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InsightSquared Announces New Solutions that Equip Revenue Operations with End-to-end Platform Capabilities for Marketing, Sales Forecasting, and Customer Success

BOSTON – Ramp – June 13, 2019 – InsightSquared, the leading provider of revenue intelligence solutions, has kicked off its annual revenue operations conference, Ramp, taking place on Thursday, June 13 – Friday, June 14, 2019, at the Revere Hotel in Boston. This morning, the company unveiled several new solutions focused on helping revenue operations professionals make better decisions by equipping them with actionable, real-time intelligence that drives predictable growth. Ramp is bringing together more than 500 sales, marketing, and revenue operations practitioners, along with the leaders they advise.

“The many solutions available today that aim to provide specific capabilities for revenue operations professionals confirm that analytics is critical for companies to be successful,” said Fred Shilmover, CEO of InsightSquared. “InsightSquared is the vendor that is providing the one, comprehensive suite of revenue intelligence solutions that enables predictable company growth. We are excited to come together at Ramp in Boston this week to announce new capabilities all focused on delivering best practices required to meet the demands of today’s go-to-market teams.”

InsightSquared’s new Forecast Submission solution enables sales leaders to input and review team member forecasts to discuss, interpret, and predict what is happening across the business. The easy-to-use and read interface simplifies roll-ups and results in more reliable forecasts.

“It’s great to have one place for my team to input their forecast commits,” said Seth Lieberman, CEO of SnapApp and speaker at Ramp. “With InsightSquared, I have real-time visibility into where we are compared to our goals and can take proactive actions to fill the gaps and drive results.”

The company also announced new AI-powered forecasting, its new forecasting capability. AI Forecast provides a monthly or quarterly sales forecast powered by the company’s robust machine learning algorithms tuned for your business.

“Using a combination of information from my sales management team, the new AI Forecast capability from InsightSquared, and some gut instincts based on experience, I can accurately determine my bookings forecast,” said Steven Keilen, VP of Sales and Customer Success at InsightSquared. “My forecast has consistently been within 5% of what I committed to, which makes our business more predictable, my job easier, and my CEO happy.”

Additional announcements include InsightSquared’s integrated Customer Success Solution which provides the customer success function with predictive capabilities, reports, and pre-built dashboards. This enables customer success teams to view overall SaaS metrics, manage churn, and forecast renewals. The company also announced the Demand Unit Waterfall Dashboard based on the SiriusDecisions framework measuring demand using buying groups. It measures volume, velocity, and conversion of pipeline for groups of buyers versus individual leads. Other new InsightSquared capabilities include additional insights such as pipeline velocity, an improved interface for business users, and the ability to access data via APIs.

Keynotes for Ramp include Steven Spear, Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management and author of, “The High Velocity Edge,” and Colin Nanka, Senior Director of Sales Enablement at Salesforce.com, well known for competing in ultramarathons in the world’s most treacherous terrains and spreading the message to “Defeat Average.” Sessions are conducted by thought-leading practitioners with the goal of leaving attendees with takeaways they can bring back to their own businesses and implement with immediate time to value. The full agenda can be viewed at: https://ramp2019.insightsquared.com/agenda

SiriusDecisions is the Premium Sponsor of the event. Platinum sponsors are Demandbase and Lucidchart.

For more information on the event, visit: https://ramp2019.insightsquared.com

About InsightSquared
InsightSquared helps revenue operations professionals make better decisions by equipping them with actionable, real-time intelligence that drives predictable growth. Businesses rely on the company’s solutions to forecast more accurately, better manage pipeline, tailor rep coaching based on individual performance, understand their marketing attribution, and conduct data-backed planning and analysis. For more information, visit www.insightsquared.com.

Contact:
Tracy Wemett
BroadPR
+1-617-868-5031
tracy@broadpr.com

All trademarks recognized.
#

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Revenue operations is booming and Demandbase is excited to join InsightSquared at Ramp 2019. As the leaders in Account-Based Marketing (ABM), we believe that Rev Ops and ABM play hand-in-hand and can truly maximize ROI when done right.

Sales and Marketing Alignment

ABM optimizes your marketing spend by focusing on target accounts that are most likely to turn into revenue. The first step to a successful ABM program is Sales and Marketing alignment. This means that Sales and Marketing are focused on the same target accounts, and measure success by looking at metrics that connect to broader business goals. So, instead of focusing on vanity metrics like impressions, click-through rates and web traffic, with ABM, you’re looking at metrics that tie to revenue, such as pipeline, funnel velocity and close rates. These are the business metrics that your CEO, CFO and Board care about. Tools like InsightSquared can help drive alignment toward those goals by providing a single, accurate, up-to-date source of sales and marketing analytics.

