Predictable Revenue helps Neo4j’s global inbound sales development team of 25 people pivot to outbound on a dime
Stephen Depaoli is the Senior Director of Sales Development at Neo4j, a San Mateo, California-based graph database platform company. Neo4j drives innovation and competitive advantage for more than 900 customers including Comcast, ICIJ, NASA, UBS, and Volvo Cars. .. The company turned to Predictable Revenue’s coaching team to help them get their outbound sales development team off the ground for the first time.
Before Predictable Revenue
When Stephen Depaoli started in his role as the Senior Director of Sales Development at Neo4j, he quickly realized that the company couldn’t rely on inbound leads alone to hit company growth targets. His concern was based on the volume of inbound opportunities he was seeing and, after doing a little digging through the numbers, Stephen determined that, “the SDRs [were] not receiving enough to necessarily hit their goals, and that some outbound motion would be wise to supplement what they [were] already doing.” The sales development team needed to come up with a new strategy, and fast.
Stephen’s sales development team was geographically dispersed and growing fast. They had 25 people on the team across North America, Europe, and Asia and had some aggressive hiring plans. Stephen has his hands full covering the myriad responsibilities that come with being a global sales leader, and while building that outbound function was high on his priority list, he couldn’t fly the plane and build it at the same time.
In his search for outside help, he turned to his colleague, Lisa Hathaway, VP of Demand Generation at Neo4j who had worked with Predictable Revenue in a previous role. Stephen was also familiar with us, because a CEO at a prior company of his was a big fan of our book, Predictable Revenue.
We supported Stephen by collaborating on the strategy, working sessions with everyone involved on the project, and bringing in coaches to work one on one with the sales development team.
Predictable Revenue took a three-pronged approach to building the outbound function at Neo4j. We supported Stephen by collaborating on the strategy, working sessions with everyone involved on the project, and bringing in coaches to work one on one with the sales development team. “It’s a triple-track sort of process…and all of [it] is valuable.”
What we solved for Stephen at the end of the day was extending his bandwidth. With wall to wall meetings he needed a team that could, “spend the time every week with the outbound team, reviewing strategies and tactics”.
On top of the tactical team support, Stephen knew that making changes in an org of 25+ people wouldn’t be without its challenges. Having our coaching team involved in designing the strategy “solves a lot of problems before they even come out.” Change management can be hard and collaborating on the strategy gave Stephen and team back some spare cycles because we were able to steer them away from mistakes we’ve seen in the past.
As a veteran sales development leader, Stephen knew that building an outbound function from scratch would take time to get right. Some of his team expected us to, “know all the answers all the time to everything immediately!” Luckily, Stephen assuaged them: “no, they’re going to help us create good experiments to figure out what the answers are, that doesn’t mean [Predictable Revenue sales coaches] know all the answers for our company walking in the door.” We love working with experiment-driven leaders like Stephen.
“I certainly know about outbound sales development and I could coach people, but it’s never going to be as good as having all the resources that Predictable Revenue has, so, [we] very much appreciate that we had access to them.” – Stephen Depaoli
Stephen Depaoli and Neo4j came to us to solve a simple problem: they had goals to reach and inbound wasn’t going to get them there. But for a team as large as Stephen’s, adding outbound would be no small feat. So, we minimized the risk of a big transition by offering expertise and support to the team. In addition, we’re helping the team experiment, iterate, and refine all the time so that the outbound function at Neo4j can scale quickly and effectively.
While Stephen wasn’t coming from a place of no experience when it comes to building and scaling outbound functions, like many sales development leaders today he’s got a lot going on. Having Predictable Revenue’s team come in to tackle some of the big stuff allows him to focus on the intricacies of Neo4j and focus on closing more opportunities. We’ll leave you with one last quote from Stephen: “I certainly know about outbound sales development and I could coach people, but it’s never going to be as good as having all the resources that Predictable Revenue has, so, [we] very much appreciate that we had access to them.”