The name of the game in Revenue Acceleration is Digital Engagement. There are many forms of engagement that are now being captured (emails, chat, meetings, webinars, etc.), but offline events seemed to be beyond the scope of capture; however, Chili Piper, the calendaring company, has designed tools for scheduling meetings at trade shows and from trade show floors.
The new Chili Events service offers an “all-in-one Event Meetings Management solution for generating more meetings and maximizing ROI from in-person conferences and trade shows.” In short, Chili is looking to facilitate meetings and gather engagement data from in-person events.
As in-person events return, it is vital to gather registration data as event attendees are likely to be part of the demand unit. According to Chili Piper, “81% of conference and trade show attendees have buying authority.”
“In-person events are hugely important for B2B revenue teams,” said Chili Piper CEO Nicolas Vandenberghe. “With Chili Events, we’re making it possible for marketing and sales to not just automate booking conference and trade show meetings with key prospects and customers, but to treat those meetings like any other digital touchpoint in the customer journey, with quantifiable results and data.”
Chili Events features include URLs to pre-book meetings, meeting space availability, unified meeting calendars, automated reminders and rescheduling via email and SMS, and an event management dashboard. Chili Events are integrated with GSuite and Outlook365. Additionally, check-ins and no-shows are synced to Salesforce Campaigns.
Chili Events also supports meeting scheduling from trade booth floors via QR codes for mobile phones, computers at the booth, or register on the prospect’s behalf via Chili’s Instant Booker Scheduler.
Engagement intelligence supports multiple revenue acceleration features including engagement scoring, deal health signals, and deal risk alerts. It can also be used to identify and upload missing contacts in the CRM and build out the buying committee.
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.
ZoomInfo has not been shy about acquiring companies in its bid to become a leading revenue acceleration company. This morning, they announced the acquisition of Chorus.AI, a leading Conversation Intelligence company. While most of its deals have been small, Chorus has the opportunity to leverage ZoomInfo’s company and contact intelligence with rich engagement data and analytics, placing the firm at the center of the rapidly growing Conversation Intelligence market.
Chorus employs machine learning and AI to “capture and analyze” calls, meetings, and emails, digitizing customer interactions, and capturing insights for revenue teams and sales management. As a result, sales reps can be more present during calls as they no longer need to capture action items and take notes while leading sales meetings. Automating insight capture allows them to be better engaged during the call, avoiding those awkward pauses for note-taking.
While not discussed in the press release, combining Chorus’ NLP with Insent should raise bot performance and become another leg of conversation intelligence at the top of the funnel.
The expanded ZoomInfo will support and assess a broad set of digital touchpoints for intent and engagement:
Chorus also assists with buying committee discovery. While ZoomInfo has long supported contact discovery at the account level, monitoring engagement to determine who is involved in deals and who is being referenced in conversations is the next major step in buying committee discovery, moving it from educated guesswork to a scientific approach. Once committee members are identified, Chorus monitors conversations for sentiments, motivations, and concerns, helping gauge deal health. ZoomInfo will supply Chorus with rich company and contact information fed to customer CRMs and continuously maintained by ZoomInfo’s APIs and connectors.
Chorus’ Momentum Insights, released in December, helps revenue teams understand customer relationships, improve their forecasting, identify which interactions propel deals forward, and flag deal risks.
“Momentum Insights will unlock learnings never before available from the CRM to harness the most valuable dataset available—conversations with customers,” said Chorus CEO Jim Benton at the time. “This will empower revenue teams to solve complex problems which require strong relationships, and relationships ultimately drive revenue. Reps get exactly what they need to engage and personalize their efforts, while leadership is able to trust the unbiased data aggregated from each opportunity to inform critical business decisions.”
“By integrating keyword trackers from Chorus into ZoomInfo, revenue teams will also be able to create audiences based on insights from conversations, flag deals and renewals that could be in jeopardy, and trigger alerts to address concerns in real-time,” stated ZoomInfo.
The deal added $18 billion to the company’s TAM, raising it to $70 billion. The acquisition is “expected to be accretive to growth immediately, generate adjusted operating profits within 12 months, and be accretive to cash flow in the second half of FY 2022.”
“ZoomInfo is the only company that can marry a best-in-class data layer with world-class go-to-market applications,” said CEO Henry Schuck. “The acquisition of Chorus will accelerate our vision to deliver a modern go-to-market platform that brings together best-in-class intelligence with comprehensive data management, workflow, and engagement software, empowering companies to effectively execute their revenue-generating strategies. With the largest Conversation Intelligence patent portfolio in the industry, Chorus will advance each aspect of our vision by surfacing a new category of insights, illuminating new workflows, and enabling more targeted engagement at scale.”
CEO Henry Shuck has been open to both large and small deals, so long as the combination of ZoomInfo and the acquired company drives significant growth in revenue at the acquisition. A few decades ago, the term was synergy, but that phrase was used so often to describe failed deals that it is now verboten when describing acquisitions. However, ZoomInfo with Chorus has the opportunity to grow significantly faster than as a standalone organization.
As with the recently acquired Insent.AI and Clickagy, Chorus will benefit from access to the breadth, depth, and quality of ZoomInfo’s B2B dataset and access to ZoomInfo’s Go To Market strategy and efficient sales processes. With an LTV / CAC ratio greater than ten, ZoomInfo should be able to efficiently cross-sell and upsell Chorus’ analytics across its 20,000 customers.
Chorus also sets up ZoomInfo’s new Engage platform to challenge market leaders SalesLoft and Outreach. Chorus is one of the leading Conversation Intelligence firms.
