Because Revenue Grid has a long history as an integration platform, it supports both cloud and on-premise implementations. Financial Services firms, which have higher data protection requirements and have been slower to adopt cloud platforms, make up roughly 30% of its turnover.
The Revenue Grid service is available for $75 per user per month. The firm offers volume and multi-year discounts. The service was previously sold as three modules: Revenue Engage (Sales Engagement), Revenue Inbox (CRM synchronization), and Revenue Guide (Guided Selling), but Revenue Grid now bundles the three services into a unified Guides Selling platform.
Aragon Research, which focuses on Sales Enablement, labeled Revenue Grid one of its 2020 hot vendors in May:
“What makes Revenue Grid hot is the platform’s focus on revenue intelligence and leveraging statistical and AI insights to drive the consistency of each stage of the sales pipeline and its efficiency. The platform has guided selling features that can suggest the next best step to a sales rep and alert the team to a misstep or a missed action. It also has sales coaching and team analytics to track individual performance.”
Jim Lundy, Aragon Research Lead Analyst, “Hot Vendors in Sales Enablement, 2020”
Aragon recommended Revenue Grid for enterprises looking for a “sales enablement platform with comprehensive, built-in AI functionality.”
Founded in 2005 as InvisibleCRM, the firm rebranded in 2020 to capture its broader product portfolio for sales teams, focusing on “customer engagement and actionable revenue intelligence.”
Revenue Grid is based in Mountain View, California, with offices in Atlanta, Washington, and Delaware. It’s engineering team and EMEA headquarters are located in Kyiv.
Revenue Grid has an eight-digit ARR and 65% year-over-year growth. Customers include BASF, Volvo, Honeywell, Lufthansa, and Union Pacific. It is self-funded, having received only a $1.5 million Series A in 2006.
Continuing fromPart I, a discussion of Revenue Grid and its approach to Guided Selling.
Revenue Grid looks to take the CRM system of record and supplement it with insights and actions that move deals forward. Insights are both positive and negative. Risk flags include “The decision-maker is not invited to the demo,” “Close data has been changed for the Nth time,” and “Pricing was discussed at the meeting, but no quote has been sent.” By delivering insights to sales reps and their managers, loose ends, which could result in deal losses or delays, are flagged. Sales reps and managers can then act upon these insights. Revenue Grid can also make suggestions based upon internal playbooks and best practices.
In short, AI, historical data, and real-time data are employed to build a set of insights and recommended actions.
Revenue Grid goes beyond engagement metrics at accounts. It delivers a broad set of insights that include competitor mentions, lack of recent decision-makers responses, meetings without agendas, quarterly and monthly trends, and team performance. In January, sentiment analysis will be added to their insights.
An Opportunities view provides real-time pipeline visibility across all accounts. Reps can quickly update any opportunity information with the updates synced with the CRM. Sales reps and managers then have a single-pane of glass displaying current opportunities. Managers are notified of deal size changes, close dates, and scores and can track activity flow.
The Opportunities view includes signals, next steps, last touch, and overview data, providing a quick synopsis of where each deal stands.
Conversational Intelligence records and transcribes voice and video calls, then indexes and analyzes meetings for insights. Corporate email communications are also analyzed for insights. Revenue teams and managers can review call transcripts and listen or view significant moments during the call, with summary topics and insights called out. Conversational Intelligence is also available for coaching and onboarding sales reps.
Conversational Intelligence recordings and transcripts are saved to accounts and opportunities.
A meeting scheduler fronts Conversational Intelligence. Reps can insert multiple time slots with clickable times in their emails or offer a calendaring link. Events are automatically synced between Salesforce and Outlook or Gmail. Other features include calendar delegation (i.e., setting up an admin or CSR to schedule meetings), recurring event scheduling, and group calendaring across the organization.
Salesforce email synching captures emails, scheduled meetings, contacts, tasks, and attachments. Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities, and Custom Objects are available for syncing, and multiple records may be updated. Salesforce admins can set up activity auto-log rules, triggering Salesforce processes.
Sales Coaching offers a team performance view that displays revenue booked by reps alongside leads processed and time spent on external meetings, inbound external meetings, and outbound emails.
A Forecasting report evaluates the target, best case, and committed revenue for the team with plan, commit, and open pipeline values for each rep. Managers can also compare past periods to find trends and set triggers to send notifications when thresholds are exceeded.
