Sales Enablement vendor SalesHood launched ENGAGE, its Digital Buyer Sites, at the end of June, but hasn’t formally press released the service. SalesHood emphasized its ease of setup and access for ENGAGE sites and its ability to “quickly activate” sales content and improve its effectiveness.
CEO Elay Cohen explained that a key differentiator for SalesHood is that it is “100% built on the same platform, providing a single sales enablement system for sales and marketing teams.”
Engage sites can be public or private and are set up with a couple of clicks. To facilitate access, domains may be whitelisted. Authentication is supported via Google SSO, Microsoft SSO, or an email with a magic link. Contact information is collected from all contacts that access the buyer site.
Sales reps can send buyer site invitations via email with personalized messages or shareable links. Buyers can also request access to a site if they do not yet have access.
ENGAGE captures buyer intent and sentiment as it gathers video-watching time, time on slides, downloads, shares, feedback, etc. Reps can attach both pre-recorded videos and custom recordings. Other content includes meeting recordings, meeting transcripts, and mutual action plans. In addition, the firm noted that chat support would soon be available.
“We continue the push the industry forward by helping our customers and partners embrace modern selling and digital buyer engagement with our ENGAGE product,” posted Cohen on LinkedIn. “CROs and sales leaders love ENGAGE because it powers revenue teams to use repeatable sales plays and proven content to boost sales efficiency by driving consistent sales execution. CMOs love ENGAGE because it quickly activates their sales content and improves content effectiveness. Customer teams love ENGAGE because it progresses (and closes) pipeline faster and more efficiently. Buyers love ENGAGE because they can make decisions faster and on their own timelines.”
Engage is priced at $50 per user per month. When bundled with the Learning module, the combined price is $75 per user per month. In 2023, the combined price will rise to $100 per user per month.
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 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.
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.
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.
Microsoft Graph Integration
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.”
Last month, Drift rolled out its Conversation Cloud, which combines the capabilities of its Conversational Marketing, Conversational Sales, and newly launched Conversational Service offerings. Drift’s Conversational AI guides visitors along any stage of the customer journey, helping them “voice their intent with open text questions, find answers to their own questions, get personalized recommendations, or book a sales meeting.”
“Everything starts with a conversation, and in-person communication and experiences are taking a back seat to the conversations we have online, especially in our business relationships. Businesses are relying more and more on digital experience platforms – or in our case, conversational experience platforms – to bridge these connections and manage key customer interactions, touchpoints, and engagement. Our guiding philosophy at Drift is to put the buyer at the center of everything we do, and we are excited to bring the Drift Conversation Cloud to market to help our customers deliver a better experience to buyers at each stage of their journey, all while improving their sales teams’ efficiencies and accelerating revenue.”
Drift Conversational Sales manages customer conversations across chat, video, email, and phone. Drift routes high value leads to sales reps, notifying them when qualified leads are engaging with the chatbot or the website. Sales reps can “craft personalized outreach based on what web pages buyers visited, which sales touchpoints they engaged with, and how often they interacted with your brand.” Prospect activity is automatically logged to Salesforce.
Reps can also deliver personalized video messages based on site activity intelligence. Videos may be shared via LinkedIn, Drift, Outreach, or Salesloft. Drift claims a more than 3X improvement in response rates for asynchronous video.
Drift not only schedules meetings but also offers a new Deal Room module for capturing interactions between buyers and sellers, including meeting transcriptions and document sharing. Deal Room also provides real-time alerts when prospects engage with the Deal Room and manages Mutual Action Plans.
“Drift Deal Room enables seamless collaboration between your internal team and entire buyer committees in one central location,” blogged Drift Senior Product Marketing Manager Holly Xiao. “Everyone involved will be able to have conversations, share files, manage action items, schedule meetings, and more — directly in Deal Room.”
Continued Xiao, “Drift Deal Room lets you see who, what, and how buyers interact with your business throughout their entire journey. So, when it’s time for your next deal review, you’ll come to the table with a clear picture of deal activities and trajectory. And if you notice opportunities with lower engagement, you can rely on Drift Video, Drift Chat, Drift Email, and more to help you nurture deals in the right channel at the right time and keep them moving in the right direction.”
Conversational Service answers simple support questions, allowing the service team to focus on difficult support problems and high-priority customers. The Drift Chatbot supports Salesforce and Zendesk knowledge base articles. Conversational Service lets customers create their own support tickets or hand high-priority requests over to live service reps.
