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21 user secrets and best practices to get the most out of Gong

Molly Kipnis September 29, 2022

You have (Gong) questions.
We have (Gong) answers.

✔️ Ever wondered how an Account Executive starts their day with Gong?
✔️ Want to use Gong to track a rollout or initiative at your organization?
✔️ Need to up-level your Gong Deals game?

We recently asked our Gong Community members to share their Gong best practices. As our raving fans often do, they delivered. Big time.

We heard from Gong users in roles across Sales, Enablement, Marketing, and Customer Success.

We read those replies and distilled them into 21 tips and tricks you can implement now.

Let’s start with 6 suggestions from Sales Directors.

6 Gong Deals best practices from Sales Directors

We asked Sales Directors to share their Deals best practices, specifically their best-kept secret about how they use Deals for coaching.

Here is how they replied.

1. Reward your reps for asking for feedback on their Gong calls.

“Find ways to reward employees who want to get better and are willing to send calls for feedback. Let them know it’s ok to try something new and fail as long as they are able to learn from the experience. We see the most growth when our team members feel like they have a safe space to ask for feedback.” — Brett Armstrong, Global Director of Business Development at Avetta

Top reps are those who WANT to learn, WANT to get better. They are never satisfied with “just being okay.” Make it safe (and easy) to ask for feedback.

2. Use next steps and deal warnings in Gong to stay on top of deals and frame follow-ups

“We use deal warnings to understand any risks associated with the deals and use those to frame our follow-ups. Using the next step section and warnings have helped coach ways to stay on top of deals and ensure we are talking through everything with prospects to lead to more sales.” — Kayla Kuzer, Retail Sales Director at Alpine IQ

As we say on this page, “Deal warnings assess all deal interactions, alert you to risks, and tell you what needs to be addressed before the deal is lost.” Deal warnings help you surface risk from the start. No surprises. Sales managers don’t like surprises.

3. Pressure test and recognize patterns in your deals with SPICED + Gong

“Each week, I have my team walk through SPICED, next steps, and forecast category for the month, then provide their rolled-up forecast numbers for the month & quarter. We can marry this with the data Gong tracks around multi-threading activity and stage timestamps to provide a succinct, reality-based view of each opp.” — Jacob Walker, Head of Sales at Occupier

Did Jacob say “reality-based?” We are blushing.

Reality is a Gong thing. As we say all over our website (and marketing/sales copy), Unlock Reality. Fuel Your Revenue Engine.

4. Measure the success of your sales sprints with next steps, deal warnings, and the engagement visualization in Gong

“One additional item that we’ve found really valuable in 1:1s are the flags around ‘not enough contact’” and ‘deals stalled in stage’ to help drive where I can get involved with deals in a team-based sell. Identifying places where we can level-up and stakeholder map to other people in the prospect’s org can help our deals move and drive more engagement in partnership with our reps.” — Alex Heller, Senior Director of Sales and Account Management, NYSHEX

Well said, Alex. Here’s an example of what that could look like:

Gong Deals Page

5. Create ‘Gong of the Week’ call workshops as opportunities to coach and review deals

“One thing I do is have a meeting with my team once a week where we break down one of their calls. We call it the team “Gong of the Week.” It serves as a coaching session, as well as a deal review. The team loves it.” — Ezra Steinberg, Regional Director of Sales at Moveworks

Oooh. We like this. “Gong of the Week.” Note to self: This could be a blog post in and of itself!

6. Get a top-down view of your business and pivot into bottom-up and coaching with ease

“My favorite tip is to embed the Deal section into my and my team’s daily reviews. This allows us to proactively impact the quarter end before it is quarter end 🙂 From pipeline review to deal warnings, activity insights and updating Salesforce, I can do it all from here. I can even go down to email and call level for proactive coaching.” — Susan Kilcline, Commercial Sales Leader at Udemy

Wait. Gong as the single source of truth? The one-stop shop? We approve.

5 ways to use Gong to track a rollout or initiative

We asked Sales Enablement Managers if (and how) they have used Gong to track a rollout or initiative.

Here is how they replied.

7. Use Gong to run ‘Disco Call coaching sessions’ with your BDRs and AEs

“Both BDRs and AEs like to see what others are doing and check if there is any talk track that might be working better for any of them. It also creates the interaction needed for a remote workforce, as we won’t be talking about targets there, so they feel that they can share their struggles with their colleagues and gather ideas and suggestions.” — Isabella Grandchamp, Revenue Enablement Manager Pigment

We don’t refer to Gong as the ultimate sales coaching platform just for fun. Right? And self–coaching is a huge part of this. “Let your reps take improvement into their own hands. Gong is like game film for sales professionals.”

8. Use Gong to train internal teams on new onboarding processes for Enterprise customers

“We created a scenario and had SMEs from our AE, Success and Project Management team role-play through the scenario for their internal prep calls, as well as mock calls with the ‘customer.’” — John Machak, Sales Trainer at PerkSpot

Role play FTW! One of the most effective — low risk, high reward -— ways to learn …

9. Use Gong to coach new hires

“We walk through the analytics of Gong and how we can track different calls, meetings and comments. Sometimes we overlook the simple things that Gong provides, so pointing those out have been very helpful for our team members. Making sure notifications are turned on so that the coaching notifications are received can be easily overlooked.” — Delila House, Enablement Training Specialist at SmartRent

The devil is in the details, as they say. But, wait. Who are “they,” and do “they” still say that?

