Gong Integrates with Crayon

One of the unsung benefits of conversational intelligence is market and competitive monitoring for product and strategy teams.  Vendors such as Gong and Chorus can tag competitors and product requests.  Still, this intelligence needs to be regularly and directly reviewed, making it more of a hit-or-miss proposition.  Furthermore, this intelligence is rarely tied to competitive battlecards for sales reps.

Competitive Intelligence Platform Crayon is looking to address these issues.  It now delivers a daily log of competitive mentions to sales reps, providing them with battlecard links and links to call transcripts that help them write follow-on messaging that parries competitive statements. The mentions are collected from Gong.

“Product marketers and competitive intelligence professionals dedicate a tremendous amount of time ensuring sales reps are equipped with the most up-to-date competitive and market intelligence,” stated Crayon CPO Erica Jenkins.  “However, despite these efforts, there’s still friction around the adoption and use of these enablement materials.  The integration between Crayon and Gong gets competitive intel into an account executive’s hands quickly and easily, drastically improving competitive positioning for reps to level up their game.”

Crayon listed two other Gong-related initiatives on its roadmap to assist CI and strategy professionals:

  • Field intelligence: Your prospects and customers are sharing intel with your colleagues every single day.  Remove the middleman by automatically pulling these insights out of Gong transcripts and pushing them into your Crayon portal.
  • Win-loss analysis: When an account is won or lost, the notes you find in your CRM will only tell one side of the story.  Find out what really happened by pulling Gong snippets into Crayon, where they’ll be matched with the notes that our system pulls in from Salesforce.

These future releases will benefit competitive intelligence and strategy professionals who struggle to gather real-time market intelligence, particularly from remote individuals.  For example, while sales reps are often happy to discuss competitive scenarios, they rarely take the time to record competitive details in the CRM.  Conversational intelligence platforms are an excellent source of this intelligence, which can be automatically fed into competitive platforms such as Crayon, helping to close the loop.

When I was a CI professional at a SalesTech company, gathering competitive intelligence generally involved interviewing customers, prospects, and inside sales reps and collecting and synthesizing this information.  This approach was haphazard and often anecdotal.  Although Competitor fields were added to the CRM, they were rarely populated, and virtually all losses were attributed to pricing. 

A structured set of competitive signals gathered from customer conversations would have been significantly more accurate, complete, and timely.  Furthermore, these signals and comments would have omitted sales rep biases concerning lost deals and enabled competitive coaching on high-value deals.

Crayon supports a broad set of Sales Enablement Platforms, including Seismic, Highspot, and Showpad. The Gong-Crayon integration is immediately available to joint customers.

Competitive Intelligence Drives Revenue

As a member of SCIP (Strategic & Competitive Intelligence Professionals) and a former CI practitioner (I am more of an industry analyst and market researcher these days, but the skills and tools often overlap), I pay attention to research on the efficacy and ROI of CI. Unfortunately, CI’s role is often diffuse across the organization, providing both strategic and tactical assistance across a broad set of functions. Thus, the impact is often difficult to properly attribute.

Thus, I wasn’t surprised when a Crayon survey on the State of Competitive Intelligence found that only 61% of CI Professionals and Stakeholders believed that CI boosts revenue (26% felt that it did not). And it may be that some of those professionals that hold a dim view of CI worked at companies that lacked somebody in that role or simply assigned a product marketing manager to perform CI along with several other duties.

But the confidence level should be higher. After all, a good CI person or team:

  • Monitors the market for general trends, new product launches, product enhancements, emerging technologies, key events (partnerships, funding, acquisitions, executive changes, filings), and competitors.
  • Briefs senior level management on the market, highlighting opportunities and threats.
  • Briefs product management on product gaps and weaknesses that place the company at a market disadvantage.
  • Performs competitive benchmarking, collects pricing data and market collateral, and monitors competitive positioning.
  • Assesses competitor’s product launches and major upgrades and briefs internal stakeholders.
  • Assists with product launches by briefing marketing and sales on competitive positioning, addressing the question of how new products and features stack up in the marketplace.
  • Supports new hire onboarding, particularly for product management, product marketing, executives, and sales professionals.
  • Trains sales reps in how to position vs. competitors, lay landmines for competitors, parry competitive charges, and stay above the fray (i.e. remain professional and avoid slinging mud).
  • Manages or participates in win/loss analyses.
  • Joins sales calls (usually virtually) when the client wishes to discuss the competitive landscape.
  • Provide on-demand support to sales reps.
  • Review RFPs and RFIs to determine whether they are neutral or one of the competitors has influenced the process.
  • Collects internal competitive data from CRMs and competitive mentions during sales calls. Conversational Intelligence from vendors such as Chorus and Gong is an emerging data collection opportunity.

If a CI team is performing these duties in a timely and accurate manner, then there is no doubt that they influence revenue generation both in the short and long-term.

Source: Crayon, “NEW DATA: 61% of Businesses Say Competitive Intelligence Directly Impacts Revenue,” March 2021

Crayon also found that the impact to CI was strongly related to the creation of KPIs for the program. Without KPIs, 57% of professionals were unsure about the impact of CI on revenue. When KPIs were in place, 78% of survey respondents were confident that CI helped drive revenue.

The frequency of CI distribution is also strongly related to its impact. 70% of respondents with daily or weekly intelligence distribution said that CI helped increase revenue, falling to 55% monthly and 46% quarterly. The frequency of messaging probably has several effects: it reinforces the role of CI in the organization, it delivers a timelier and more comprehensive work product, and it embeds CI into the knowledge flow and company discussions.

Competitive Intelligence professionals help drive revenue growth through their interactions with sales, marketing, product management, and c-level executives, fostering better planning, messaging, and product development.