“We are thrilled about the opportunity to join forces with ZoomInfo and bring Conversation Intelligence to every revenue team,” said Jim Benton, Chorus.ai CEO, who will join ZoomInfo as SVP, Emerging Products. “ZoomInfo has a bold vision of delivering a world-class go-to-market platform that empowers companies to drive better execution and more revenue. Chorus will play a vital role in helping deliver on that promise with deep, A.I.-driven insights based on real interactions with prospects and customers, a previously untapped source of crucial data about their relationships.”
Frost & Sullivan named Chorus a 2021 Customer Value Leader in Conversation Intelligence. “Frost & Sullivan finds Chorus’ value proposition is multi-faceted as it offers vital benefits for various personnel, including sales, customer success, sales development, and frontline managers, as well as long-term solutions designed to promote employee skill growth,” wrote Samantha Fisher, Best Practices Research Analyst.
The deal was priced about $575 million in cash. The purchase price includes a cash tax benefit related to the asset purchase of more than $100 million, ZoomInfo said. The transaction will be funded with cash on hand and $500 million in additional financing.
Sales Engagement Platform vendor SalesLoft released a pair of reports that assist with attribution and deal engagement: Outcomes Dashboard and Cadence Outcomes. SalesLoft claims that it is the “only company that can tie customer touchpoints and activities to actual revenue outcomes like deals won, revenue per customer, and revenue per reps.
Unfortunately, “sales outcomes have been notoriously hard to track within the industry, especially over the past year when sellers worked remotely. They’ve joined data about buyer engagement + opportunity data and put it…front and center in SalesLoft. Now, teams are better equipped to know what’s working so they can stop guessing and get better results.”
Kaelen Delaune of PR firm Kickstand Communications
The Outcomes Dashboard associates the last activity to revenue. The new dashboard helps managers identify top performers, focus on opportunities for improvement, and coach toward desired outcomes.
Traditionally, sales metrics focused on how many calls were made, emails sent, appointments set, and meetings held. While this intelligence is useful, it measures process inputs, not their efficacy. By associating these inputs with results, managers can identify which activities are moving the revenue needle and which ones are sub-optimal or under-deployed by reps, requiring coaching.
“Every sales team is trying to drive outcomes, not activities. Until now, outcomes have been hard to track,” said Ellie Fields, Chief Product Officer for SalesLoft. “When teams know what’s working, they can stop guessing and get better results.”
The Outcomes Dashboard helps managers project where they stand versus plan, identify the top performers and those in need of coaching, and improve forecasting.
Cadence Outcomes identify which cadences are driving meetings booked and opportunities created, helping managers and reps fine-tune and run cadences that move deals forward.
“Now that we have outcome data, we can provide richer analytics. The Outcomes Dashboard lets managers see how their teams are performing versus goals. We continue to invest in data insights for customers, through analytics like the Outcomes Dashboard, and through explainable AI, like the Deal Engagement Score, which is also now available.”
Ellie Fields, Chief Product Officer at SalesLoft
In a conversation with GZ Consulting, Fields emphasized the value of multi-channel cadences, noting that multi-channel approaches provide a forty percent lift in outcomes. Thus, SalesLoft is looking to “make it as easy as possible to sell” through the deployment of “multiple channels across a single platform.”
The Outcomes Dashboard and Cadence Outcomes are available in all of SalesLoft’s packages. SalesLoft also released Deal Engagement Scores to GA. These employ over thirty factors for evaluating engagement across cadences and deals.
Last week, SalesLoft acquired InStereo, a professional services partner. InStereo provides go-to-market and implementation strategy for SalesLoft, HubSpot, and Salesforce.
Sales Engagement Platform Groove announced a new Auto Contact Capture feature that identifies missing Salesforce contacts cc’d on emails or meeting invitations. Groove helps fill out the buying committee, capturing intelligence around members at the periphery of deals while reducing rep data entry overhead.
Beyond demand unit identification, Auto Contact Capture monitors engagement across the buying committee. “This ensures that every contact involved in the buying process receives a consistent, timely, and relevant experience from their first engagement,” wrote Groove.
“Now more than ever, businesses need to be able to get a complete picture of their sales pipeline in order to maximize revenue,” said Groove CEO Chris Rothstein. “By consolidating revenue intelligence and advanced activity capture into one unified sales engagement platform, Groove empowers businesses to close more deals and intelligently refine their sales processes.”
Groove captures and logs revenue intelligence from emails, calendars, meetings, and LinkedIn communications. Users control which categories are captured and logged to leads, contacts, accounts, opportunities, and cases. While Groove does not offer direct contact enrichment, records can be enriched through subscription partners such as ZoomInfo.
To ensure data integrity, Groove performs duplicate checking that begins with the email but includes additional heuristics. Groove will not create a contact if the email does not match a domain already existing as an account in Salesforce. Groove also maintains user and domain-level blocklists to ensure that only relevant business contacts are created via Auto Contact Capture.
Groove does not provide user alerts concerning captured records, but “it’s easy for reps to identify contacts that have been automatically added to Salesforce,” Groove Director of Communications Jason Klein wrote to GZ Consulting. “Each contact created through Auto Contact Capture has a custom Groove field that is marked as true (Is Created by Groove), allowing for quick analysis and reporting on all contacts created through this new feature.”
Groove has focused on expanding its revenue intelligence capabilities over the past year. Recent enhancements include activity sync, reporting, and analytics features. In March, the firm rolled out real-time opportunity and pipeline management and enhanced ROI reporting.
“Through this expanded capability set, Groove enables revenue leaders to make real-time, data-driven business decisions based on real campaign results at both the individual and team level,” stated Groove. Groove is built natively in Salesforce and uses SFDC as its data store, acting as an engagement layer on top of Salesforce. Thus, there is no data sync process between Groove and Salesforce.