An Activity view displays inbound and outbound communications from sales and marketing over time with adjustable time windows. Unfortunately, the activity graph does not rescale, making it difficult to view activity over an extended period.
Revenue Grid also supports Relationship Intelligence, showing an Account relationship map and flagging individuals in the organization with established relationships for introductions or briefings.
Revenue Grid’s sales engagement features include multi-channel sequences, email templates, and email tracking. Channels include email, phone, SMS, and LinkedIn. Sequences may be managed directly from within Salesforce, Outlook, or Gmail. All Revenue Grid capabilities are available in the native Salesforce mobile app, including email analytics, notifications, and sequences.
Admins can perform A/B testing of sequences.
Revenue Grid detects replies from one or multiple recipients, out of office notices, opt-outs, and bounces. It then pauses or halts sequences automatically. It even halts sequences if the recipient is mentioned in an email or meeting invitation.
An email sidebar displays Salesforce data directly within inboxes and suggests relevant, actionable Signals.
“Algorithmic guided selling leverages emerging AI technology and existing sales data to guide sellers through deals, automating manual sales actions while reducing the need for individual seller judgment in the sales process,” wrote Gartner. Guided Selling is data and process-driven, with Next Best Action recommendations that make CRMs actionable.
Guided Selling intelligence is gathered from CRMs, emails, calendars, phone calls, and videos. Engagement is measured across these channels and delivered as a set of insights and revenue signals that support Guided Selling. Signals are Next Best Actions based upon AI recommendations and sales playbooks.
Revenue Grid describes signals as “contextual, actionable notifications that tell your whole sales org what is going well or poorly throughout your whole sales process.” Sales reps can act on recommendations by merely clicking on the signal.
These definitions can all get confusing, but the vision becomes clearer when skipping past the inputs and technology and merely considering which sales and management questions Revenue Grid looks to address. Revenue Grid answers a host of sales rep questions, including
Which deals should I focus on today?
How likely am I to close the deal this month or quarter?
How can I improve my odds of winning this opportunity?
Which deals are at risk and why?
Did I complete all of the post-deal activities discussed on the call?
Have I updated all my opportunities before tomorrow’s deal review?
How can I prepare for a meeting?
Does anybody at my firm have a relationship with key decision-makers?
How is engagement across the account? Am I building relationships with the key stakeholders?
Likewise, managers can answer questions such as
Are sales reps focused on the right things?
Do sales reps know what to do next?
How can I guide reps in each deal?
Which deals are moving, stalled, or at risk?
Do my reps know what to say at meetings? Do our scripts work?
SalesLoft rolled out its winter release before Christmas. The lead feature was their Coach to Close functionality that provides frontline managers with “visibility into the specific sales stages where their sellers need the most help.” Coach to Close aids managers in identifying and proactively coaching reps on the deals that are critical to exceeding quarterly targets.
Coach to Close analyzes stage-to-stage conversion rates at the rep and team level, helping managers identify where deals are being lost and then “quickly drill down into each deal to proactively coach reps through those problem stages.”
“There are always a handful of deals that make or break a quarter. Helping your sales reps progress and close those deals is your number one priority as a sales leader,” said SalesLoft CRO Steve Goldberg.
Coach to Close provides Deal Analytics (i.e., team and individual conversion rates), a Deal Activity Timeline that tracks account engagement across the buying cycle, and Deal Details that summarize communications, including email, phone, and recorded videos.
“We are giving our customers the power to unlock and understand their sales data. With outcome-driven reporting and AI/ML-based activity prioritization, sales managers can now spend their time in the areas that will generate the most impact.”
Frank Dale, SalesLoft VP of Product
The other central element in the winter release was integrated support for Microsoft Dynamics 365. Sales reps can log emails, calls, LinkedIn activities, and other cadence steps directly from MSD. The Dynamics integration is now generally available.
“Dynamics customers are asking for help as they transform to a digital selling motion,” said Goldberg. “This integration allows companies to leverage all the data in their Dynamics instance to more effectively and efficiently prospect and sell to their customers.”
Other new winter release features include
Multi-touch cadence workflows that allow reps to communicate across multiple channels at the same time. For example, a sales rep can send an introductory email and then Connect on LinkedIn. Users can run the steps in any order, and emails can be scheduled for later in the day.
Bulk edits in workflow management to quickly update users.
Filter by Salesforce Opportunity Data lets users filter and sort recorded conversations by Opportunity Stage or other variables. Users can “easily leverage Salesforce Opportunity data to identify milestone conversions, filter and save views, or access recordings directly from the Opportunity view with our new unified workflows.”
