Clari Acquires and Integrates Wingman into its Revenue Intelligence Platform

In June, Revenue Intelligence vendor Clari acquired Conversational Intelligence vendor Wingman, bringing together two complementary SalesTech vendors.  Wingman provided Clari users with additional account intelligence derived from calls, meetings, and emails.  The goal was to provide “visibility plus action all the way from the boardroom to the bullpen,” said Wingman CEO Shruti Kapoor.

Clari recently announced that Wingman is fully integrated into its service.

“The acquisition of Wingman, a leader in conversation intelligence, gives Clari’s category-leading Revenue Platform the unprecedented ability to analyze customer and employee conversations, extract valuable AI-driven insights, and reliably predict all revenue outcomes,” announced Clari.  “Wingman goes beyond the limits of similar conversation intelligence tools by helping revenue-critical teams act in the moment when it matters.”

“A major part of our strategic vision is conversation intelligence, which is why we’re thrilled to announce that Clari has acquired Wingman, a leader in CI.  This gives Clari’s Revenue Platform the unprecedented ability to analyze customer and employee conversation data, extract valuable AI-driven insights, and reliably predict all revenue outcomes.  The full value of conversation intelligence has never been fully realized, until now.  Clari helps your team move beyond siloed, departmental systems and processes that cause endless breakdowns across your revenue process and brings all revenue-critical employees into a unified platform to run revenue.”

Clari CEO Andy Byrne

“As we think about scaling our impact, it’s clear to us that we want to free up these insights for everyone who’s revenue-critical, from the bullpen to the boardroom,” blogged Kapoor.  “We want to give you the ability to switch between micro (every customer interaction) and macro (the entire revenue pipeline) as easily as toggling channels on television.”

Wingman battle cards are displayed in real-time.

Wingman records, transcribes, and tags calls, storing them in a searchable library by keyword, tag (e.g., Price, Customer Pain, Blockers), or competitor mentions.  Topics may be customized to capture competitors, product names, technologies, etc.  Reps can also set live bookmarks across all supported video platforms.

Wingman also offers real-time battle cards, a set of short suggestions displayed in context during a call.  New sales reps will be confident that they are providing accurate information consistent with company positioning.  Other real-time coaching tools include long monologue alerts, word rate notices, and time-based cue cards.

Wingman game tapes provide a reference library of training snippets.

Call summaries include questions, next steps, pain points, blockers, and topics of interest.  Post-call analytics include call duration, longest monologue, engaging questions that elicited a response from the prospect, and interactivity.

To assist with coaching, Wingman automatically identifies speakers and creates speech tracks, letting managers or reps focus on specific individuals.  It also offers a “game tapes” library for new hire training.  Game tapes provide a set of best-of-breed video samples for pricing, blockers, features, etc.

Wingman also offers Deal Central deal intelligence.  Deal Central identifies deal health risks such as the lack of a decision-maker or pricing not being discussed.  It is this engagement intelligence that will complement Clari’s revenue intelligence capabilities.

“We were looking at all of the signals that are important for…our customers to help them make better decisions in their revenue execution…We have had great success bringing in data from CRM systems, email systems, meeting information for calendars,” stated CTO Venkat Rangan.  “One thing that we also recognized was bringing in conversational data – conversational intelligence analysis of call recordings – whether it’s voice calls or Zoom meeting calls…was going to fundamentally change the quality of the signals we bring in.”

Sales reps can also share meetings or snippets with colleagues, providing access to the customer’s voice.  Reps can also share call URLs with prospects and know when prospects view them.

Wingman is integrated with

  • CRM: HubSpot, Salesforce, Pipedrive
  • SEP: Outreach, Salesloft
  • Conferencing: Zoom, Teams, Google Meet
  • Dialer: RingCentral, Dialpad, Fresh Caller, Aircall, FrontSpin
  • Other: Slack, Zapier
Wingman Pricing

Wingman’s monthly pricing starts at $60 per rep.  It has “no hidden setup costs, no minimum seat requirement, and no charges for sales managers & observers.”

In the summer of 2021, Wingman was named a Gartner “Cool Vendor” in the Conversational Intelligence category.

When acquired in June, Bengaluru-based Wingman had 57 employees (per LinkedIn) and had doubled its ARR over the previous six months.  It was founded in 2018 and claims to have over 200 customers.

“Clari’s acquisition of Wingman will help customers turn recorded conversations into a strategic asset for spotting revenue leak and driving revenue precision.  At a time when leaders are looking to unify their teams and their tech stacks, adding Wingman solidifies Clari’s position as the only enterprise platform for running the end-to-end revenue process,” boasted Byrne.  “Wingman’s conversation intelligence technology leads the market in real-time guidance and coaching capabilities, providing actionable insights when sellers need them most to help close deals faster.  Revenue leadership can scale teams, methodologies, and go-to-market strategies with confidence knowing that all team members will have the latest messaging and collateral at their fingertips, in every conversation.”

Rangan said that Wingman was a strong fit to Clari across multiple dimensions: technologies, market approach, and culture.

Kapoor noted that the combination allows for conversational analysis at all levels.  Users can Zoom into a single conversation and deal health, while managers and executives can zoom out to pipeline analytics, revenue forecasting, and deals at risk. 

Bringing the organizations together was the “best and fastest way to get there together,” argued Kapoor.

Initially, Rangan would like to focus Wingman enhancements on the emerging and commercial segments due to a strong alignment between Wingman and customer needs.  The Wingman roadmap also lays out steps to make Wingman mid-market and enterprise ready.  Longer-term, conversational intelligence signals will be fed from Wingman into Clari and “serve all of the revenue workflows” across the boardroom, senior management, front-line management, and sales reps.  Conversational intelligence will feed the forecasting and pipeline inspection processes.

