Supporting company growth through acquisitions by centralizing teams and technology
Deluxe is a multi-billion-dollar, Fortune 1000 company, supporting over 6,700 employees. Founded in 1915, Deluxe has recently gone through rapid transformation, from being a legacy print and manufacturing company to now being a payment and business technology leader.
Like many companies, Deluxe had previously grown through acquisition. This led to silos within the organization, multiple marketing teams, disparate sales teams, and countless tools and technology platforms. The early stages of their transformation began with creating a centralized Revenue Organization, combining the siloed Sales and Marketing teams, creating one Sales Enablement and Operations organization, and developing a brand new Customer Success function.
Megan Friedrich, Director of Sales Readiness at Deluxe helped spearhead enablement initiatives to centralize the multiple sales teams the sales enablement organization supports. “We must be completely unified with our Sales and Marketing teams and have a direct line to our product teams to bring the go-to-market cycle to life.”
Prior to the Deluxe transformation, a formal sales enablement team was created in 2015 which helped lay the groundwork for their purpose, mission, and vision, to help internally educate and champion the sales enablement function in the organization. A few years later, in 2019, with the addition of new executives, the true Deluxe transformation began. One of the early bodies of work included evolving the sales enablement function to meet the new business needs.
In 2020, their growing team launched Seismic, Lessonly, and an enterprise version of Salesforce.com just ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic. These technology tools sat at the frontline of the transformation to help sellers work more effectively and produce sales-driven growth.
Evolution of Sales Enablement at Deluxe
Sales Enablement and Operations formed one segment of the business
2016 to 2018
2021 to 2022
Making it easy for sellers
When choosing the right technology to enable their sales team, Deluxe had a specific requirement – it needed to be easy and quick to implement and simple for sellers to use. “Our Seismic enablement platform provides a lot of features and functionality for our sellers. That can be overwhelming to a seller if we don’t make it easy for them to access and understand the why. Sellers do not want to change how they work or where they work. We have integrated Seismic into all the other technologies they use to make it so easy for them,” said Friedrich.
Deluxe integrates Salesforce, the Seismic Enablement Cloud solution, Klue, Outlook, and more to bring together GTM orchestration, sales training, sales process, playbooks, etc. – into one centralized tool for their sales teams.
“Our Seismic instance, named “SELL”, (Sales Enablement Learning and Library) includes Seismic, Lessonly, and LiveSocial, and is fully integrated with the other technologies our sellers use. Every step of our roadmap aligns to part of SELL’s mission: to increase productivity, facilitate effectiveness, drive exceptional customer experience and improve sales results,” said Friedrich.
To help understand effectiveness as well as drive platform governance, Deluxe built a Seismic dashboard that pulls in selected quarterly data including content metrics, adoption, training impact, and sales results. This scorecard allows them to have targeted conversations with executive leadership and product and marketing leaders by confidently pointing to the content that sellers are using, the content customers are digesting, and the impacts of those engagements.
Director of Sales Readiness
Helping sellers differentiate themselves
Just one year after launching Seismic, in 2021, Deluxe launched a squad-based virtual selling and account planning certification program to help transform a tenured, field-based sales organization. They were aiming to solve three major challenges:
- Helping sellers show up virtually and learn basic tech skills.
- Soft selling techniques and how to translate those techniques in a virtual environment authentically.
- How to implement and use a cross-functional Account Plan to improve win rate and drive higher cross-sell value.
“We relied heavily on our partners to help us build out this multi-faceted enablement and training program. Lessonly was not just our technology partner, but our consultant. They helped us think through the program design and learning objectives and helped us create custom grading rubrics.” said Friedrich.