Integrations with Zoho CRM and Qotient talk tracks are coming soon.
November integrations included 6Sense (account data and insights), MonsterConnect (outsourced dialing team), and Vertify (CRM and MAP lead reply analytics).
Sales Enablement vendor SalesHood released Coaching Command Center, a set of templates, reports, and prompts to assist front-line managers in elevating the performance and win rates of their teams.
“We’re excited to release more innovation for virtual sales coaching,” said SalesHood CEO Elay Cohen. “We’re committed to helping front-line managers be better at developing their remote teams and boosting their win rates.”
In a call with GZ Consulting, Cohen emphasized that SalesHood focuses on productivity and outcomes for both sales reps and front-line managers, looking to raise the bar for all managers. The new Command Center is a coaching dashboard that analyzes performance and what sales reps are doing. It fosters managerial actions through celebrations, risk identification, and recommending Next Best Actions. A meetings-in-a-box feature supports coaching huddles and hands-on training, with recorded calls as input, and coaching to-dos.
According to Cohen, “curated coaching can be prescriptive” and should be performance and data-driven. It should also be scalable and repeatable, making it easy to schedule classes, coaching, and call reviews. Templates facilitate discussion and coaching. Open questions and training sessions are noted, and sales reps are notified if task assignments have not been addressed before the next one-on-one.
Along with templates, SalesHood provides a library of sales training tools, including battle cards, product playbooks, and win stories. Video recording guidance helps non-training professionals (e.g., product managers, competitive analysts, sales operations) chunk content into modules and cover key topics.
New Command Center tools include programs and coaching activities, team leaderboards, curated team videos, prioritized coaching activities, and coaching templates.
The graphical program tracker displays a data-driven timeline with drill-down tasks, helping front-line managers view programs and coaching activities. The program tracker assists with one-on-one coaching through automated activities, notifications, tips, and scorecards. A notification flag appears in the right corner of the top banner, letting managers immediately access pending coaching activities. For example, if there is a recorded pitch for review, the manager can review the video and offer feedback.
Team Leaderboards summarize team performance across engagement, completion, and performance metrics.
Team videos are submitted and reviewed by managers for comments and celebration. Videos include pitches, demonstrations, presentation dry-runs, deal wins, and stories.
Prioritized coaching activities are delivered to front-line managers on desktop and mobile devices (iOS and Android native apps) with automated coaching activities for pitch practice, role-playing, quizzing, assessments, and story submissions by their team.
SalesHood is packaged with a set of customizable templates for deal reviews, one-on-ones, and even quarterly business reviews. Templates are customizable to reflect the industry, markets, and sales strategies of firms.
“Right out of the box, SalesHood provides solutions for more structured, more efficient, and more lucrative sales team management,” claims the firm.
“Sales coaching creates space for collaborative skill and deal development conversations. Effective sales coaches give sales professionals the responsibility of ownership and accountability for their deal strategies from planning to preparation to close…
No longer will you be in the dark on how your reps are pitching to customers or handling common objections. You’ll be in the know as to how and if they are onboarding effectively. Are they retaining product knowledge? Do they understand the crucial competitive plays? Is their messaging creating interest? Is it aligned with the corporate message?”
“SalesHood Sales Coaching Demonstration” video
Aragon Research predicted that by the end of 2021, 55% of enterprises will have deployed digital sales coaching and learning.
“High performing sales organizations are now making sales coaching and learning a daily habit,” says CEO of Aragon Research, Jim Lundy. “Top salespeople are constantly practicing, and the best managers conduct regular coaching.” Despite the known correlation between coaching and performance, managers and their teams have been unable to embed this practice into their daily workflows.
Aragon Research placed SalesHood in its Leader quadrant for Sales Coaching and Learning (July 2020), scoring the highest on strategy, but below the other leaders on performance. Aragon listed a broad set of SalesHood strengths, including sales coaching and learning, sales content management, and front-line manager enablement. However, the firm noted that SalesHood lacks market awareness.
Sales Enablement vendor RingDNA released Guided Selling, a set of Next Best Actions (NBA) for sales reps. Guided Selling advises sales reps on what to do, when to do it, whom to contact, and what messaging to employ. Sales managers can create and deploy preferred playbooks to their salesforce, even without face-to-face training. Both inbound and outbound selling plays are supported, helping “implement proven playbooks at scale.”