Seth Marrs, Principal Analyst at Forrester, was bullish on the transaction, noting that Clari has “stayed away from deeper revenue intelligence capabilities that focus on interaction execution, preferring to aggregate that information from other tools and present it in Clari.”  However, he sees four reasons that the acquisition makes sense:

  1. Adding CI eliminates a key dependency – While Clari had access to 28% of interactions via email and calendaring, it relied on third parties to capture 45% of interactions via phone and web conferencing.
  2. It allows for new insight generation capabilities – Conversational Intelligence employs NLP for generating additional insights to drive pipeline and deal health analytics.
  3. Valuations have come back to Earth – Six months ago, this deal may not have made financial sense, but “with funding drying up, this is the perfect time for late-stage market leaders with large war chests to acquire technology companies at a reasonable price.”
  4. This new capability aligns with Clari’s stated strategy – Deal health analytics derived from unstructured conversations will augment Clari’s vision of “predictable revenue growth.”  It will also capture and analyze internal deal review calls and potentially update deal progress and commit status automatically.  While deal status CRM updates are not a current capability, Marrs has suggested a logical future capability.

Conversation Intelligence is one of several product categories that are being merged into SalesTech platform solutions.  Converging technologies include Meeting Management, Sales Engagement, Conversational Intelligence, Revenue Intelligence, and Digital Salesrooms.  Clari now offers three of these (it also supports digital sales rooms via its 2021 DealPoint acquisition).

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Clari Optimize and Groove Partnership

Revenue Platform Clari made a trio of announcements related to a partnership with Sales Engagement Platform Groove, the full integration of conversational sales platform Wingman, and the pending release of its Optimize module for controlling revenue leaks.  Optimize helps revenue teams diagnose and address revenue leaks, reducing revenue loss due to deal slippage, bad data, and error-prone manual processes.

“The Clari Revenue Platform gives revenue leaders the past, present, and future data they need to not just control revenue but help grow it,” said Clari CEO Andy Byrne.  “Only Clari provides the full historical picture and adds real-time capabilities to act fast as well as the forward-looking projections to proactively strategize revenue precision.”

Optimize offers a “single, centralized view” of revenue metrics, including win rates, forecast accuracy, and deal cycle times.  In addition, Optimize helps revenue leaders answer questions such as “How is my team trending this quarter?  Are we going to meet, beat, or miss on revenue?  How can I ensure my reps are doing the right things to produce predictably winning results?”

Clari argues that market leaders have been unable to answer these questions proactively, making it difficult to mitigate issues and risks.  Clari combines historical and external data to assist with revenue benchmarking.  Thus, Clari can reach beyond the CRM to gather account intelligence.  For example, it can look at usage data to assess churn risk.

“Optimize is all about finding revenue leaks so customers can see not just where and why they’re missing revenue, but what they can do about it. No other solution on the market has the ability to harness past time series data to provide a historical view of revenue leak.”

Clari CEO Andy Byrne

Optimize, available soon, will provide a single view for the whole organization of revenue and insights, capturing CRM intelligence, activity data, and forecasts.  With the integration of Wingman, its recently acquired conversational intelligence subsidiary, the voice of the customer is fully embedded within Clari analytics and forecasts.

Furthermore, Wingman provides real-time coaching during sales calls, helping reps avoid mistakes and providing real-time intelligence (e.g., technical information, competitive battlecards) to sales reps.  By improving sales objection handling, parrying competitive attacks, and preventing delays due to technical follow-ups, Wingman also reduces revenue leakage.

“It’s not just about coaching your teams to sell more, or about deal reviews,” said Holly Procter, senior vice president and global head of sales at Clari.  “It’s more about running your revenue better—governing revenue-critical moments for success and collaboration across revenue-critical people, which includes buyers as well as sellers.  Nobody else offers this collaborative, real-time approach.”

The Clari + Groove Joint Value Proposition

Clari and Groove announced a partnership at Dreamforce that helps “joint customers run revenue with more precision, greater collaboration, and faster execution.”  Sales Engagement Platform Groove acts as a “system of action,” while Revenue Intelligence platform Clari acts as a “system of collaboration and governance.” Both platforms sync with Salesforce, which serves as the “system of record” for sales activity.

The partners argue that while revenue is at the heart of every business, CEOs struggle to get a handle on revenue and are uncertain about whether they will meet, beat, or miss revenue projections.

“Up to fifty percent of entire company employees are revenue critical.  They are responsible in some form or fashion for delivering revenue.” 

Clari SVP of Marketing Kyle Coleman explained to GZ Consulting

Revenue responsibility is broader than quota carriers and includes SDRs, CSMs, AMs, leadership, product managers, and engineers.  Unfortunately, “consistent, predictable execution and collaboration” across these employees remain “very challenging” due to the lack of a unified platform shared across all these roles.

“It’s also very difficult, therefore, to govern any sort of revenue process or sub-process in a repeatable way,” continued Coleman.  “What revenue leaders end up doing is every quarter, they’re trying to capture this lightning in a bottle to know whether they’re going to meet, beat or miss, but it’s sort of a scramble more often than not.”

With the Groove / Clari partnership, “we will be able to govern processes, we’ll be able to replicate the best practices, we’ll be able to do the right kind of real-time analysis that leads to action in a closed loop way so that we know that everything is happening as it should be when it should be,” argued Coleman.

A common issue for revenue teams is identifying revenue leaks and mitigating them.  Revenue leaks exist across the full revenue lifecycle.  For example, deal slippage is identified in real-time, allowing reps to take action via Groove to bring the deal back on track. 

