See All StoriesSuccess Story: ADPADP Adopts Value-­Led Selling and Moves 50% More Deals from “Do Nothing” to “Yes”



The Challenge: Help Customers See ADP As More Than Just a Payroll Company



Many people think that ADP just does payroll.

However, ADP offers a wealth of human capital management (HCM) services to help clients build a better workforce. These services include human resources, talent management, benefits administration and more.

pullquote“We’re trying to shift our branding to help clients see us as an integrated HCM provider,” said Patrick Flanigan, Senior Director, Sales Enablement. “We offer these services to employers of all sizes – from small businesses to enterprises.”

For the past few years, ADP’s sales team has been quantifying the value of a full suite of services versus just utilizing ADP for one service, like payroll. Sales reps use a diagnostic to show clients the total cost of ownership (TCO) of standalone versus integrated products. They also help clients identify gaps in their systems that are costing them money.

However, ADP’s sales team didn’t have a formal process for showing clients the value of its integrated HCM solutions. Sales reps were using separate spreadsheets in the field and weren’t clear on ADP’s messaging.

“Our sales team needed a central tool that would allow them to explain ADP’s value in a consistent way – regardless of who they’re speaking with in a business,” said Patrick.

The Losses: Approximately 60% of ADPs Deals Were Stalling

The lack of a consistent value story made it difficult for ADP’s sales reps to close
deals. Approximately 60% of ADP’s deals stalled when it came time to get a second meeting or move forward with the sales process.

This was particularly an issue with mid-­market and enterprise sales, when ADP was in a more competitive environment and faced a longer sales process.

The Opportunity: Provide Clients with Valuable Business Insights to Position ADP as a Thought Leader in Human Capital Management and Drive Sales

To drive sales, ADP needed the right materials to guide clients through the sales process – whether they were researching ADP online or meeting face-­to­-face with a sales rep.

ADP saw an opportunity to create a value­-based tool that would give clients insights into their businesses. The tool would help position ADP as a thought leader in HCM and lead clients to its solutions.

“We saw that if we could give clients a personalized snapshot of their business, we had more valuable conversations,” said Patrick.

ADP started a grassroots initiative to solve these challenges. Since ADP has more than 7,000 salespeople, many saw the need to give clients valuable insights and started having these conversations in the field. However, they didn’t always have the right data points or know how to articulate the message.



The Solution: Give Sales Reps the Tools and Content They Need to Show Clients ADP’s Value

Although ADP’s salespeople were starting to have valuable conversations, the company saw the need to bring value­-led selling to the entire enterprise.

ADP conducted an extensive search for vendors who could assist with its technology and messaging and selected Alinean.

“Alinean is uniquely positioned to help when you need to show value in a complicated B2B situation,” said Patrick. “They were the only vendor we found who could combine the messaging with the tools to provide a complete value-­based selling approach. Their technology also integrated with our existing systems, which made the move to value-­led selling more seamless.”

One of ADP’s ongoing challenges was combining the right content and data into a story that sales reps could walk buyers through. Although ADP’s marketing department published a lot of thought leadership, they didn’t know how to turn
their stories into a personal experience for the client.

pullquote“Alinean was helpful in not only building the tool but consulting with us on how to tell our story,” said Patrick.

Another big sales challenge that ADP faced was helping employers understand the Affordable Care Act. With regulations constantly changing, it was hard to keep up and give employers a quantifiable view of how these changes impacted their businesses.

“Alinean went the extra mile to help us build a tool that positions us as a good partner around the Affordable Care Act,” said Patrick. “It simplifies a complicated process and helps clients see our value.”

The Results: 50% Less Stalled Deals

With the new diagnostic approach, ADP has been able to decrease its stalled deals from 60% to 30%. This is because sales reps have more insightful information to keep prospects engaged throughout the sales cycle.

“Value­-led selling has changed the way that we sell,” said Patrick. “We now have tools that make our sales reps more consultative, so they can provide clients with greater value.”

In addition to tools that sales reps can use in the field, prospects can also get “self-­service” information through an interactive white paper on ADP’s web site. This interactive white paper is helping to bring more prospects into ADP’s funnel.

ADP has found that the leads that come through the new sales tools are higher-­value than other leads and more likely to close deals.

ADP is also better able to track its results. Before, sales reps used spreadsheets that were impossible to track. Now, ADP has one point to find sales data.

“I’d recommend Alinean to others, because they bring lots of expertise beyond just building tools,” said Patrick. “As a big company, we often get caught up in what we’re doing and don’t know what’s happening outside. Alinean shows us what’s going on in the market and what others are doing. Alinean is a great partner.”


ADP Financial Highlights

  • Over 300 analysis reports generated per month
  • Moved 50% more deals from “Do Nothing” to “Yes”
  • Decrease its stalled deals from 60% to 30%
  • Generated over $1 million of additional opportunities and $250k in closed deals in first 3 months.