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From Pandora’s Box to Near Certainty. How Gong Increases Pipeline Accuracy and Accelerates Revenue Growth

Sales Management Devin Reed September 13, 2021

Meet Julien. Senior SVP of Sales at CloudMarkr, a mid-market European technology company. He’s been in his new job just three months, and he’s looking for some quick wins.   

Julien is responsible for delivering accurate revenue targets to the executive team (and to shareholders). He knows from years of experience that a company’s CRM doesn’t capture the full pipeline story given sales reps report opportunities with a degree of subjectivity and opinion. This impacts forecasting and revenue projections.

But lucky for Julien, he heard about Gong’s ‘Revenue Intelligence’ platform. Gong’s solution integrates with CRMs (and other major business apps) and adds a layer of intelligence by capturing ALL customer interactions across phone, conferencing, and email. The platform listens to these interactions, and applies AI to deliver REAL insights, to separate the corn from the husk. 

Let’s dive into six areas that show how Gong’s game-changing software can help Julien perform pipeline audits with confidence, provide more accurate forecasting and close deals faster.

BANT – Budget, Authority, Need, Timing

The sales process is complex, and involves many customer touchpoints that can change quickly. Don’t settle for anecdotes and random notes posted in your CRM. Gong gives you a single, UNFILTERED view of what’s really going on across all of your deals, so you can quickly understand which ones are healthy and which ones are just “meh”?

Gong’s easy-to-use interface motivates reps to be proactive and strategize to course-correct when necessary, keeping deals moving, and closing more quickly. They can audit opportunities down to the minutiae, and identify trouble spots. Has the budget been raised? Are the decision-makers involved? Have the use cases been covered? Has the prospect provided timing? Key elements of a deal can be tracked, measured and acted upon. And what does this mean for management? They can provide more accurate forecasting and revenue projections for Julien. Ka-ching!

But don’t take it from me … hear what our customers have to say:

Awesome Tool for Sales Insights” (G2 posting)

“With the ability to create deal boards it allows us to build similar views like we would in Salesforce but drill into insights that we may be getting flagged on as well. Where a Salesforce report will just display the data. Gong allows us to dig that layer deeper to better understand all the parts of the deal that may play into getting the deal closed.”

Big Fluctuations in Close Dates Spell Trouble for your Deal

A CRM is great for capturing customer and opportunity data. But reps can rarely capture every detail and nuance of their interactions with potential customers. For example, a closing date for a deal is often based on a rep’s best guesstimate, which in turn finds its way into sales forecasts and revenue projections. A list of “should be” and “could be” deals is definitely not the best approach.

So instead of focusing on the close date itself, Gong analyzed 13,439 B2B sales opportunities to see how changing the CRM close date affected win rates. And we uncovered something surprising – there is a strong correlation between the average number of days close dates are extended to your likelihood of winning. 

The good news? Gong’s Revenue Intelligence surfaces insights and deal warnings that can make or break a quarter before it’s too late. You’ll be able to see whether your close dates are moving, and by how much. This will provide greater accuracy to sales forecasting (Julien likes this), and a more realistic report on conversions to revenues. 

Again, from one of our clients (aka our raving fans)…

“Gong gave us the assurance that our reps were doing the right things during their discovery calls and demos. We’ve shortened our sales cycle to just 16 days and more than doubled our close rates.”

David Ellis, Sales Director, LinkedIn

Make Sure Multi-threaded Stakeholders Are Involved and Engaged

Multiple stakeholders are involved in every purchasing decision today. In a typical business with 100 to 500 employees, an average of seven people are part of the buying decisions. (Source: The Marketing Blender). Gong tracks all stakeholder interactions, their functions, and their touchpoints over the course of the buyer’s journey. Reps can take advantage of Gong’s powerful search across these interactions to ensure all stakeholders’ are truly engaged. No more relying on subjective and incomplete SFDC notes, instead Julien has an objective view of what is (and what isn’t) happening across his biggest deals. Now nothing is left to chance.


This meticulous tracking of deal elements drives higher close rates, and brings in revenue faster to the organization. Julien’s sales team is purring like a cat.

 

 

 

Cue another of our satisfied customers …

“We use Gong’s Deal Intelligence for our larger deals. It helps to really understand what the sentiment is for each customer, and whether or not the engagement is going up or going down…”

Jason van Ravenswaay, Head of Global Sales Operations, BlueCat

Catch Signals Early and Hoist the Flag for Victory

Business today moves at lightning speed. Customers expect you to be proactive and timely in your consideration of their needs … and to deliver something that stands out from your competitors. In fact, Gong research points to competitor mentions in late-stage deals resulting in a 20% drop in win rates. That’s because hearing about the competition usually signals that buyers aren’t getting everything they need from you. Perhaps a recent meeting has been postponed? Or the buyer’s priorities have shifted? Configure Gong so those red flags alert the rep in real-time, so they can take action before it’s too late.

Catching those alerts early makes for a more streamlined sales experience, higher prospect satisfaction, and higher success rate. Julien can keep close tabs on deal status and be more confident in his forecasting accuracy and the likelihood of pipeline converting to revenue.

Never Miss a Step

Data doesn’t lie. And the beauty of Gong is that it captures the facts. No data goes missing. No notes are misunderstood. And key – sometimes unexpected –  insights are revealed. 

It’s all there … searchable and immediately available so reps can be sure they have all the resources they need to move an opportunity forward. Gong makes it easy to generate best practices across your sale’s organization. For example, have clear next steps been expressed? When? And by whom? 

Close rates decline by an astounding 71% when next steps are not discussed. With Gong, there are no fumbles at the finish line. Reps are always aware of potential risks, and account managers can even identify churn signals before it’s too late. 

Julien now has a direct line of sight into these risks as they happen. Pipeline is more accurate. And most importantly, revenue projections are more trustworthy.

How to Lose the Deal with ‘List Price’ 

Pricing is a major factor in all sales. That hasn’t changed since money was invented. And just like in ancient times, saying the words “list price” signals that your price is wobbly and movable.

They telegraph that you have a fat margin with more than enough room to negotiate, and lengthen the sales cycle. Here’s some more Gong data to chew on: when a sales rep says list price, typical price, or standard price to a buyer at any point in a deal, the sales cycle is 19% longer than average.

If you have a 60-day sales cycle, that’s an extra 12 days tacked on. Enough to push the deal to the next quarter in many cases. Armed with this insight, reps can be sure to use the correct language and positioning from the very beginning. They can steer the conversation accordingly to drive a faster close. And Julien? He gains a better handle on forecasts, is more accurate, and confident in his reporting to the company.

The Path to Enlightenment

Well Julien has seen enough. He is floored by the idea that he can drive more accuracy in his forecasting, close deals faster, and hey even improve the overall sales process and enablement of his reps with Gong! He’s ready to sign.

Here’s what’s next

Want to learn more about Gong and how it can transform your pipeline audits – and more importantly accelerate closed deals and revenue?

Book a demo and watch the platform in action.

Devin Reed

Devin Reed is the Head of Content Strategy at Gong - the #1 Revenue Intelligence Platform for Sales.

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