When Clari identifies a deal slipping for competitive reasons, it can suggest a play be executed in Groove.  Likewise, Clari can identify sub-par win rates, overly generous discounting, and low conversion rates for early-stage opportunities.

As Groove is native to Salesforce, it records all activities in real-time, providing “full-funnel forecasting” and analytics to Salesforce and Clari.

“We can tie our campaigns through to revenue in Salesforce, and that is something that they (Groove’s competitors) cannot do,” argued Groove VP of Marketing Kristin Hersant.  “Then all of that rich data, tying engagement through to revenue is able to be pulled into Clari and used in the analysis, and that is available today.”

Coleman explained that while you can’t win a deal at any moment, you can certainly break a deal.  And once a deal is lost, “it’s very difficult to un-lose” it.  Thus, “if you don’t do the right thing at the right time – handle the right objection, or pull the right person in or do the right kind of follow-up” – the deal could be jeopardized.  Therefore, “handling revenue critical moments expertly and in a prescribed way” that is governed by best practices is critical in addressing revenue leaks.

“Having all of that insight into all these moments that exist and then having confidence that every one of your employees is going to be able to execute on this?  Well, this is what’s so exciting to us,” said Coleman.

“Clari has always been about providing companies with the collaboration and governance required to run revenue with maximum precision, and Groove completes the equation by enabling our joint customers to turn the insights we provide into action,” said Byrne.  “We’ve seen incredibly strong results from joint customers using our two platforms together, and this formal partnership will help us transform even more revenue organizations.”

Groove offers enterprise customers a Salesforce-native SEP that records all activity directly to Salesforce.

“Groove and Clari coming together is definitely a ‘1 + 1 = 3’ scenario for revenue leaders,” said Groove CEO Chris Rothstein.  “Bringing together Clari’s revenue collaboration and governance capabilities with Groove’s strength in sales execution and productivity provides the ultimate value proposition: See the future with Clari and then create that future with Groove.”


Company Links: Groove | Clari

People.AI Enhancements: Engagement Dashboards Account Planning & People.AI for Oracle Sales Cloud

Revenue Intelligence vendor People.AI announced a trio of product enhancements to its Platform: Engagement Dashboards, Account Planning, and People.ai for Oracle Sales Cloud.  The enhancements are intended to “help sales and ops teams drive greater efficiency, deeper relationships, and clearer visibility.”

According to Seth Marrs of Forrester, 82% of sales activities are digital and available for capture and analysis.  Furthermore, these analytics go beyond historical engagement data such as email opens and downloads and include insights concerning the nature of the interaction, buyer sentiment, open questions, and next steps.

Marrs sees the biggest RevTech trends as “the availability of interaction data and what that can do to really drive visibility into where you want to go, visibility into how you can better interact with customers, visibility into what you need to do to win more.  It’s unprecedented.  Now the big thing is how you pull that all together into an insight engine that can really help sales leaders and sellers.  And on the other side of it, how do you get sales leaders and sellers to adopt this.”

One issue is the fragmentation of channels, with few vendors supporting cross-channel insight gathering and analytics.

“The real nuggets and the real value are in your ability to go out and find insights in that data that are actually new or that you couldn’t see before that you can use to help the seller win more deals, that you can use to identify more deals,” expanded Marrs.

Marrs called Revenue Intelligence insights “force multipliers” that aren’t geared towards doing things faster but improving sales efficacy.  While automated activity capture offers efficiency gains by removing sales rep data entry, its true value is in standardizing the data capture and offering insights.

“The industry today has turned selling into an obstacle course, where reps need to navigate so many hurdles in order to actually do their job.  We’re clearing the pathway so teams can focus on what matters: building revenue,” said Oleg Rogynskyy, CEO of People.ai. “Our newest product offerings aim to transform the B2B sales process by providing our customers with more data and greater insight to accelerate business decisions that will grow pipeline, increase deal sizes, shorten sales cycles and boost win rates.”

Custom Engagement Dashboards can be quickly built via a drag-and-drop UI.

Engagement Dashboards improve the visibility of buyer and sales engagement and identify at-risk accounts and opportunities.  Engagement Dashboards offer personalized tables with custom metrics for any CRM or People.AI field, providing an improved understanding of opportunity and pipeline health.  Dashboards are self-service and can be created by either users or admins.

Reps can find out which high-value accounts have low engagement or are missing key stakeholders, which accounts have pipeline potential, and which accounts are vendors properly engaged at the department and persona level.

Engagement Dashboards also assist with rep coaching with a My Performance page that compares current performance against past performance and peers.

The People.AI Account Planning application operationalizes a company’s account planning methodology within Salesforce.  Account Planning helps visualize each “buyer’s business, goals, and obstacles” for enhanced opportunity discovery.

ClosePlan, a 2021 acquisition, has been integrated with People.AI.  ClosePlan offers scorecards and playbooks designed around sales methodologies such as MEDDIC, MEDDPIC, Miller Heiman, BANT, and Value Selling.  Reps can quickly qualify opportunities and identify blind spots.  Deal Scorecard dashboards display opportunity health to align deal conversations better and take corrective actions.  New features include the ability to attach opportunities and account maps to account plans.

Engagement data is integrated into account maps, identifying which departments are engaged and which ones present deal risk.  Maps also identify positive and negative relationships across accounts.

People.AI Stakeholder Overview

New stakeholder insights cards (see image on the right) detail engagement trends, upcoming activities, sales team connections, and the opportunities with which the stakeholder is affiliated.

PeopleGlass, which offers a single pane of glass for viewing and updating opportunities across accounts, added field-level commenting and sharing across the account team. 

