Customer Story

Georgia Tech Athletics Increase Season Ticket Sales by 80%


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With a manual sales process, Georgia Tech Athletics struggled to prioritize and connect with 8,000 football season ticket holders and other potential buyers. Using the Salesloft platform, Georgia Tech Athletics tapped into fans’ enthusiasm and willingness to contribute to the university’s commitment to excellence. By organizing and targeting communication with its fans, Georgia Tech Athletics grew revenue and increased employee engagement and satisfaction.

Who is Georgia Tech Athletics?

Georgia Tech Athletics encompasses the intercollegiate athletic teams that represent The Georgia Institute of Technology (“Tech”). With 400-plus student-athletes across 17 varsity sports, Georgia Tech competes at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics as a member of NCAA Division I and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Their mission is to “develop young people who will change the world.” The Yellow Jackets’ commitment to excellence is evident in everything they do, from world-class education to top-notch athletics to the faculty and staff who support the mission.

Challenge: Increase Efficiency to Reach More Fans and Buyers

Georgia Tech Athletics’ sales team is responsible for season ticket, package, group ticket, and single-game ticket sales. This group of employees plays a crucial role in building and maintaining supporters’ strong connection with Tech. As Sales Manager, Charles O’Donnell leads the team.

A commitment to excellence permeates everything Georgia Tech Athletics does and the sales team is constantly looking for ways to streamline its operations to provide a better experience for Tech’s supporters.

Georgia Tech Athletics had been using a manual approach to execute its sales process. Given that there are approximately 8,000 football season ticket holders alone, the sales team faced bandwidth and efficiency challenges. 

Previously, the team operated as an outbound call center. Sales reps were expected to make as many as one hundred outbound phone calls a day with no real targeting or guidelines. The ability to expand and target communications would enable the team to reach people more frequently and in real-time.

"I want our book of business to be our entire database, whether it’s somebody who’s buying a single ticket online… a season ticket holder, or if it’s someone who gives $20 annually, every one of those people has value. When a fan is looking at a Georgia Tech T-shirt on our website, that person is telling us that they’re engaged, and they deserve our attention." — Charles O’Donnell, Sales Manager at Georgia Tech Athletics

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Solution: Optimize the Value of Every Account

Georgia Tech Athletics was one of the first sports entertainment properties in the world to use Salesloft. The platform expanded the sales team’s bandwidth and helped reps connect with fans on a more targeted level.

Every account captured in a database has value and Salesloft helped Tech sales reps find ways to optimize that value.  Reps began using dynamic fields when importing a list. These fields can be filtered to make sure prospects are receiving the most relevant information.

Now, when Georgia Tech Athletics needs to communicate with its 8,000 football season ticket holder accounts, reps can quickly identify their list in Salesloft. From there, they can add it to a Cadence, set up an automated email, and send the communication. The right messages are reaching fans’ inboxes and reps can react in real-time.

The sales team has evolved from an outbound call sales center to more of an inbound structure. Reps are automating their processes to deliver a better customer experience, at scale, and cadences provide structure to ensure critical steps are executed.

Results: Season Ticket Sales Increase by 80%

In 2018, sales reps were able to connect with 500 accounts who either donated for the first time or increased their level of commitment. Relationships with season ticket holders and supporters have improved through more sophisticated account development.

Predetermined steps in the sales process have enabled the team to be more successful, boosting sales engagement and overall revenue. In fact, the first day 2019 Georgia Tech football season tickets went on sale, reps sold 81 percent more season tickets than the first day of sales in 2018!

The Georgia Tech Athletics’ sales team now makes connections more meaningful with impactful, productive conversations. The ability to digitally pre-qualify people with an email message and learn a bit more about them has provided focus for the team. Now they’re having conversations with people who want to be reached.

"We had a gentleman that was on a Salesloft cadence who had last donated in 2015. He emailed us to say that, over the past five years, he had never been reached out to. That’s why he stopped giving. His reply to the new email communication stated, ‘You guys have been staying connected with me. You’re letting me know what’s happening at Georgia Tech. That’s really important to me, and I’m thinking about supporting the program again." — Charles O’Donnell, Sales Manager

Employee engagement has also improved because the pre-qualification and insight into contacts mean that sales reps are talking to people who are interested in Georgia Tech. The mood in the sales room is lighter; connecting with fans makes the reps happier and more energized.

“In addition to Salesloft making us more efficient and effective at managing our database it has also helped change our daily standard operating procedure which has had a noticeable effect on our culture and subsequently on staff turnover and customer service,” Charles said.

The staff size has typically consisted of 10 sales reps. Over the last 6 years, the Georgia Tech Aspire property has employed over 70. In the year since Georgia Tech Athletics implemented Salesloft, the sales department had had zero turnover. Charles reports that “reps are consistent and happy which has a profound effect on our customer service.”

"I sleep better at night knowing that key steps in the sales process are pre-determined versus having to rely on somebody else… Revenue is up. Engagement is up. The staff is much happier. Every time they’re having a conversation, they’re talking to somebody that wants to talk to them, that’s somebody that’s interested in Georgia Tech… it’s a better experience for both sides." — Charles O’Donnell, Sales Manager

Get the full picture about using cadences to grow contract value without extending time to close in our ebook Best Practices & Benchmarks for Sales Cadences.