Every business, large and small, is more focused on driving revenue growth than ever. That’s because scalable and sustainable revenue growth has increasingly become the basis for building business value. Unfortunately growth models from the past are simply not working as well anymore. That’s because the buyer has changed. Their expectations have changed. Digitally enabled customers are putting a premium on speed, agility, and personalized customer experience across sales, marketing, and customer success channels.
So in today’s world, we have to make sure that our sellers, our marketers, and our customer success teams are completely aligned to the buyer’s needs and enabled to provide the best buying experience. And our revenue teams need to deliver a superior and differentiated customer experience in the 18% of the buyer journey when they engage directly with customers.
This is putting pressure on sales enablement teams to deliver more actionable selling insights to front line sellers faster. Your revenue team needs guidance, recommendations, and prioritization on what to do next to be competitive. They need to know what actions will drive value and generate the highest return on their time and attention. We need to use data to focus revenue teams, not overwhelm them. To transform noise into sales guidance.
This has growth leaders looking for better ways to use advanced analytics to turn the customer data in their CRM, sales enablement, and digital marketing systems into commercial insights that inform decisions, actions, and conversations at the “moments that matter” in the human selling process.
Unfortunately, today most reps are not getting the insights they need to sell at all. Half of sales reps cannot get the access to data they need to sell effectively, and only a third are using analytics to prioritize and qualify leads according to a Salesforce.com survey of 4,900 reps.
Solving this problem is a big reason 90% of the organizations we spoke to in our Revenue Operations Study are consolidating the operations that support selling to better manage the customer data, process workflows and systems that enable front line sellers. A big part of RevOps is about really integrating all of that information to give you a single view of your customer and greater awareness of the situation that you’re salespeople are dealing with.
There are several practical ways your organization can start to turn big customer engagement data sets into commercial insights that ignite growth.
Mine your conversational intelligence data to provide front line sellers with prescriptive guidance
The emergence of massive new sales engagement data sets – combined with the ability of advanced analytics, AI, and Machine Learning (ML) to monetize them – represents the most significant opportunity to accelerate revenue growth since the scale adoption of call centers (40 years ago), CRM (30 years ago), and digital channels (20 years ago) in sales.
One of the biggest sources of customer intelligence is conversation data from recorded phone calls and Zoom meetings. Most organizations have this data, or it’s available to them. Unfortunately, the majority of sales leaders are missing a big opportunity because they are not using their conversational intelligence to create advanced enablement, readiness, and measurement systems. The vast majority of organizations have the ability to mine and monetize this data, yet only a small fraction- under 5% – actually do. This is like gold sitting right at the surface.
Revenue Operations solutions like ringDNA help you do this by capturing, transcribing, and integrating customer engagement data from live sales calls and AI assisted service agents so it can be used to inform sales coaching, prioritization, and action recommendations.
Put your existing sales and marketing data to work supporting seller coaching and guidance
The modern selling engine relies on data sourced from many channels, systems, and touchpoints to support selling decisions, priorities, and presentations. Many organizations have already invested in a Salesforce.com platform that has all of the opportunity data that exists inside of it. They also have training and coaching data that lives in another tool. The whole idea of leveraging commercial insights is to combine it – and make it more useful to front line sellers on a day to day basis. Pulling all that marketing information, that coaching data, that sales data, that rep performance data, the seller activity data, the sequence data together lets you prescribe what your team should be doing in every moment to deliver the best results from their time. That’s the key to optimizing their performance at scale.
Unfortunately, much of this data can be spread across many different systems because each has its own data set. This creates data silos. For example, many sales engagement and conversational intelligence tools use single streams of digital engagement and conversation data to help sales reps with sequences, priorities, and outreach. But they don’t natively integrate with CRM so that data can be combined and used to support other use cases like coaching, guidance, and performance measurement.
In my years of experience, any customer data that exists in a silo can only be justified if you’re trying to solve for a very specific problem. But if you are trying to solve a revenue problem and you’re trying to align your marketing, your sales, your support, and your success team to deliver the best possible experience for your buyer, as well as your seller – then don’t they deserve to have a full picture of the information that led to that phone call? Don’t they deserve to know that this particular customer may have three support tickets and issues with your company? Doesn’t your manager deserve to know what reps are really great at and what value they can drive in their conversations and where they need training? That is how you deliver more revenue, more sustainable growth, and a happier customer base.
LEARN HOW LEADING COMPANIES ARE USING AI TO ENABLE REAL TIME SELLER GUIDANCE AND 1:1 COACHING AT SCALE
Revenue operations has emerged as a board level issue because organic growth – and the customer data, technology and channel assets that support that growth – have become the primary drivers of firm value in the digital age. Organizations that continue to use outdated functional approaches to managing their customer facing technologies and the valuable c
So the real value is created by combining conversation data with other engagement data like marketing automation data, external intent data, and opportunity data in CRM to help optimize or prescribe who sellers should be contacting, what actions they should be taking to deliver the best results, and what skills they need to be developing.