People.AI also refreshed the PeopleGlass UX to simplify onboarding, personalization, navigation, and integration with Salesforce templates.  Users can also @ share with colleagues specific fields, share the full PeopleGlass view, and quickly create new opportunities in Salesforce.

People.AI for Oracle Sales Cloud helps generate revenue by “increasing sales productivity, which will drive more and bigger deals faster and increase buyer satisfaction.”  People.AI supports automated data capture with matching, filtering, and contact enrichment, freeing “sellers from tedious data-entry tasks,” allowing them to focus on selling.  The service also offers “prescriptive and contextual seller actions” that assist with account targeting and activity prioritization.

“We’re collaborating with People.ai because we’re equally laser-focused on transforming the sales process into a modern revenue engine,” said Katrina Gosek, Product Management VP, Oracle Customer Experience.  “Together, we will be able to provide our mutual customers with the actionable revenue insights needed to drive significant revenue transformation and growth.

People.AI already supports Salesforce, with over 250 implementations.

In its November release, People.AI will be supporting summary visualization for addressing questions such as with which personas and departments we should be engaging, which high-value accounts have low engagement, and how much pipeline is at risk.

Summary Visualizations will be available in the November release.

People.AI will also begin managing data gathering and reporting across multiple CRM instances, providing an overview of account activity across different divisions or regions.  Multi-CRM unification provides “visibility into who’s talking to which accounts, identify cross-sell opportunities, and gain buyer group intel across business units and acquisitions.”


I am covering CRM data capture and enrichment vendors this week in my blog. Yesterday, I covered Nektar.AI, and on Thursday, I will cover Winn.AI.

Outreach Guide

Outreach announced the general availability of Outreach Guide, its new revenue intelligence and deal management solution.  Guide provides real-time conversation intelligence, best practice action plans, and “deal health at a glance.”  Outreach also announced administrative enhancements to its Engage product and a “deep integration” with ABX Platform 6sense.

Outreach Guide, Engage, and Commit act as the “foundation” of Outreach’s sales execution platform, supporting revenue organizations across the full customer sales cycle “from prospecting for new business opportunities to deal management to sales forecasting.”

Outreach’s Customer Lifecycle loop.

Outreach aims to create a “single system of execution” that helps revenue organizations meet their full potential and address issues with prospecting, deal management, and forecasting.

To help address this “sales execution gap,” Machine learning models “learn from the actions taken in our platform and generate data-driven, predictive, real-time insights that recommend actions for users to take to improve their sales execution,” said CEO Manny Medina.

Outreach Guide supports three core capabilities:

  • Deal Health Scores: The Deal Health Score employs machine learning to predict deal health.  It also provides deal insights, recommended actions, and where to focus.  In addition, deal Health displays positive and negative indicators (e.g., stuck in current stage, no recent inbound emails, recent executive engagement). 

    Deal Health signals deals at risk to both the sales rep and sales management, providing an opportunity to address problems and adjust forecasts.

    Deal Health scores can be viewed in the aggregate as well, providing a neutral perspective on how each deal is proceeding versus comparable opportunities.

    Deal Health scores are currently in beta.
  • Kaia Real-time assistance and conversation intelligence: Kaia offers real-time call transcription, content cards, and context-based rep enablement during Zoom and Microsoft teams meetings.  After meetings, Kaia streamlines meeting summaries with AI-captured action items and follow-ups.  As a result, Outreach claims rep productivity increases by nearly 30%, and the likelihood of scheduling a follow-up meeting jumps by 36%.

    Kaia is linguistically customized for each client, capturing product names and competitors as keywords.  During a call, content cards display real-time sales aides, such as product summaries or technical notes.  Content cards provide quick cheat sheets on product value, pricing, or integrations (see the example on the right).

    By removing notetaking and displaying content cards, Kaia allows sales reps to be more present during calls and pitch with greater confidence;  instead of pausing a meeting to jot down notes, sales reps can quickly add a bookmark or short meeting note.
  • Automated and collaborative purchasing through Success Plans: Success Plans foster collaboration between buyers and sellers with detailed online purchase action plans that include a timeline, success criteria, resources, and team views.  Collaborative action plans align stakeholders, build buyer trust, ensure timely stakeholder engagement, and provide internal stakeholders with prospect engagement and deal progress.  Outreach claims that reps who closely monitor Success Plans enjoy a 13% bump in close rates.

“The buying team has all the information related to the deal in a central place, and all teams are aligned to clearly understand each other’s goals, interactions, and requirements essential for driving long-term success, delivering an unparalleled buying experience throughout the entire selling process,” stated Director of Product Marketing Elizabeth Dailing.

Furthermore, Success Plans are available to Customer Success teams when onboarding new customers, helping streamline handoffs.

The Team view helps track who is involved from the buying team and how engaged they are, how recently they were engaged, and what content they viewed.

Outreach Guide is designed to address the “Sales Execution Gap.”

Outreach also announced a set of administrative and data privacy enhancements to its Engage service:

  1. Trigger Enhancements – A streamlined trigger builder improves the creation, management, and discovery of triggers.  The refreshed trigger builder is aligned with traditional CRM language and supports multiple values per condition, drag-and-drop action reordering, and simplified condition group creation.
  2. New Outlook-Add In – A native integration lets reps ‘Send’ emails from Outlook and send and sync “relevant emails to Outreach, as well as insert their available times or add a link to their calendar.”  Outreach will also flag opted-out communications in Outlook and prevent them from being sent or added to a sequence.
  3. Microsoft Graph Integration
  4. Data Retention in Outreach Voice Recordings – Admins can configure data retention policies such as deleting data as a one-time event or setting up regular data deletions for Outreach Voice Recordings.

