What was the situation?
PolyAI had been established for a couple of years when Clarify started their engagement in early 2020. Despite securing Series A funding in March 2019 for their hugely powerful voice AI offering, and having technology that was widely regarded as the best in its field, they’d only managed to close one deal. Entering a hugely crowded marketplace and competing against more than 1,500 CC/CX vendors including some big names like IBM Watson, Nuance, Twilio and Google Dialogflow, PolyAI were struggling to get the traction they deserved.
Like all Startups the pressure was on to convert a technology advantage into market share, particularly in some landmark logos, and accelerate growth toward Series B and beyond. PolyAI were introduced to Clarify as the partner that could help accelerate that growth, ensure it was predictable and could help enable and assure a transition to an internally-run capability when the time was right.
What did we do?
The first crucial activity was to determine the right target organisations and use cases for the technology to ensure maximum accuracy, market impact and return. Due to the ability to create a compelling business case, anchored into client outcomes, the hospitality sector was selected. Working together, a potent go-to-market position and message was crafted and implemented across a range of demand generation tactics including voice and digital, driving awareness, engagement and tangible opportunity. The activity started to see immediate gains and was showing real return on effort right up until Covid19 caused a huge negative impact in the hospitality sector and effectively rendered the sector obsolete.
Working fast to recommend alternate use cases and industry focusses, Clarify put their experience and significant first party intelligence to work, quickly pivoting into a more diverse set of sectors and use cases including utilities, telco, financial services and logistics, and started to see results fast. These were able to be validated very quickly based on the known uptake of propositions across Clarify’s other technology clients, coupled with a wide array of real-time intelligence to ensure relevancy and timeliness.
What was the outcome?
In the first 6 months, from a standing start, Clarify delivered $3.7m in ARR pipeline (83.5% of the total pipeline). By month 9, when PolyAI’s internal team started to come on stream, Clarify had delivered a total of $9.9M in Pipeline ARR and adding an average $1.24m per month. Qualified engagements were secured in brands as big and diverse as Royal Mail, Fedex, Domestic & General, Virgin Media, The AA, Allianz and Ericsson. Conversion rates from meeting to pipeline were running at 78% which meant PolyAI’s sales team were focussing as much of their effort as possible on qualified, high quality engagements, reducing cost of sale and increasing sales motivation.
Where are they now?
Clarify has helped PolyAI get toe to toe with its competitors and helped secure several early deals in accounts with large potential. Despite the most severe disruption of modern times, significant commercial value has been realised, setting the business on a strong trajectory to realising their full revenue potential. This has culminated in the planning and activation of shifting SD resources back into a PolyAI-owned and run capability. The transition has included support in the enablement of their new internal team, and a tapering of the Clarify team in line with ramping capability.
This has ensured the rate of pipeline growth has continued unabated, and PolyAI has been able to benefit from the robust, world-class processes and procedures Clarify used so successfully.
WHAT DID THEY SAY?
“I wish we’d known Clarify earlier, had we started with them 12 months earlier it would have had an even more dramatic impact on our speed of scaling. They may not be the cheapest option, but they gave us the predictability and pace we needed to prove our market and proposition and scale fast. I would certainly use Clarify again to provide the impact needed to grow quickly.”
Nikola Mrkšić, CEO and Co-Founder