Yesterday Forrester released their latest report, New Tech: Revenue Operations And Intelligence, where People.ai has been named a Late Stage Vendor. We’re thrilled to finally see the Revenue Operations and Revenue Intelligence spaces formally merge (we’ve been predicting this for quite some time, as you might have noticed on our website). This convergence of categories presents a slew of new opportunities, so I wanted to take a few minutes to share my point of view on the future of RO&I.
As Forrester notes in the report, COVID transformed selling from analog (coffees and in-person meetings) to an almost 100% digital experience, where the vast majority of selling is now done online. This move has created a tremendous digital footprint and as a result the technology landscape has been evolving at a rapid rate to capitalize on all of this new data and meet the growing demands of the customer.
I believe this newly found availability of comprehensive data, describing how sellers sell and buyers buy led Forrester to focus on buyer engagement as the linchpin to predictable revenue and consistent sales performance of enterprise organizations. That being said, revenue teams are still struggling to find a repeatable winning formula, and we believe the core of that problem comes down to one thing: data.
Enterprise sales and marketing teams typically leverage anywhere from 20-50 different tools to instrument the buyer and customer journey. While the idea of automation and insights that every vendor has been promising sounds helpful, there are a few major challenges that sales and marketing teams are struggling to overcome:
All in all - the sheer volume of sales tools and conflicting data across them is creating more than its fair share of friction across the entire GTM organization. We believe those pain points could be easily removed if there were a more distinct separation between revenue data collection layer and workflow tools to improve sales performance.
This is not the first time we’ve seen the separation of the data and presentation/workflow layer in order to create a more flexible ecosystem that accelerates innovation and simplifies user experience. Web 2.0 was built on separating data (XML) and presentation layer (HTML). Modern Cloud was built on separating data (storage) and compute layer (virtualization). Modern mobile computing was built on separating storage & compute (iPhone) from presentation layer (iPhone apps). Analytics industry was created through separation of data (Snowflake, Redshift) and visualization (business intelligence tools like Tableau).
Yet in Revenue data, every vendor is trying to do everything (both data and presentation/workflow) and you end up paying not only 10X the bill (how many vendors asked you for $2000 per AE/year in license cost this quarter?) but also requiring customers to put in 10X the work to integrate all of these tools with Salesforce and with each other and then maintain separate user tables, settings, and enablement programs. The current state of Revenue tools is as if you carried in your pocket a separate flip phone for every app you needed vs having one smartphone run all the apps.
At People.ai, we know that the future of Revenue Operations & Intelligence needs to operate like a true ecosystem of tools & capabilities, fueled by a single and unified data platform.
The revenue app landscape will continue to evolve and your company’s needs will change, yet one thing is clear -- your company’s tech stack will need to continue changing but the revenue & activity data powering it will need to stay stable, reliable and accessible. Without a unified foundation of GTM data, companies will be handicapped by conflicting data and the silos between teams will perpetuate, making it far more difficult to deliver predictable growth.
People.ai was the first in the market to build a universal revenue data platform, unlocking a unified set of business activity data (email, calendar, zoom) and making it equally available to all revenue applications (including our own) through a set of comprehensive APIs. Now, with more than 50 approved patents, we are the only platform that delivers comprehensive insights around buyer and seller activity at the opportunity level, connecting every activity to the health of accounts and progression of deals, and delivering those insights natively to your Salesforce and any other app you could use them for.
For B2B enterprises, selling to complex buying groups, having the most timely and accurate data on opportunities, accounts and contacts is at the core of predictive sales. From the beginning, People.ai offered us the most sophisticated opportunity-level matching algorithms, exposed through a flexible data layer to power the rest of our technology stack. Their solution keeps evolving to help us win by proactively surfacing account & opportunity-level insights. Great to see our work together converting into a new Forrester category
Saima Rashid, VP, Field Analytics & Insights, PTC
We’ve already seen the impact that a unified data foundation can have on the ability to align the entire GTM around account engagement and opportunity execution:
Forrester paints a bright future for Revenue Operations & Intelligence, but the real ROI cannot be realized without a consistent and reliable understanding of how buyer behavior relates to sales outcomes, through revenue data you trust.
Realizing the benefits of sales tech platforms such as revenue operations and intelligence requires recognition of the step change in buyer behavior, as well as the reality that manual tracking is not a scalable or robust method to get the insights needed to orchestrate effective engagement, predict revenue, and manage performance. B2B organizations will increasingly struggle to compete without such insights and the ability to leverage these insights to build better buying experiences and manage core processes that deliver consistent revenue.
Forrester “New Tech: Revenue Operations And Intelligence, Q4 2021”
We’re excited to be on the bleeding edge of this market and will continue to pioneer a more connected and smarter revenue ecosystem of the future. In the meantime, welcome to the newly merged Revenue Operations & Intelligence category.