“Translating click-based engagement into buyer-led enablement across interactions requires conversation design that senses and responds to spoken and unspoken buyer needs across complex and connected buying journeys, wrote Forrester Principal Analyst Jessie Johnson last November. “Conversational interactions help B2B organizations meet buyers where they are in their journey, enable their buyers and customers in the moment, and inform the next interaction. The impact of poor execution, however, can have a lasting negative impact on the buying journey, customer experience, and even the brand itself.”
The Outreach platform manages and monitors deal health beginning with Sales Development Reps warming up accounts via sequenced outreach. Once a prospect is ready to speak with an account executive, the meeting is calendared, and relevant stakeholders are notified. During meetings, Outreach Kaia records, analyzes, and summarizes calls while providing real-time transcription, bookmarking, and insights.
Outreach Kaia also triggers the creation of an opportunity and “recommends a pre-built blueprint for a mutual action plan, known as Success Plans, between buyer and seller.”
Outreach Success Plans align buyers and sellers to improve action and predictability. 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.
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 facilitates the process and improves deal visibility and the likelihood of winning each deal.
“The Success Plan in Outreach is the only integrated mutual action plan that already has all the activity data to date associated with the deal, including the meeting notes and email exchanges. Combined with the power of AI-captured job titles and sentiment, Success Plans include all the people engaged in the deal on the buying team, along with the milestones, purchasing steps, and resources needed to collaborate on the deal going forward. Every new meeting booked, stakeholder introduced, and resource shared is automatically synced into the Success Plan. This takes the administrative tax off the seller and gives them more time to actively sell while ensuring accurate and timely data capture of granular buyer engagement. Each phase in the Success Plan is pre-configured and linked to a stage in the sales process under the hood. Gone are the days of sales leaders hounding reps for status updates – they are now updated and monitored automatically.”
Outreach CMO Melton Littlepage
As the deal progresses, Outreach captures engagement and sentiment across meetings, emails, and the Success Plan, feeding AI-based deal health insights and recommendations to sales reps and management. In addition, deal health is aggregated at the team level in Outreach Commit, with projections around which deals are likely to close during the quarter.
Outreach is positioning the new functionality as a “single source of truth for deals, pipeline, and forecasting” that drives “faster deal cycles and more predictable revenue.” Its platform offers a single solution for sales engagement, conversation intelligence, digital salesrooms, and revenue intelligence.
“Outreach has already demonstrated that by creating operational excellence with a system of action for prospecting, you can optimize your sales processes and qualify more deals, faster,” said Outreach CEO Manny Medina. “Outreach’s new AI-Guided Deal Intelligence demonstrates this again with the closing process – by centralizing the activity around a deal behind a single pane of glass, capturing accurate data and transforming it into deal health insights that drive actions, account executives are more equipped than ever to close more deals, faster, and sales managers, leaders and CROs can sleep soundly knowing they finally have a source of truth for deal health.”
Deal Intelligence will be available for an open beta in early 2022.
Sales Engagement Platform vendor Outreach will be rolling out AI-Guided Deal Intelligence in 2022. The new Deal Insights functionality provides a consolidated opportunity view that includes a deal overview, deal health, risks, and next best action recommendations from a single pane of glass.
“Deal Intelligence doesn’t just warn you a deal is off track but will actually guide you to help understand what you can do now, in the moment, to change the outcome,” explained Senior Communications Manager Amanda Woolley to GZ Consulting. “Deal Intelligence is going to reach across the Outreach platform and gather signals from all facets of the platform and throughout the customer journey and move from risk identification into action.”
Many of the components of Deal Intelligence such as Sentiment Analysis, Success Plans, Kaia, Commit, and engagement monitoring already exist in the Outreach platform, with the new Deal Intelligence tying together data and insights from the various modules and summarizing them with deal health and next best action recommendations.
“Built on the foundation of our deep machine learning tools like Kaia, Intent, title classification, and more, Deal Intelligence will help remove some of the “best guesses” we revenue leaders have been doing,” explained Outreach CRO Anna Baird. “Deal Intelligence will be gathering signals and let us know – not only when we have a risk – but what we can do to change the outcome! It’s not just a warning light, but a full explanation of how to correct the issue. Deal Intelligence will bring true transparency to opportunity management and help us get to that predictable revenue goal we all want.”
Deal intelligence is gathered across the deal lifecycle and ongoing customer interactions, including sequences, email sentiment, calendaring, Outreach Kaia (conversational intelligence and real-time recommendations), Success Plans (digital salesrooms), and Outreach Commit (pipeline health and forecasting).
