Stack Overflow is the largest and most trusted online community for developers and technologists, with more than 50 million unique visitors each month. Stack Overflow’s products include a core SaaS knowledge management and collaboration tool called Teams, an advertising business, and a hiring and employer branding tool called Stack Overflow Talent.
With a massive online presence and three lines of business, it’s no wonder that they’re serious about pushing the boundaries of what they can glean from their data and processes.
Recently, Stack Overflow made massive improvements in their data visibility and process efficiency using Troops. Troops workflows helped them. . .
- Increase subscription renewal pipeline by 30%,
- Reduce internal sales ops support time by 70%,
- Drop enterprise approval time by 93%.
We spoke with Arjun Ganatra, senior Salesforce administrator at Stack Overflow, to learn more about how Troops workflows have changed the game for Stack Overflow sales.
Arjun joined Stack Overflow as their first-ever Salesforce admin in 2018. He jokes that the job has been “a challenge from Day 1” since, on his very first day of training, his team hit their Salesforce API limit. In his role, he’s learned everything from product to sale to post-sale to customer success and is always looking for ways to keep the data clean and the team operating at a high level.
Increasing Subscription Renewal Opportunities by 30%
Stack Overflow’s large customer base made it difficult to keep track of which customer accounts were coming up for renewal. Without that visibility, they couldn’t proactively assess contracts, account health, or the likelihood of renewal in time to make a difference. They also struggled to get the information they needed to forecast accurately, leaving them in the dark on how renewals were impacting their overall business.
Instead of operating in the dark, Arjun’s team used Troops to push alerts to a dedicated Slack channel 90, 60, and 30 days out from a customer’s renewal date. They gave all global account managers access to the channel, allowing them to see, at a glance, how they could make an impact on the renewals pipeline.
“As an account manager, you take pride in making sure your accounts are being taken care of and making sure you deliver a best-in-class customer experience. [But] things were slipping through the cracks.”
This new Troops workflow alone helped generate 30% more renewal opportunities. It also improved the team’s forecasting and provided Stack Overflow’s executives with the big-picture context they needed to see how renewal trends impacted the business year over year.
“I think [that workflow] is one of the most useful things we have. The big buzzword of 2020 is recurring revenue, and we care about making sure our high-value clients are being taken care of and getting value out of our platform.”
Dropping Enterprise Approval Time from 527 Hours to 35
Before Troops, Stack Overflow’s enterprise approvals process took a whopping 527 hours on average.
Enterprise deals needed to receive finance and often CEO approval. However, the team didn’t have an easy way to move approvals through all of these stakeholders, and the executives in particular didn’t love having to log into Salesforce to get involved with Stack Overflow’s most important deals. This painful, inefficient process slowed down important deals and stressed out managers and executives alike.
To hurdle this challenge, Arjun’s team moved the entire approvals process from Salesforce and email to Slack using Troops Approvals. With this workflow, they could automatically send an alert to each person who needed to take action at every step of the approval process.
When someone submitted a deal for approval, Troops immediately notified the approver in Slack. They could select “Approve” or “Reject” and then add comments to the alert, so the team could see the context around the decision. If a certain Stack Overflow manager wasn’t around, any of the other available managers could step in and approve the deal. Likewise, whenever the approver selected “Approve” or “Reject” in the Slack alert, the submitter would receive an alert letting them know the decision and next steps.
“Ever since we rolled out Troops, it’s just been so seamless that I have just forgotten about the dark times. I don’t need to ever think about our old approvals process again.”
After implementing the Troops Approvals workflow, Stack Overflow’s enterprise approval time decreased dramatically, from 527 hours to only 35 hours — a 93% improvement. This sped up sales cycles and relieved a lot of the stress managers and executives felt about some of their most important deals.
Decreasing Sales Ops Support Time by 70%
Stack Overflow’s small rev ops support team had their work cut out for them.
At any time, they had about 80 open cases in their queue with about a two-week support time. Unfortunately, they didn’t have an easy way to monitor the cases, assign them to other people, or keep track of their process. And the inefficiencies were holding up deals, lengthening sales cycles, and hurting the overall customer experience.
To support their sales ops support team, Arjun’s team decided to pull this process out of Salesforce into Slack. They created a new, revenue-ops-only Slack channel and pushed a Troops alert to it every time someone submitted a new sales ops case.
Not only did Troops allow the team to monitor new cases in Slack, they could also assign them to others and close them — all without venturing into Salesforce. By clicking an action button on a case alert, they could immediately assign cases to other team members. This made it quick and easy to delegate next steps and start making progress on cases.
A Troops alert would also automatically go to the relevant sales rep, keeping them informed of the progress. And closing cases became a simple matter of filling out three fields in the alert — all without ever leaving Slack.
“We have peace of mind knowing we are not holding up any deals, and we are helping to streamline business and keep deals moving. It is also awesome knowing if I am really busy and don’t get to it, I know someone on my team also sees it and can take care of it."
With these changes, Stack Overflow’s average open sales ops support cases improved by 70%, dropping from 80 to 30. Support time decreased too, from two weeks to under three days (a 70% improvement).
By pulling this information from Salesforce into Slack, suddenly sales ops support got the visibility they needed to proactively identify bigger issues and catch problems before they got out of control.
“All that information is right at your fingertips. At the end of the month, I can review the feed with my team and be like, we had 60 account merged requests, 30 CPQ errors, 35 lead distribution questions. This allows us to be more proactive with the way we handle the requests. For example, I wake up and see five alerts come in from Europe, and I know that something must be broken, and that’s the first thing I take care of in the morning.”
40 Troops Workflows and Counting. . .
“Troops really brings the human side out of the data in Salesforce. It lets you interact with it in a way that just wasn’t possible before.”
These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg for Stack Overflow. In all, they actively use over 40 Troops workflows and have seen improvements not just in data visibility and shortened sales cycles but also in the quality of their data and reporting.
Arjun, his team, and many of the employees at Stack Overflow view Troops as one of their “essential tools,” in part because of its versatility and the level of granularity it provides sales managers. They’re constantly finding new ways to reap the value of Troops and can’t wait to see the impact on sales in the future.