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Sales

Boost Sales With AI-Driven Automation

Automating data entry, AI-driven actionable insights, and the creation of dynamic playbooks can improve sales efficiencies, provide clearer pipeline visibility for accurate forecasting, and accelerate revenue growth.

Revenue Operations—aka “RevOps”—is an emerging business function that’s proving invaluable to an organization’s goal of scaling revenue growth. It involves aligning sales, marketing, and customer success operations across the customer lifecycle to drive growth through cross-team alignment and operational efficiency. The RevOps function aims to break down silos between departments and empower sales and customer-facing teams with processes and tools to perform more effectively. Sales leaders look to RevOps to enable data-driven insights for strategic forecasting and refine sales processes to foster productivity and efficiency. RevOps teams also oversee the alignment between CRM workflows and sales strategies, shouldering responsibility for ensuring sales data hygiene and up-to-date CRM record-keeping. Ultimately, RevOps exists to increase revenue-generating teams’ capacity and shorten sales cycles. However, RevOps leaders and their teams have their share of challenges – which, when left unaddressed, can hinder an organization’s success and growth.

Challenge #1: Outdated, static sales playbooks 

Many sales playbooks are created by an experienced team leader for the company’s current needs. But as companies evolve and grow, their sales strategies must shift. Most RevOps teams lack the time and resources to continually assess what’s working and what’s not, and playbooks can become outdated and ineffective.

Challenge #2: Inefficient, manual data collection and updating 

Sales reps are notoriously bad at creating complete CRM records and keeping them updated. Poor CRM record-keeping leads to bad data hygiene, causing deficient pipeline visibility and inaccurate forecasting.

Challenge #3: Siloed data 

Because data is stored in disparate sources, RevOps teams spend time organizing the data before they can analyze it and implement new coaching strategies. Once data is collected, logging it in the company’s CRM is another hurdle.

In combination, these challenges can lead to sales inefficiencies, lost opportunities, and missed revenue targets. To address these issues, RevOps teams can look to AI-powered revenue intelligence technology to streamline processes, update playbooks, centralize disparate data, and improve sales efficiencies and performance.

Through automation of sales activity data capture that integrates with the CRM system, sales teams no longer carry the burden of manual data entry and sales activity updates. This improvement alone can give sales reps significant time back to focus on selling, rather than Updating.

Additionally, connecting various data sources enables accurate insights and forecasting, and enables AI-generated actionable insights that help sales team members easily spot at-risk deals, receive guidance on what actions to take for every deal in the pipeline, and increase customer adoption. AI-powered revenue intelligence also helps RevOps update and improve playbooks based on which communication methods lead to the best outcomes and effective strategies for sales team members to win more deals, faster. Let’s take a look.

Automated data capture speeds sales performance

Comprehensive, automated activity data capture that integrates with a company’s CRM system can track every interaction that takes place and update the CRM record accordingly. This saves sales team members hours of manual labor each week so they can focus on the activities that generate revenue. RevOps gains assurance that data is automatically updated, consistent, and accessible to anyone who needs it, whenever they need it. As a result, sales leaders gain clearer pipeline visibility and can make accurate sales forecasts and strategic decisions. As an example, a major hospitality brand’s commercial sales and support teams were responsible for manually inputting and updating records in Salesforce, which was time-consuming and inefficient. To relieve sales reps of this arduous task, group leaders searched for a connector that would integrate its Outlook email system with Salesforce and automatically update the customer record when any interaction took place. Through automated activity data capture, the team was able to track every interaction and every deal without manual effort, significantly improving their efficiency, productivity, and collaboration, and helping them bring in more deals.

Connect disparate data in a central location

Revenue intelligence technology connects all the systems and tools sales and revenue teams use, securing and centralizing data and making it accessible to those who need it, as determined by a company’s permissions structure. As a result, RevOps teams no longer spend many hours organizing data from different touch points and can more easily identify the most impactful communications methods and sales processes. When data is centralized and safeguarded as a single, shared source of truth, teams gain better visibility into the pipeline. AI can then absorb all the data and use it to build revenue signals that guide sales teams with data-driven insights through each step of the sales process.

AI revenue signals speed revenue velocity

By harnessing AI technology, companies also gain powerful, actionable insights that take industry benchmarks into consideration and help teams identify opportunities for improvement throughout the sales cycle. AI-powered revenue signals, an essential technological capability, are interactive, contextual alerts that help spur sales and customer success teams into action. These signals offer guided selling about what steps to take and when. They foster better communication, faster response times, improved collaboration – and ultimately, higher win rates.

For example, business consultancy Slalom’s RevOps team wanted to create processes to automate and advance deals through the pipeline and improve the sales team’s close rate. First, they implemented an automated activity data capture solution. When looking at the data and leveraging AI insights, RevOps realized that sales reps were not consistently sending pre- and post-meeting emails, which kept some deals from advancing. Additionally, they determined that ​involving product and industry experts ​in opportunity planning could increase the likelihood of deals closing. The team leveraged AI revenue signals to digitize sales coaching, create consistent workflows, and guide the team through the right actions to keep prospects advancing through the pipeline. As a result, their conversion rate grew one percent, generating an additional $60 million in Sales.

Blend AI and automation to create dynamic playbooks

Sales playbooks are a vital ingredient to the success of any sales team and sales strategy execution. Keeping them updated based on what’s working – and what’s not working – is critical. Without data-driven insights, however, RevOps teams rely on guesswork and intuition to determine what components or processes must change – or they simply don’t make needed changes due to a lack of time and resources.

Revenue intelligence technology connects AI insights and enables RevOps to create dynamic playbooks that can easily be updated and scaled for fast-growing companies or as market forces shift. AI helps teams quickly identify which communication strategies lead to better results and offers guidance on exactly what changes to make, while automation facilitates changes and updates in real-time.

With these insights and capabilities, playbooks are transformed into living sales guides based on the most effective best practices, keywords, or tactics. This enables sales teams to work in unity with the most up-to-date tactics to close more deals.Take VDA, an elevator and escalator consulting services provider. They wanted to create a playbook to build a superior digital customer engagement process, as there were lapses in communication, particularly among team members who were new to online customer engagement. To scale best practices and playbooks, VDA configured contextual, actionable notifications to guide consultants and support staff on the next best step when action is required on an existing lead, opportunity, or project.

As a result, VDA saw significant improvement in customer engagement, which resulted in stronger relationships and the sales team’s ability to offer additional services and value.

The bottom line on revenue intelligence

Revenue intelligence that leverages automation and AI can be a powerful tool in helping RevOps teams enable cross-team collaboration between sales, marketing, and CRM owners and ensure smooth, consistent processes and workflows. The results can be foundational to bottom-line growth: complete data integrity and visibility across systems, 360-degree pipeline visibility, data-driven decision-making, and accurate sales forecasts. Technology is not the answer to every challenge, but using it in thoughtful ways can help remove roadblocks, automate time-intensive, manual tasks, accelerate sales cycles, and give sales teams more time to focus on what they do best: sell.

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