customer stories

Netlify uses Calixa for value-based sales at key customer touch points

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Netlify is the most popular way to build, deploy and scale modern web applications.
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With Calixa, we’re seeing much greater efficiency in driving revenue from our self-service funnel.

In an expanding world of tools, services, and APIs, Netlify gives web developers a platform to bring everything together within a single workflow, unlocking productivity and saving time and money. An estimated 16% of today’s internet population visits an app or website built on the Netlify platform each month.

Goal

When a developer coming from the web development space co-founds a web development hosting platform, nothing matters more than the developer experience. Netlify has been adopting and iterating its product-led growth (PLG) strategy since inception, with the core tenants of building a developer-oriented product naturally overlapping with PLG principles: make it easy to sign up for the product, get people to experience that first a-ha! moment, and then get out of their way as they expand their usage, activate new use cases, and bring others into the product.

It didn’t take long before more and more big logos took notice. “People were quickly having a-ha! moments, which spiked massive organic growth and word-of-mouth virality,” Devin Oliver, Director of Sales Development, began. “An overwhelming majority of our enterprise customers have direct experience using our self-serve product,” he shared, outlining an opportunity to capitalize on this experience and fuel growth. And while Netlify’s customers report highly satisfying self-service experiences, they often ask for assistance as they build important projects on the platform.

This led Netlify down a path to accomplish two key objectives:

  • First, capture the growing volume of people raising their hands.
  • Second, implement a sales-assisted growth motion to engage proactively with accounts and help them maximize their product use.

“We want each rep, whether an SDR, account manager, or account executive, to be armed with information that helps them understand how to get in front of our customers and guide them to those a-ha! moments,” Devin noted, expressing the importance of using data to help his team engage in conversations that are both valuable and authentic to their customers. “The last thing we want is customers to feel they’re part of a sales conversation we’re required to do,” he said.

Challenge

With a steady volume of active developers from key logos and large brands, Netlify dug into its product qualified lead (PQL) data to focus sales outreach efforts more intelligently, and quickly hit a roadblock. Even with support from a well-resourced technical data team, requests for specific signals or usage patterns could take up to weeks to turnaround. These lengthy delays, largely caused by fragmented toolsets and disconnected customer data, slowed their team’s ability to experiment and iterate.

“We were living out of a world restrained by fragmented tools,” Devin noted, describing their use of SQL to gain visibility into customer data in one service, and that the ability to see what customers are building existed in an entirely separate tool. Elaborating further, he said, “All of our sales engagement data lives in its own platform and while it integrates with our CRM, Salesforce also maintains its own customer data set related to our prior sales engagements.”

To bridge the gaps between datasets and tools, his team began managing the process in spreadsheets, learning quickly how much upkeep would be required long term. “We were constantly thinking through ways to establish better rules of engagement and keep our reps from reaching out to the same accounts,” Devin said.

Solution

When Netlify set out to find a tool to simplify and scale its PQL process, it did so with a clearly defined scope of criteria. The right tool had to be both intuitive and easy to onboard, and offer the ability to self-service GTM experiments with different usage patterns and signals across different teams. To this end, they sought a platform that both its sales and data teams would find value from using.

“Behind the scenes, we wanted to give our data team the flexibility to pass data from our experiments to the other types of tools we use,” Devin explained. Extensibility, both in terms of the number of potential integrations and their ease of use, was, thus, a make-or-break decision point for the team. “We needed something that integrates easily with other tools in our tech stack, such as Outreach and Salesforce,” continued Devin. “Our data team uses a complex suite of products and needs to be able to send data back and forth across tools.”

They found all this–and more–with Calixa.

Impact

Faster, contextual insights powered by greater sales

“Calixa helps us focus on driving insights, rather than spend time on the phone gathering context,” said Devin. Feeding all their product data into Calixa during the initial set up, the sales team could immediately run self-service experiments. Likewise, the data team began to immediately run its own PQL modeling, sending high-interest signals to the sales team on a regular basis. Now, any time a sales rep notices an interesting usage pattern, they run their own report in Calixa–rather than sending data requests and waiting weeks. This speed-to-answers lets reps engage with customers and spin off personalized campaigns more quickly based on the most recent account activity.

“Calixa has just made it so much easier for us to really figure out what helpful is.”

A proactive approach for solving potential customer problems

Netlify also uses Calixa to uncover new approaches to customer challenges, improving retention among developers–an audience known to avoid sales engagements.

“Sales has to operate with a ‘How do we help you build?’ mindset, rather than get in their way and slow them down from what they’re working on.”

To this end, the team uses Calixa as a means to focus on meaningful interactions and customer retention, quickly spotting changes in usage patterns or tickets submitted to support. “It’s another way for us to stay ahead of any potential issues instead of waiting for someone to be frustrated enough to reach out,” he continued. “By using data in Calixa to be proactive, we can better position ourselves as a partner to our customers versus just another vendor in an ever-growing engineering tech stack.”

Emphasizing the sales team’s focus on driving meaningful interactions, Devin said, “Calixa makes it easy to figure out what ‘helpful’ means for our customers. Now, we know how to drive value with every interaction rather than fitting the mold of a typical sales team with generic touchpoints.”

Improved efficiency driving revenue from its self-service base

“We’re seeing much greater efficiency in driving revenue from our self-service funnel,” Devin noted. “What previously took reps a full day in terms of prospecting accounts, they now achieve in just half the time.”

50% daily time saving

Prospecting done in just 3-4hrs rather than a full day’s work. Allowing for half the day to now focus on outreach activities!

Proactively flagging large brands and target outbound accounts for reps is another productivity driver, Devin shared, as sales can search and view the entirety of an account from within a single tool. “In the old world, going from an email sign-up to seeing the account activity was time-consuming and difficult,” he continued. “A quick search in Calixa pulls up an account’s total number of projects, usage changes over time, who’s building solo, and how many team members are on the account.”

From juggling 7 tabs down to just 2

Calixa + Outreach

Accelerated sales workflows and outreach sequences

An accelerated sales development workflow adds further value and productivity. “With a well-resourced sales team comes a litany of tools for gathering context on customers and conducting research,” shared Devin. “In the old world, that meant a lot of context switching, which introduced cognitive lags and turned into more complex workflows.” Searching and adding new customers to Outreach sequences directly in the Calixa user interface not only saves time, but reduces navigation between different sales tools. “Between Salesforce, Outreach, spreadsheets, and more, it used to take seven different window tabs just to email a new prospect,” noted Devin. “Calixa not only speeds up our prospecting strategies, but the number of tabs Sales has to juggle decreased down to two–Calixa and Outreach.”

A partnership underpinned by collaboration and iteration

Perhaps the biggest benefit is the level of partnership and support they’ve received from the account and product teams at Calixa. “The best thing about working with Calixa is how responsive the team is,” Devin said, noting appreciation for Calixa’s work setting up different integrations to accommodate Netlify’s nuanced use cases. He also praised the team’s ability to lean in and demonstrate best practices his team wasn’t always previously aware of. “As we make suggestions, the Calixa team is super responsive in getting things pushed live,” he continued. “It’s incredible to reflect on where we are today compared to our old world, and then how much the product itself has grown.”