ABM and Events Strategy

Not only do you want to align with sales on goals, you want them to be on board with the activities you’re doing to hit those goals. For instance, by partnering with your sales team, you can determine which regions and cities need the most attention, and focus your event strategy on the accounts that matter the most.

You can also conduct an event audit to ensure the events you’re sponsoring and attending are worthwhile. There is no reason to sponsor an event if your target accounts aren’t there. Focus on the events that have a target account-rich environment and invest in ancillary events such as VIP dinners to connect with executives and/or parties for your customers and prospects to network and decompress after consuming content all day. Not only does it optimize your events strategy, but also promotes sales and marketing alignment. Your sales team will thank you for getting them in front of your target accounts and meeting with the people most likely to convert.

ABM and Revenue Operations

With growing revenue on the top of everyone’s mind, it was an easy decision to join the discussion and be part of Ramp 2019! Our Senior Director of Marketing Ops will be speaking on how you can transform and operationalize your metrics into the next generation of ABM KPIs . We’re excited to share our ABM best practices and learn from other folks how they’re optimizing their current revenue operations with an ABM approach. We look forward to seeing you there!

If you’re not yet registered, be sure to grab your ticket at ramp2019.insightsquared.com!

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Earn Certification (IS2 ’19) Badge for InsightSquared’s Revenue Intelligence Software – Wednesday, June 12, 2019 – Boston

BOSTON – June 5, 2019 – InsightSquared, the leading provider of revenue intelligence solutions, is offering its InsightSquared ‘19 Certification on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, prior to the opening of its annual revenue operations conference, Ramp, taking place on Thursday, June 13 – Friday, June 14, 2019 in Boston. The company is bringing more than 500 sales, marketing, and operations practitioners, along with the sales and marketing leaders they advise, together for the revenue operations event of the year.

WHAT: InsightSquared ‘19 Certification at Ramp 2019

WHEN: Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. EDT

WHERE: Revere Hotel, 200 Stuart Street, Boston, MA

“Our certification program helps you to make a direct impact on your business with data-driven decisions, allowing you to spend more time on revenue generating projects and improving processes that drive predictable growth,” said Fred Shilmover, CEO of InsightSquared. “Ramp 2019 is the perfect time to get up-to-date on best practices and trends on key aspects of revenue operations through this comprehensive training.”

Geared toward InsightSquared admins, the InsightSquared Certification Program teaches and tests your comprehension of InsightSquared’s best practices as well as your ability to apply them within the platform. InsightSquared solutions deliver the sales, marketing, and customer success analytics you need to align your full go-to-market team around a uniform view of your business.

Attendees are able to connect with hundreds of other revenue ops professionals in the InsightSquared community to share tips and tricks and discuss the ever-evolving revenue ops role. Gain early access to beta features and the ability to submit product feedback directly to the company’s engineers, as well as access continuing education via the online certification platform. Lynn Herman, Senior Customer Enablement Consultant, and Andy McCarthy, Director of Customer Enablement at InsightSquared, are the trainers.

Ramp by InsightSquared is the only conference focused entirely on equipping revenue ops professionals with the foresight, skills, and connections required to become the strategic partner today’s go-to-market teams demand. Sessions at Ramp are conducted by thought-leading practitioners with the goal of leaving attendees with takeaways they can bring back to their own businesses and implement with immediate time to value.

Keynotes for the event include Steven Spear, Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management and author of, “The High Velocity Edge,” and Colin Nanka, Senior Director of Sales Enablement at Salesforce.com, well known for competing in ultramarathons in the world’s most treacherous terrains and spreading the message to “Defeat Average.” The full agenda can be viewed at: https://ramp2019.insightsquared.com/agenda

SiriusDecisions is the Premium Sponsor of the event. Platinum sponsors are Demandbase and Lucidchart. For more information on the event or to register to attend, visit: https://ramp2019.insightsquared.com

For more information or to register for Certification Training, visit: https://ramp2019.insightsquared.com/page/1412073/certification

About InsightSquared
InsightSquared helps revenue operations professionals make better decisions by equipping them with actionable, real-time intelligence on sales and marketing KPIs. Businesses rely on the company’s solutions to forecast more accurately, better manage pipeline, tailor rep coaching based on individual performance, understand their marketing attribution, and conduct data-backed planning and analysis. For more information, visit www.insightsquared.com.