“When you know what winning deals look and sound like, you know exactly where to focus to improve outcomes,” said RingDNA CEO Howard Brown. “Guided selling uses artificial intelligence to provide revenue teams with tools, insights, and next best actions necessary to win deals, grow accounts, maximize revenue.”
“It’s a fool’s errand to expect a 22-year-old sales development rep (SDR) fresh out of university to develop a consistent, scalable, repeatable prioritization, execution, and qualification process. Be prescriptive in your expectations and methodical in the tools you arm your teams with…for the overwhelming majority of your team—who have never held full-time, quota-carrying roles and aren’t able to think strategically yet—you must be prescriptive. You need to show them how to think strategically and tactically as they approach their daily work.”
TOPO analyst Phoebe Conybeare
Guided Selling is embedded into the Salesforce Sales Cloud and delivers prioritized actions for opportunities, contacts, and leads, helping reduce sales rep planning time. The AI-powered task list recommends the tasks that will put sales reps on “the shortest path to revenue.” The task list is dynamic, updating based upon prospect behavior. Thus, priorities are reassessed based on prospect interaction with e-mails, web forms, multi-media, and social media.
Guided Selling includes a set of best-practices templates based upon billions of sales interactions monitored by RingDNA since its 2012 launch. Salesforce Dashboards help managers optimize cadences and messaging, allowing them to test and refine rep workflows. Cadence activities across e-mail, phone, text, and social are synchronized with Salesforce.
Gartner stated that 51% of sales organizations have deployed or plan to deploy algorithmic-guided selling over the next five years.
“Intended to augment more traditional sales tools, such as sales playbooks, algorithmic-guided selling uses sales data to boost the seller’s ability to engage with prospects…Algorithmic-guided selling leverages artificial intelligence technology and existing sales data to guide sellers through deals, automating manual sales actions while reducing the need for individual seller judgment in the sales process.”
Tad Travis, Gartner VP of Research, “Algorithmic-Guided Selling to Have Significant Impact on Sales Productivity”
“In this new remote paradigm, companies are having to do more with less,” said Brown. “Guided Selling is a total game-changer for sales teams, as it uses AI to focus reps on next best actions while empowering them to build stronger relationships and better solve customer problems.”
If the past six months haven’t convinced you that you need to digitize your processes, then I’m not going to try to convince you of that here. Simply putting your head in the sand and waiting for the pandemic to end will leave your business highly vulnerable now and after the pandemic. Your competitors now understand that sales, marketing and support need to be digitally mediated. Instead of trying to convince you of this, I’m going to skip the digital strategy pitch and offer multiple digital strategies for revenue teams to consider.
Sales Engagement platform help unify your communications across all of your revenue teams. Sales Engagement platforms support
Automated Cadences that schedule multi-channel communications across email, voice, social, and direct mail. Features include e-mail templates, phone scripts, playbooks, click dialers, power dialers, voice mail drops, inbound call routing and alerting, and LinkedIn SNAP integrations.
A/B testing for refining your email templates and cadences.
Reporting and analytics for tracking remote sales performance, analyzing message performance, and identifying what coaching individual reps need to elevate their performance
Account Prioritization which dynamically adjust call/email lists throughout the day.
Next Best Actions for moving accounts forward and identifying strategic gaps and risks
Sales Coaching for both reps and managers
Integrated Meeting Scheduling
Some vendors have Meeting Analytics built into their service (Outreach KAIA and SalesLoft) while others partner with conversation intelligence vendors. Calls are recorded, transcribed, indexed, and analyzed; allowing sales reps to be more present during meetings. AI-based real-time analysis provides live coaching during calls with recommendations and short advice cards.
Integrated Partnerships for conversation intelligence, social media integration, e-gifting, video, chat, etc. Some vendors have formal app partners (Outreach Galaxy, SalesLoft App Directory) while others integrate a smaller set of partners without building a formal partner ecosystem.
While they initially focused on the SDR team, Sales Engagement platforms now support the full revenue team including account executives, managers, operations, and customer success.
Sales Engagement solutions require significant training and setup, so if you are considering them now, you need to act quickly to have one in place by December.
I had four tradeshows canceled this month and next. They were opportunities for me to meet with customers and prospects (and conduct research for my industry newsletters). At this point, I’m assuming that at least two more will fall by the wayside in H1. I’m sure many of you are in a similar boat. Your marketing calendar is in a shambles, your field and inside sales reps are cloistered at home, and you are uncertain about how to manage remote workers.