The program Deluxe built included a framework for what sellers should be doing before, during, and after their virtual sales calls with prospects and customers. This helped sellers adopt tools – including Seismic – learn tool functionality to work smarter and faster, and how to track their results. “Through this program, we quickly learned where our sellers needed more help, and who our digital champions were,” said Friedrich. This led to quarter over quarter tech adoption increases in all critical productivity areas to support cross-functional collaboration and improve how sellers were engaging with buyers:
- 120% increase in LiveSend
- 175% increase in Workspace
- 2000% increase in tool downloads
- 126% increase in SELL (Sales Enablement Learning and Library) platform adoption
Additionally, Deluxe holds a 99% training satisfaction rate and has received positive seller feedback on the program such as, “The process demystified our sales tools and lifted our competencies in making virtual presentations,” and “Nice work putting together a thoughtful training that felt ‘real’ as we were working on current opportunities.”
Director of Sales Readiness
Supporting multiple seller personas
Deluxe knows not every seller will behave or perform the same way. This meant their adoption programs and technology tools for their sales team could not be a one-size-fits-all approach. “You need to really adjust and adapt your adoption programs so they meet the needs of your seller personas. Once you understand the personas, and how each persona approaches tools and tech, you can build pilots and customize training, which will increase overall adoption,” said Friedrich. By understanding that not all sellers learn at the same speed or are ready for the same functionality, Deluxe helped their sellers improve how they were showing up to customers and drove an increase of 126% in platform adoption.
The Sales Readiness team at Deluxe is also accountable for new hire onboarding. The team is tailoring for multiple personas when looking at net new hires, new hires through acquisition, and new hires through an internal job change.
“We’ve created Learning Plans with our Lessonly service partners that are completely customizable and scalable based on the new hire’s background and manager’s needs. We’re able to automate digital learning paths, alongside in-person and phone-based training to scale our new hire process. To assess performance, we use data from Seismic’s integrated cloud solution to create new hire readiness scorecards. These scorecards help us have conversations with our sales leaders and prescribe next steps based on the thresholds the data indicates,” said Friedrich.
This digitization of the onboarding program shortened their new hire onboarding by 300% and helped Deluxe scale to create more than a dozen customized Learning Plans based on sales roles in the organization. Additionally, Deluxe saw 45% more sellers achieving quota attainment (100% and above) compared to previous years by enhancing their skills and sales motions through an improved onboarding experience.
While Covid accelerated Deluxe’s need to support virtual selling, the Sales Readiness team is currently helping sellers blend their skills as more customers are requesting to have meetings in person again. “As consumers, we expect our digital interactions to feel just like we are talking to somebody in person, personalized and authentic. It’s really not different with B2B sales. We need to rely on our technology to help our sellers create these personalized digital interactions, which complement our in-person engagements and we have to be able to support that at scale,” said Friedrich. Today, in its core business, Deluxe is seeing its highest client retention rate to date.
At the beginning of 2015, the sales enablement team at Deluxe set out to educate a fraction of the company on what sales enablement is and does. Over the next several years, they transformed the organization from not knowing what sales enablement was to using and engaging with enablement tools every day.
Deluxe measures the results of its enablement and sales readiness programs in 4 key areas – financial impact (revenue & profit), sales productivity, seller satisfaction, and customer experience.
When looking at the impact on the business, Deluxe is seeing organic, sales-driven growth for the first time in 20 years. This, along with more cross-sell leads and wins year over year, a consecutive increase in pipeline between 2020-2022, and a 9% increase in new win rates.
The success that drives this impact comes from shortening new hire onboarding by 300% – getting sellers ramped and into the field faster with 45% more sellers achieving quota attainment. And for existing sellers, monitoring quarter-over-quarter tech adoption and creating plans to increase specific functionality adoption as it relates to seller productivity has become critical.
“In 2022, 100% of our sellers feel better equipped, based on the training and tools we have provided to them, for their in-person and digital customer interactions, compared to how they felt in 2020,” said Friedrich. By utilizing technology like Seismic, Lessonly and LiveSocial, Deluxe has digitally transformed how their sales team works. In turn, this transformation helps them win more, increases their opportunities, and continues to grow their business.