Contact:
Tracy Wemett
BroadPR
+1-617-868-5031
tracy@broadpr.com

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I remember attending the first Ramp conference two years ago. Hosted at Fenway Park, InsightSquared put forth a bold vision—to organize the revenue operations event of the year.

Standing in the Red Sox Dugout, peering across the field with a hundred fellow professionals in revenue operations, I felt like I found my tribe. This was a community who understood the power of alignment—that creating alignment across a company’s functional areas is the “master key” to unlocking exponential growth.

Since that first conference, my colleagues at OpFocus and I have been active members of the revenue operations community. We’ve learned a lot from each other. We’ve shared expertise and best practices. And we’ve pushed each other to grow as professionals.

Two years later, I’m very proud to share that OpFocus is a Gold Sponsor for Ramp 2019!

We know that companies are seeking clear answers on how to build a tech stack and operations process that can stand the repeated stress of growth. Many of our ambitious SaaS clients are seeking to “T2D3”—triple, triple, double, double, double, their revenue—and they come to our team looking for a proven process on how to do so.

After analyzing 2000+ projects over the past 13 years and studying our most successful clients, we’re excited to present the OpFocus T2D3 Growth Chart—a proven process for aligning a business’ functional areas in order to drive exponential growth with the big picture in mind.

With the OpFocus Growth Chart, revenue operations professionals will learn:

  • How to map ARR targets to KPIs in each functional area
  • How to empower growth with a roadmap for aligning marketing, sales, service, finance/operations, customer success, and IT
  • How to leverage managed services to execute the roadmap and drive alignment

Check out our panel on Friday, 6/14, “Balancing the Overlap Between Business Functions and Revenue Operations.” Using the Growth Chart as a framework, revenue operations leaders in marketing, sales ops, and customer success will share their experiences in rapidly growing businesses.

Ramp 2019 is going to be the Revenue Operations event of the year.

Join us and find your tribe, too!

If you’re not yet registered, be sure to grab your ticket at ramp2019.insightsquared.com!
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The revenue operations event of the year, Ramp, is coming up in less than 3 weeks, so get ready! Join the InsightSquared team and 500+ revenue operations, sales and marketing leaders for two jammed pack days of networking, data-driven best practices and valuable insights from leaders in the industry.

At Ramp, you’ll join our growing revenue ops community and bring back everything you learned to make a direct impact on your business, so you can spend more time improving sales and marketing processes and generating revenue.

The Speakers: The Full Agenda is Live!

Across the two days, we are excited to have over a dozen established industry speakers onsite to provide expertise on topics such as the importance of revenue operations, how to strengthen the handshake between sales and marketing and how to optimize the SiriusDecisions demand unit waterfall.

We’ve set up the days in a way to appease all attendees. Each day there are two tracks for sales and marketing, that way you can pick and choose which topic is more relevant to your role, business needs and interests!

Expect the event to start off with an exciting session from Dana Therrien, Practice Leader, Sales Operations Strategies at SiriusDecisions. He’ll discuss how the sales operations function is dead and what the future of revenue operations means to the business. Following Dana, we are excited to have our VP of Product, Matisha Ladiwala share some InsightSquared updates.

The rest of the day will be full of thought leadership sessions, networking events and our keynote speaker, Steven Spear, author of The High-Velocity Edge: How Market Leaders Leverage Operational Excellence to Beat the Competition. Steven will be sharing conclusions from his research and consulting he has done with Toyota, Alcoa, several hospitals, a number of pharmaceutical firms, the US Army and more (you don’t want to miss this).

The keynote speaker on Friday is equally as impressive. Colin Nanka is the Senior Director of Enablement for North American Sales and Leadership Development at Salesforce.com. Not only is he a proven leader with over 20 years of experience, but he also competes in ultramarathons in the world’s most treacherous terrains. His latest adventure is the subject of a documentary short called Defeating Average.

The Certification: Calling All InsightSquared Admins!

If you haven’t signed up for the InsightSquared Certification program, make sure to check out the agenda and perks here. The certification program will be available on June 12th and will teach and test your comprehension of InsightSquared’s use case best practices, as well as your ability to apply them within the platform.

The InsightSquared Team: We Look Forward to Meeting You!

Ramp is a great way to meet InsightSquared executives, product experts, and the entire team behind the screen. Stop by the InsightSquared booth in the Ramp sponsor hall to take a closer look at our sales and marketing dashboards. Learn how we help businesses make better decisions by analyzing your historical Salesforce data and providing visibility into the full revenue cycle.