Here are some ideas about how to retain momentum and deploy technology to mitigate pipeline and operational risks:
If you haven’t deployed video widely across your workforce, due so ASAP. Vendors such as Zoom, WebEx, BlueJeans, Join.Me, and GoToMeeting provide reliable video conferencing solutions for multi-party meetings, demos, and document sharing. Video Meetings are a do not pass Go, donot collect $200 requirement. Every customer-facing, development, management, and planning employee should be able to join meetings from home or the office.
Setup scheduled video meetings for the next three months so they are blocked out on team calendars. This could be a 15-minute corporate call every few weeks, weekly team calls, and one-on-ones. Standing meetings should all be web-based. Office-based employees are going to feel disconnected socially, so build in some social fun at the team level (e.g. recognizing birthdays and work anniversaries, celebrating wins and releases, etc.)
I would also build training time into video meetings. It shouldn’t be all top-down. Give your staff the opportunity to cross-train peers. A sales rep could discuss her latest victory with lessons learned or provide insights into a target vertical. Marketing can review the latest product positioning and new collateral. Product Management can train on new products, review the product roadmap, and discuss the competitive landscape. The goal is to provide training, communications, coordination, and social interaction.
Record meetings and make them available to those who miss meetings with Slack or Team links. Expect that meetings will be missed due to illness, parenting requirements, and meeting conflicts.
As event marketing is off the table, marketers will need to be flexible in how they deploy their budgets. For those that planned on hosting events, they should at least proceed with their Keynote as a webinar. For H2, a roadshow in September or October can be planned, but mitigate risk in your contracting and through joint shows (shared cost and risk).
Marketers will need to deploy or expand their use of other channels including webinars, press releases, analyst outreach, blogging, social, and video. Direct mail is problematic as prospects are likely to be working from home, but e-gifting is a viable option. Look at e-gifting vendors that are supported by your Sales Engagement platform (e.g. Sendoso, PFL, Alyce)
Here is an opportunity to test additional channels and provide your event marketing team with some cross-channel development.
Canceled shows are also a reason for re-engagement campaigns. You can restart the marketing nurture process with a message around “not being able to talk to you this season.” Keep the message short and serious. You don’t know if your prospect is worried about his or her job, family members, or personal health. Also, don’t appear to be taking advantage of the situation. Be empathetic, not opportunistic.
Also, make sure to reschedule meetings from those cancelled conferences. These are likely to be phone or video calls, but reps and executives should reconfirm calls now.
Once you have standardized meetings, make sure they are recorded and transcribed. This is particularly true for sales meetings. Conversation Intelligence vendors such as Gong, ExecVision, and Chorus record calls, transcribe them, and perform NLP/AI processing on the conversations. Conversation Intelligence allows sales reps to be more present during calls as they no longer need to focus on note-taking.
Transcriptions and analytics have multiple benefits:
Sales Reps can quickly review calls and return to key topics and issues (e.g. pricing, next steps).
Sales Managers can review calls related to accounts and opportunities at risk to provide coaching tips to reps.
Analytics identify both the strengths and weaknesses of reps versus their peers. They also flag missed actions (e.g. discussing next steps), customer concerns, and competitors. To assist with training and opportunity scoring, Conversation Intelligence vendors identify filler word frequency, monologue length, and conversational engagement.
Reps can forward snippets to peers for questions and help. If there is a question about a bug or support issue, the snippet can be forwarded to support personnel for an update. If a sales rep feels that they handled a question or issue poorly, a snippet can be forwarded to sales management or training for advice on how to better handle the issue next time. Snippets allow peers to hear the voice of the customer.
Snippets can be stored in a library for training purposes. These would include exemplars for objection handling, competitor parrying, value discussions, etc.
Product Managers can perform bulk analysis of sales calls to identify requested features, competitor discussions, and product issues. Vendors allow for keyword customization and analytics.
Sales Cadences, also called sequences, are at the core of Sales Engagement. Cadences set up a structured set of multi-channel outbound communications supported by email templates, dialers, social, and SMS text. Cadences improve sales efficiency by eliminating follow up tasks, recording activities to CRMs, and deploying A/B tested content (emails, attachments, cadences, call scripts). While most commonly used for SDR outreach, cadences can also be used for meeting reminders, setting up quarterly account reviews, and training follow up.