Additionally, Outreach announced an Irish Datacenter for Outreach Engage, meeting EU data residency requirements for GDPR compliance. “The EU Datacenter for Outreach Engage allows an organization’s data to be stored in a specific geographic location,” blogged Caroline Shin, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Outreach.  “This means customer-owned data associated with those Outreach instances including prospects, accounts, organizations, and workflow data such as sequences and meetings will be stored and contained within the EU infrastructure.”

Salesloft Forecast Launched

Salesloft’s new Forecast module ingests deal data from multiple platforms, allowing sales professionals to review deals and take actions necessary to stay on track.

Salesloft continues to extend its value proposition beyond sales engagement and conversational intelligence into deal forecasting and revenue intelligence.  Its new Forecast capability, bundled with the Enterprise edition, is available as part of Salesloft’s Spring ’22 Release.  Other spring enhancements include Multi-language Support for Conversations, Out-of-Office Detection, and mobile updates.

Salesloft noted that forecasting remains a “disjointed and manual process” often conducted with spreadsheets.  Sales professionals must collect information from disconnected systems and often deliver inaccurate numbers that waste “valuable selling time.”  What’s more, manual processes provide few insights for improving sales results and aren’t actionable.  Thus, significant resources are expended coming to a forecast number, but by the time the CSO or CRO rolls it up to the CEO, the forecast is a black box number based on quickly aging data with few actionable insights.

The disjointed forecasting process (Source: Salesloft)

“Forecasting is a critical process for every revenue organization,” said Salesloft CPO Ellie Fields.  “But when sellers use spreadsheets, there’s a high risk of user error and acting on old data.  Spreadsheets aren’t scalable, are incredibly manual, ungoverned, and only serve as a snapshot in time.  There’s no context to help sellers look ahead.”

In a presentation to GZ Consulting, SVP of Product Management Frank Dale emphasized that Salesloft is looking to stay in the “revenue lane” focusing on “what happens between the buyer and the seller.”  Forecasting falls within the revenue lane as it “leverages the data generated from interactions between buyers and sellers.”  Furthermore, forecasting should not be separate from revenue generation.  It isn’t simply calling a number but “taking action to make that number.”

The revenue lane “covers all core selling jobs” and tasks, including driving demand, generating pipeline, managing deals, and engaging customers.

“Revenue teams don’t want a forecast.  They want a real-time, adaptive week-by-week action plan to beat their number.  That’s not what forecasting is today.  Forecasting, as it is done today, sucks.  For most revenue teams, it is something they have to do, not something they want to do.  That’s because the tools they have available make just getting to a forecast number difficult and time-consuming.  What’s worse is that they don’t often trust the number they arrive at.  That’s a big problem.  It’s hard to know where to spend your time when you’re not sure if what you’re looking at is accurate.”

Salesloft SVP of Product Management Frank Dale

The Salesloft Modern Revenue Workspace is built on three pillars: Connecting with buyers, improving interactions with customers and prospects based on the data that is generated from interactions, and aligning the team around best practices.  Forecasting falls into the alignment pillar but is designed to support connection and feedback.

“There is a huge gap.  The gap is not necessarily about calling the number, but it is more about the action plan on that number,” explained Senior Director of Product Management Anshu Chowdhery to GZ Consulting.  Salesloft set two goals for its Forecast launch: A shared workflow for gathering deal intelligence and turning it into a forecast; and the ability to achieve that number. 

Salesloft Forecast capabilities include

  • Forecasts are rolled up across the organization. 
  • Users can drill down to opportunities and track changes in the pipeline.  They can also take action from within Forecast.
  • An AI-driven forecast model employs “sales engagement data and historical performance to dial in on what’s likely to land, and what you can influence.”
  • Forecasts are based on AI models and engagement data gathered by Salesloft. 

“What we’re building is an integrated, whole system,” remarked Dale.  “We’re integrating all of the activity capture from Cadence, all of the conversation data and capture from our conversation intelligence product, the CRM data from our deals product, and then the ability to turn around and take action again through our cadence product once you’ve made the call.”

“This forecasting product is built on top of [our] Deals product,” expanded Chowdhery.  “Deals bi-directionally syncs with Salesforce.  So, everything that lives on Salesforce is in Deals, and that’s the significant advantage of [our] forecasting solution.  We are able to sync everything and pull all information, not only from Salesforce but across our platform – every engagement that’s happening on the cadence side or conversation side.  The sales leader has the ability to view that timeline and identify…[whether] no conversations happened in the last thirty days; this deal is at risk; what should I do in order to win that deal?”

A Weekly Opportunity Changes view lists all of the changes to amounts, close dates, and stages over the past week and how those changes impact the forecast, providing a dynamic view of weekly activity.

Dale stated that Forecast provides value across the revenue team.  Frontline sales management has greater visibility into the pipeline, and Forecast provides sales reps “a true read on what they need to do to land and hit their number.”  In addition, both reps and managers benefit from reduced busy work in managing pipeline updates. 

Dale contends that daily administrative work for reps is reduced by an hour by streamlining the forecasting and updating process.

While Forecast focuses on new business forecasting, future enhancements will support renewal forecasting and run-rate forecasting (i.e., intra-period deals).  Also, Salesloft will continue to build out its analytics and plans to release Vulnerable Opportunities Notifications for flagging at-risk opportunities.

Forecast provides a common workflow that rolls up deal intelligence across the organization.  Users can drill down into specific deals and take actions, greatly improving insights and actionability.  “This is a seamless workflow for the reps and honestly, across the entire revenue organization to submit their forecasts and submit their number,” said Chowdhery.