Our account management and services teams will be at the event to dive deeper into your business problems and help you and the team maximize InsightSquared best practices. The customer success teams will be available to answer all of your questions during dedicated InsightSquared office hours.

A Bonus: Summer in Boston!

We are expecting (fingers crossed) great summer weather. The Back Bay area is a great place to explore and get a taste of the city’s history and culture. Check out the Boston skyline from the rooftop of the Revere Hotel during the Ramp After Party (while enjoying a cocktail, of course).

If you’re not yet registered, be sure to grab your ticket at ramp2019.insightsquared.com!
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Many of you will at some point be faced with a board or executive team who want to get a slice of the juicy enterprise market after experiencing success in the mid-market. This article has some key takeaways on the pre-requisites for success from a sales org profile standpoint. I have assumed that your product is enterprise-ready and that you have determined relevance in this new segment.

Having the Right People in Place

The first thing to note about selling to enterprise is that you are now faced with a large, diverse stakeholder buying committee for any significant transaction, and this cannot be handled by a single account executive.

At the highest end, you may be responding to RFPs (request for proposals) which will require a formal bid management process and team. My time at Electronic Data Systems (EDS – HP Enterprise) exposed me to the most extreme end of enterprise sales resourcing. In competing for 5-10 year outsourcing agreements worth up to $2B, we applied dedicated bid teams to securing selection.

In one of my deals, I had 17 people dedicated to winning the RFP for 6 months!

For most of you, this will be a bit excessive, but at a minimum, you will need a Solution Architect/expert, an Account manager and an executive sponsor involved in your deal pursuit.

Have you considered the supporting cast needed to pursue enterprise?

It is worth expanding on the profile needed to run an enterprise deal also.

The Enterprise Sales Profile (ESP):

I love sharing the mistakes I have made in the hope that you can avoid them. In 2009, I promoted the top mid-market rep in my region to the enterprise team, making the common mistake that traits of success in mid-market equal success in the enterprise. Big mistake. He was wholly unsuccessful and ultimately left the organization only to return some years later to become a highly respected mid-market leader who is one of the best in his field.

Here are the competencies that you need in the enterprise AE profile that are not necessarily required in dealing with smaller organizations:

The ESP is the person who shows Boeing how they can win $152M more business, at a 3% higher margin through using new supply chain automation technology to reduce transportation costs. The standard sales rep merely sells them software to reduce costs by 10%.

With ESPs you have some percentage of $152M of value you can share in, without it you simply earn a slice of savings.

How Can ESPs Do This?

1. They have a solid understanding of the factors affecting the business

If you are selling to an enterprise like Boeing or Microsoft, then you need to take into account the fact that external factors like foreign policy (tariffs, sanctions, etc), exchange rates and international regulations (GDPR) are going to have a trickle-down impact on the department you are selling to. Understanding the impact of these externalities requires the account team to study investor communications and to be tuned into industry journals and related media to get ahead of what may be changing executive priorities.

Factors affecting decisions

External: At an enterprise level, macro-economic factors such as exchange rates and other macroeconomic variables can have a significant impact on investment decisions.

Corporate: Competition, labor issues, legislation and more will have different impacts at a corporate level depending on the industry.

Department: Each department will have a budget/project prioritization dictated by the corporate agenda. This agenda is exposed through foundational research of investor disclosures and corporate reporting.

If your organization is selling seven-figure deals and reps are targeting less than ten accounts per year, then I wonder if you have reps or SDRs doing this level of research?

“The golden rule is—an executive will meet with you only if they think that YOU KNOW something that THEY NEED to know, now.” – Matt Cameron

2. They have the toolkit to build the story

ESPs understand the language of business:

An MBA or >=undergraduate level finance education. They know ROE and ROA, whereas standard sales wouldn’t know ROS from their ARR(se).

Industry knowledge (customer, not vendor) either as a direct participant or as a studious associate. ESPs keep themselves up to date by subscribing to industry journals, maintaining an industry network and attending relevant conferences.

3. A high EQ: ESPs are solving non-obvious problems and creating novel solutions. Mental agility and ability to process inputs is a must.

4. Executive acumen: The hard truth is that an executive will delegate you down to the person you sound like. Your reps must be able to hold their own in any context.

5. Voracious curiosity: At their core, the ESP strives to become a trusted advisor. They seek to understand the executive imperatives and how to enable them: faster, better, cheaper. They want to identify an opportunity or issue that a customer can’t see. It is this thinking that is described by the ‘Challenger’ sales profile popularized by Gartner’s CEB division.

