Revenue Intelligence: The Future of B2B Sales
Recently, Mary Shea (Vice President, Global Innovation Evangelist at Outreach), Elizabeth Templeton (Sr. Manager, Strategic Initiatives and Programs, Revenue Operations at Segment), and Mark Regan, (Vice President, Revenue Operations and Enablement at Segment) joined BoostUp CEO Sharad Verma to discuss revenue intelligence platforms.
More specifically, the panel covered why how revenue intelligence is reshaping the future of B2B sales, the convergence in the sales technology market that is fueling this change, why organizations need to be thinking about revenue intelligence, and how to evaluate it.
If you'd like to watch the full roundtable, you can view it at any time, here:
Highlights from the discussion are as follows:
Platforms trump point solutions
In a time where budget cuts are an unfortunate reality for many, more and more successful teams are turning towards platforms. They provide more value for money when compared to point solutions and require fewer resources for implementation, training, as well as ongoing support and management. These end-to-end solutions also provide greater compatibility and better data consistency, as there fewer integrations and complexities.
Multiple tools mean multiple support teams, numerous trainings, a higher drain on resources, and complex integrations. Even when best-of-breed point solutions are used, other roles and facets of the organization receive little to no benefit, which cuts down ROI and reduces justification.
Platform solutions provide consistent processes and views across the entire organization, and since there is only one vendor, teams have a single technology partner for support. There are also no integration worries, and every role can benefit.
Technology is required to achieve goals
Forrester’s research shows that the top priorities of B2B leaders are to grow revenue and decrease costs, two things that are extremely difficult to do at the same time. Additionally, 42% of B2B organizations now operate with less sales personnel due to COVID, therefore increasing the challenge.
Revenue intelligence platforms are highly suited for this scenario, since they actually increase the effectiveness of sales teams, while using data to elevate performance, increase productivity, maximize resource utilization, and reduce costs.
“In a world with complex buying and selling dynamics, adding sales headcount is no longer the go-to-salve for solving quota shortfalls. I believe that in the future we are going to see much more nimble and agile sales organizations where the money that you spent on headcount is going to be spent on top-tier sales technology. “ - Mary Shea
Revenue intelligence provides the connected revenue experience
The massive marketplace of sales solutions and the ability to connect and integrate them has led to a complex web of niche solutions. Today, reps use different tools from their managers, who use different tools than leadership, leading to a fractured experience.
This lack of consistent views leads to an underutilization of resources and a clouded view of sales performance. By bringing your enablement, operations, and intelligence solution into a single platform, you can increase revenue performance through a more connected experience.
“This marriage of tools will create the connected experience that results in a much higher win rate, lower slip rate, and expanded capacities for both reps and managers. They can actually do more with less.” - Sharad Verma
Revenue intelligence stands to improve the performance of every aspect of a business, including unlocking new revenue potential from front-line sales managers. More and more teams are focusing their efforts on these managers, as when properly empowered, they hold the keys necessary to extract revenue from their sales teams.
“Sales leaders are referring to this year as the year of the front-line manager. In order for those managers to be successful, they need to have the right data surfaced in an actionable manner so that they can provide better and more effective one-on-one coaching sessions, ID the amount of health and risk in the pipeline, and accurately forecast with AI-driven insights.” - Liz Templeton
Why revenue intelligence is the path forward
This surge in revenue intelligence is due in part to the rise of the revenue operations team. Revenue operations have proven themselves to be an incredibly valuable part of the organization and their role only continues to grow. Now, teams are looking for ways to automate the day-to-day (report building, forecasting, etc.) of revenue operations, so they can take on a more strategic orientation. Revenue intelligence platforms allow them to do this.
“Revenue operations needs to be doing a lot more of the strategic work, doing the leap-forward moves that build the go-to-market engine, rather than hand-spinning insights.” - Mark Regan
Organizations also see the insights and benefits provided by revenue intelligence platforms as a competitive edge. End-to-end platforms are faster to learn than multiple point solutions and can provide deeper analytics and better data, things that are especially important for companies in hyper-growth.
“When you grow in scale, it becomes harder and harder to maintain growth. What we need to do is increasingly create better sophistication and tooling to support maintain that growth, and look for every edge we have. We believe there is leverage in revenue intelligence to do this more effectively.” - Mark Regan
How to evaluate revenue intelligence platforms
Like any purchase, revenue platforms must be aligned with your organization’s specific needs, pains, and goals. The end result must always be directly connected to the “why” driving the project.
“Once you’ve evaluated the strategic ‘why’ behind the project, we create an evaluation and action plan that turns into a formal implementation plan.” - Liz Templeton
Create a list of specific wants and needs for every group that will utilize the platform: sales reps, sales managers, sales leaders, marketing, revenue operations, customer success, and so on. It is also important to have a representative from each one of these functions in every evaluation meeting.
Examine your current state, and your desired end state, and determine what needs to change in order to get you there. Get granular, down to what metrics you need, and what data must be collected, then evaluate each platform’s ability to provide that.
You can download a copy of the revenue intelligence scorecard here.