Customer Story: VersionOne
“EverString helped us find the right accounts. If you don’t find the right accounts, you’ll spend the next 12 months struggling.”
– Peter Herbert, VP of Marketing
88% Increase in Engagement Metrics
VersionOne Simplifies Account Targeting with EverString
As the leader in unified Agile software development and DevOps solutions, VersionOne helps teams at all levels of enterprise IT organizations to accelerate software delivery. Since the company was founded in 2002, VersionOne has evolved from focusing on development teams to being the Agile and DevOps platform for organizations with thousands of users, including 33 Fortune 100 companies and numerous major government agencies.
For Kristen Wendel, Director of Marketing Operations, and Peter Herbert, VP of Marketing at VersionOne, the journey to EverString began with a common pain point for many businesses at VersionOne’s scale: sales and marketing alignment.
For years, VersionOne’s business had relied on inbound leads, yet they were too often left out of evaluations. As the company grew from a transactional business to an enterprise-focused one, Peter and Kristen determined that Account-Based Marketing (ABM), which involved selecting target accounts and pursuing them with an allbound strategy, would be a more efficient and effective approach. With a lean team going up against giant competitors, the VersionOne team knew that selecting best-fit accounts and focusing time, energy, and budget on them was the best path for the company.
Before VersionOne partnered with EverString, Peter and Kristen led an ABM launch in January 2016, yet struggled with identifying target accounts. The challenge was getting sales and marketing teams aligned on which accounts were the “best fit”. Marketers had a tough time, without the right data, to determine which accounts were most likely to buy. Sales struggled with inbound leads from accounts that did not meet their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and were not their target buyers. When selecting target accounts, reps based their decisions on which accounts they recognized versus data that told them where they were most likely to succeed.
Overall, the target selection process was manual, time-consuming, distracting for sales, and based on little more than revenue ranges and location. Additionally, Kristen and Peter were also spending too much time researching their total addressable market and competitor presence in their market, as these processes was largely done on a manual scale and took months.
“After the first time we selected target accounts, we knew we had to find a data-driven approach and take the account-selection process in to marketing,” said Wendel. “Our sales team needed our help, and there was no way we were going to let them spend any more time in meetings and not on the frontline selling.”
“EverString helped us find the right accounts. If you don’t find the right accounts, you’ll spend the next 12 months struggling.” Peter Herbert, VP of Marketing, VersionOne.
The VersionOne team can potentially market and sell to many thousands of companies in the global IT market, so they needed a predictive solution that could focus them on best-fit accounts, was powerful, easy to use, and had minimal integration barriers. Additionally, since they were new to the predictive analytics space, they wanted to ensure they had an external team that was very proactive in the onboarding process. They wanted a partner that specializes in database expansion and was an extension of their team.
Kristen and Peter looked at several vendors in the market and spent a few months evaluating options, but in the end it became clear that EverString was uniquely able to deliver on all of their needs. For VersionOne, EverString is particularly useful with account selection and building target contacts, especially from a marketing perspective. On the sales side, EverString’s technology is also helpful when it comes time for their team to gain insight on accounts to set appointments, open opportunities, and close deals.
Lastly, their previous pain points with sales and marketing alignment were alleviated since marketing simplified the process through a data-driven approach and provided a smart service to sales that built trust and confidence. Both teams used EverString and could each monitor VersionOne’s progress with certain accounts and contacts. Because the marketing team had insights into these companies and individuals through the power of AI, they could then focus on personalizing their messaging so that they could continue to build their sales and marketing pipeline.
VersionOne’s Account Targeting Goals and How EverString Plays a Role
Getting the right qualified leads and perfecting your company’s messaging is crucial, and EverString has the capabilities to assist both of those functions for VersionOne in the long-term. That’s exactly why VersionOne views selecting EverString for predictive capabilities as an important element its business strategy in the coming years.
“If you’re not working on the right accounts, you are going to spend the next 12 months struggling,” Peter explained. This is why having the insights into a very defined market was so important for VersionOne. With EverString’s Audience Platform, they had the ability to not only build target contacts and select accounts, but bolster sales development efforts to reach out to target contacts in a more personalized, relevant way.
Across the board, EverString provides a holistic solution for both the sales and marketing teams at VersionOne. The platform helped create alignment between sales and marketing, focus efforts on the best-fit accounts, and streamlined numerous processes along the way.
“With EverString, we are simply able to go faster, and faster in the right direction,” said Wendel. “From AI-assisted account selection, to quick contact building and insights, we can do more to help sales and to help the company grow.”
The Value of AI Assisted Marketing
In the end, VersionOne discovered that AI-assisted capabilities are valuable for more than just Account-Based Marketing. Reps working in the mid-market and SMB were also able to discover new accounts and contacts with the highest fit. As a result, VersionOne determined that there was no reason why its sales and sales development teams weren’t empowered with EverString’s AI-enabled platform, especially since it powers outbound efforts — a crucial element of account-based marketing.
There’s no doubt that tackling personalization has its challenges, especially at scale. However, with EverString’s unique AI-powered platform and audience segmentation capabilities, the VersionOne team tackled these challenges and was able to find and engage the best-fit accounts and grow new business.