6. They are great leaders: An ESP needs to negotiate internally for resources in support of a deal and must motivate the team to give their best in securing the business. Enterprise deals are typified by late nights, big asks and stress. The ESP is the glue that holds the team together and ensures everyone is aligned and moving forward at the right pace.

Having the Right Processes

Deal pursuit approvals: If you are going to apply all these resources, then you better be sure that they are aptly targeting deals. At most enterprise sales organizations, large deal pursuits are approved by a deal review board who assess the $ cost of pursuit and give a thumbs up or down. Bid pursuits can quickly escalate into the hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary costs.

Bid management: When responding to enterprise tenders, a structured process to coordinate strategy and resources is required.

Proposal management plans are the glue that binds the people and process

A different profile of performance inspection and forecasting

In the mid-market and SMB worlds, we can create an activity focused and pipeline coverage oriented ‘reverse engineering’ approach to figure out where we are going to land. By analyzing win rates, sales cycles, average deal sizes and ‘activity to outcome’ ratios we can reliably predict where we will land and how to coach our salespeople.

Enterprise is a completely different kettle of fish. No longer can we rely on simply pipeline coverage or activity metrics to know whether we are going to make the number. In enterprise, it comes down to a deep inspection of individual deals to understand our true position on the account and the likelihood of it landing with a ‘per deal’ manual forecast. At EDS I would pursue 3 deals over an 18 month period with the plan of landing one of them. Pipeline coverage and activity is irrelevant in this context.

Are you asking your enterprise reps how many emails they sent last week?

An example of manual forecasting from InsightSquared’s forecasting capability is presented below:

A pre-requisite for this forecasting process is a documented sales methodology that is linked to a sales process with clearly defined exit criteria. For example, we don’t move to a proposal until we have identified the stakeholders, understand the competition and the customer has agreed to the definition of our value proposition.

Compensating the Troops

In enterprise sales there are two big differences to account for:

Long sales cycles require a higher base: By definition, enterprise account executives are experienced and therefore further along in terms of life events and financial commitments, which means that they need a base that ensures they aren’t distracted by financial pressures and yet are motivated by the large upside of winning the big deals. The very high base salaries of world-class enterprise reps are enough to give nose bleeds; sufficeth to say it is a discussion that needs to be had with your CFO. Low-balling on an enterprise base salary is a false economy because a great enterprise rep can change the course of a company. You will find that the first $1M deal you do is followed closely by several more but someone needs to figure out how to do it first.

You need to hire and fire well: Taking into account the above, it is VERY expensive both in terms of direct costs and opportunity costs of hiring poorly. If you don’t have a rigorous rubric for hiring enterprise reps, then you should bring in external assistance as this is not a set of hires you want to get wrong. Do not take a chance on your first enterprise hires—no ‘diamonds in the rough’. Proven A-players who are the CEOs of their territory are what you are looking for. That being said, you need to use your well-defined inspection process to rigorously assess the likelihood of success as your reps build momentum in their patch. We can’t afford to wait for a 9-18 month sales cycle to complete to figure out if they will be successful.

Key Takeaways:
  1. Map out the enterprise buyer journey and determine the supporting functions needed to assist your AE.
  2. Tightly define what a true enterprise sales professional looks like for your industry.
  3. Design large bid processes that reflect the complexity of the sale.
  4. Create inspection processes that are contextually appropriate. We can’t manage an enterprise team as we would the mid-market.
  5. Secure executive buy-in to the investment needed for a truly world-class team and be uncompromising in the expectations of your new hires.
Want to hear more from Matt Cameron? He’ll be speaking at Ramp by InsightSquared in Boston on June 13-14, 2019. For more information or to register to attend, visit: https://ramp2019.insightsquared.com.
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Ramp 2019 by InsightSquared Gathers Over 500 Go-to-Market Professionals to Learn Revenue Optimization Strategies on June 13-14, 2019 in Boston

BOSTON – May 21, 2019 – InsightSquared, the leading provider of revenue intelligence solutions, is bringing more than 500 sales, marketing, and operations practitioners, along with the sales and marketing leaders they advise, to Ramp 2019 on Thursday, June 13 – Friday, June 14, 2019, at the Revere Hotel in Boston. The revenue operations event of the year, Ramp by InsightSquared is the only conference focused entirely on equipping revenue ops professionals with the foresight, skills, and connections required to become the strategic partner today’s go-to-market teams demand. SiriusDecisions is the Premium Sponsor of the event.

