Sales cycle reduced from over 12 months to as little as 35 days
Average revenue per user (ARPU) increased by $300 per month
Improved pipeline predictability & significant revenue growth
Clocktimizer is a leading business intelligence solution for law firms, providing them with the data they need to improve their processes and increase profitability. Law firms from the Global 100 rely on them for insights on matter management, budgeting and pricing.
Pieter van der Hoeven, CEO and co-founder, had seen Clocktimizier grow successfully over the years, yet he knew they could do better.
“We already had a sales process at Clocktimizer but it was rather loose, which made it hard for me to predict revenue in the coming six to twelve months,” explains Pieter. “We had set our target at 91% growth for 2021 revenue compared to 2020 revenue, but are we in a good place to actually get to that 91%? So for us, what was important was predictability to actually manage a high growth revenue number.”
To help them reach that ambitious goal, Pieter brought in Flow State.
The engagement kicked off with a series of meetings, enabling Raffael and Aaron to get a deep understanding of the problems and challenges that Clocktimizer faced.
A health check on the sales process made it clear that there was a significant pipeline problem. Conversions suffered across the funnel, with too much time and effort being spent on opportunities that were never going to close. As a result, the sales team had to run a lot of deals to hit their targets.
The legal market is also an incredibly hard market to sell into. Selling to lawyers means that even the contract stage can take months, with sales cycles of up to 12 months a common occurrence. This can take a major toll on the sales team, draining resources with very little to show for it.
The first step was to build a robust and realistic qualification process, both for new business and existing customers. With clearly defined criteria for qualifying opportunities as they progressed through the sales cycle, sales teams could use their time more effectively, running fewer deals but with a greater chance of closing.
The qualification process also helped uncover their end customers’ compelling event i.e. a reason to take action now. By focusing on their best-fit prospects and building up urgency, the sales team was able to drastically cut the deal lifecycle down and close those deals in less time.
“We’ve been able to shorten the average timeline for the sales cycle,” says Lotte van der Zee, Business Development Manager and CSM. “The deals we sign now only take a couple of months. The last one we signed in 35 days.”
Flow State followed this up with a comprehensive training & coaching programme, addressing both Clocktimizer’s new business and customer success functions. This enabled them to attract new customers, retain them and increase their value to the business.
The interactive training covered a wide variety of sales practices, including…
When selling to law firms and other clients in the legal field, demonstrating your expertise is essential.
Rather than taking a transactional approach and going after one-off sales, Flow State helped the Clocktimizer team establish themselves as their client’s trusted advisor in order to nurture bigger accounts.
Despite providing a high-value service, Clocktimizer’s sales team lacked confidence when delivering price, wary that the product was being perceived as too expensive.
The pricing session forced them to realise the true value of their product for their customers, enabling them to raise their prices while still winning more business.
Once the reps understood the value they offered, they were able to negotiate better and position that value more confidently.
With this new mindset, the sales team went on to win some of the biggest accounts in the company’s history in the months following the training.
“The training has made me a more empathetic salesperson. The change in how we see selling to our customers and how we value our product has been huge… The feedback I’ve gotten from customers is that they really appreciate all the work we’re doing with ROI and business casing…because we’re making sure it’s the right price and the right value and the right amount for both sides.”
Customer Success Manager.
Before you can effectively sell any product or service, you need to understand your customers’ motivations. Why are they buying your solution? Why now? Why not one of your competitors? If you don’t know the answers, you need to go and ask your prospects.
By learning how to complete a ‘why buy’ analysis, Clocktimizer’s team could understand how to qualify their pipeline in a more robust way.
“I really like the ‘why buy’ approach” says Alexander Niers, Head of Marketing. “Just helping salespeople understand what makes a deal, what value we’re actually trying to deliver to our customers, and how we also make sure that our customers understand the value we deliver.”
Rather than chasing new leads all the time, smart sales teams know the importance of delivering an exceptional customer experience and embedding themselves as a long-term strategic partner.
Flow State trained the sales team on how to optimise the customer journey, how to spot upsell and cross-sell opportunities and how to map the customer base based on priority expansion opportunities.
Like a lot of SaaS teams, the Clocktimizer team was young and had to wear lots of different hats. They had a multifaceted role but lacked sales expertise.
Flow State’s training gave them that expertise, providing them with both the skill set and the mindset needed to succeed in sales.
Training is an important part of improving sales performance, but it is not enough by itself. Coaching is essential, allowing them to maximise the learning opportunity and make lasting changes. Flow State ensured that the sales team had the necessary space to be coached, allowing them to get practical advice and guidance on the issues they were facing.
“I love the long-term commitment level Raff and Aaron take,” says Denny. “I would 100% recommend them to anyone else who’s really trying to develop that sales identity. The personal coaching obviously has been a huge benefit, just getting that 30 minutes once a month to ask about something that I’ve been working through… It has been incredibly useful.”
This included a dedicated Slack channel, where team members could talk through their current challenges. For example, reps could share sales call recordings and get direct feedback on their performance, with suggestions on how to improve their pitch and overcome specific objections. This also helped create group learning moments as well, where the team shared their experience to help each other with different challenges.
Flow State worked alongside Pieter to embed all of the training into their ecosystem, including the CRM and other tools, their processes, their systems and activities. By creating a strong sales infrastructure, Clocktimizer were able to turn the training into something that was long-lasting, sustainable and centralised. “We finally have a process we can follow,” explains Ewelina Tatar, Senior Customer Success Manager and Strategy Expert. “We finally have a structure that can be scalable, repeating that in every single thing that we do.”
The result was a process that made it easy to sell into a traditionally conservative market in a way that built trust with the end buyer. This enabled Clocktimizer to stand out from its competitors, unlocking the full potential of the marketplace and driving better revenue outcomes.
Improving the pipeline and sales processes helped drive immediate growth, but it also made the team more appealing to potential buyers.
While investors only used to worry about the number of users, without any concern for monetization, that’s no longer the case. Today, particularly when investing in SaaS businesses, they’re looking four or five years down the line. They want to see robust contracts and repeatable money coming in. A lot of CEOs and founders might have a really good product and a really good market opportunity, but investors want to see a strong forecast, with repeatable business and a secure pipeline.
Shortly after working with Flow State, Clocktimizer was purchased by Litera, one of the biggest legal tech companies in the world. Pieter firmly believes that their pipeline predictability was one of the reasons for the purchase.
“When Pieter told us that, we both started welling up a little bit,” recalls Aaron. “Knowing that Flow State had helped make the purchase possible was huge. Obviously it wasn’t all down to us; Pieter and his team put in a lot of work to make it happen. But by helping them create predictability in their pipeline, we’d helped them attract a top buyer and get purchased. It was a special moment.”
“If you’re not working with Aaron and Raff and with Flow State, you’re actually missing out,” says Pieter. “It’s that simple. They’re a joy to work with… They have such a tonne of experience setting up sales organisations, coaching teams to actually follow those sales processes and embedding those processes into an organisation. They know what they’re talking about, they’ve been there a hundred times. You really want them as a resource, really, they’ve been invaluable.”
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