1. It took about 2 months to get my Gmail account fully integrated with LiveHive. When we first setup LiveHive we only had the option to send emails through their server. This meant that anytime an email was sent out, it would say From: (my email address) on behalf of LiveHive. Because of this, my emails were marked as spam or declined by about 40% of the recipients I was sending to. I was even blacklisted on some servers. After approaching our customer success manager about this issue multiple times, LiveHive released a feature for us to connect to Gmail directly with our server. But for some reason even after setting this up, the settings would default back to LiveHive’s server once or twice a week for about a month and we’d have to go back in the settings to change it again. After moving over to our company Gmail server, decline rate went significantly down.
2. LiveHive has a sequencing feature called SmartPaths. SmartPaths was the only feature that sort of worked. My only major complaints regarding this were that 1) you couldn’t set up automatic follow up emails. You’d have to go through each task one by one and send. 2) Once you’ve created a SmartPath, you can’t add in a task in the middle of the SmartPath. So if I decided that I wanted to add a call between the second and third task, I’d have to delete every task before it and re-add them in. This took forever!!!
3. The Sequence function allowed me to add emails or calls as tasks but didn’t have an “other” option for me to send an inmail on LinkedIn. This wasn’t a major stopper but it would have been nice as it’s standard in Outreach.io, Salesloft and ToutApp.
4. When you have a lead on a sequence, the last thing you want is for them to respond and for the system to not recognize the response and keep them on the sequence. LiveHive claims that they are able to detect responses but that was not the case when we were using LiveHive. With any other tool I wouldn’t have to worry about taking a lead off a sequence after a response, but with LiveHive I had to go into the tool every time I got a response to make sure the lead was taken off the sequence. 50% of the time they weren’t. We had a few reps get in trouble with this because their leads were not taken off their SmartPaths and multiple follow up emails were sent following their lead’s response.
5. Sharing templates and sequences with your team sounds like a standard thing right? Well not in LiveHive. Though all sequences created were shared with everyone, Templates had to be shared by an admin. The admin literally had to get the template from you, go into the Public folder, and re-create the template for everyone to use.
6. The Reporting in this tool was horrible but hey, at least they had reports right? The pros on the report side were that you could pick and choose which reps you want to compare, and see their sent, reply and click through rates. The cons - The numbers were completely inaccurate. This is probably because of the email sync issue. Also, any time I viewed an email that I had sent out myself, LiveHive would count it as a view.
7. Analytics on the Sequences were alright but for some reason the analytics on the templates always seemed wrong. It would often say that a template had a 400% view rate.
8. Speed. THE BIGGEST ISSUE OF ALL. LiveHive would often take 3 minutes just to load one page, and 30% of the time while loading a page an error would pop up. LiveHive is very aware of this issue and claims that their new release “sometime in Q4” will solve this issue. But they have no idea what the error codes are and were not able to solve it at any point during the 6 months that we were using the tool. The worst part? I’m usually so productive that I can finish all of my work in a day within 4 hours. With LiveHive it would take me 2 full work days to finish the same amount of work. Productivity was wayyyyy down.
9. Their Salesforce integration was subpar. Initially, our only way to move leads from Salesforce to LiveHive was by exporting a list and then importing a CSV to LiveHive. They later created a button for us to click in Salesforce to push leads into SmartPaths, as well as a Sidebar to work right out of Salesforce. Syncing was a big issue for us though. Emails and calls in Salesforce were often not logged into Salesforce until hours later. Another huge thing was that when a lead unsubscribed, it would not map over to Salesforce which is a big risk. We had to export a CSV file from LiveHive weekly and import the file to Salesforce to make sure leads were opted out.
As a Sales Development Representative, a Sales Enablement tool can either make or break my quota. About 80% of my work is out of my Sales Enablement tool, another 15% in Salesforce, and the other 5% in Gmail. So that means that my Sales Enablement tool not only needs to meet my requirements in terms of feature set, but it also needs to actually work.
These are the bare minimums I need in order to be successful.
1. I send around 100 personalized emails per day (give or take), so obviously the tool needs to be able to connect to my email account (Gmail).
2. I send about 3 to 5 follow up emails per lead so I need a tool that has a sequence function.
3. I need the sequence function to not only allow me to create email sequences, but also add Calls and “Other” in between my emails.
4. When a lead responds to an email they should be automatically taken out of the sequence and their response should sync with the sales enablement tool as well as Salesforce
5. I need the ability to share templates and sequences with my team
6. I need to be able to pull reports on not only my activity but also my team’s activity to see how we’re performing and why we may or may not be hitting quota.
7. Analytics on the individual Sequences and Templates in order to A/B test
8. Speed. I should be able to work quickly out of this tool. If I click a button it should be followed by a response within 10 seconds max
9. Salesforce 2-way integration