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Revenue intelligence - the fundamental guide

  • Aug 9, 2023
  • 5 minutes

What is revenue intelligence? 

Revenue intelligence provides deep visibility into sales pipelines using data from various sources. Its aim is to maximize revenue, through more efficient sales and marketing efforts. 

The process involves data from CRMs, marketing automation tools and customer support interactions. Revenue teams analyze topics including conversion rates, deal velocity, and sales cycles to identify key touchpoints and areas for improvement. 

A study by Forrester found that "companies using revenue intelligence tools are more than twice as likely to significantly exceed revenue goals."

What are the benefits of revenue intelligence?

Teams that leverage revenue intelligence gain valuable insights into their unique sales process. This results in more accurate, data-driven sales forecasting, improved sales and marketing efforts, and better customer experience. 

It also:

  • Removes bias, reporting on reality through machine learning and artificial intelligence models
  • Provides instant analytics for fast-moving companies
  • Transcends the sales function to fuel growth across the organization
  • Encourages a culture of data-sharing, coaching and continuous improvement

Done well, it empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions, improve sales strategies and fuels revenue growth.

Benefits for Sales Teams

Revenue intelligence gives sales teams greater visibility into customer and prospect activity across channels. By analyzing usage, engagement, and buying signals, sales reps can better understand where customers are in the buying journey and when and how to approach them. Revenue intelligence also identifies high-value accounts that sales should prioritize and uncover cross-sell/upsell opportunities within existing accounts. With data-driven insights, sales teams can have more productive conversations, close deals faster, and exceed revenue goals.

Benefits for Revenue Leaders:

For revenue leaders, revenue intelligence is an invaluable ally in forecasting, planning, and strategy. By combining financial data with usage, adoption, and customer health metrics, revenue intelligence provides a holistic view of revenue risks and opportunities. Leaders can model different growth scenarios to create accurate forecasts. They can also gain visibility into changing market conditions and customer needs to adjust strategy accordingly. With advanced analytics and AI, revenue intelligence enables data-driven decision making so leaders can optimize monetization, retention, and expansion. This drives faster revenue growth at reduced risk.

Benefits for Customer Success:

Revenue intelligence empowers customer success managers to identify and resolve issues that may impact retention and expansion revenue. Analyzing usage data, revenue intelligence can detect low adoption of product features or disengaged customers. Customer success can then proactively reach out to provide training or support. Revenue intelligence also identifies upsell opportunities based on customers' feature usage and needs. By matching the right offers to the right customers, customer success can drive expansion revenue while also improving retention. Overall, revenue intelligence enables customer success teams to maximize the lifetime value of accounts.

Benefits for Marketing:

For marketing teams, revenue intelligence connects campaign investments to pipeline and revenue. By tracking the customer journey across campaigns and channels, marketers can see their true impact on the sales funnel. Revenue intelligence also helps optimize campaign spending by identifying the highest converting lead sources, content, and segments. With clear visibility into the ROI of marketing programs, teams can double down on what's working and refine underperforming areas. Additionally, revenue intelligence identifies customer retention and expansion signals, enabling account-based marketing programs to nurture existing customers. With intelligence-driven marketing, teams can generate more revenue at lower acquisition costs.

 

What are the features of revenue intelligence?

There are three key pillars to be aware of:

#1 Customer Intelligence - turning customer behaviour and conversation data into actionable insight.

It's all about understanding the customer and making the sales process easy for them. This element helps you organize next steps, handle objections and understand decision-making criteria. 

#2 Conversation intelligence - deep understanding of wider context and sentiment of conversations. 

In sales, it’s crucial to know what makes up a strong conversation vs a challenging conversation. That way, you can spend time on the deals that are most likely to convert. 

 

#3 Team and deal insights - identifying team skills gaps and pipeline risks.

This element of reporting allows you to view deal risks so your team can create a strategy to keep sales moving. 

 

Revenue intelligence metrics for success

There are a few key metrics that indicate an organization's revenue intelligence program is delivering value:

Increased forecast accuracy - With advanced analytics, revenue intelligence improves forecasting precision so budgets and plans are based on solid projections.

Faster sales cycle times - By identifying the right accounts to target and the right time to engage, revenue intelligence enables sales teams to shorten sales cycles.