This means you have to find ways to take advantage of data from conversations (conversational intelligence) and merge it with marketing data from your first party systems so that your reps know what conversations to have, what points to drive home. You need to understand what conversations lead to the best possible outcome by merging your CRM data with your analytics, with your support data.
The most practical and realistic way to do this is to automatically and immediately augment CRM systems by syncing customer engagement and seller activity data without data entry by reps. Ideally this should happen in real time because more and more of your sales and marketing processes are going to rely on the signals from this profile data. Systems that update profiles in periodic batches of even ten minutes can create interval problems that will disrupt your cadences, sequences and priorities as your revenue enablement model matures.
For example, ringDNA integrates directly with Salesforce.com to automatically log customer interaction data to enrich CRM files and read and write all data fields within CRM to get a 360-degree view of the customer and improve compliance.
At the end of the day, there’s one customer and that customer doesn’t care what department has the information they need. They want everybody at your company to have a clear picture of what they want, what they need, how they’ve interacted with your organization in the past. That’s the experience that your customers are looking for. And if that data is sitting in five, ten or even fifteen different tools, how can you realistically get that information to your sales or support reps, fast enough to inform their day to day conversations?
Provide front line sellers with prescriptive guidance in real time
What’s critically important that people don’t understand, is sales reps need insights that are actionable in real time. That is the big difference maker. As the “clock speed” of modern selling increases to keep pace with customers’ expectations, the triggers, prompts and alerts that inform front line sellers need to happen faster and faster. In many cases in real time.
Every individual on the revenue team that is interacting with your prospects and customers’ needs to be dealing with the most context and the most information so that ultimately, they can be the most helpful. That’s what your customers want. They want to be serviced. They want the information they need, and they want it quickly. If your sales operations and enablement teams are managing data in a half a dozen different systems all over your enterprise, they are not going to deliver the experience that the modern day buyer expects.
Use One-to-One coaching to leverage your sales managers and increase their span of control.
Historically, sales managers have been limited in their ability to individually coach sales reps by their span of control and free time for sales call monitoring or “ride-alongs.” So they are only able to actively coach a limited number of reps. The ability to record sales conversations and compare them to selling outcomes and best practices can create a real time, closed-loop information flow. This gives a sales manager the ability to actively manage and coach many more reps and be there at critical points in the conversations such as common objections, competitive mentions, or signals of attrition. It also lets them understand what training has been adopted, and whether it is successful at changing customer behavior. This will accelerate how quickly new reps’ ramp to full productivity.
Pilot your way to change step by step.
All this seems complicated, But it is actually very doable. Most of the engagement data discussed here already exists – or is right below the surface – in most organizations. The beauty of today’s tools and the democratization of technology is that you can quickly set up a pilot group. So most organizations can “mine” this gold beneath the surface by making it feasible to pilot real time seller guidance and one-to-one coaching at scale. It also makes the change management involved fairly minimal. And measurement is quantifiable because the system generates some pretty robust metrics from these data sets that proves what works and what doesn’t. This makes it easy to look at the performance of that pilot group against other performers across your organization.
We’ve set up dozens of companies on pilots using ringDNA. We let the reps take and make their phone calls and conduct their day to day activities without disruption. But with the added benefit of prescribing who they should talk to, what actions they should take, where they need coaching, and what they need to say in the moment. So for example, a rep will make a phone call. They connect with that one individual, the individual says, yes, we’re actually in the market for this particular product or service. ringDNA then automatically drops that person into a sequence based on that keyword set in that conversation. It adds all of the other key stakeholders in the buying unit to that sequence as well. So now, instead of just dealing with that one individual the rep is actually calling down on all of those individuals. Then all of that data, all of those conversations, and all of that email cadence is then also stored.
We’re seeing amazing results taking this approach. We see reps in the pilot groups performing two, three, or four hundred percent better than their peer group. That makes it really easy for a CEO, for a sales leader, for an operations leader to say, you know what, this old way of doing it, wasn’t working as well as it can be. It lets them show their boards that with minimal investment, and minimal time, they’ve been able to show incremental growth quickly. In months not quarters. And they’re able to ramp their reps faster and have more of them hit their quota.
When you’re able to see that by providing the right coaching and the right tools that you’re able to retain these reps, which has become a critical issue in today’s market – where rep turnover is an acute issue because there are so many new opportunities and switching jobs is as fast as opening up a new laptop. It’s more important than ever to treat our employees as first-class citizens, giving them the best tools that allow them to do what they’re best at. And automating out the things that our best human beings, our best salespeople should not be wasting their time with. And prescribing the activities that will deliver the best results you have, that happier rep, better retention, and you have better results.