How the Trade Desk Fueled 75% YoY Growth

The Trade Desk scales with confidence with Highspot’s unified enablement solution.

Key Results
  • Saw 90% adoption of the new onboarding program
  • Increased seller confidence by 36%
  • Supported 75% YoY headcount growth with no new enablement hires
Company Size

3,000

Industry

Technology

Introduction

Growth Requires a Need To Scale

With scale comes change. As exciting as it is for any company to experience newfound growth, hiring can be a true stress test for internal systems and processes. This is something that The Trade Desk, an independent media buying platform, experienced first-hand as it rapidly scaled its client services organization to grow its headcount by 75% year over year. As a company that helps marketers reach consumers through a more relevant advertisement experience via real-time programmatic marketing automation technologies, client services is core to The Trade Desk’s business. In preparing new hires to ramp quickly and deliver excellent client experiences, The Trade Desk realized that it needed a unified platform that combines essential content, training, and coaching to provide a seamless onboarding experience and accelerate learning.

Opportunity

Standardizing a Single Source of Truth

In 2022, The Trade Desk was experiencing a period of exponential growth and, as a result, saw its client-facing teams go through a significant hiring phase. When a small start-up is doing incredibly well and growing rapidly, the infrastructure and organizational process around preparing go-to-market teams can often take a backseat. When Lauren Hutton, director of commercial activation at The Trade Desk, joined the team, it became apparent that they needed a best-in-practice way to deliver go-to-market collateral for the business teams. “Each of the go-to-market teams, from marketing to product marketing to commercial training and commercial activation, had all of these different ways of storing, organizing, and leveraging content in our internal systems,” explained Hutton. “And we immediately saw something that could be easily fixed.”

Hutton and her team saw that they could leverage an enablement tool such as Highspot to manage content to help sellers be more successful amid the rapid growth the company was facing and give time back to reps. They set out to get the go-to-market teams out of the messy internal systems that made it difficult to find what they were looking for and into a more unified solution with Highspot.

After implementing Highspot, reps were engaging with the platform daily. As the company continued to grow and hire more sellers, a new challenge emerged: managing content and training in separate systems. Before implementing Highspot for training, The Trade Desk used Skilljar for all their onboarding and training materials. “Some of the challenges we had included constantly needing to update links and materials when our product changed, and we released products almost on a weekly basis,” said Madison Brisseaux, senior director of commercial training at The Trade Desk. “So, you’re constantly playing catch-up from a maintenance and housekeeping perspective.”

The enablement team found it difficult to find where the content was being buried in that separate system, which made keeping onboarding programs fresh and relevant more challenging. “If the product changed or needed to be updated, I had to go in and manually find where the content was,” shared Brisseaux. “At a higher level, we really struggled with showing managers analytics and reporting of how their new hire was progressing through our onboarding program.” At the end of 2022, The Trade Desk experienced the biggest hiring spree the company had ever seen, growing its client-facing team by 75% year-over-year in headcount globally. With a team of two in charge of onboarding, The Trade Desk needed a solution that could scale alongside their rapid growth rate to help new hires reach productivity faster.

Each of the go-to-market teams, from marketing to product marketing to commercial training and commercial activation, had all of these different ways of storing, organizing, and leveraging content in our internal systems, and we immediately saw something that could be easily fixed.

Lauren Hutton, Senior Director, Sales Strategy, The Trade Desk
Lauren Hutton
Solution

A Unified Approach to Enablement

The Trade Desk knew they needed a fix and found Highspot, where they could have all of their content and training materials living and breathing in one system, minimizing the disruption to reps’ workflows amid rapid change. “We’re very much of the mindset that everything should be as easy to access as possible,” said Jodi Zingler, senior manager of commercial training at The Trade Desk. “I saw the success that Highspot was going to have, especially after it was implemented and piloted.”

By leveraging features within Highspot’s Training & Coaching, such as knowledge checks, quizzes, and video responses, The Trade Desk team ensured that new hires were truly absorbing and then implementing what they had learned so they felt confident delivering value to clients. “Highspot provided a really integrated way to create an engaging platform for new hires so that not only did they get excited about logging into the platform every day to go through their onboarding experience, but they also retained the information better,” said Brisseaux.   

Not only did a unified enablement platform minimize disruption for reps, but it also eliminated the burden of maintaining multiple platforms for the commercial activation and training team. “We realized that by implementing Highspot because it’s so integrated with all the other sales enablement materials that the commercial activation team was publishing and maintaining, we didn’t need to hire additional headcount to help manage our systems,” explained Brisseaux. Ultimately, this helped create more capacity for the commercial training team to focus on creating new learning programs that spanned beyond onboarding to continuously empower client-facing teams through ongoing training. “We’re able to not only maintain our new hire onboarding through Highspot, but we’re also able to expand to tools, functional training, and even some product training,” shared Brisseaux.

In Highspot, The Trade Desk saw a like-minded partner that deeply cared about ensuring customer success, giving the team confidence that the platform would be a critical lever in helping the company scale effectively. “We found that the customer experience of Highspot and the way that the team engaged us, understood our company problems, really leaned in, and offered products and materials that were out-of-the-box to help solve our problems, became a clear indicator that we wanted to work with them,” said Brisseaux. “Highspot is constantly rolling out new products, new updates, just like we do internally, and that’s really important that Highspot doesn’t just create functionality and let it lie — it’s ever-evolving.”

Highspot provided a really integrated way to create an engaging platform for new hires so that not only did they get excited about logging into the platform every day to go through their onboarding experience, but they also retained the information better.

Madison Brisseaux, Senior Director of Commercial Training, The Trade Desk
Madison Brisseaux
Impact

The Trade Desk was able to launch its newly revamped onboarding program through Highspot and saw incredible adoption across the global client services team to accommodate the massive growth of new hires. While the team launched the new onboarding program while the previous tool was still an option to use, they saw 32% of those that were enrolled in that tool switch over to take the new program in Highspot. “It’s very rare in this company that we can launch a new platform and then see immediate adoption and growth of adoption month over month,” shared Hutton. The feedback from new hires was also promising as they reported feeling more confident and ready to speak with clients about their industry, the product, and how to help their clients reach their advertising goals. “The fact that we had 90% adoption just in the first few months of a new platform and a new program is just more proof that it worked,” said Brisseaux.

Alongside this feedback, The Trade Desk leveraged insights from Highspot Analytics to demonstrate the impact of the commercial activation and training team’s efforts on the performance of client-facing teams. “We’ve been able to really refocus our internal efforts to make what we create matter more,” explained Hutton. The positive feedback and proof of impact were so significant The Trade Desk decided to expand its use of Highspot to support reseller and partner teams. “That also speaks to the fact that our stakeholders internally see it to be such a success that they’re willing to invest in a new type of license and a new type of training and enable our partners that resell our technology to access all of that as well,” shared Hutton.

The fact that we had 90% adoption just in the first few months of a new platform and a new program is just more proof that it worked.

Madison Brisseaux, Senior Director of Commercial Training, The Trade Desk

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