“The current ML model looks at the multiple factors and compares them across benchmarks we have collected to derive the [Health Insights] score,” explained Woolley. “Some of the key top-level factors included Decision-maker engagement, activity across email and calls, meeting analysis as well as interaction within Success Plan. For every deal, the ML model determines which factors are positive (‘green flag’) or negative polarity (‘red flag’).”
Both red and green flags are displayed in Deal Intelligence. The Deal Intelligence service summarizes relevant signals, but “given the number of signals captured, it is very hard for a sales rep to drill through every deal.” Outreach’s goal is to “surface all the relevant information for the sales rep in a unified view with the ability to drill deeper as well as take action from within Outreach.”
“Sales reps only succeed when they take the right actions to close deals, yet for far too long they have lacked true visibility into the health of their deals and are forced to turn to intuition and guesswork to select the next best actions to take. Sales leaders and reps have to contend with disparate, dated sales technologies as they strive for an accurate understanding of their deals, pipeline, and forecast. CRM solutions provide a way to store data but rely on extensive tedious manual data entry from sales reps, often resulting in a “garbage-in garbage-out” situation that does not help reps or managers make confident decisions. Point solutions like conversation intelligence offer a way to record conversations and glean insights hours or days later, but at best, they can tell what the reps’ next actions in other systems should be. All are failing to deliver deal observability. And none of them give real-time deal intelligence to sales reps and seamlessly automate the next actions all in one continuous experience. Until now, that is.”
Outreach CMO Melton Littlepage
Part II continues tomorrow with a discussion of Outreach deal health analytics across the deal lifecycle.
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.
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, 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.
Revenue Intelligence platform Clari announced the acquisition of DealPoint. DealPoint supports deal management and collaboration by enabling “new visibility for sales teams into the connections and agreements between buyers and sellers.” In addition, DealPoint supports deal rooms and Mutual Action Plans (MAPs), helping reduce friction between buyers and sellers and fostering deal alignment.
“With mutual action plans, sales teams can improve alignment with buyers, drive scalable process and rigor, and improve win rates,” said Clari CEO Andy Byrne. “Our acquisition of DealPoint gives Clari customers a new insight they have never had — a view into what buyers are thinking. Combined with our new execution insights, managers and reps will have comprehensive visibility and new inspection capabilities in one unified workspace.”
At the front end of the collaboration, workflow is deal qualification, including defining the pains, processes, and priorities. Next, the teams develop a joint interactive timeline, team maps, and shared team resources (e.g., case studies, requirements, proposals). Finally, engagement metrics help reps quickly determine “which buyers are engaged, and who’s just kicking the tires.”
DealPoint monitors milestone completion and warns reps when milestones have been missed, helping keep deals on schedule.
“With a MAP, sellers get instant validation on value prop, buyer team, and timeline. Because both sides are operating from an actual plan, frontline managers can see not only what has been done on a deal, but also what hasn’t been done.
In other words, we know which buyers are serious, which deals are going to stall, and what needs to happen to keep everything running smoothly.
Incorporating those buyer signals gives Clari new insight into deal health that will revolutionize deal inspections, resource allocation, and forecast accuracy for frontline managers.”
Tom Williams, Head of DealPoint
Having a joint plan assists with buy-in, providing a psychological edge for the sales team. “By providing a clear plan to value, you guide the customer journey and keep the conversation focused on fixing their problem with your product,” states DealPoint. “Buyers adopt your plan as their own, edging out competitors and reducing surprises.”
Sales Managers also benefit from instituting a repeatable process. According to DealPoint, 50% of reps quickly abandon new methodologies. Thus, streamlining the methodology helps ensure buy-in and compliance.
Once integrated with Clari, managers will have even more confidence in forecasts based upon milestone tracking. Additionally, managers can ask reps what needs to be done to bring the deal back on plan, and sales reps can ask similar questions to buyers, helping foster shared accountability.
Customer Success teams benefit from smooth handoffs and pre-defined expectations.
DealPoint argues that taking a set of small steps helps foster trust that reduces perceived buyer risk as milestones are met. Likewise, collaborating on a joint plan helps build relationships between the revenue team and the buying committee.
DealPoint comes with the MEDDIC methodology out of the box, but users can implement others.
DealPoint is priced at $59 per rep per month on an annual contract. Seats include an unlimited number of customers and Mutual Action Plans. In addition, DealPoint is integrated with Salesforce and HubSpot.
Deal Rooms are a logical extension of Revenue Intelligence as they facilitate communications between sales reps, customer success, and buyers. Collaboration also aligns buyers and sellers, fosters collaboration, reduces the probability of surprises, improves forecast confidence, and gooses close rates.
The integrated Deal Room GA is scheduled for Q4. Acquisition terms were not announced.