Improved win rates - Insights into prospect and customer behavior allow sales and marketing teams to craft the right messaging and positioning to win more deals.

Higher average contract values - Revenue intelligence identifies upsell opportunities within accounts to grow contract values over time.
Increased customer lifetime value - Customer success and marketing teams can use revenue intelligence to improve retention and expansion revenue per account.

Higher marketing ROI - By tracking marketing influence on pipeline and revenue, teams can optimize spending and improve the ROI of marketing programs.

When revenue teams can measure improvements across these metrics, it's a sign that revenue intelligence is delivering material business impact. The metrics demonstrate that intelligence is being turned into tangible results.

 

What is the application for revenue intelligence? 

On its own, top-level customer and sales data gives you visibility over the "what" and the "who" of your revenue. Beyond that, you're left to your own devices. And it's hard to be unbiased or make any sense of such mountains of data. So, people often let their own opinion or hunches guide any takeaways.

RI is the "why" and "how" of your sales data. If you expect to survive and thrive in today's sales environment, you need to learn how and why deals progress. 

 

What is the difference between revenue intelligence and revenue operations?

Revenue operations is a business function that considers all revenue generating activities within a business and seeks to optimize processes for more efficient revenue generation. Revenue Operations or RevOps leaders utilize revenue intelligence tools to analyze their business data and highlight areas for improvement.

 

The relationship between revenue intelligence
and conversation intelligence

Revenue intelligence and conversation intelligence - a match made in heaven.

Visibility on revenue generation is great, but the deeper you can dive in, the better. Recording, transcribing and analyzing conversations helps you understand your revenue-generating team. Finding out where and how you need to improve will fast-track progress and revenue generation. 

By unifying data from revenue intelligence, conversation intelligence, and call recording systems, sales and customer success teams get an incredibly rich understanding of customer interactions and business relationships:

Revenue intelligence provides the big picture view of customer health and revenue risks and opportunities. Conversation intelligence analyzes interactions to uncover engagement levels, sentiment, and buying signals. Call recording captures vital context through actual sales and support conversations.

Together, these three capabilities offer a comprehensive view of the voice of the customer along with the business context. Sales reps can hear conversations and see intelligence alerts on key accounts to drive relevance and personalization. Customer success can listen to calls with at-risk customers while viewing usage trends to take corrective actions.

By combining these datasets, teams can have more intelligent conversations, create better customer experiences, preempt and solve issues, and ultimately make more profitable business decisions. Unified intelligence helps sustain revenue growth and maximize account lifetime value. See how harnessing this powerful trio can maximize your impact in our handy guide.

 

How to implement a revenue intelligence solution

Implementing revenue intelligence solutions takes careful planning and execution:

Get cross-functional buy-in - Bring sales, marketing, customer success, and other stakeholders on board early to ensure broad adoption. Communicate the benefits clearly.

Audit existing data sources - Identify all the customer data sources across CRM, marketing automation, finance systems, etc. Assess data quality and accessibility.

Define business objectives and metrics - Align on the key business questions and metrics the solution should answer. Stay focused on driving revenue impact.

Select the right technology - Choose a flexible revenue intelligence platform that can connect data sources, analyze data, and deliver insights through dashboards and alerts.

Clean, map, and integrate data - Invest time in consolidating and preparing customer data for analysis. Create unified profiles.

Develop models and analytics - Work with data scientists to build models, algorithms, and analytics tailored to your data and use cases.

Deliver insights to users - Build dashboards, reports, and alerts that make intelligence easy to access and act upon for different user groups.

Drive adoption with training - Provide training resources and support to users to get comfortable leveraging revenue intelligence.
Refine and expand over time - Continue enhancing data, analytics, and adoption based on user feedback for maximum business impact.
With a phased, collaborative approach, organizations can successfully deploy revenue intelligence at scale.

 

 

In short, it's the single source of truth that shines a light on the reality of your sales performance. 

Knowing how, where and why you win or lose is the way you guarantee business success. RI automates this process, allowing focus. So you can drive growth.

 

 

 

Shelley Lavery is the COO and Co-Founder of Jiminny, the leading conversation intelligence and sales coaching platform that helps companies maximize their revenue. With over a decade of experience in coaching B2B sales teams, Shelley was previously Group SVP of Sales at Reward Gateway now leading the conversation intelligence discussion with expertise and insight.

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