Hi, everybody! This is Peter Mollins, the Chief Marketing Officer at SetSail. Great to have you here for today's webinar. We're gonna have a very exciting discussion today. We're talking about how sales leaders are really flying blind in terms of the visibility that they have into the activities and the behaviors that are happening across their reps, and particularly across their best reps, and what they can actually do about that. And so today, we've assembled a fantastic panel that's going to be joining me in that discussion, so very excited to introduce to you our panel today. So first off we have Seth Marrs, who's a principal analyst at Forrester, and also Brandon Bright, who's a RevOps Manager at Chronosphere. So, Seth, can you take a couple of minutes and just for a moment, and love to hear a bit more about your background.
Yeah. Hello, everyone, Seth Marrs. I work at Forrester and I came over from the acquisition. So I'm an ex practitioner. And that's just kind of how our model works, where we go in and work with clients. But I also, on the Forrester side, have been pulled into the evaluative side. So I get, see both sides of the equation on one. How do I need to get work done? And then also the power of technology, and how it can be applied to do it. So really, looking forward with this
Perfect thanks. Brandon?
Hey, everyone, how's it going? My name is Brandon Bright. I am on the RevOps team here at Chronosphere. started actually at Chronosphere and spent most of my time as an Ae. Just recently switched over to RevOps to support both the enablement and operations side for our Ae. And Sales. Leaders as well as the individual contributors on the team.
Fantastic. Well, it's great to have you both here very excited to start the discussion. What I thought I would do is just kind of give a sort of a perspective that we're seeing from discussions with our customers. And what we're seeing in the market. And really some of the background here is that without visibility into what your sales data is, managers can't see into what their rep behavior is. You know what that means, you have account transitions that are slow. No one really knows what's effective of sales. Behavior you end up with deals that are poorly managed. What that means is that ultimately revenue suffers. So it's a sale . of our founders were actually former RevOpsexecutives at Google. And they realize why people don't have control over their sales. Sales. Data really comes down to a threefold problem. First off, there's more and more data, and it's less and less accessible. So your team is probably if it's like most teams out there, they're using lots of different tools could be email, could be calendars. It could be sales, engagement platforms. It could be called recording tools. And each of these things generates just a title wave of data, and those are often locked away in silos that are spread across your business, especially if you've got remote, remote employees. You've got teams all over the world, perhaps in highly complex organizations.
And second, because that data is entered manually, or it's compiled by different tools of varying quality. And they have varying levels of data quality that they're putting in. The data quality is inconsistent, and it's incompletely captured. So you really ultimately can't trust that unreliable data. And the result is that you've got the sales data. It should be an asset. It should be something that you're using for helping to manage your organization. But it's difficult when you can't trust it, or you don't have that data. So with these problems kind of in place.
What we often see is, you've got your CRM, or you've got your central source of truth. And you've got all these tools. You've got all these different people that are trying to put in data. Or maybe they're not even putting in data. The result is you just don't have that single source of truth. You don't have that insight that you need as a sales manager to to move forward.
And so what we wanted to do, what I was hoping to do is to kind of start the discussion here. You know, we've got terrific practitioners and observers and leaders in the space around us. , you know, RevOpssales, Ops and the like. And so I wanted to kind of first start off with this idea of sales data, and maybe I can start with you, Brandon, kind of get your perspective on. You know what you're seeing within Chronosphere in terms of, you know, the importance of sales data.
Yeah. It's funny, seeing that previous slide and being an ae for so long and then. Now being on the RevOps side and being the one that's trying to help make sure the data is accurate and available to the team. Our team. Our RevOpsteam does both operations and enablement , which is kinda controversial in space. Sometimes they split up those organizations separately, and sometimes they're together., But it's important to know that. , the operation side is only there to enable.
And that's why we combine the purposely, so that we remind ourselves that we are here to enable and make our team more effective and efficient. And that's the only reason why we want to have accurate data, so we can coach the team. And so, not having that ultimately for the salesperson, it makes it hard for them to evaluate their business. , for the first leaders on the team makes it hard for them to coach and for the CRMs and the and the higher level leaders. It's hard for them to forecast their business and or support the first line leaders. So that's how I would kinda diagnose the problem here with not having sales data.
Right? That's great, Seth. I know we're going to be diving into some of your research and work. , but do you have some sort of opening thoughts on, you know what is. What's the cost of missing sales data?
Yeah. I mean, there's one obvious one, which is all the time and effort that goes into trying to get that data in the administrative burden of pushing people to do it, and the refocusing away from what matters the other thing which I feel? I don't think people really under-appreciate enough, or the insights that could be derived from it. If you gave someone like Brandon those insights and allowed them to analyze and provide information back to the to the seller. That isn't even in the minds of most seller's. Most of it's like, Oh, this is just a job for you to do to monitor me. Reality is, if you had access to those things, what you could provide back is really valuable and would help you win more deals, and that kind of gets lost in all of the administrative discussions around it.