SEP vendors understand that authenticity is the key to sales success. Simply blasting mindless emails at prospects is futile. Cadences can be customized by target role, industry, company size, technographics, and stage in the buyer journey. Furthermore, reps are expected to personalize emails before sending them out (SalesLoft says 20% is the optimal level). Most of the vendors now support 1-1 embedded videos from Vidyard, Hippo Video, or Videolicious.
SEP Vendors also provide a deep set of analytics. Initially, these focused on communication efficacy (e.g. open and click-through rates, best time of day to call), but now analytics assess conversations, call out deal risks, prioritize accounts, and suggest next best actions.
SEPs are now commonly deployed amongst SDRs and Inside Sales, but may still be foreign to field sales reps; however, field sales reps will be operating more like inside sales reps for the next quarter, so deploying SEPs to field sales makes sense.
Beyond outbound communications, SEP vendors are beginning to support meeting management (setting up calls), conversational intelligence, and opportunity management. SalesLoft and Outreach are the farthest along in supporting these emerging feature sets. SalesLoft acquired and integrated NoteNinja (meeting management) and Costello (opportunity management) into its platform.
SEP Vendors have taken two approaches to partnering. SalesLoft, Outreach, and Xant have partner App Directories while the other vendors integrate key vendors (e.g. Vidyard, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Zoominfo) into their offerings without a formal partner ecosystem directory.
For B2B sales, there is no social platform more trusted than LinkedIn. Sales reps can leverage their networks by sharing marketing content (they should include some comments of their own) as well as writing their own content.
LinkedIn also offers an excellent Sales Intelligence product called Sales Navigator. It is available as both a desktop and mobile solution and provides additional communications channels:
InMail: An outbound email alternative, InMail allows you to message prospects for whom you lack emails and direct dial numbers.
Chat: A quick short-message way to keep in contact with members of the buying committee. It is also useful for quick reach out after establishing a LinkedIn connection with a prospect or to send a quick, congratulatory note. Chat messages are retained archivally, providing a conversational log. I have had success providing my Calendly link with initial chats, providing a mechanism for new connections to easily schedule a call (my Calendly includes my video meeting details so there is little friction).
Smart Links: Forward one or multiple attachments to a prospect via social, InMail, or email. Viewing and forwarding are tracked by LinkedIn, helping reps know which content was viewed and when. Forward tracking helps expand their understanding of the buying committee. Smart Links maintain corporate branding.
Sales Navigator provides several other high-value features:
SNAP connectors display LinkedIn content and Navigator functionality (e.g. icebreakers, mini-profiles, InMail) within Sales Engagement Platforms, CRMs, and other enterprise software.
TeamLinks allow you to leverage co-worker relationships for reaching out to prospects.
Build a List lets reps assemble Lead (contact) and Account lists within Sales Navigator. Lead and Account lists may also be synced from the CRM, allowing reps to track news and updates about key companies and contacts. While LinkedIn does not permit upload of account and contact data, they make exceptions for notes, tags, and messages entered by the rep in Sales Navigator. They also just added a thin record upload of contacts to CRM and the ability to flag execs that have left a company.
List Sharing — After building a list, users may share them with co-workers who have Sales Navigator licenses.
Sales Navigator can be a bit pricey, so running a test amongst your inside sales and field sales reps makes sense, particularly if you are concerned about H1 pipeline delays. Given the difficulty of reaching anybody by phone (made worse by prospects working at home) or email, adding additional sales communications channels is well worth testing out.
There are other LinkedIn services worth investigating or trialing. LinkedIn Marketing supports highly targeted B2B campaigns. Unlike other platforms, LinkedIn can target by company, job function, level, industry, geography, and education. LinkedIn provides campaign metrics and allows marketers to set daily budgets. Both CPM and CPC pricing are available. Pricing is based upon second-best auctions (you pay 1 cent above the second best bid price).
For larger companies, LinkedIn Elevate should also be considered, particularly with remote workers. Elevate provides a curated feed of content to company employees for social media distribution (e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook). Elevate amplifies corporate messaging and reduces the level of effort for sales reps and other employees to share content through social networks.
LinkedIn Learning is offering sixteen courses at no charge covering topics related to working from home, remote management, tools, and mindset.
“In the coming days, we will make 16 LinkedIn Learning courses available for free including tips on how to: stay productive, build relationships when you’re not face-to-face, use virtual meeting tools (Microsoft Teams, Skype, BlueJeans, Cisco Webex and Zoom), and balance family and work dynamics in a healthy way.”
