What good is data if you don’t do anything with it?

We’re witnessing an era in which revenue operations and go-to-market teams no longer need to be convinced of the value of data in hitting their targets. Most businesses are data hungry, company wide.

But we’re discovering that we have so much data that we don’t know how to manage it and use it to our advantage. We silo it, locking it away in tools that aren’t designed to do a good job of sharing that data with us when we need it most.

For example, how often do your sales reps know where to look for product usage data? How many times have your executives missed an opportunity to influence a deal even though all the necessary data was available?

Let’s flip the script. Our databases house all this information, but we are all still burdened with having to know when relevant data is available and where to go digging for it. It’s time to make software surface the right insights for us so we see what matters and take action on it. 

The business stack is changing

Today’s business systems “stack” is made up of two essential layers: systems of record and systems of engagement. However, more companies are realizing the need for a third layer: systems of intelligence.

Some of the best companies are already thinking about this and working to solve the problem now. Salesforce launched Einstein as the “first comprehensive AI for CRM.” And Microsoft has its eye on AI, noting how it will completely transform the way we work.

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We believe the most critical need is for a revenue communications platform, like Troops. What is a revenue communications platform? It’s a platform that monitors your key systems for changes, notifies associated people when specific conditions occur, and presents a list of immediate actions they can take, all through whatever messaging apps they’re using.

The Typical Systems Stack

Traditionally, two systems (of record and of engagement) operate apart from one another, separating data from people. This causes a lot of problems and disconnects within teams and across departments.

Systems of record: Where your data is
Your systems of record are the databases that hold human- and system-generated data. These include customer and marketing data in apps like Salesforce, Hubspot, and Clearbit, as well as your financial, employee, product, and supply-chain data in systems like NetSuite, FinancialForce, SAP, and Oracle.

System-generated data is automated and happens largely behind the scenes. Human-generated data, on the other hand, is captured, logged, and updated by people. The quality and completeness of human-generated data depends on the people who collect it.

While systems of record are powerful because they hold lots of important data, they’re not always the most user-friendly—it can be cumbersome and difficult to update or pull relevant data from them. They were designed to support many complex processes, and that has a definite impact on ease of use. Your customer account record, for example, may contain hundreds of fields and link to dozens of opportunities and even more marketing campaigns.  

Systems of engagement: Where your people are
Behind every organization is a team (or multiple teams) of people. The systems of engagement are the tools your team members use to communicate and collaborate with one another, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams.

While systems of engagement are optimized for quick, easy, and engaging real-time communication, they aren’t meant to store data, so the insights you can glean from these tools are minimal and, frequently, ephemeral.

A revenue communications platform brings your data and people together
The Troops revenue communications platform serves as the central nervous system for revenue teams. It connects your systems of record with your systems of engagement so you never miss signals that impact the customer experience and your ability to win business.

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A revenue communications platform like Troops pulls relevant data from your databases into your communication tools, delivering data-driven signals directly to the people who need them, when they need to know or do something. This makes it easy to quickly discover, share, manage, and act on data in real time, helping your entire company become more efficient and productive.

Organizations that use a revenue communications platform improve visibility and go-to-market agility— and enhance collaboration across teams and departments. 

Why are revenue communications platforms the future of data at work?

Now, innovative RevOps and GTM teams challenge themselves to apply insights from their data to business strategies. You can leverage revenue communications platforms to:

They empower your people with data-driven insights

Data has zero value when it’s locked away. Unfortunately, a 2019 Splunk survey found that 63% of surveyed global organizations’ data is “dark,” or unused. And 36% of U.S. respondents said they didn’t tap into at least 75% of the data they collect.

Without data, your team can’t identify or adapt to new trends, track their performance and progress, or understand what’s going on outside of their department. Lack of information also limits your managerial staff’s ability to train, coach, and mentor, further inhibiting growth.

But a revenue communications platform alleviates many of those issues, putting data directly into the hands of your people so they can take action. And not just any action: intelligent, informed, human action.

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They make data easy to manage, update, and act on

Systems of record are complicated. Teams spend lots of money hiring or training experts to manage their databases. Then there’s training the rest of the team on how to use those database applications. 

