How Ûpstack's social selling
team generates millions in
ARR with Awario

By Brendon Noyes, Sales Development Executive & Revenue Projects Lead at Ûpstack
About Ûpstack

Ûpstack is the premiere private global network of top 1% talent. Our #remotewariors tag into product teams with our clients like IKEA, Squarespace, Intercom, Invision, JUUL, Chive, Winc, to name a few. With no upfront fees, handpicked (not algorithmically selected!) candidates inside of 48 hours, and a no-risk trial period led by your own personal copilot (a dedicated, certified Upstack CSM), Ûpstack is the secret weapon of product experts and leaders — from digital transformation in your Enterprise, to rapid iteration on your beta.

Even better, you're getting the special hookup — click or tap here to get started with a $1-2k USD account credit, for Awario users only (qualifications & conditions apply).

Foreword from Awario

Having discovered Awario in early-to-mid 2019, Ûpstack dove into social listening and selling full force with our platform, and experienced results that were not only encouraging, but surprising — well, to them at least, as first time social sellers! Today, we hear from Ûpstack's two Revenue Team (which Ûpstack themselves describe as "a blend of Sales, SDR, & Analytics experts driving growth") socialistas themselves:
Brendon Noyes, the leading Sales Development Executive at the fast-growing company, and Graham Seymour, VP Sales & Strategy in the same business unit.

We think this interview-styled case study highlights a few interesting insights — not the least of which being:

  • Awario can help any business, or any member of your team regardless of experience — whether, as you'll read, they're brand new to the social listening and selling space, or consider themselves an old pro.
  • For the so-called "old pros" in this space, there's still room to engage and delight, with intuitive and easy to use tools that still pack the power to drive business forward, meaningfully.
  • We've heard it from Ûpstack, but they're not alone — social listening and social selling, far from a fad, are here to stay. Modern business leaders & executives will need to get skilled up quickly, with leading recruiting firms indicating a 250% YoY increase in "Social Listening" and "Social Selling" as either "desired" or "required" skills for new hires in the sales space, whether front-line or senior/tenured.

Stick around to the end for a special offer (or cheat and scroll to the end to claim it now — we're glad you're here, regardless)!

So, with that…


At Ûpstack, we are lucky to work with expressive, creative, and brilliant people all over the world. That means we have to be at the top of our game when it comes to how we speak, and how we listen.

Our VP of Sales and Strategy, Graham Seymour, and our Global Head of Talent & Marketing, Evelina Achitei, had it down and pat on the SMM side: they've both been long-time Sprout Social and Hootsuite users. They landed on using Hootsuite, and we planned to set up some listening and selling capabilities in the tool.

Earlier in its life, Hootsuite natively & easily allowed fairly powerful social listening functionality — whether within the core tool, or using third party plugins like TrendSpottr. Over time, the UI has become more cluttered and more complex, which distracted us from the actual function of social listening. Hootsuite is a world class SMM tool, it does some things very well.

But it is social listening that we were certain would be a successful venture for us at Ûpstack, knowing our customers.

Another issue with these SMM solutions — they didn't allow the social listening & selling capabilities we wanted to "live in sales" — we didn't want a tool to analyze our Twitter reach, nor schedule our LinkedIn posts… we wanted to sell!

This year, we made many changes in the Revenue Team (comprised of the teams handling Sales, BD, Analytics, CSM) at Ûpstack. We decided to modernize and streamline the sales stack for efficacy and make some key strategic decisions about monthly SaaS spend, what we leverage, how we integrate technologies like AI, automation….

We were unable to get social listening working the way we wanted it to inside of these — otherwise lovely — SMM tools; it became clear that there were things we wanted that simply weren't offered in other solutions — or at least, if they were, we didn't have time to tweak and build to get what we needed.

We started looking for alternatives, and came across Awario. We were pleasantly shocked to see that this flexible, intuitive, yet powerful offering was not only highly affordable, but was priced for scale. When we had to decide between days or weeks of tinkering around with broader SMM options — it became clear:

"Hootsuite wasn't the right choice anymore, but Awario was."

The Goals

We continue to use Hootsuite — the brand monitoring functionality in there is excellent, as is the post scheduling, and reporting. We also have a robust SEMrush deployment in place set up for brand monitoring. But there are other important things.

One, we needed a suite of easy-to-understand but in depth & adjustable analytics. Specifically, to see how Ûpstack team efforts would affect mind share, visibility, and sentiment - so as we can see how we appear compared to competitors over time.

"Awario analytics and in-built reporting were immediately easy to understand. There is no need to set a million filters: it's just there, it's pre-built. And it gives us the insights we need in order to help more people."

The other important piece is that Awario doesn't step on the toes of what our marketing team is doing. We work very closely with our marketing & growth teams. We use sentiment analysis, social listening reporting and analytics, but the crucial aspect is: we can play with all that without damaging the rest of the business.

Social selling is a priority for us — having seen its transformative effects in his work at Hewlett Packard as well as numerous growth mode startups, Graham knew it was viable and wanted us to move fast. I sensed it would be great, but wasn't certain where to start.

