The Sales Development Podcast
The Evolution of Sales Tech: From CRM to Revenue Intelligence
Revenue Grid is a sales technology company that aims to make CRM invisible for salespeople. They started by developing an Outlook plugin for Salesforce CRM that allowed offline synchronization of contacts, calendar, and emails. The plugin helped salespeople avoid duplicating data and manually entering it into CRM. Instead of selling directly to users of other CRMs, Revenue Grid started working with CRM vendors to license their technology. Their platform can connect to any kind of inbox and calendar and ensure that the relevant data is properly recorded in CRM. Many leading CRM systems use Revenue Grid's technology for email integration. Revenue Grid evolved from being an invisible vendor to becoming a successful company working with clients of all sizes. They realized they were sitting on a treasure trove of structured but incomplete data in CRM, as well as unstructured but complete data outside of CRM. They decided to capitalize on this data and leverage it to provide insights.
Revenue intelligence aims to address revenue leakage
Revenue intelligence is a category in the sales technology landscape that focuses on addressing revenue leakage, which is winnable revenue lost due to errors in the revenue process. It provides insights and tools to improve pipeline analysis, sales productivity, automation of tasks, and visibility into revenue leakage for executives.
Capturing complete data and following playbooks are key to addressing revenue leakage
To address revenue leakage caused by lack of visibility and dropped balls, it is important to capture complete data and ensure that playbooks are followed consistently. Sales automation tools can help improve sales results and prevent potential revenue leakage.
Revenue intelligence platforms provide real-time insights for better decision-making
A good revenue intelligence platform should provide real-time insights visible to everyone involved in the sales process, allowing for better decision-making. It can help identify areas where account executives may be falling short and provide tools and suggestions to improve pipeline results.
Technological advancements in revenue intelligence include voice and chat technology
Technological advancements in revenue intelligence include the integration of voice technology for call recording and transcription, as well as chat technology for texting to CRM and getting insights. However, there are challenges in applying AI learnings from one company to another.
Implementing revenue intelligence is crucial for companies with multiple layers of responsibility in sales work
Companies with multiple layers of responsibility in sales work should start implementing revenue intelligence as soon as possible. It provides visibility into the pipeline, improves decision-making, and helps fix revenue leakage. The market for revenue intelligence is already established and growing rapidly.
- Evolution of Revenue Intelligence
- Definition and Use Cases of Revenue Intelligence
- Capturing Data and Addressing Revenue Leakage
- Identifying Revenue Leakage and Decision-Making
- Importance of Revenue Intelligence in Sales Organizations
- Technological Advancements in Revenue Intelligence
- Implementing Revenue Intelligence and Conclusion
00:00 - 07:32
- Revenue Grid is a sales technology company that aims to make CRM invisible for salespeople.
- They started by developing an Outlook plugin for Salesforce CRM that allowed offline synchronization of contacts, calendar, and emails.
- The plugin helped salespeople avoid duplicating data and manually entering it into CRM.
- Instead of selling directly to users of other CRMs, Revenue Grid started working with CRM vendors to license their technology.
- Their platform can connect to any kind of inbox and calendar and ensure that the relevant data is properly recorded in CRM.
- Many leading CRM systems use Revenue Grid's technology for email integration.
- Revenue Grid evolved from being an invisible vendor to becoming a successful company working with clients of all sizes.
- They realized they were sitting on a treasure trove of structured but incomplete data in CRM, as well as unstructured but complete data outside of CRM.
- They decided to capitalize on this data and leverage it to provide insights.
Evolution of Revenue Intelligence
07:07 - 13:59
- The company realized that they had a treasury of structured but incomplete data in CRM, and unstructured but complete data outside of CRM.
- They started analyzing pipeline and activity patterns to provide revenue signals and guidance to sales teams.
- They evolved to include pipeline visibility, forecast visibility, and visibility into sales team activities as use cases for revenue intelligence.
- They rebranded from invisible.io to revenue grid to better reflect their focus on revenue intelligence.
- Their goal is to make CRM actionable and help account executives be more successful.
- Revenue intelligence has become a category in the sales technology landscape.
Definition and Use Cases of Revenue Intelligence
13:40 - 20:28
- Revenue intelligence has evolved into a category over the past five years, with different definitions and vendors entering the market.
- The definition of revenue intelligence is broad and varies among different sales automation tools.
- Revenue leakage, or winnable revenue lost due to errors in the revenue process, is the fundamental problem that revenue intelligence aims to address.
- There are four major use cases for revenue intelligence: deeper pipeline analysis, visibility into sales productivity, automation of repeatable tasks, and overview of revenue leakage for executives.