Yeah, I think that's a great point, you know. And you know, Brandon, you were mentioning sort of that threefold value chain. I guess you were talking about it like you were talking about performance. You were talking about coaching. I think you're talking about onboarding and forecasting as well.
You know it's not just an exercise, is it? So? You've seen it from both sides. How do you, how do you? How do you get it? ? How do you get reps to get that data in? Or is it even a question of asking the reps to do it themselves.
We're like, right in the middle of this. We use it all day. We use other tools today that pull data, I would say that we are somewhat that previous slide that you showed where we have to hit it coming from all sources. Now, we're trying to make it completely automated where each level doesn't have to actually make any additional edits. Once that data is pulled in in order for us to take the right insights out you know. So that's kind of where we're at in that progress, like, first we have to get all the data in, then we have to decide what's the right way to use that data. And can we make it? So? The reps or the leaders don't have to modify that data once it's in to make it perfect.
Yeah, I mean, actually, that's a really interesting point. If, like about having to modify a data set. I don't know if you see that theme as well like the inconsistency of the quality of data being put in. I mean, I imagine you know much like you have top performing reps and bottom performing reps when it comes to the kind of data that they're writing back. It's got to be variable as well.
Well, I think that's the piece that people don't miss, because as a practitioner, I think I've done the classic exercise every sales Ops person has done. Hey? I'm going to prove to you guys why it's so important to put in opportunities or to put in your activity. And then you run the analysis and figure out that your best seller's don't put anything in, and your worst seller's put everything in. And it's the large reason that isn't because it is. That's the truth. It's because a seller's hitting their quota is, gonna do whatever they want, because that's actually their real goal. And the seller who isn't hitting their quota is going to be really diligent. They want to show they're working hard. So it's a false positive. In order to really analyze this information, you have to have a very level playing field where you can count on every seller entering it in the exact same way. And if you can't do that, you're gonna introduce variance. That is gonna skew the accuracy of your data. It's just one of those. It's one of those things right. And now, if we take that variance, then apply it back to a Brandon was describing those sort of those functional areas, you know, around coaching and performance and onboarding and forecasting. So now we have this world where you've got manually entered inconsistent. Or perhaps it's coming from multiple tools. And it's just all these tools yelling at the CRM about which data to put in. And so you've got this variance that you're describing. So now, Brandon, in your world where you're looking to do it, let's maybe start with coaching. So you're looking to help revenue leaders coach. It's gotta be tough for them to be able to do coaching when there is that variance across all the data.
Yeah. Well, I I think one thing that we're trying to coach our leaders on is trusting the automation that we're providing to them and them feeling confident that it is better than what it was before when it was completely manual. You know. That's one thing. I think that every organization is gonna have to get used to and teach against this before the accuracy is probably under .
You know, I'm just kinda making up a number. But now it's probably to %. But that % feels like so much because they didn't have control of any of it because we were automating it. And so that's like the first teaching mechanism that we have to like put into place like, Hey, you can really trust this if there's the %
That's wrong, we can fix it. We can automate it, make it better. And for the other , it's there and available to you, and it's accurate, and you can use it for coaching . So that's actually where we're at in the process, because we actually do have for the most part accurate data that's coming in that can be coached against, it's just making sure that they trust it, and that they spend less time worrying about the %. That's wrong. And then more, about %. That's right, they can be used for coaching
Yeah, that's a great point. And I think like, when you think about the inaccuracies that are coming in that variance that sets you were describing. When I apply that to forecasting. That's that's definitely concerning when you have , you know lots of building your forecast model as a cro, and you've got all this variance in there, and it's gonna be hard to trust that when you're going to the CEO or to the board and saying, This is what I'm committing to for next quarter.
Yeah, that's why they go straight to a spreadsheet. And they there's other reasons, right? A lot of times that a sales leader is, I mean, we. We sales organizations in general create the wrong behaviors with forecasting the right cause. If I say too much, I can lose my job if I get this wrong. And you have all these added pressures. What the reality is of what you think is gonna happen. But that's what pulls the seller to a forecast cause. I can. I can control that. But if I put all the data in, something's wrong, then I get beat up on something that is really out of my control. So I don't want to do that
right? Right? Yeah. And I think there's even one last thing I'll mention on this in terms of that variance point is , when I think about best practices. So it's a little bit scary. If if it says you, you've both said , that you've got the middle or bottom performers that are often the best at putting in data. Now, if I'm a sales leader and I want to, you know. Go back and look at what are best practices that I can replicate across the team, and I'm running a report. So I run a report that says, Oh, it's this volume of emails. It's this vole of calls. It's this type of call with this persona.
