This is the first blog in a multi-part series entitled “Revenue Intelligence: A Smart Upgrade for your CRM.”
Imagine you’re a local weather forecaster who has just been told that the servers are down, and you no longer have access to historical weather data to provide your daily local weather report. Instead, all you have to go on is sticking your hand out the window and looking at the clouds in the sky. Sure, you might get lucky and accurately predict the weather in the next hour or so. But how about your forecast for the next day? Or the next 10 days? Odds are, you’ll be dead wrong. This is essentially how sales teams without Revenue Intelligence operate at an individual level: hundreds, or thousands, of reps providing their best guess as to how a given deal will pan out. This might work for smaller teams, but at scale or unforeseen market conditions , it’s a disaster. Enter Revenue Intelligence.
What is Revenue Intelligence?
“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” – Stephen Hawking
Revenue intelligence is the practice of using data analysis and insights to inform and optimize a company’s revenue-generating activities. It involves leveraging data from various sources, such as sales and marketing data, customer behavior data, and competitive analysis, to gain a better understanding of a company’s revenue streams, identify new opportunities, and make data-driven decisions that can improve revenue performance. Revenue intelligence can encompass a range of activities, including market research, pricing optimization, sales forecasting, customer segmentation, and lead generation.
Revenue Intelligence Market Growth
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Adoption of revenue intelligence software has exploded since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Grand View Research, the global sales intelligence market size was valued at $2.5 billion in 2020, and is projected to more than double to $5.03 billion by 2027. In its latest Market Guide for Revenue Intelligence Platforms, Gartner states: “By 2025, 75% of B2B sales organizations will replace traditional sales playbooks with AI-based guided selling solutions.”
AI-powered tools are changing the way people work (and make money) right in front of our eyes. These tools are also transforming the way companies understand and interact with their customers. This is where the value of Revenue Intelligence really lies – at the intersection of AI/ML and customer data.
Revenue Intelligence – Benefits by Business Persona
“Without data you’re just another person with an opinion.”
– W. Edwards Deming, Statistician
The benefits of enhancing your CRM with AI-powered revenue intelligence functionality has benefits for various areas of your business, including:
- Gain performance insights to build stronger pipelines and improve forecast accuracy
- Identify which accounts have growth potential and those that may be a churn risk
- Understand customer purchase history to offer relevant product/service recommendations to increase cross-sell and up-sell revenue
- Provide sales managers with necessary intelligence to provide contextual sales coaching, proactively manage pipeline health, and pinpoint which deals may be at risk
- Empower your CFO and finance team with the data and intelligence they need to uncover revenue leakage caused by pricing errors, rogue discounting, billing discrepancies, and revenue recognition practices
- Leverage revenue intelligence data to analyze/optimize pricing structures and protect profitability margins
- Equip your operations team with the historical sales data they need for accurate demand planning and optimized inventory management
- Employ a data-driven approach for market segmentation, campaign planning, and promotion targeting
- Understand the performance of various partner networks to maximize performance, guide allocation of channel marketing investments, and stimulate revenue growth
5 Reasons to Invest in Revenue Intelligence
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin
The brisk adoption and continued growth of the revenue intelligence market is a testament to the value it can bring to your revenue operations, customer relationships, and competitive positioning. Continue reading to learn how revenue intelligence can benefit your company.
- Improved Sales Outcomes
Revenue intelligence can help your sales team better understand deal size, velocity, product mix, win rates, and other custom metrics. By analyzing data from different sources, you can determine what tactics work best for different customer segments, and markets, what products or services are closing, and what additional factors may be influencing purchase behavior. This insight can help your sales team optimize its approach – at scale – resulting in better sales outcomes across the organization.
- Eliminate Inefficiency
As a corollary to improved sales outcomes, companies that invest in revenue intelligence will have the necessary insight into their sales lifecycle to not only identify but fix ineffective processes. Equipped with the right analytics, revenue operations improvement no longer has to be a time-intensive and imperfect process of trial and error for sales leaders.
- Better Decision-Making
RI can help you make better, data-driven decisions, quickly. For example, you can use revenue intelligence to determine which markets to enter or exit, which products to develop or discontinue, and how to allocate your sales and marketing resources for maximum impact.
- Improved Customer Retention
Revenue intelligence can also help you improve customer retention by providing insights into your customers’ behavior and preferences. By understanding, and even anticipating, what your customers want and need, you can create more targeted marketing campaigns, improve your product or service offerings, and provide better customer service.
- Sustainable Competitive Advantage
Revenue intelligence can provide you with a competitive advantage by helping you understand your competitors and overall market trends. By analyzing data from a variety of sources, you can identify gaps in the market, develop better products and services, and outmaneuver your competitors.
In conclusion, revenue intelligence software provides data-driven insights to optimize your revenue lifecycle, maintain exceptional customer relationships, and identify new sales opportunities. By investing in revenue intelligence, you will have the insights to gain a deeper understanding of your customers’ behaviors and more accurately forecast sales outcomes… so even if a storm develops, you’ll be prepared!
To continue learning about the crucial role data intelligence can play for organization, read this blog: Is Your Lack of Data Contributing to Customer Churn?