10. Saved Gong searches + aligned trackers + supporting scorecards and best practice library calls = winning

“With the best practice calls I identified, I created both a public saved search for managers to utilize themselves while also creating a private saved search on a weekly basis that I get sent to my inbox which I then review on a bi-weekly basis to decide which calls I add to our ‘Solution Framework Discovery Best Practice’ library folder.” — #MyGongSecret WINNER Ian Gwynne, Technology Enablement Architect at Mimecast

Note: We highly recommend reading Ian’s “super stellar secret search (try saying that 5 times fast 😂)” in its entirety. Worth the time. Nicely done, Ian.

11. Use Gong to roll out and track MEDDPICC adoption at your organization

“I updated our deal board to include key MEDDPICC areas (set up as trackers). Now when looking at the deal board everyone can see each key MEDDPICC areas for every deal. This is helpful in multiple ways: gives sales leadership focus to their coaching efforts, shows adoption of the methodology and indicates where further training is needed, for example, multithreading the deals is one area the data showed us needing a bit of work.” — Viktorija Hartwell, Sales Enablement Manager at Accredible

Here is what that looks like at Accredible. Cool, huh?

Accredible Chart

Use Gong Deals to support your coaching initiatives

We asked Sales Managers to share how they use Deals to support various coaching initiatives.

Simple.

12. Use Gong to understand why deals are stalling

“Look at the top priority deals, (determined by deal importance or the more mature deals that are stuck), and listen carefully to the CUSTOMER and the reasons WHY the deal is stalling! Once we truly understand the underlying reasons, we’re able to address and pinpoint the friction points!” — David Roi, Head of Corporate Development at Centrical

Bonus points to David for using bold, underline, ALL CAPS, and a few different color fonts. Well played, sir.

6 Gong best practices for Customer Success Managers

We asked Customer Success Managers, “How do you start your day with Gong?”

Here is what they shared.

13. Filters. Filters. Filters.

“I personally treat Gong like a podcast of my customers. I have filters so I am listening to the customers most relevant to my role. Gong is on the home screen of my phone.” — Jeff Smith, Customer Success Manager at 15five

14. Structured self-coaching

“We’re rolling out the use of Gong to self-coach in a structured way using a scorecard.” — Jeff Smith (again).

Jeff coming in hot with not 1, but 2 secrets! Thanks, Jeff, you overachiever you!

15. Use the Deal Board for renewal risks

“Deals – warns me way better than our CRM if a renewal deal in-quarter is stale or not getting replies/touchpoints — Matt Gardner, Director of Customer Experience at RouteThis

16. Use scoring to help standardize the EBR process

“Scoring of recorded calls – We rolled out a formal EBR process which we have to report on to our CEO and the board. The rubrics and scoring live in Gong and 80%+ is a ‘success’ in our reports. Gives us a common understanding of what a winning EBR looks like.” — Matt Gardner (again)

17. Alerts and emails to be on top of things

“Churn language and other specific language alerts – I get an email when customers mention to ANYONE on my team something that may indicate a risk so I can choose to investigate further.” — Matt Gardner (one more time)

Not to be outdone, Mr. Gardner dropped in 3 tips. Impressive!

Uncover emotions in your prospect’s decision-making process

We asked Account Executives how they started their day with Gong. Here is what Justin shared.

18. Uncovering emotional cues to discover true prospect feelings

“One specific practice that has benefited my sales practice and process the most is searching through my calls to find specific emotional cues that uncover true feelings my prospect has either about their pain, the sales process, or product fit/proof of concept. Sometimes I will search the call transcript for specific words, like “wow,” “perfect,” and “amazing” (or even the inverse like “impossible,” “frustrate/ing,” “annoy”) that indicate feeling or associated emotion; others I will search for body language, physical cues, long or potentially significant pauses on their end, or if there’s an audience of 2 or more, any signs that there could be miscommunication or disagreement internally on the prospect’s side.” — #MyGongSecret WINNER: Justin Benton, AE at FormAssembly

We have a winner. Great secret, Justin. Thanks for sharing.

3 Gong best practices for Marketers

We asked Marketers what their #1 Gong best practice was. Here is what they shared.

19. Validate the success of your marketing messaging

“One thing that I like to do is search in Gong for competitor keywords, and also the phrase “i love Alyce.” This gives me intel that I can use in my marketing campaigns – angles to play up, misconceptions to expose, etc. Also helps me understand the perception of our brand in the market.” — Christina Mowry, Growth Marketing Manager at Alyce

Note: the name of the company (not the employee) is Alyce. The prospect loves the company, Alyce.

20. Surface customer pain points and hone your messaging

“One way I utilize the data is by searching by product name and what pain points are being brought up. I listen to our prospects’ language and utilize this when designing messaging for our email campaigns. It also helps me gain insights into some of our competitors and what our prospects find lacking with their solutions. This enables us to build out better battle cards and give the sales team some ammo when taking on a competitor.” — Laura Bailey, Marketing Manager at Aurigo

There is no need to guess (or assume) what your customer pain points are. They will share them all … and you have them recorded and can search.

21. Use insights in Gong to strengthen your data analysis

“When doing data analysis, I pull out any outliers or notable records to explore or listen to. It helps add context to the data and strengthens my presentation skills when sharing findings with the team. Knowing that team members will ask “why did this happen?” lets me be ready with the answer and adds more value to the insights from the data.” — Annie Jackson, Marketing Operations Manager at Review Trackers

I love how Annie is really leaning into the insights Gong provides. 

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And that’s a wrap: 21+ Gong-specific tips, tricks, and takeaways you can implement right now.

Did you know … this is the type of banter that occurs in the Gong Community? Want in on the action (where some of the best, most helpful, Gong-related) conversations happen?

(That was a rhetorical question. Of COURSE, you do!)

Join the Gong Community for more best practices like these and to connect with fellow Revenue professionals!

WRITTEN BY
Molly Kipnis