But if the data that I'm running that report on is based on middle or bottom performers
Is that a best practice?
Nope, it's why people don't use it. Right? It's just because they can't be trusted. They don't. They know they can't trust that data either on the activity side.
Yeah, yeah, that's great. Alright. Well, you know, now that we sort of, you know, set that stage around the cost of missing sales data like to kind of move into? Why, it matters now. ! The first thing I'd like to bring up is, you know, we've been talking a lot about, of course, the sales organization. But, Brandon, you're in Rev. Ops, not not sales. Oops. So you're covering a number of different different aspects of the go to market model, including success and marketing and the like. And so I'm curious now, when you're thinking about the quality of sales data. How does that affect the buyer's journey like not just presale or sale? But also, you know, post sales like, Are you? Are you using sales data to help support your success teams, your account management, etc.
Yeah, so we have a process of making sure that we track the and do a value assessment before the deal closes, and then being able to actually realize that value after the deal closes and and through the Cs or custom success organization. And so the data that we provide and and docent before the sale closes to after has to be accurate. , and so that there is, there is an aspect of that on the Rep. Ops side. I'd say, like the most important thing for me, why does it matter now? Is that, like at a macro level deal, cycles are just longer right now, and so you have to
insert a level of patience
with the process of closing the deal
because it's longer. You have to be comfortable and excited about the progress and the leading indicators
sometimes, unless about the actual deal closing.
which is why you need to have accurate data so that you can track lead indicators. And you can. You could say, this person is progressing in the right way, knowing that deal. Cycles are longer, because you don't always have that close one deal to show that somebody is on track. , so that that's the big macro for us and like, why does it matter to have this stuff accurate and ha! And having it be helpful for our business is because we can't always rely close to one deal, especially when somebody's ramping or when deal cycles extend during this time.
Yeah, that's great. So let's kinda keep with that broader lens that you're talking about in the Macro environment, Seth, you know, there's a lot that's been different today than it was months, months ago, you know. Love your perspective on, on what you're seeing is, are you seeing similar things in terms of deal lengthening and other other elements in the market.
Yeah, I mean, the customers are tightening their belts right? It's especially in the tech space. So they're taking longer to make their seller's have to wait a lot longer for them to get into a buying cycle for sure. So if you're not tracking what's going on and understanding what's happening. You're losing all those signals. And it's it's
it becomes like what it normally becomes is a very seller, dependent. And when you're a seller, dependent on those insights. Then you're very much out of control, even though it may feel like you're in control. You're very dependent on the vole. However, many seller's rar depending on them to give you what you need rather than being able to help them
keep their level at a certain consistency that's
predictable for the company, and also allows you to take care of them
and make sure they have the right amount of potential assigned to them. The right amount of opportunity to work
Right now that's great, and I'll come back to you in a second, Stephan. More on that. Macro. Brandon, you mentioned these leading indicators. You know, one thing I'm always curious about with leading indicators is you've got your Google search sales leading indicators. And you're gonna come up
with a set right. There's gonna be a list of lists that everyone's got right, do you? ? What do you think about leading indicators? Is it just the cookie cutter leading indicators? Or do you think that companies are different and their Chronosphere is different, and it has different nuanced leading indicators. That matters to you.
that depends on the lineage of the Cr. Of the company, usually
cases where they come
, and and what do they believe in that in terms of the terminology? But generally there's probably like or buckets . One is the pure activity on the pipeline generation. Side calls, emails, Linkedin messages, that type of thing. There's a great progression. , in terms of
how many, how many deals have gone into this stage. How many deals have gone into pilot, how many deals have gone into negotiation! ! And then there's the deal activity during progression, the number of meetings that are happening in each phase, and big meetings versus small executive meetings.
demo meetings, that type of thing. So we bucket into those things, and we track those. And we have metrics associated with those. And that helps us tell whether somebody's on track during onboarding, but also , whether on track to close deals even after they're onboarded.
One thing when it comes to the length of the deal cycle. And we've seen this in our research, and we've looked at it from a couple of different angles for a seller. It's a to month sales cycle, and maybe that's increasing or not increasing for the buyer. They're only in a buying cycle for months.
So when we asked buyers in the study. We did it? It was months we did pipeline reviews when we did pipeline reviews, and we looked at the average time and opportunity was open. It was months. So the difference with that is Seller's are spending months trying to get that buyer into a buying cycle and actually working the deal.