“It is unusual for SiriusDecisions to participate so heavily in an industry event, outside of our own of course, but we decided to go all-in on Ramp,” said Jay Gaines, Chief Marketing Officer and Research Fellow at SiriusDecisions. “Revenue operations is evolving rapidly, and developing an effective revenue operations strategy is a significant challenge. Ramp is the perfect venue for leaders to learn from each other. We couldn’t resist the opportunity to share what we’ve learned through our work with so many B2B clients with the great audience that Ramp attracts.”

SiriusDecisions research across more than 4,000 B2B companies shows that those with strong operational alignment across sales and marketing grow 12 to 15 times faster than their peers and are 34 percent more profitable.

Leading analysts from SiriusDecisions, including Dana Therrien, Practice Leader; Julian Archer, Senior Research Director; and Anthony McPartlin, Research Director for Sales Operations at SiriusDecisions EMEA, are sharing their research, data, and insights on what is working and what is not in the rapidly evolving field of revenue operations.

Ramp is a two-day event focused on best practices designed for revenue operations professionals. Sessions at Ramp are conducted by thought-leading practitioners with the goal of leaving attendees with takeaways they can bring back to their own businesses and implement with immediate time to value. Some session topics include, “A CROs View of the Ultimate Sales Ops Partner,” “The Top 5 Traits of High Performing ABM Organizations,” “Balancing the Overlap Between Business Functions and Revenue Operations,” and “The State of Coaching in Sales.” The full agenda can be viewed here.

“Ramp is all about helping attendees optimize revenue for their company, and we are excited to be back again this year delivering two full days of unique, actionable content focused entirely on building company growth,” said Fred Shilmover, CEO of InsightSquared. “We’re grateful to all of our sponsors for supporting this event and helping advance this community.”

Platinum sponsors are Demandbase and Lucidchart. Keynotes for the event include Steven Spear, Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management and author of “The High Velocity Edge,” and Colin Nanka, Senior Director of Sales Enablement at Salesforce.com, well known for competing in ultramarathons in the world’s most treacherous terrains and spreading the message to “Defeat Average.”

Prior to the conference on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, InsightSquared Certification is being offered, advancing comprehension of InsightSquared’s best practice functionality as well as certifying users’ ability within the platform. For the top five reasons why you should get InsightSquared Certified at Ramp 2019, visit: https://ramp2019.insightsquared.com/page/1412073/certification

For more information on the event or to register to attend, visit: https://ramp2019.insightsquared.com

About InsightSquared

InsightSquared helps revenue operations professionals make better decisions by equipping them with actionable, real-time intelligence on sales and marketing KPIs. Businesses rely on the company’s solutions to forecast more accurately, better manage pipeline, tailor rep coaching based on individual performance, understand their marketing attribution, and conduct data-backed planning and analysis. For more information, visit www.insightsquared.com.

Contact:
Tracy Wemett
BroadPR
+1-617-868-5031
tracy@broadpr.com

All trademarks recognized.

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We’re excited to announce that Outreach, the #1 Sales Engagement Platform, is sponsoring Ramp 2019, the revenue ops event of the year!

It really is a perfect match—Ramp is all about equipping revenue operations professionals with the foresight, skills, and connections required to become the strategic partner of today’s go-to-market teams demand.

And Outreach’s mission of providing modern revenue leaders at high-growth companies with the insights and workflows they need to create predictable revenue, measure what matters, and uncover the actions that move the needle aligns perfectly.

In fact, Outreach Vice President of Marketing and founder of Sales Hacker, Max Altschuler, believes wholeheartedly in RevOps and the ability the Outreach Sales Engagement Platform has to help unite revenue-focused teams:

“Revenue Operations is more than a trend, it is a movement of B2B organizations eliminating the silos between sales, marketing, and operations teams to drive growth,” said Max Altschuler.

“We are seeing more and more high-growth companies experiment and implement a revenue operations model—including Outreach. When done right, those companies experience the benefits. Over the next several years, we can expect to see revenue ops become a critical business strategy for B2B enterprises, and Outreach is situated to help RevOps practitioners execute their strategy.”

We are not only looking forward to meeting so many forward-thinking B2B sales, marketing, and operations professionals, but also sharing what we’ve learned through working with many of the world’s most innovative businesses.

Outreach Demand Generation Manager, Lauren Alt, and Marketing Operations Manager, Kelly Justice, will be speaking at Ramp on how Outreach navigates the world of attribution in order to find the true impact of demand, ABM, and field marketing programs have on their sales organization. We recommend you check out their session!

