groove’s industry-leading service and support.
“Groove has made our reps more productive and their messages more relevant,” said Bart.
“Groove is a true partner, providing superior technology, solid support, and tremendous value to our organization.”
93% adoption for its sales team
Gmail integration drives more personalized messages
Increased productivity with automated flows
Visibility and retention of sales activity across business units