Ryan Roslansky, LinkedIn SVP of Product
Sales Intelligence services help sales reps build prospecting lists, quality leads, refine account messaging, expand into new departments and locations, track accounts, and target additional buying committee members.
Many sales intelligence services also offer B2B DaaS services for updating CRMs and MAPs. Salesforce data hygiene is maintained through Lightning Data connectors, a sub-category on the AppExchange. Because data is synced with CRMs and MAPs, it is continuously updated, ensuring that firmographic data is accurate and that departed contacts are removed from sales and marketing activity (BTW — contacts decay at 30% per annum, so maintaining your enterprise software contact data is a valuable investment)
Sales Intelligence vendors also provide full workflow integrations into CRMs which allow reps to build lists; view and update accounts, contacts, and leads; and perform account qualification and account planning within CRM I-frames.
Sales Intelligence vendors include
Zoominfo: Deep contacts, emails, org charts, and technographic content. They are the leader in technology sales intelligence and recently added visitor intelligence, trigger-based workflows, and webforms. Zoominfo (FKA DiscoverOrg) also supports Ideal Customer Profiling (ICP), email verification, and B2B DaaS.
D&B Hoovers: The deepest set of global company intelligence for strategic sales reps. Includes full family trees, public company financials and filings, analyst reports, industry market research, SWOTs, European private company financials, and sales triggers. Dun & Bradstreet also supports ICP, B2B DaaS, Visitor Intelligence, Programmatic Marketing, and Customer Data Platforms.
InsideView: A global database with greater depth in North America and Europe, InsideView offers strong sales triggers and integrated social media viewing. InsideView also supports B2B DaaS and ICP.
Sales Genie: The best solution for reps that sell to both companies and individuals (e.g. insurance agencies, mobile, office supplies, landscaping). Features include light sales force automation for firms that have yet to implement a CRM, new businesses, new homeowners, email templates, integrated dialer, and marketing services (SEO, site design, direct mail).
RelPro: A specialist vendor targeting financial services companies.
Artesian Solutions: A UK-based social selling vendor with deep sales triggers and mobile-based meeting prep. They also offer a US solution.
Cognism: A UK-based sales intelligence vendor with sales engagement functionality, B2B DaaS services, and ICP tools.
Vainu: A Nordic-based sales intelligence vendor that also covers the Netherlands (France, US, and the UK are in beta). They also support B2B DaaS and trigger-based workflows.
Research has shown that firms that continue to invest during recessions come out of the downturns much better prepared to grow market share and revenue than those that stop investing. Marketing is an investment in your pipeline and brand. B2B Data-as-a-Service is an investment in your data quality and ability to target prospects effectively. It also reduces sales and marketing waste in efforts directed at weak prospects and departed contacts. SalesTech and MarTech purchases are investments in your revenue generation capabilities.
This is also an opportunity for your sales and marketing teams to cross-train, develop new skills, and test out new tools and processes.
When we come out of the backside of what, hopefully, is a short-term recession, you want to be better prepared to meet latent demand for your products and services. While cutting back on investment and cash burn may be necessary for survival at some companies, don’t cut back on your ability to serve the market in 2021 unless you have to do so. Let others sacrifice the future of their revenue generation operations out of short-term concerns. Bank your savings in travel expenses and event marketing, but don’t cut back in other areas unless necessary.
We are entering a terra incognita for the next three to six months, so steady, empathetic leadership should be your objective. On 9/11, our CEO pulled us into the room and talked to us. I don’t remember his words, but I remember that he was calm and understood that we were all upset and anxious. Business was the least of his concerns that day. He wanted to show a steady hand at the tiller and sent us home to be with family.
Our raison d’être is not to work, and sometimes we are jolted back into that reality. Family, friends, and health are a higher priority. COVID 19 is not the new normal, but simply a bad storm that will pass.
Sales enablement vendor Brainshark and AI-based sales pipeline management vendor TopOPPS announced a strategic partnership that “will empower sales organizations to deliver ‘in-the-moment’ guidance that improves reps’ skills at key points throughout the sales cycle.” The combined solution is tailored to the individual learning needs and styles of each rep across the buyer journey. TopOPPS delivers sales pipeline insights and forecast metrics that help management “understand pipeline activity and identify deficiencies before they impact yield.” The combined solution identifies skills gaps and then suggests Brainshark learning content.