We really hope to see you in Boston!

Ramp by InsightSquared will be held in Boston at the Revere Hotel on June 13-14, 2019. For more information or to register to attend, visit: https://ramp2019.insightsquared.com.
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“What was your first job?”

It’s one of my favorite questions to ask a fellow professional in sales operations. Some of the answers include:

  • Elementary school teacher
  • SDR
  • Recruiter
  • Pharmacy Tech
  • Insurance sales rep
  • Cosmetics consultant
  • Account Manager
  • Financial analyst

Why the wide range?

Sales Operations is Still Developing

Sales operations as a profession is growing, yet it is a comparatively new function in businesses. I didn’t hear of sales ops until years after entering the workforce. As thought leadership evolves and new iterations of revenue and commercial operations take shape, visibility for the discipline is skyrocketing. Heck, we’re even gaining recognition in our own backyard, Trailhead. Gathering resources at my stage in career involves the practice of active networking, user conferences, sales leadership groups, slack channels, above par googling skills, and sheer grit to piece together a resource pool. Making this easy and available to others should be the next goal for myself and leaders in the field.

The Path is Indirect

While many find themselves in sales or revenue operations from different paths, one thing is constant. No one got a degree in the subject. Finance and management studies gave you models to take into the real world while our area did not. I personally got my B.S. in psychology with a pre-med concentration. I’ll let you figure that one out. It’s refreshing to find that more programs are providing courses, structure, and guides but universities and the field itself need to fill in the knowledge gaps.

Sales Ops is Many Disciplines in One

Thankfully once you’ve made your way into the field, the possibilities explode. I found the above graph from fullcast.io that does a fantastic job of describing many of the functions grouped under SOPs. Each organization has an operations structure to support its varying functions. As a result, many skillsets build the foundation of a strong team. It is this very nature and the need to respond to changes quickly that makes this department so exciting! A few are common categories:

System Support

We are deep in the age of tech-based solutions and finding answers to problems we didn’t know we had! Commanding the leading CRM, business intelligence, and marketing automation systems has massive business impact. This area draws the technically inclined where the role is to ensure that systems and processes are well connected, feeding the right information to each other and providing one-stop visibility into the operations of the commercial engine. It’s no easy task. Those who master the solutions drive the language of the business.

Business Analytics

Good data is built from the ground up—same goes for a good data program. It is crucial that every layer from data entry to deep analytics speak the same language and have mechanisms to maintain data integrity. People who build a visual story and see the larger picture are enticed by these roles, tracking company performance against goals and displaying it in impactful ways.

Sales & Process Support

Planning, forecasting, and enablement don’t happen on their own. If you’re an organized person who likes working with people and driving behavior, this area will appeal to you. The responsibilities range from daily support of sales to developing the territories for regions of the world. Implementing the processes on the front line and keeping everyone accountable is the focus here.

How do You Build a Career Once You’re Here?

There are a few key areas to gain exposure while building your sales ops toolbelt in a sales growth-focused organization.

Order Processing

Order processing is like spying on both the customer and the company at the same time. What makes a “good” or “bad” deal? Are there features that customers commonly purchase together that you can proactively package? What are your common discount rates, and do they vary by region or vertical? Are there upsells that make sense to incentivize to your sales team? Knowledge in this area of business operations gives you direct feedback about the most important deals of all—the ones that are closing.

Business Insights

Like technological tools, there is no shortage of data in business today. Consumption of this information is the next challenge; executive reporting, quarterly business reviews, and daily dashboards all require a keen eye to slice data for different audiences. Advanced analysis includes command of business intelligence tools and data standards. Accuracy matters so building a foundation of solid reporting practices helps you design the processes that make sense when they scale.

Get Technical

Investing in technology means more than approving the budget to buy software. Evaluate the tools in your environment as a user and as a purchaser. Spend time learning best practice for your CRM, attend the user conferences for your tools, and confer with your network about how they are solving problems with them. Finally, take the time to get certified. When you’re doing the work to learn this you might as well stack your toolbelt with those professional certifications that matter.

While this list is by no means exclusive, these will get you started in key business areas immediately. Sales operations is rooted deeply within the heart of the commercial engine—it’s one of the greatest departments to gain a 360-degree view of a business’ need. You will work with teams critical to the business and drive customer acquisition and retention programs. There may not be a common path to the role but when you arrive, you’re needed somewhere.