Salesloft’s Forecasting workflow.

A modern forecasting system must be part of your sales execution system,” blogged Fields.  “The information about your deals in flight – who’s contacting the customer, what meetings were had and what was said, how the customer responds — is the foundational information that your forecast rests on.  If you’re using a sales engagement platform, all of that activity is already being tracked automatically, without your sellers needing to spend time logging their activities.  Meetings and calls are recorded and searchable so you can review that pivotal moment with the buyer.”

“Forecasting under-delivers when the end result is just a number,” continued Fields.  “The end result should be a set of actions you can take to deliver better results.  To do that, you need to not only see a number, but you need to see areas of softness and strength, important deal gaps, and opportunities.  You need to recognize that the East team will need your support this quarter, but that the West will probably overachieve.  You need to know where to spend your team’s time most productively to get over the line.”

Dale emphasized the importance of cross-product workflows aligned with “things people actually want to do.”  Unfortunately, vendors often build technology that “chases a problem” or is designed to answer checklist questions about functionality.  Salesloft “starts with problems people have and then builds solutions to match that.  So anytime you see us build something like forecasting, we’re building it based on what people are actually trying to do.”  Forecasting was built because it was a regular customer request.

Submitted forecasts show progress towards goal and a comparison vs. the prior week.

Forecasting builds on Salesloft’s pipeline management and deals product, including its AI-powered Deal Engagement Scores released last June and Deal Progression Indicators released last November.

Salesloft claims that its new Forecast module transforms forecasting “from a burdensome task into a strategic action plan to close more revenue.”  Revenue estimates and deal close dates are derived from real-time data and employ “multiple forecasting techniques to make it easy to see where the team’s performance is trending.”  AI helps identify missed opportunities and deals at risk, letting reps mitigate deal risk and factor it into pipeline estimates.  As Forecast is native to Salesloft’s Modern Revenue Workspace, managers can assign follow-ups or add deal notes within the Salesloft workflow.

“With Forecast, customers have the visibility, intelligence, and workflow to close deals more consistently and act upon unrealized opportunities,” stated the firm.

“Forecast by Salesloft is an intelligent solution with strong data governance, so there’s less room for errors,” stated Fields.  “Sellers can forecast and take action on those deals from the same platform.  When sales managers have real-time visibility and the ability to drill down, coaching sellers and taking action happens naturally, leading to better deal outcomes.”

Revenue Grid: Stand with Ukraine

My last two posts have been about rebrands (IDG → Foundry and Artesian: DueDil → FullCircl), but things have suddenly gotten very real in Europe with Russia invading Ukraine under false pretenses. As Revenue Intelligence vendor Revenue Grid is based in Ukraine, I thought I’d give them my blog today.

Here is what they posted on LinkedIn:

“A big part of our Revenue Grid 🇺🇦 team is located in Kyiv, Ukraine. This is where our product was born, where our heart is.  Now the whole world watches as the war burns our homes and kills our people.  The Corrupt Russian government has brought death and destruction to our land.
 
Our homeland is under attack, and each one of us has the power to influence how soon the hell in our homeland ends. 
 
We are receiving tremendous support from our clients, partners, and friends everywhere in the world.  Many are asking what they can do to help.
 
Here is how you can help:
 
1) Stop doing business with Russia. Ask companies to stop cooperating with Russia, since every activity currently held there is supporting their criminal government and funding this unjust bloody war.

2) Donate https://lnkd.in/eZrtRPeh

Revenue Grid Posting on LinkedIn (February 2, 2022)

Revenue Grid also added a banner to its homepage that reads “Proudly made in Ukraine 🇺🇦. Stand for the integrity of our country.  Donate.”

Gong Previews 2022 Services

Conversational Intelligence vendor Gong previewed a set of product and ecosystem integrations that “solidify its status as the platform for revenue teams.”  New products include Gong Assist for automated task management and Reality-Based Forecasting for improved pipeline projections.  The new Gong Collective supports its expanded universe of partner integrations.

“These moves come as the Gong Reality Platform – which captures and analyzes customer interactions and makes recommendations based on those interactions – continues to improve the performance of customer-facing teams,” stated the firm.

Gong Assist automates sales overhead.

Gong Assist goes beyond task reminders to automate burdensome tasks that steal time away from the primary goals of sales reps: fostering long-term relationships and growing revenue.  For example, instead of simply reminding a rep to set up a meeting or send an email, Gong will draft the email or meeting invite for the rep.  Gong can also tee up congratulatory notes to contacts that have assumed new roles.

Gong Reality-Based Forecasting streamlines pipeline updates.

Gong will also be launching a new Reality-Based Forecasting product that provides “streamlined, bottoms-up forecasting and a fuller look at revenue trends.”  Reps and sales management can view and maintain forecast data directly within Gong instead of toggling to other apps.  In addition, reality-Based Forecasting will automatically remind reps to update forecasts “based on customer interactions that have been captured and analyzed by Gong.”

The Gong Collective is a branding of their partner ecosystem, which supports more than one hundred integrations.  Gong provided details on a few of its partnerships:

  • DocuSign will present contracts within Gong.  It will also alert teams when deals have progressed, but no sales contract has been drafted.
  • Slack Connect, Salesforce’s private channels for customers and partners, are ingested by Gong and treated as an additional engagement signal.

    “Gong and Slack create that digital sales floor where revenue leaders can confidently manage sales teams — motivating and mentoring sales reps remotely, forecasting more accurately, engaging with customers effectively, and closing business more efficiently in a hybrid sales environment,” said Brad Armstrong, SVP of Business Development at Slack.
  • HighSpot and Seismic suggest which content should be shared and Gong gathers visiting analytics “to help customer-facing teams engage effectively and keep deals moving forward.”