Well — a short while minutes after our first login, we used Awario's Leads module to make a plan and get going — now, much later, we are still using it extensively for that.

The Process

I have to say we didn't get the setup right straight away. But before we had a chance to even complain, Awario support staff proactively reached out over in-app chat on the page… they helped us navigate the system, and even built a few custom filters for us. Magic!

(Good luck getting *that* from Lithium! 😏)

I run most of the outreach towards Awario leads here at Ûpstack. Generally, I spend a portion of my day scanning through the various queries on the platform, looking for leads that have posted on social media regarding engineering needs at their company. Whenever we find a post regarding needs for talent, we're able to respond generally within an hour and explain how Ûpstack can help. Simply put, Awario has provided an easy search process, displaying leads that align with Ûpstack perfectly. Due to this, we've been able to gain more clients and form more long-term relationships. Having had minimal exposure to social selling tools and tactics before, it seemed like a daunting task to try and learn this space — but Awario took me from minimal knowledge to being a company SME in about six months.

"The team dealing with social selling is now bringing in millions in ARR, and Awario a very important part of that. In addition to revenue, it's great for our Customer Success and Marketing team, who derive valuable intel about current and prospective customers.

In the first month or so, Awario more than paid for itself. At this point, some six months later, we are deriving approximately 50-60X+ the cost of Awario every month. Even better, the signs all point to that only increasing."

The Results

A new, effective sales channel

Previously, the whole concept of social selling we were used to involved selling via phone calls, via email, looking at job boards. Don't get us wrong though: we've always had sprinklings of innovation throughout the sales process, and that's precisely what we wanted to find in a tool to serve this need for us.

Jumping into social selling with Awario, we were able to see personal interaction. For instance, we could see people posting on Twitter — it's more personal than responding to a job board or reaching out via email.

We were able to connect with these leads and see pictures of them, to see what they've been posting about. So it really helps us find the people we might not have found otherwise. These people didn't post a job ad but were looking for help.

We seamlessly connect with them now on a daily basis. Awario is a tool that lets us connect with the people who might not know where to look for the elite, world-class engineering talent that they need — and that Ûpstack offers.

What I've learned from Awario and social selling in general is: I can go to a thousand job board postings every day, but sometimes people just want to post a personal message to try to find someone who would work for their company perfectly.

Think of how many times you've turned to your network, your friends and trusted advisors, for suggestions or advice, whether that's regarding products, services, or people. Now imagine being able to immediately, presciently, and reliably present yourself as that trusted advisor — an informed and knowledgeable expert you can count on.

That's what we do every day at Ûpstack — serving as trusted advisors to the world's technologists, makers, dreamers — and on social, we could only do it with Awario. Finding these people via Awario allows us to develop clients that we work harmoniously with in the long run.

"It's not an understatement to say that Awario helps to turn people from a novice in social selling to an expert-level practitioner within a year. I can't name another piece of software in our stack and say: in under a year it turned one of our people into an expert."
Graham G. Seymour,
VP Sales & Strategy at Ûpstack

Understanding the market & competition

Awario gave us deeply useful and actionable insights.

For one, it gave an interesting understanding of the correlation between how our competitors rank in terms of revenue vs. how they rank in terms of social influence. I had a very clear idea about who our top competitors are, we had a list of our top ten or so competitors we wanted to monitor.

We found out pretty quickly — within a few days, I'd say — that while those were good to monitor, there were many others, most of whom probably wouldn't have been surfaced by another tool.

This caused us to look at such companies and analyze their various traits & trends. These are companies with service offerings that slightly differ from our own, but are serving customers that we'd consider ideal — this opens up an entirely new channel for us, and feeds me valuable insights to implement across the sales stack.

"With Awario, we found competitors we had to follow but didn't know about."

Finding B2B influencers

The other observation is related to influencer marketing. It's relatively easy to track down B2C influencers: think Instagram models, YouTubers, the popular Twitterati, LinkedIn thought leaders…

It is infinitely harder to find B2B influencers. Thankfully, the Influencer tab in Awario has helped us in two unexpected but welcomed and profitable ways. First, identifying influencers to work with on joint ventures, co-marketing, and sponsorship, but also, secondly and perhaps much more interestingly: the key traits of a social media power user that's influential in our space… by extension then, and maybe most importantly of all: this is qualitative AND quantitative data about what influences our prospective customers.

"Awario did the impossible: it laid the groundwork for what became both our atlas and map to understanding B2B influencers and how to engage with them. This is a nascent space that many are hungry to learn, and Awario is blazing the trail to become the gold standard."

50-60X ROI per month after less than a year, a better informed and better prepared sales team, analytics and reporting on what actually matters (no vanity metrics here, thank you!), a product that works quickly and seamlessly, supported by a team that's instantly responsive and helpful, and a product team that listens and iterates.

When you add that all up… In our case, it means millions in new monthly recurring revenue, better customers, and unity in social across our internal teams. It means my salespeople are laser-focused on doing their best work, and that's how we win. It means that we've got a competitive advantage of meeting our Ideal Customer where they are, and knowing how best to help.

It means… Awario!

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