- The three major causes of revenue leakage are flying blind (lack of visibility), dropped balls (failure to execute), and wasted time (inefficient focus).
- To address flying blind, better pipeline visibility and forecasting are needed. Capturing complete data also helps.
- To address dropped balls, playbooks need to be followed consistently and performance needs to be stable.
- Sales automation tools aim to fix these problems by improving sales results and preventing potential revenue leakage.
Capturing Data and Addressing Revenue Leakage
19:58 - 26:46
- Flying blind and capturing partial data are causes of revenue leakage.
- Drop balls and unstable performance contribute to revenue leakage.
- Playbooks, formal or informal, are not always followed by account execs.
- Technology can help remind account execs to send summary emails after meetings.
- Revenue signals can be used to coach account execs and improve pipeline results.
- Activity capture is the foundation for revenue intelligence.
- Managers receive reports with red flags or signals to address in one-on-one meetings.
- Revenue intelligence helps highlight areas where account execs may be falling short.
- Analyzing processes and playbooks can determine their effectiveness.
- Revenue intelligence leveraged by rev-ops or sales ops benefits the system as a whole.
Identifying Revenue Leakage and Decision-Making
26:25 - 33:00
- Revenue intelligence systems can show which team members are progressing towards their goals and which ones are not.
- Identifying dropped balls in the sales process is crucial for fixing revenue leakage.
- There is no unique solution to fix revenue leakage, but analyzing the pipeline and identifying gaps can help patch or fix them one by one.
- Salespeople and sales leaders often rely on gut feelings and industry experts rather than analyzing past results when planning for the future.
- The transfer of information from account executives to the board through multiple meetings leads to a loss of accuracy and clarity.
- A good revenue intelligence platform should provide real insights visible to everyone involved in the sales process, allowing for better decision-making.
- Revenue intelligence platforms cannot secure or fix revenue on their own, but they can help identify and eliminate leakage faster.
- Every CRM license should be accompanied by revenue intelligence, although smaller startups with hands-on sales leaders may have better visibility into their pipeline.
- As organizations grow and introduce more layers of management, visibility into deals becomes blurred, making revenue intelligence even more important.
Importance of Revenue Intelligence in Sales Organizations
32:33 - 39:29
- Having revenue intelligence in your sales automation stack is crucial for companies with multiple layers of responsibility in sales work.
- Without revenue intelligence, visibility starts to blur and it becomes difficult for line managers and top managers to have a clear picture of the pipeline.
- Competitors are likely to have revenue intelligence, so not having it puts you at a disadvantage.
- While Revenue Grid is a great product, there are other revenue intelligence market leaders doing a good job as well.
- The explosion of sales technology has made it more challenging to get the attention of sales leaders and pitch your product.
- AI can save time and make summaries, but it still requires human decision-making for intelligent conclusions.
- Revenue intelligence can shorten the decision-making cycle by providing tools and suggestions to account executives and revenue leaders.
- Automating repeatable decisions should be an important part of any revenue intelligence platform.
- Integrating voice technology into the platform would allow users to ask questions verbally instead of typing them out.
Technological Advancements in Revenue Intelligence
38:59 - 45:45
- Voice technology can record calls and transcribe them
- Chat technology allows for texting to CRM and getting insights
- Challenges in AI include the inability to apply learnings from one company to another
- RevOps is evolving as a key role in sales organizations
- RevOps works alongside VP of Sales and other revenue-focused roles
- Revenue intelligence requires buy-in from revenue leaders
- Companies may start with simple use cases before adopting full revenue intelligence
Implementing Revenue Intelligence and Conclusion
45:30 - 51:17
- Companies should start implementing revenue intelligence as soon as possible, even if they feel they are not ready yet.
- Some companies may need to fix fundamental problems in their sales automation before implementing revenue intelligence.
- Engagement with CRM admins and line managers is important, but reaching decision makers in the revenue generation chain is crucial for buy-in.
- Product-led growth can be an educational process where customers are introduced to additional functionalities over time.
- There are market research reports and user perspectives available on revenue intelligence platforms from Forrester and G2Crowd respectively.
- The current market for revenue intelligence is already established and growing rapidly.
- The speaker recommends checking out a few vendors but ultimately choosing a revenue intelligence platform like theirs due to excellent customer service and low churn rate.
- The podcast host praises the speaker's company for delivering value and keeping customers happy, suggesting that employees deserve a raise.
- The speaker encourages listeners to connect with them on LinkedIn for more information about revenue intelligence.