“Gong has created raving fans by optimizing the performance of customer-facing teams,” said Gong CEO Amit Bendov. “Our new products only add to this value, making the Gong Reality Platform an even more valuable, centralized destination for teams to be successful.”

Mediafly Revenue360

Mediafly recently released Revenue360, a revenue intelligence service that combines “content engagement, buyer intent, and sales activity data for a 360-degree view of opportunity and account health in one visual dashboard.”  The solution helps revenue teams assess opportunity health, improve forecasting, and accelerate revenue.

The dashboard brings together Mediafly’s content analytics with sales activity captured from Salesforce, SAP, or Microsoft Dynamics and 6sense intent data.  Mediafly argues that a broader view of engagement is required for analyzing deal health.

“Many companies claim to have revenue intelligence capabilities, but their solutions provide users with only partial intelligence.  In a digital selling environment, sales organizations can no longer rely solely on what happened in the meeting to accurately gauge opportunity health. They also need to understand how buyers engage with content outside of live sales interactions. With the most robust content engagement analytics in the market, Mediafly is uniquely positioned to bridge the gap, offering revenue teams full visibility into insights derived from engagement – or lack thereof – with the content that is presented, shared, and available online.”

Mediafly CEO Carson Conant

Mediafly argues that content engagement is a missing element in deal health analysis, with the average B2B Buyers consuming thirteen pieces of content across their journey.  Mediafly captures content consumption regardless of channel (e.g., in a content hub on the website, presented in a sales meeting, sent as a follow-up). In addition, Mediafly captures the assets viewed, time and duration viewed, and whether it was shared.

“A wealth of data often goes unnoticed in sales pipelines,” said Tom Pisello, chief evangelist at Mediafly. “Unfortunately, many companies rely on partial insights from CRM or qualitative feedback from sales reps following their meetings. While these insights are helpful, revenue teams have an opportunity to secure a holistic view of the entire deal pipeline, breaking down silos and gaining perspective into the overall health of an account. The addition of Revenue360 allows us to consolidate data and provide prescriptive recommendations unlike any platform on the market.”

The service is in limited release, with full availability planned for later this quarter.

Market Flash: Outreach Acquires Canopy and Launches Outreach Commit (Part II)

Continuing from yesterday’s post that discussed revenue innovation and the Sales Execution Gap. Today I am discussing their new Outreach Commit and Outreach Success Plans.


Outreach Commit, based on their Canopy acquisition, offers sales analytics and forecasting capabilities that augment Outreach’s AI-based buyer sentiment and Success Plans, providing Outreach customers with “true visibility across the entire revenue cycle.”

“The use of deep learning and big data has the potential to transform B2B forecasting in the same way it has transformed B2C forecasting. Such changes are shifting the emphasis on forecasting from predicting the number to beating the number…Reliable activity data allows sales leaders, for example, to drive more rigorous pipeline reviews and estimate forecasts with greater confidence.  It allows companies to discover and capture data about prospects and customers that previously lived in the realm of the ‘shadow pipeline’ — that murky world of secret selling that organizations have traditionally been blind to.”

Forrester Research Principal Analyst Anthony McPartlin, “Enabling B2B Interaction Visibility In A Converging Sales Tech Landscape” (June 2021)

Commit provides a flexible forecasting model with multi-level views, allowing managers to view a probabilistic model of outcomes for multiple periods and teams based upon prior win-loss histories, current pipeline, and adjustable assumptions.  Revenue forecasts are broken into Booked, Weighted Pipeline, and Intra-period high-velocity deals (i.e., projected new opportunities that are not in the pipeline but will close before the end of the period).  In addition, models can be adjusted to account for events external to the model (e.g., new product launches, tradeshow held earlier or late in the quarter, economic shocks).  The underlying KPIs that drive the models are selectable when setting them up, with the model updating every fifteen minutes.

Outreach Commit supports dynamic forecasting with bear, bull, and most likely outcomes.

Commit provides individualized rep scorecards based on company KPIs.  Managers can set targets, coach to outcomes, and level up their team.  Managerial note-taking helps them track 1:1’s, assign tasks, and track completion.

Commit supports active deal monitoring that flags deal risks and delivers insights.  “Signals notify leaders of the things they need to know today.  From opportunity risk identification to shifts in top of funnel metrics, Signals act as your eyes and ears–ensuring your frontline leaders are focused on what matters most to your business.”  Deal risk is significantly reduced when issues are flagged early to reps, and managers can provide on-demand coaching to address nascent problems.

Commit also supports Custom Signals.  Revenue Operations sets custom thresholds and unique parameters.

At a recent analyst briefing, Outreach management emphasized that they offer a tripartite value proposition: Engage (Sales Engagement), Guide (Kaia Conversation Intelligence), and Commit (Outreach Commit).

“To achieve predictable, efficient growth, every organization needs to engage with their buyers, guide their sellers through strong sales cycles, and then commit the number with confidence.”

Canopy deal terms were not disclosed.  All nine employees have joined Outreach. The startup, founded in 2019, had raised $2.1 million.

Outreach also provided updates on Outreach Kaia and Success Plans at its Unleash event.  Kaia, its Conversation Intelligence platform that was developed in-house, is adding real-time talk analytics, Comprehensive Search, Saved Search, and Outreach Voice Import.  The new capabilities will be available by the end of the month.

Call analytics provide real-time talk-time visibility, letting reps self-correct if they are speaking too much.

