In the past five years, Intercom has grown from $1 million to $150 million in annual recurring revenue. It's recognized as one of the fastest-growing startups of all time. The world's most successful companies, like Atlassian, Shopify, and New Relic, use Intercom to deliver conversational customer experiences through chatbots and personalized messaging with customers.
As a company experiencing explosive growth, Intercom struggled to communicate sales activity across the organization while keeping its customer relationship management (CRM) data consistently updated and tidy.
Recently, Intercom enlisted Troops to introduce proactivity and simplicity to their sales organization. Troops workflows and Slack messaging tools helped them:
- bridge communication gaps between teams,
- simplify pipeline management and activity tracking,
- speed up and prioritize lead engagement,
- and improve sales culture and cross-team relationships.
We spoke with Jalal Iftikhar, Intercom’s global director of business systems, to learn more about how Troops helps fuel and support Intercom’s hyper-growth.
As Intercom’s global director of business systems, Jalal says he thinks of his team as the engine of the organization. “If no one is talking about the engine, we are doing well,” he laughs. “If everyone is talking about the engine, either we are absolutely crushing it, or everything is absolutely on fire (usually, it’s the latter). ” In his role, he has a passion for fixing inefficiencies and thinking about “the amount of clicks needed to do things like close a deal or service a support request.”
Making the leap from reactive to proactive
Intercom’s sales leadership team recognizes that if you’re reacting, you’re already at a disadvantage. The systems they had in place had powerful dashboards but offered no strategic insights on next steps. And, as any sales manager can tell you, getting sales reps to consistently update their pipelines in their CRM is like pulling teeth.
Plus, their communications channels were falling flat. Managers were digging into wins and losses and spotlighting the key areas of learning in Salesforce, but the information wasn’t getting back to Slack where people could collaborate and share information throughout the organization.
Troops workflows in Slack helped Intercom get (and stay) ahead of growth
Instead of always playing catch-up, Jalal’s team leverages Troops Workflows to pump activity-tracking data from Salesforce into Slack and spread that information across the organization. They automate key workflows in minutes to get the right alerts, reports, and insights to the right people at the right time.
Lead management workflows
To help reps proactively respond to leads in a timely manner, Intercom launched a Salesforce lead management workflow in Slack. Using customizable parameters like lead scoring, Troops sends Slack notifications to alert the sales team about new leads, which deals are hot, and which leads reps need to focus on right away.
The action doesn’t stop there. Once a rep schedules a meeting, another workflow helps them prepare before it happens and prompts them to update relevant sales process fields afterward (all right from Slack).
Troops helps teams implement and enforce MEDDPIC by:
- Automatically reminding reps to update key fields in the sales process
- Making it easy for reps to update the Salesforce fields in Slack
- Giving reps contextual prompts that guide them to the correct course of action
- Alerting managers about key coaching moments in the sales process
- Providing visibility to executives on the things that matter most to limit end-of-quarter surprises
Giving company-wide accolades and insights with Troops sales gong in Slack
When a company is growing as fast as Intercom, it’s easy for the sales team to get stuck in a communications bubble. Much of their work can go unrecognized by the rest of the organization—and if there’s a big win, company-wide announcements via lengthy emails go ignored in people’s inboxes.
Intercom uses the Troops sales gong to celebrate wins across the company without interrupting everyone’s day with “reply all” emails. The fully customizable alert sends notifications to Slack to announce newly won deals that meet specific criteria, along with wacky GIFs that boost morale.
The sales gong offers a fun way to celebrate the sales team’s hard work. More importantly, different departments can discuss the best practices that went into the newly won deal—and what can go better next time around.
As Intercom’s sales organization grows, Jalal says he has yet to come up with a sales initiative that Troops can’t make more proactive.
“Improving MEDDPICC? Let’s use Troops. Improving [sales rep] activity tracking and making their lives easier? Let’s use Troops,” Jalal says. “Continue to improve our data quality in Salesforce? Guess what? Still Troops.”
Meeting the technical demands of hypergrowth without making it too technical
Now that they have a global sales organization, Intercom needs to empower its sales reps to be autonomous while giving them the tools they need to succeed.
The problem is, the more integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) tools they adopt, the slower and more bloated the entire process becomes.
Plus, most sales reps aren’t exactly software engineers. According to Jalal, “Their eyes glaze over, and they walk away at the sound of ‘integration tool.’”
Simplify and speed up software integrations with workflows
With Troops customizable sales workflow templates, it took just one to two days for Intercom to connect their tools and implement workflows that might have taken four to six months to design, build, and roll out with a larger iPaaS solution.
Troops is so natural for Intercom’s sales reps to use that they build their own workflows to solve unique problems without realizing that's what they are doing.
Because the tool is so simple to set up and use, Jalal says individual sales reps and managers come up with some amazing workflows that his business systems team would never have thought of.
The Troops advantage
Troops plays a significant role in all of Intercom’s sales initiatives. It gives time back to their reps, keeps their Salesforce data clean and visible to the entire organization, and supports sales activities where the team is already communicating.
Better connectivity between sales and communication tools: Troops made it easy for Intercom to connect, track, and report on Salesforce activity where important conversations are happening in Slack.
More proactive sales reps: Lead management and meetings workflows help reps jump on hot leads and pinpoint the best opportunities in their pipelines.
Faster, more efficient communication: Lead notifications and the sales gong help teams across the company act on and respond to high-priority activities while celebrating wins and learning from losses.
Simpler pipeline management: Meetings workflows help sales reps update contact details and manage their pipelines using best practices in sales methodology.
Jalal says he plans to double down on activity tracking and enforcing the MEDDPICC sales methodology. He continues to find new uses for Troops as he identifies and fixes broken processes and works to support Intercom’s sales team in riding the next huge wave of growth.