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With a revenue communications platform, you enhance the value of your data. The less of a pain it is to record data, the more likely people are to share it; make it too much of a burden and they won’t do it or will only do the minimum. A revenue communications platform gets better data to people, and in turn better data from them, because it’s easy to input and manage without having to log in and navigate complex systems.

For example, instead of updating Salesforce all in one go at the end of day every Friday, your sales reps can easily make updates immediately after conversations, when the information is fresh. Managers can identify potential problem spots in the sales process in real time and step in before they become bigger issues. Even executives benefit as they’re getting information that’s timely enough to still be a leading indicator, when they can step in and take action or provide guidance.

Revenue communications platforms don’t just benefit sales. They make an impact across all customer-facing teams. For example, customer success teams can get real-time signals about product adoption from Intercom, customer health scores from Salesforce or Gainsight, and updates on all of their open support tickets in Zendesk. Marketing can see when contacts at target accounts respond to campaigns in HubSport or Salesforce and get routed to sales for followup.

They share data across departments

GTM and revenue operations need cross-organizational visibility and collaboration to be successful. But effective cross-departmental communication is easier said than done. Many teams still keep their information in their own separate departmental apps and databases, and don't share it with others who could use it to make an impact.

With all of the disconnects, it can be impossible to align stakeholders. Let’s say a customer cancels a contract and notifies accounts payable. Your finance team updates the accounting systems, but not the CRM. This causes confusion when the customer success manager attempts to renew a contract that’s no longer valid.

But that doesn’t mean you need to share all data with all people. There are reasons why you don’t want to grant everyone in your company access to every database. For starters, information overload can be overwhelming and lead to analysis paralysis. Inaction renders the data useless. And then there are the obvious security and compliance concerns for proprietary data, particularly for finance and HR.

You need to be able to connect and deliver data from all these systems to the people who need that information without granting free rein to those who don’t or shouldn’t see it. Revenue communications platforms do exactly that, connecting all your company databases and sharing information in a meaningful way with the relevant people across the organization, based on what they are authorized to see. 

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Cross-departmental data-sharing gives people on all teams a holistic view of what’s going on across the business, and enriches the data they collect and own themselves. Customer success gets insights from marketing, and the technical support team can easily pass information to the product team. Maybe customers have a recurring support issue that product development could remedy with a design enhancement. That sharing gets automated and the enhancement gets done faster, improving the customer experience..

What’s more, busy executives don’t have to search for anything themselves when there’s a revenue communications platform in place. They can simply dictate the metrics, updates, and alerts they want to see and then receive that data in an easy-to-understand and timely manner—such as daily executive summaries via Slack or Teams messages.

Regular reporting keeps executives attuned to what’s happening within the company and what it means for the business. If something’s going right, execs can double down to maximize that success. If something’s wrong, execs can act quickly and get their teams to pivot, mitigating the impact

They’re primed for scale

Leveraging data at scale isn’t just a matter of managing increasingly large sets of data. The only way to be data driven at scale is to have systems that. . .

  1. contain accurate, useful data,

  2. provide an easy way for people to access that data in a timely and contextual manner so they can take action,

  3. and make it easy for your people to continue to capture and share quality data back into that system.

Revenue communication platforms create and reinforce this feedback loop. They surface high-value information to your people and in return your people continuously pump more quality data back into the system.

feedback loop.png This loop scales with your team, your tools, and your complexity. It makes your people more informed, autonomous, and agile, so it’s easier to scale your business.

Better yet, it doesn’t take a computer science degree and years of coding experience to create this loop. A revenue communications platform puts the power of intelligent automation at your fingertips. It gives you the ability to quickly and easily set up automations that best fit your team’s needs and adjust them as your company grows.

Your data belongs with your people

Isn't it time to elevate the relationship between your people and your data?  

Data is powerful when it’s presented to the right people in the right way, when and where they need it. Revenue communications platforms connect your systems of record and systems of engagement, and make it easy to automate the flow of information from your systems to your humans to empower teams with real-time and actionable insights. So they can deliver better customer and prospect experiences so you win, retain, and expand more opportunities. And when you connect your people and your data with a revenue communications platform that lets your people work like humans, don't be surprised when you see superhuman results!