So the dynamics of that are very different. And how you manage the data and understand and and see. What did you do to get them into a buying cycle? Did you get them into the buying cycle, or do you keep yourself top of mind? So when the cycle starts, you're in. Those are very important things to track and understand that many companies don't do because they don't have the activities to understand it. And if they did, they could see. Wait a second. When we do this, we're more likely to convince them to go into a buying cycle.
Well, you can't do that because you don't really have that information in any sort of consistent way, and most companies believe that they're in a buying cycle for months. They're not just because a customer says, Hey, could I get a ? Can I get a quote from you that I can use for budgetary reasons a year before? That does not mean you're in a buying cycle. The buying cycle is gonna start when they get permission to approve to to buy it
rarely gonna be. I mean, obviously, government Rfps, things like that will go longer. But most buying cycles are months around that.
That's really interesting. Yeah, Brandon, are you seeing something similar where you have folks coming in. And you know, perhaps investigating it like that. That investigative stage is described.
I mean, it's it's funny, because
There's always or months where you don't even know if the customers are in a buying cycle yet, but they're willing to take meetings with you. And so that's just the reality. Like us, we want to track that. So we have an open opportunity in most cases. That's how most organizations work. But that doesn't mean that there is an opportunity in the customers' mind, and a set of meetings that are happening. It's an interaction that's happening. , and I, and I think some of that's honestly just like
salesforce hygiene, and how you attribute things and make some cleanup there. But some of that can be a bigger focus once automation has been created, you know. So like, if you have automation for the baseline things. Now, you can get to some of these like really micro details that the set is bringing up like, I just don't think that most organizations are organized enough to get to that level of depth. There's still focus on the basics.
And what we see is very similar, like, we're seeing like on that where it's like, if you can get by automating. And you know, in orchestrating that data at %. Then when you get to that next % of refinement you're getting to things that are specific to your sales process, to your team, to the way your Ceo wants to operate. And you know that that just has incredible lift. Because now you're focusing on the things that make your sales process. And I think that's critical.
so. , if we, if you don't mind, maybe we can just pivot here for a second, Seth, if you've been doing a ton of research in this space, and we'd love to hand the ball to you for a few, few moments, and, you know, get your perspective. So if you don't mind. Maybe I'll just pass the ball to you, and you can walk through some of the research that you've been doing.
Yeah, sounds great. So the start of this came with this slide right here. So pre covid post Covid, we started looking and saying, You know how many interactions could actually capture me as a practitioner and working with clients. Honestly, I've never, ever seen it work where you're if you have a seller's activities that you could actually get usable data. So I went, okay, how long? How many interactions can I capture? And if you look at it in person interactions
now are where video calls were before Covid. So you can capture almost % of the interactions. Now, some are easier to capture than other emails are easy to capture. Mobile phone calls. You'd have to do some work if you want to get those captured by moving the soft phone and even on. But on the other side in person, you can capture the meeting invites, which is done. But think about that. If I can get % of the interactions that I'm capturing.
and I can get them consistently. You have every ability to be able to understand and utilize those insights and get consistent information.
Go to the next slide. So one thing that I would challenge most is that I challenge clients with as I'm walking through this we know, based on our sales activity that seller's only spend % of their time selling. So everything else is what takes up their time. They actually spend % of the time preparing to sell. But so % of their time selling.
there is a pathway to give them a ton of time back. So the first thing you need to do if you go to the next slide is
is to eliminate activity, capture, and that sounds really easy, but it's very hard, because you'll get the oh, my gosh! You know it's Big brother. You guys are capturing all this stuff for me, but it's very valuable. Think about one of the stats that we have that we came through when we do pipeline reviews. And, Peter, you probably see the same thing in your data. % of opportunities are open in the same quarter. They're closed
for to month deal cycles, those, Sis, those aren't being put in the system. If you're capturing activities. And if you're capturing activities and auto creating contacts when the activity is captured, if they're not in the system, those types of things you now have visibility to everything in a consistent
way. So the weird thing with this is Seller's would say, I don't want to enter activities, but they'll also say, I don't want you to enter, I'm sure. So you've got to get over the hp and say, you know, we're entering activities, and this is for our entire companies. Good. But once you do that.
things change very quickly. If you go to the next slide, if I have all the activities and I'm capturing them, the way that I should capture them.
I no longer need opportunities. I no longer need to have the seller enter opportunities. I also no longer need to have the seller's deal progression, because I can watch that myself. And like, when I say this, it's like, Oh, yeah, that's crazy. The seller needs to own the opportunity creation. My response back is always well, how? How good your seller's interaction enters the opportunity.
