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We’re all familiar with devops, the function that bridges the silos of development and operations, so that software gets built faster and more efficiently. The devops movement started to coalesce sometime between 2007 and 2008, when IT operations and software development communities raised concerns about what they believed was a fatal level of dysfunction in the industry. By making clear and strong connections across silos, devops has solved an enormous number of production issues since then.
Fast-forward to 2022, when ecommerce, customer experience and business intelligence applications are ruling the world. The new complexities that come with all of this new cloud-based IT and fierce new market competition are being solved by a similar solution called revenue operations, or RevOps. RevOps brings science to sales and uses real-time buyer/seller engagement signals to take a data-based approach to sales enablement and execution.
RevOps is the key to breaking down the silos in which sales, marketing and customer success are known to work;by eliminating these silos, these disparate teams can work more harmoniously. Successful RevOps does for sales/marketing what devops did for software production and what digital transformation has done for modernizing systems management.
Key data points about RevOps
- A successful RevOps strategy brings sales and revenue together, but it still requires coordination and communication among sales marketing and customer service teams.
- Problems with orchestrating processes across multiple tools aren’t limited to lead management: if you work in RevOps, you’ve had the challenge of trying to make multiple software tools across your go-to-market organization play nice with each other.
- RevOps tries to solve this by calling for sales and customer success to become more intertwined. It is all about unifying three disparate departments through common expectations, data and tools.
“As baby boomers retire and millennials mature into key decision-making positions, a digital-first buying posture will become the norm,” Cristina Gomez, managing VP for Gartner’s sales practice, said in a media advisory. “As customers increasingly learn and buy digitally, sales reps become just one of many possible sales channels. Because of this, sales organizations must be able to sell to customers everywhere the customer expects to engage, interact and transact with suppliers.”
Gartner said buyers typically spend only 17% of their time meeting with potential suppliers when they are considering a purchase. With less customer face time, virtual selling via digital channels will predominate, Gomez said.
“Sales reps will need to embrace new tools and channels, as well as a new manner of engaging customers, matching their sales activity to their customers’ buying practices and information collecting needs,” Gomez said.
Will RevOps tools replace CRMs?
One of RevOps’ key tenets, the unification of those three disparate departments through connected technologies, has brought to light an important myth that sales reps’ work must be done in a customer relationship management (CRM) application. This is because their business depends on data in a CRM, promoting the idea that the work salespeople do must happen within the CRM itself.
This is the way sales have been done for years. However, salespeople in 2022 actually do their work across a disparate set of applications mostly disconnected from a CRM, creating issues for the business with process adherence, data hygiene and frustrated salespeople moving between too many tools.
Why is this happening? Traditional CRM applications were never designed as a place for end-users to actually do their work and have not been modernized fast enough to fit into the new sales workflows of today. The downstream effect on the business is that data hygiene suffers, process adherence is a pipe dream and salespeople become frustrated, unhappy and churn in and out. Too many workarounds and shortcuts are being used.
To change this, RevOps teams create workflows in Slack or email to remind sales reps, nudging them to complete a task or take an action in CRM. This is a major reason why RevOps is now catching on with many sales teams.
According to market analyst G2.com, the top 10 revenue operations & intelligence (RO&I) software makers are:
Early RevOps leaders
Clari cited by Forrester Research
Sunnyvale, California-based Clari revealed March 28 that Forrester Research named it a leader in the first-ever Forrester Wave report for Revenue Operations and Intelligence (RO&I), receiving the highest score in the current-offering category among the 14 vendors evaluated.
According to Forrester’s evaluation, “enterprise sales leaders in all verticals seeking accountability, transparency, and predictability in revenue management should consider Clari.”
Clari also received the highest score possible (5/5) in 14 criteria capabilities measured in the report, including deal/opportunity insights, pipeline management and forecasting insights.
To download a copy of the Forrester Wave report for Revenue Operations and Intelligence (RO&I), go here.
BoostUp.ai’s AI-driven solution
Founded in 2018, BoostUp’s SaaS platform claims to solve the RevOps challenge by serving as the single source of revenue truth. It offers intelligent forecast submissions and a review, audit and roll-up management workflow that keeps everyone in the team on the same page at all times.
The platform ingests unstructured data from sources such as emails and messaging apps and then matches to accounts and opportunities found in CRM applications. Natural language parsing, sentiment analysis and proprietary indexing of spoken and written keywords are applied to better understand sales trends to forecast more accurately whether deals will close.
In this space, BoostUp.ai features a flexible architecture built for custom objects and complex enterprise data models, unstructured communication data intelligence and NLP and buyer sentiment analysis from emails, call transcripts and recordings. It also has an intuitive interface that can be used by line-of-business employees.
Mediafly launches a command center application
Mediafly‘s revenue enablement and revenue intelligence application, called the Revenue360 suite, comprises four comprehensive solutions that connect sales enablement, revenue intelligence, value selling and buyer engagement. This new suite serves as a command center for revenue teams to coach, assess, predict and interact with audiences more effectively at every stage of the buyer journey. With Revenue360, Mediafly brings science to sales, using real-time buyer and seller engagement signals to take a prescriptive, data-based approach to sales enablement and execution.
“Digital selling is here to stay, giving the buyer a tremendous amount of control and putting the seller in reactive mode. Business-to-business (B2B) revenue leaders everywhere are watching as this shift unfolds and facing two options: proactively embrace it and take advantage of the related signals or sit back in wait-and-see mode,” Carson Conant, CEO and cofounder of Mediafly, said in a media advisory. “With contextual insights into how buyers engage at every step, dynamic training and coaching and interactive experiences that capture and keep buyers’ attention, Revenue360 puts sellers back in the driver’s seat so they can meet and exceed goals.”
As companies increasingly shift to a RevOps model, consolidation of the tech stack is inevitable, Conant said. Revenue360 features a robust insights engine, enterprise-grade security and a scalable data lake architecture that supports seamless integrations. The suite can be deployed together or as individual solutions, Conant said.
Challenger using AI for sales training
Challenger, an Arlington, Virginia-based startup, is using AI in its SaaS-based application to provide training, technology and consulting for sales professionals.
On April 1, it launched Challenger Loop, a first-of-its-kind SaaS app that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to surface real-time customer feedback and close more deals. This brings transparency and clarity to the sales process by adding the customer perspective into sales performance. The software collects win/loss data and customer feedback, providing a holistic perspective on the quality of purchase experience.
Challenger research shows that the actual purchase experience is most often the determinant factor in whether a sale will close. Sellers have tried to conduct these win-loss analyses for decades, but struggle to achieve accurate measurements. This is because the information they input into CRM systems is often biased, lacks context or comes too late in the sale, resulting in preventable loss, the company said.
According to Gartner’s Future of Sales Research, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels by 2025. Whether a buyer is showing intent on a website, viewing or sharing content, naming competitors in conversations, introducing new stakeholders or canceling meetings, revenue teams are under increased pressure to capture the data and leverage the insights to adapt their sales process in real-time.
Activity-level data empowers sellers with knowledge as to when, where and how to create personalized, value-based experiences that accelerate pipeline velocity, shift deal trajectory and guide modern buyers to confident purchase decisions.
It’s up to ecommerce enterprises to realize this sea change in purchasing and make sure they are prepared to compete in the new sales battlegrounds of this decade.
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