organizations try to do pipeline analysis through their customer relationship
management (CRM) systems – but these systems are simply data repositories that
provide no actionable insights for sales leaders,” said TopOPPS CEO Jim
Eberlin. “TopOPPS brings that data to life – providing activity analysis
at the individual rep level, which enables a much more accurate assessment of
pipeline health and productivity. This enables sales leaders to then use
Brainshark to act on this data by delivering targeted coaching that directly
Brainshark training metrics are displayed in a combined Coaching view (see the
figure on the right). The view helps managers “track training processes
and knowledge retention to understand the readiness of each sales rep and sales
team’s ability to sell at the highest level.” The view also includes over
twenty trended sales measures, training insights, and pipeline metrics.
lot of times, will just coach reps generally or are guessing on what they need
coaching on. Our AI (artificial intelligence) will actually pinpoint and
make it more precise on exactly what a rep needs coaching on,” said TopOPPS CEO
firms have a joint go-to-market strategy and revenue sharing agreement.
partnership, along with Brainshark’s recent acquisition of sales scorecard
vendor Rekener, is part of Brainshark’s mission to deliver “a true data-driven
sales readiness platform.”
“Through our acquisition of Rekener last month, and now our partnership with TopOPPS, Brainshark is transforming sales-readiness from art to science,” said Brainshark CEO Greg Flynn. “With our data-driven platform and associated technologies, sales leaders will always have easy access to the information they need to orchestrate and execute effective sales-readiness strategies that deliver quantifiable growth in corporate revenue.”
Cien announced the availability of its Hidden Revenue Assessment report which analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of sales reps to determine which qualitative factors are limiting their success. Cien ingests data from Salesforce Enterprise to “reveal the factors that are preventing their teams from achieving their numbers.”
Cien Head of Marketing Damien Acheson noted that firms such as Gong and Chorus are more prescriptive while Cien is diagnostic, helping managers identify skill gaps and determining where reps add or destroy value during deal flow.
individual scorecards, Cien employs over 100 AI models to identify issues in
sales enablement, training, and onboarding. Cien does not believe in
cloning the best sales reps as reps have different strengths and weaknesses.
Instead, reps are assessed for value-add across the pipeline, helping
determine where reps need coaching, which reps are creating value, and which
reps are benefiting from a rich set of leads but not adding significant value
their models indicate that addressing weaknesses is the best method for
improving sales outcomes and reaching quota. If a rep is weak at any of
the key sales skills, he or she is unlikely to reach quota. As reps are
only as successful as their weakest skills, it is better to identify gaps and
coach accordingly. Cien holds that the best path to driving revenue
growth is focusing on mid-level success reps as they are the ones with the
greatest opportunity to improve their performance.
it comes to managing sales teams, it’s important to understand that no sales
rep is created equal, and no opportunity is created equal,” contends Cien CEO Rob
Käll. “To date, Cien’s
Hidden Revenue Assessments have uncovered between 20-40% worth of lost revenue
due to gaps in selling skills.”
“Cien’s AI models search for correlations between reps’ skills and attributes and their impact on the final value of opportunities. This is the basis for a set of patented algorithms called the Cien Value Chain. Cien determines the relative value of each lead as it enters your CRM and tracks its value at the end of the sales cycle. The Cien Value Chain measures the value-added at each stage of the opportunity and the skills and attributes that drive incremental value.“
Hidden Revenue Assessment is available as a free report to technology companies
with at least ten sales reps and a minimum of one year of Salesforce data.
It provides an assessment of a few sample reps across work ethic, product
knowledge, engagement ability, and closing ability. The Hidden Revenue
Assessment also evaluates CRM data quality to provide a level of confidence in
the assessment. Firms that have deployed Sales Engagement Platforms such
as Outreach and SalesLoft often have complete data as they automatically gather
activity data and sync it with their CRM.
Hidden Revenue Assessment includes a 30-minute walkthrough.
Cien app, available for $49 per month per rep, provides mentor prescriptions
that help prioritize coaching. While flagging weaknesses can be
demotivating, Cien inverts the model and calculates the revenue opportunity
available to reps who focus on developing their skills. Being told that
you are weak at prospect engagement is unlikely to motivate a rep. Being
told that focusing on prospect engagement can retire $200,000 worth of quota is
much more likely to motivate the rep to focus on his or her weak-link skills.
Cien app provides data on all of the reps and covers a broader set of skills.
The app also provides dynamic data indicating how the reps are performing
Cien is Privacy Shield certified and does not gather Personally Identifiable Information beyond rep names. Cien received a $3.5 million seed round in June.