How consistent are they? And like, they're not consistent at all. Yeah, if I have all your activity, I can define the consistent point I need to make that I need to ever have the opportunity. I'm gonna have all the information. So then I can consistently enter them when it makes sense to enter them rather than in the random fashion like, if you think activities are bad when you go into opportunities
and the inconsistencies there, they're crazy. So once you have that that eliminates your need to do forecasting as well. And that sounds like that sounds like blasting. If you go to the next line of customers, you talk to customers about that, and sales leaders like oh, hell! No, they can't do forecasting. That just won't work because Seller's
need to be motivated to do their job. And the response back is always well, you're paying % of your revenue to Seller's to be able to hit a number. Why don't you focus on that? That sounds more motivational. If I was a seller I'd be focused more on hitting my quota than me doing some random forecasting. The other thing that it does is
if I'm doing, if I'm having opportunities created for me, and I don't have the burden of these forecasts. What's gonna end up happening is seller's are gonna Flip from staying away from opportunities to going to opportunities. That will be the place they go to get their insights, because now all the activity, if I'm in a buying group which almost all big deals have buying groups. You're gonna have all the interactions that happen in that buying group. And ideally, you'd have the digital interactions coming from marketing
where that opportunity is gonna become this vessel that holds all the information about the deal, and the seller will use it to help them win, whereas today they're kind of keeping it at arm's length and trying to do it themselves. So it completely flips the way that you would work on a sale
and gets everybody to focus instead of on distracting things that are important, but better done by other people. They can focus on winning and just going after deal after deal after deal, and if you go to the next slide, just the last one, what it'll do
is it allows you to take those interactions. And instead of you having like, if you think about how deal reviews work today, they're % deal one. Are you gonna forecast it? How much is it going to be? Is this accurate in their entirety? So they're spending the majority of those meetings they have every week that their seller's interrogating them on a forecast.
Imagine if that conversation wasn't about that, it was around. Hey? We've got these deals. How do I help you win? How can I help you win that deal?
Those calls would be a lot more valuable to the company and to the seller, and you'd win more deals, and you'd already have the information behind the scenes to get your accurate forecasting of those types of things. So it's a pathway that is much more viable than people think. If you start taking steps towards it.
Yeah, that's really fascinating. Brandon. Love to hear your reaction to that?
Yeah. Oh, I mean, he kinda went down the path. I'm glad I didn't interrupt him because he got to this slide. And I think this is where I was gonna go, anyways, because it's not that we're replacing the opportunity management. If that, we're going from opportunity management to opportunity coaching, and we're going from forecasting where it tells me what your forecast is to. Let's discuss how we can help you win this deal, because I already know what the forecast is. .
and so that's a huge part of this exercise that we're going through right now. And honestly, it's already much better, just by starting to collect data and make it accurate. I also think that there is a. The progression here is going to be compounded by tools that will ask the rep questions, to validate and verify, like. So just to make the people feel comfortable on the call. It's not like
we're going to have all the perfect automation of all the activities. , it's likely that it's going to listen to your recorded calls. It's going to look at your email and your slack activity and your call data. And it's going to say, I think this is accurate
help. Would you agree that this is the economic buyer for this account, and that this person is likely a champion that you, that you could trust on , based on the sentiment of the call. And would you agree, based on what we heard, on the call that they make competitors, or this, and you would just say
yes or no in a slack bot, or some like an AI assistant, and then then it will just make it up to date. And so if there's going to be some like interaction. But you're not having to type it in, there's gonna be some smart. That's like confirming things. And then it's going in there.
Yeah, I think one of the cool things about this is sometimes when people see automation, they think. Oh, God, I'm gonna become this robot that's just forced to do whatever the AI engine tells me to do, actually for me, I think you should actively challenge all of it. Right. The system will learn Brandon's point. As things are going, you're gonna have to validate inputs, it'll also say, hey?
When you're at this stage in a deal % of the time, this is the best step, and you, as a seller, should say, ah, I don't believe it. So I'm going this direction. And what is the reason why? It's important to have your own thought process around it because these tools are only looking at history. They're not looking at the current situation or the or where things are.
You need a seller to do that also. Buyers are changing and evolving just as rapidly as seller's. So if you don't have a sales person that's actively challenging the system, then you're never gonna know what the new best practices are, because it's not like you've had breast practice, and you've had it for years. The buyers have evolved around that. So if you have Seller's that are actively challenging it.
it gives them a hint to say, this is the pathway to go, but if you have a reason not to. Then you start going the other direction and winning. And then all of a sudden that number starts to turn, and it becomes a new variable. So it's this automation of things. You can automate insights where insights are valuable. But the seller's using their own judgment with all those new signals
to get them where they need to go.