Comprehensive Search provides managers with access to notes, content cards, action items, and transcripts across the sales organization.  Additionally, both meeting platform intelligence and Outreach Voice cold calls are included.  Thus, “leaders can identify trends and risks across teams and at various stages of the sales cycle.”

Saved Search Alerts provide scheduled intelligence on key topics, allowing managers to track competitors, pricing, functional requests, etc.

Outreach Voice Import supports post-call analysis of Outreach Voice and Microsoft Teams.  Fully integrated support for Teams is scheduled for 2022.

Outreach warns RevOps not to trust the algorithm blindly. Instead, revenue teams should understand “the math behind every forecast to see what’s actually driving the number.”  Accordingly, Outreach maintains the fidelity of data signals such as engagement and sentiment through transparency that displays “every opportunity and signals where sellers should take action.”

“Canopy’s Augmented Revenue Analysis engine combines advanced statistical modeling with machine learning and artificial intelligence,” states the Canopy website.  “Simply put, we show our math.  Instead of black box predictions, we show you every trend and variable driving our predictions, ensuring you have access to every data point necessary to confidently call your business.”

Users can also review “where you started and where you finished,” providing a post-mortem period review that “pinpoints slippage, forecasting variance, and conversion rates across any data point from any time window.”  They can also generate “what if” scenarios with multiple assumptions.

Outreach Success Plans provide a shared portal for buyers and sellers to exchange timelines, success criteria, resources, and people.

Outreach Success Plans, which were announced back in May, will be generally available on October 27.  Success Plans align buyers and sellers to improve action and predictability in a shared deal room.  They act as a buying hub that allows buyers and sellers to agree on shared success criteria, objectives, and timelines.  Success Plans also support shared access to project resources, allowing new demand unit members to quickly access project documents.  Only invited individuals can participate in the Success Plans.

Success Plans provide an additional set of engagement intelligence for tracking deal risks and momentum.  The Opportunity View includes Success Plan views, comments, resource downloads, and shares, providing engagement insights specific to deal planning and document sharing.

Outreach Success Plans deliver “unparalleled visibility into pipeline opportunities and risks,” blogged VP of Product Marketing Victoria Grady.

Outreach claims that two-thirds of buyers have “stopped working with a company mid-deal, simply because the competitor provided a better buying experience.”  Thus, streamlining the document sharing process, framing the timeline, and agreeing on success criteria not only facilitates the process and improves deal visibility but improves the likelihood of winning each deal. Outreach supports 5,000 customers, including 19 of the 25 fastest-growing public companies and more than 60% of the Cloud 100.

Market Flash: Outreach Acquires Canopy and Launches Outreach Commit

Outreach Commit supports forecasting, scenario planning, and deal risk analysis.

Sales Engagement Platform Outreach expanded its value proposition with the acquisition of Revenue Intelligence service Canopy.  Outreach immediately began integrating the service into its platform, with GA expected in H1 2022.  The new Outreach Commit service “significantly expands” Outreach’s revenue intelligence capabilities, “giving revenue leaders the sales analytics and forecasting capabilities they need in today’s sales environment.”

“In the past 18 unpredictable and transformative months, we have seen the rise of a new cohort of leaders we are calling Revenue Innovators who have thrived by embracing the digital disruption of sales,” said Outreach CEO Manny Medina.  “These are leaders who had to adapt and evolve their mindset to embrace automation and machine learning as the keys to driving predictable, efficient growth – consistently and despite the uncertainty in the market.  They need tools that combine engagement with intelligence and marry together the art and the science of sales. The evolution of the Outreach platform does exactly that.” 

Outreach provides revenue innovators with “predictable, efficient growth” based upon AI guidance for more effective engagement, improved forecasting, and next best actions.  The objective is to reduce the “Sales Execution Gap” between revenue potential and actual performance based on instinct and limited data; instead, data and AI will narrow the gap.

“The Sales Execution Gap manifests itself in several ways across the business — decisions based on gut instincts, slow rep ramp times, competing priorities, random achievement, missed opportunities with little understanding as to why,” explained Medina.  “And yes, lost revenue, but also a growing disconnect between what high-performing reps want and what employers can deliver.”

“Once a seller has experienced the power of an Engagement and Intelligence platform, they won’t want to go back to inefficient, broken workflows — and they’re making career decisions because of it.”

Outreach CEO Manny Medina

Unfortunately, CRMs were “not designed for sellers.”  They are systems of record that store information but lack engagement and insights.  Firms that want reps to “live in the CRM” will drive away their best sales reps and candidates who “demand AI-driven insights and workflow automation to guide their actions in real-time.”  As more sellers become “digital natives,” this performance gap will widen.

Top-performing reps and managers that have enjoyed modern SalesTech tools will be reluctant to work without digital tools.  They expect their sales toolbox to include AI-generated intelligence, including email sentiment, live meeting guidance, real-time call analysis, and automated deal review and scoring.  They are also looking for sales engagement with templated sequences (cadences), multi-channel outreach, task prioritization, and recommended actions.  Finally, they are looking for improved forecasting, risk alerts, engagement data, and deal facilitation.

With Commit, Outreach has added forecasting and expanded risk analytics to its toolkit.

Outreach sees a bifurcation between traditional sales organizations and revenue innovators that have adopted digital communications and AI for outreach, prioritization, coaching, forecasting, and analytics.

“Revenue innovators are embracing automation and AI in real-time to provide guidance to reps mid-cycle, guide more effective engagement with customers, and entirely rethink how they forecast because they have the signals that can proactively identify risk in their pipeline and deals,” stated the firm.


Continue to Part II which discusses Outreach Commit and product enhancements announced at the Outreach Unleash virtual meeting.