Want to learn more about how InsightSquared can help you and revenue ops team make better decisions by equipping them with actionable, real-time intelligence on sales and marketing KPIs? Reach out to us here.
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Sales is the Growth Engine

Sales is the engine driving SaaS company value. Top and bottom line performance are totally dependent on the sales organization and its performance. And sales expense is typically the largest expense item on a growth SaaS company’s income statement. When scaling the business, sales typically averages roughly 30% of revenue, so therefore sales spend is one of the biggest investments a company can make.

For these reasons, accurately tracking key sales metrics and benchmarking your performance against peers and market leaders is critical to getting the most out of your sales resources.

Typical SaaS Sales Metrics

At the highest level, SaaS companies look at sales expense, headcount, sales productivity and SaaS metrics like:

  • The cost of new customer acquisition (CAC)
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV)
  • Customer churn or retention rates

Underlying those metrics are processes which can improve or reduce performance in each of the above metrics. These processes are important to track accurately and benchmark to achieve the SaaS performance expected in the market. One of the key ones is the average length of sales cycles for your company’s products and services. Getting the systems right to accurately track and evaluate sales cycles is an important management function.

The Key Metric: Average Sales Cycle

SaaS companies that accurately and regularly track sales cycles tend to improve sales outcomes.

Shorter sales cycles equate to more sales and greater productivity from invested resources.

A wealth of information can be gleaned from automatically tracking your sales cycle. First and foremost, are you meeting or beating the benchmark for sales cycles from similar types of companies? How many of your individual sales reps meet or beat the benchmark? Are certain types of customers, or certain geographies and sales territories meeting or beating the benchmark, or underperforming? Answers to these questions can only be provided by accurate sales cycle tracking.

Defining the Start of the Sales Cycle

With most companies using a CRM, it should be easy to calculate the length of time between getting a lead and when it is a closed sale. But, like almost everything with metrics, the devil is in the definitions. To calculate sales cycles, you need a starting date. At what point does the sales cycle start?

Some companies consider the start of the sales cycle when a lead is entered into the CRM. However, many companies purchase lead lists which can sit untouched for long periods of time so that can be a troublesome start date because nothing has really happened. Companies may have several resources working leads to qualify them and the point of qualification can be unclear so the initial working of a lead is also problematic. A salesperson may send many emails to a prospect, the prospect may respond but the lead isn’t yet an opportunity.

Typically, every sales organization has some point where they register a lead as an opportunity and that is the point when we recommend that a company start tracking sales cycles. That doesn’t mean that a company shouldn’t analyze and track how long leads sit until being classified as an opportunity, but we recommend starting the sales cycle from the date when a lead is qualified as an opportunity.

Average sales cycles typically vary among SaaS companies based on several factors:

  • Company size: Larger companies usually have longer sales cycles than smaller companies
  • Contract value: Companies selling subscriptions with larger average contract values also have longer sales cycles than companies selling low priced, low touch subscriptions

Across the board, though, when comparing peer companies with similar sales models and at similar stages of growth, there is a strong correlation between growth and sales cycles.

Faster growth companies have shorter sales cycles and slower growth companies have longer sales cycles when comparing similar companies.

Using data from our recent OPEXEngine 2019 B2B SaaS Sales Planning Survey conducted in March and April 2019, with over 90 SaaS B-2-B vendors participating, we found on average, for companies with 30%+ revenue growth, that median sales cycles were 11-13% higher than for comparable companies with revenue growth below 30%. For the highest revenue growth companies over 50%, the difference in sales cycles can be up to 25% faster than with similar sized companies selling comparable average contract values.

The data for growth companies in the $10M-$50M range showed a lot of variances which we’ve seen before. Companies in this stage are typically adding salespeople at a fast rate. The average sales cycle can be extended because the data includes new hires and new territories as well as established sales resources. While the median sales cycle days for this group is 135, the best-performing companies have a sales cycle of 65 days or less in this group. Sales cycle consistency throughout the sales organization is also an important metric to track.

Source:  OPEXEngine Sales Planning benchmarks 2019

Data-Driven Management

Focusing on sales cycles is a great way to get the entire management team on board with improving sales productivity. You can argue about the best sales process, the most effective sales compensation plans, and territory management, but you can’t argue with concrete data on sales cycles, the benchmarks for sales cycles from peer companies, or the fact that shorter sales cycles are consistent with faster growth.

To learn more about SaaS sales benchmarks from OPEXEnginge, a confidential SaaS benchmarking platform and Finance community, reach out at info@opexengine.com.

Want to learn more about how InsightSquared can help you and your sales team report on key metrics such as average sales cycle? Reach out to us here.
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