So it just becomes a fe. You need both. Because at this point we're not doing anything to future forward, predict things. That's the realm of the seller, and where they add the most value based on all the knowledge they have around that deal. The beauty of it is, they get all of the knowledge already understood and built in by Brandon's team.
Yes, yeah, yeah. It's amazing how the combination of the data and the intelligence, the art of the AI intelligence. It's supportive of the seller doing what the seller does best. I mean, ultimately, that's what it comes down to. Just oh, sorry. Go ahead, Brennan.
I was. Gonna say that that was kind of my point in my lead up to the whole conversation was, we have combined Ops and enablement within our organization purposely, because the Ops is only there to enable.
like we don't want to have operations that's doing things that are not directly responsible for enabling the team to sell.
And so that's why we have combined them together. And they sit right next to each other, and they work on projects that are overlapping, you know.
That is fascinating. That actually makes a ton of sense. I mean, if you're if it's not provable, then why should you be enabling a seller in a certain direction?
Let me backtrack just a little bit on one of your other points. Seth was, you know, talking around automating progression, for instance, of deals and the like. And I was just reflecting, as you were saying, on how in my career I've been part of many spreadsheets that had entry and exit criteria for the various stages and the like. They are, you know, there.
There's some degree of subjectivity, but a lot of it is just based on objective facts that are discernible from activity, you know. Did the buyer agree to move into procurement? Did the buyer agree to, you know, process through security, or whatever. Whatever is the step in your various entry and exit criteria, a lot of that can just be captured from the activities that are happening.
Yeah, I mean, the thing is, the stage seller's don't do it anyway, right? Like we do analysis on pipelines. And we break them down into a consistent stage pipeline. Just so we can analyze companies together with the average number of stages that a seller uses. They use stages. They log loaded in, and then they close it.
I mean they're not using it, anyway. If you had stages like to your point, it's you can move them through progressively. All that will do is just enrich your discussion. It's another data point to say, stage equals this. So let's talk about what we should be doing in Stage . So to a certain extent it makes
The stage is valuable to the seller, whereas today they're more of a burden to them because they have to keep updating and moving them. It shouldn't really matter to them. All it should do is change the context of the conversation ideally. If you haven't really tripped out in your Crm, it will change what you show to the seller to be able to give them valuable insights, content information Forre for that particular stage. So it's there to help them. And today it's more there, as a
another thing that they have to do
terrific. So I'm gonna just move on just here for this fantastic discussion , one of the things that we were hoping to bring up was this idea that. , you know some of the data that we've been seeing ourselves. So as you can imagine, as a company, we're analyzing millions of emails.
emails, you know, calendars and call recordings. We're doing that, you know, all the time in, you know, very large sales organizations. And so we decided to conduct a little analysis and see what we are seeing across some anonymized and aggregated data. So I'd love
this is sort of a lightning round, if you will, and love. You. Serve your quick reactions to some of this some of the data that we're seeing here. I'll kind of contextualize it first off. But . The first one that we're seeing is this idea that almost quarters of opportunities that are about to close don't have any emails
logged within salesforce in the past month. Now it could go ways. It could be that there's no logging happening, or it could be that there's no activity happening. But you know. Curious what that brings to mind, Brandon for you, I mean, how do you? How are you? If if if you were this
oh , RevOpsoverlord across all of these millions of records, how would you feel? Would you react to that data if you were in charge of that.
Well, I mean, first, I blame myself. I blame the RevOpsteam like we better be logging emails. So that'd be the first check. If that's not right, then obviously, I would be concerned about the opportunities. , that does not have email activity on them. , but usually that's A, that's a pretty high Stat. And so my guess is that a majority of that is that emails just aren't being logged accurately and effectively and automated . And so that'd be my first step to solve that one
sets a reaction.
Yeah, I mean for me, it's that I mean, obviously makes you go if they're not logging. The other thing that it made me think of is, oh, that kind of explains how there's this gigantic chunk of opportunities that get moved to the next quarter every every quarter, and keep getting moved and moved
Yeah, actually, that's a great point. Because , you know, the closing soon could just be. It may not be that it's lack of, or the activities being incorrectly logged could be that the close date is completely wrong, and that's probably because no one knows what's going on in the opportunity. Anyways.
So alright, the lightning round continues with the next one. So similar. Type stat . In this case, no meetings being logged. So, Brandon, I'll go to you first off. Think that's a similar problem, where you blame that on Rev. Oops. First,
yeah, I mean all these. I would wanna make sure that the data is accurate. But for us, because if I saw this in our environment, then I would be very concerned about those opportunities because we do track this stuff, and we do have meetings associated with opportunities. And we do look at that in all of our tools, consistently.
, we're looking at opportunities and forecasting . And so this is. This is a tall tail that we are either behind on the opportunity, or it probably should not be in the forecast, or it needs to be pushed out. And so , this is definitely one of the leading indicators that I would look at when forecasting it or looking at Ops
Yeah, if they're not having meetings and they're still closing deals, then I would question what the seller's role is in that process.
I'd be really impressed.
Yeah, that could be alright great. A little bit of a different angle this time. So now we're saying, % of opportunities that are closing soon have one contact or fewer. Now I know Brandon. In your environment. You have. You'll sometimes have temporary territories and the like. You'll have, you know, onboarding reps that may be taking a certain opportunity, or even, you know, like a close deal that passes on to account management.
So I imagine, not having contacts log within an opportunity or an account that's gonna make account transitions pretty tough.
Yeah, this has to happen. , this is one thing that we're
we're actually making it better and better. But it already is because we scrape calendars and use that to put contacts onto opportunities and then associate them to a certain type of buyer, a persona. , so yeah, having one type contact, it makes it impossible to transition
to another. Ae, but it definitely makes it difficult for the customer success team to know everybody that's involved, because usually, when the handoff happens, the handoff happens first to the leader and the the main technical buyer, at least in our world. , and so
so. But there's other people that you may have interacted with as a part of that sales cycle, and they matter, too, and the interaction with that person matters , and the introduction to that person matters. And it's important for the customer success team to know all those people, and it's not really realistic to expect
the Ae. Is going to put all those people into a spreadsheet and list out their roles and responsibilities like this is just once another one of those. What is the job of RevOpslike to make the team effective and efficient at closing deals. And this is an easy one to do with with some automation
Yeah, I mean, this one's dangerous if you don't do it right, because the turnover is % of most sales in most sales organizations. If you don't have contacts on. And who do I even go after? And I mean, like, if you're not like this is another reason why activity capture, automation, automated activity capture is so important because if you're doing automated activity capture to what Brandon talked about. That's a really important point. One of the big value adds, is the ability to scrape
meeting and auto add contacts into the account, into the opportunity in those areas. Even if you do none of the other stuff, it'll give you forward visibility into opportunities. And it's a great report to run and say, Hi, you've had a meeting with. You've had a meeting with this contact times in the last month, but you don't have an open opportunity. What are you doing like what's going on here? So it'll allow you to better understand the deal cycles. If you're doing that
The flipside is also true for us when we see an opportunity with people, and of them are Vps, and one of them is the Vp of engineering. And there's been a lot of activity with that specific contact that gives us good insights that this is probably a deal that has the right level of activity to close.
Yeah, that's great.
Alright. And the last of the lightning round data points here. So or more than of the active salesforce. Users have no emails or meetings log in the past weeks. Now I suspect this is linked to what? what you both were discussing about
beginning of our chat, which was, you've got different reps, and you have maybe high performers that are just not logging things within the Crm, and can kind of get away with it. But that doesn't really do anyone any good. If we don't know what the best practices look like for those top sellers.
I just don't think that it's an expectation that you can set on a seller to put all their emails and their meetings in salesforce. It's just too many like I, especially with the with how many emails and calls that you have to make to be effective as a seller in these days, and the number of meetings that you need to have each week, the thing
that they also would have to track all those individually and salesforce with the right amount of data is just like it's, it's almost ridiculous. They even consider it. And so if it's not automated, I'm actually like, I'd be okay with this that you know, because I would. The expectation is just unrealistic.
Yeah, I thought it would be lower. But I mean, it must be included. It's including those that are doing automation. So it's higher than expected. Like, I completely agree. If you don't have an easy way for them to do it. It's almost. It's almost malpractice to have a Forrester seller to be able to push all of these in, and this is one, whether you do it full automation or not. You want to give a seller a chance to work. You need to let them work and then have an automated way to get these into the system
perfect. Now, throughout the discussion we've been talking about what we can do about it. , particularly the notion of automation. as a key key. Takeaway. Brandon, maybe start with you like. What would you do? Your advice be? So you're now again the imaginary overlord of that data set that had these issues we saw before. , what would be your recommendations to the RevOpsteam. That's you know. , that's in that situation.
If you want to use any type of data to make better decisions or help with coaching.
The first step is to automate collecting it and making it accurate not as a seller to answer something.
and so, if you can do it in that order, there's still gonna be to % that maybe the seller has to do right now. But if you can cover to % with some automation
and making it accurate through operations, and then go that route . The second is coaching the
seller's both leaders and the individual contributors. , how to use data that is coming in as automated how to trust it. , how to provide support and feedback to the Ops team to make it more accurate next time. And so they're also just teaching them how to create a better feedback loop. So they're not frustrated with the to %. That is not going to be accurate the first time, because we are trying to automate it on their behalf.
For me, I I I think you have to. You have to force adoption, and when I say force, it sounds bad. But you have to do it universally, and the hardest thing to do as a sales leader is to tell your top seller sorry we're automating your interactions, even though you definitely don't want to do it.
But you have to get consistency, and if you don't do that, you're never going to be able to use it anyway. So one of the big things is having sellers.
hey? We're gonna do this automation. I need you to trust me for months that we're not going to use it in a bad way, that we're going to use it for good. But I need months to be able to do this. Put that in place, if you truly believe like, if you truly believe there's insights and activity which I don't know a sales leader who doesn't. Then you should be fully on board with automating all of those things, because it's the only way for you to really get insights that you know about from those activities in a usable fashion.
Oh, go ahead!
I would. I would add to that !
And this kind of speaks to this question as well. But the
The vision has to come from the car.
The objective here is to help coach and make you more effective and efficient and do what you love to do, what you're here to do, which is to sell.
And that is why we're automating this for you
so that you can be effectively efficient at your job.
And that is why that is why we need your support and being okay with that automation and the acquisition of the data because it will help us do those things.
, we're not doing this, though. Oversee every small activity. We're doing this to be better coaches for you all. And so if it comes from top down in that regard and that and hopefully, that is the intention. , then it should be received. Well.
That's great. So we've talked , you know, a lot about the efficiency benefits that come with better data. So obviously getting the time back for core selling activities. , and also there's this notion of effectiveness. And maybe that'd be a good place to kind of conclude the discussion is, , what else can you be doing with that? Better data to make reps not only efficient, but also effective? , where do you come down on that in terms of boosted effectiveness?
I mean, there's main areas, right? One is administratively right. If you're using these tools, the auto enter capabilities will
significantly reduce admin. So your admin time will go down. And then also, if I have those insights, I can actually give you stuff that's going to help you win deals and like we haven't even talked about Jen AI. And what some of this stuff can do. But if you think about the aggregation of information. If you don't have information in a good place, that tool is going to be blunted. And if your competition does.
you're gonna be at a disadvantage. Because you imagine, if you have this and you're consolidating all this information, I can align it around a contact. I can align it around an account. I can align that information around opportunities. I can put that tool on it which is exceptionally good at understanding all that information and giving you a summarized insight that could be useful to you. I'm gonna get insights
that you won't if you're not doing this, so I want my competition to not do it, because I will be able to beat them at deals, just because I'll have more information and insights than they will to be able to approach the deal in a more sophisticated manner. And buyers are going to become more sophisticated with this new technology as well. They're not gonna put up with it, hey? I'm just
so it's up here to do my standard pitch. No, you're gonna have to do your homework, and you have to come in with a with an understanding of what that buyer wants, and present them what they want, and that can't be done if you don't have this information, and so it can be analyzed, understood, and used to help you.
Great Brandon, any thoughts there on the effectiveness.
Yeah, yeah. Of course, when you do all these things to automate the basics of a salesperson's job to kinda do, forecasting hand opportunity management, the questions, what are they gonna spend all that extra time on? And I think some of the things that Seth were saying around using AI to start the research
on a customer you're about to have a meeting with, and then taking those answers and doing deep research and then creating a customized presentation based on that research and coming to a call with a ton of relevant data that makes your pitch very specific to them is hopefully where the time goes.
instead of spending time internally making sure that you, your manager, knows that you're working, and your leader knows that your forecast is up to date. , and we've done this exercise a few times. We'll actually ask Rarard or one of the AI tools. Can you tell me more about this company? ! Can you look at all their like financial statements, and that it gives us a good start, and then we go do another , min of research on them. I can't do that if I have accounts.
and I'm having calls a week, and I'm expected to track all that information and show up to a forecast call and prep for deal reviews, you know, like it's a you can't. You can't balance the internal and the external management there. ! If you don't have some automation for the internal stuff.
That's a great point.
Well, terrific. Well, gentlemen, this has been a fantastic discussion. Very much enjoyed it, for those that have been listening and also enjoying it. I thank you for your time, and just want to also. send out an offer to you all that are listening. We do have a tool that's free and open to
anyone to use. It's you can access it through sail co greater. And it'll actually diagnose for you how much missing data there is across your salesforce instance. So definitely encourage folks. Take a look at that. It's as I said, free, and it gives you a score within seconds. So feel free to take advantage of that and so I'll just wrap up. So once again I very much. Enjoy this chat, Brandon. Seth. It's been fantastic to hear your perspectives, your research, your thoughts on this very important space, and how you can leverage sales data to make sales organizations more effective. So Brandon, Seth, thank you. And to all everyone else listening. Thank you. As well