Sign in Book demo

Revenue Intelligence 101: 6 Workflows To Boost Your Customer Success Team

Jonathan Costet November 11, 2022

Do you have complete visibility into deals, team performance, and market changes?

Do you know what’s really happening in customer conversations with insights and guidance for every level of your org?

If not, keep reading … especially if you work in Customer Success.

This article will define Revenue Intelligence, share how it can be effective for sales, and then deep dive into the six workflows we recommend to help boost your customer success team.

What is Revenue Intelligence (RI)?

Revenue Intelligence *(RI) is the new* way of operating based on customer reality instead of opinions.

*Depends on how one defines new. Gong has been living in the RI space since 2019.

Gong is a Revenue Intelligence (RI) platform that captures and analyzes customer interactions and alerts you to risks and opportunities across your business.

Our Revenue Intelligence platform helps all teams within your organization, specifically Sales, Customer Success, Enablement, and Marketing. Our solutions focus on the following:

  • Coaching: Replicate what works by turning objective, data-based guidance into coachable moments for managers, peer-to-peer coaching, and self-driven improvements — without any drama.
  • Onboarding: From ideas to implementation. Get the tools and insights you need to implement your sales strategy.
  • Strategic Initiatives: Gong’s early insights into what’s working — and what’s not — gives your team the confidence to successfully take big-bet initiatives to market. Smart Trackers, our Generation 3 Conversation Understanding, make this even easier.

Sounds like an excellent solution for sales teams, right? Definitely, but it’s not JUST for sales (as evidenced by the title of this page).

We specifically help CS teams stay ahead of churn, collaborate with other teams (think: engineering, growth, support, and so on), and help track the health of all your accounts.

Let’s learn how.

Just For Sales? Nope. Here’s How Customer Success Teams Can Win More With Revenue Intelligence

Revenue Intelligence helps sales teams.

Full stop.

Revenue Intelligence ALSO HELPS marketing and onboarding and implementations and [insert name of team here] teams. 

Specifically for customer success teams, Gong helps equip your CS team with insights into account health, specialized playbooks, and proactive guidance to positively influence renewals, growth, and customer advocacy.

Using our platform means your team will be able to:

🤟🏽Better handover with sales

🤟🏽 Identify early churn signals

🤟Share best practices with team

Here are six Customer Success workflows that lead to unbelievable customer success.

Customer Success Workflow #1: Using Gong for notes

Taking notes on your laptop or phone. Adding content directly into your CRM. Filling notebook after notebook (after notebook) with customer … notes …

These are just a few ways customer success managers capture the key points from various conversations. 

While everyone has their preferred method, they are all less than ideal. And they all have a few fundamental problems.

A: If you write notes into a physical notebook, you must transfer them to your CRM at some point.

B: If you write notes on a device, you must transfer them to your CRM at some point.

C: If you write notes directly into your CRM, you cannot give your customer your undivided attention.

Undivided attention is also impossible with A and B.

The answer: Using Gong for notes.

Here’s how it’s done: 

STEP #1: In Gong, search for the company. This will provide a one-page view of all customer activity (calls, emails, etc.). A complete history of the account.

STEP #2: Search for keywords. A list will generate all touchpoints which include that keyword. Scroll until you find what you are looking for (or just something interesting).

STEP #3: If it’s a call, click on “go to call,” which will take you to the specific snippet where that keyword was mentioned.

There is no need to take notes (in your CRM, on a device, or a post-it note). Gong does the work for you. Worried about those notes getting into your CRM? No problem. Check out the Gong Collective for CRM integrations.

Customer Success Workflow #2: Minimize back-and-forth emails

Email has a time and a place — however, many misuse (abuse?). And the timing of emails often needs to be quicker.

Have you ever experienced a back-and-forth email similar to this one?

  • Tim emails Susan: “Hey Susan, can you check out this call? [insert call link]. Love to hear what you think.
  • Susan replies to Tim (4 hours later): “What would you like feedback on?”
  • Tim replies to Susan (the next day): “The part about renewals.”
  • Susan replies to Tim (2 hours later): “Works for me.”
  • Tim replies to Susan (1 minute later): “Actually, never mind. I just had the call with my customer.”

The conversation lacked context (the call recording was in one location … not in your inbox). There were wasted emails between Tim and Susan (not efficient). And ultimately, Tim needed feedback immediately (not the next day).

Lose-Lose-Lose.

With Gong, you can dive into the comments section of a particular account or even into a specific section of a call.

Here’s how it’s done:

STEP #1: In Gong, search for the company and specific conversation you are interested in.

STEP #2: Click the “comments” button to unlock that conversation’s comment box.

STEP #3: When listening to a call, stop the playback at the point you’d like to comment.

STEP #4: Type in your comment. Be sure to @ people within your organization to notify them of your comment.

The conversation is now real-time (chat) and in context (within the call recording itself).

Another use case: Tagging product managers when something product-specific is mentioned (new feature, feature request, etc.).

Way more efficient. Fewer (if any) back-and-forth emails. Win-Win (Win).

P.S. Want to go “next level?” Add a workflow where you type #SupporTicket, and a support ticket will automagically be created. Yup. Cool.

Customer Success Workflow #3: Using deal boards for forecasting/planning

As we say here at Gong, the key to reliable roll-ups and predictable revenue is reality.

Reality = Guessing be gone!

Reality means you genuinely understand your deals (aka renewals) — which are going sideways, which are on track, and (most importantly) why. “Why” is the key to taking the most appropriate action.

Reality is when all teams are in total alignment.

The result: Using intelligent insights (from Gong) to diagnose and pinpoint exactly why there are changes in your forecast to catch and address risks early.

If you execute this correctly (see below), you may not even need to use your CRM. Shocking, right?

Here’s how it’s done:

First, click on the DEALS tab inside Gong.

Next, create a custom Deal board … ideally with the deals you, as a CSM, support. Let’s say, “Enterprise and Strategic Deals.” Optional: If you have a large team, filter by a specific person.

And voila! Now you can see which deals need your help … and which are doing just fine without your assistance. Gong prioritizes for you!

Finally, go crazy with various sort options, and you can quickly identify which deals are:

  • closing and when
  • in which of the various stages

And so on.

As an implementation manager on the customer success team, this workflow can be beneficial when balancing your work week/month — get a good sense of what deals are closing and when so you and your team can be ready to well, implement!

Customer Success Workflow #4: Ease internal handoffs

An information-sharing process happens when a deal moves from sales (closed/won) to customer success (new logo).

Unfortunately, things are often “lost in translation (transition?).

Even if the transition is smooth, it still takes time.

  • AE and CSM have to set up a meeting
  • They have to actually meet 
  • There is lots of back and forth, questions, and many clarifications.

Instead, why not just hear the actual voice of the (new) customer?

Less room for error/misinterpretation, and certainly less time-consuming.

Here’s how it’s done:

First, find a recently closed account using the global search bar in Gong.

You can now see it all. Literally, all of it. Everything that has happened from a communication perspective — How did the pilot go? What tools are they using?

Want to go more granular? No problem. Filter for specific dates/calls/emails and certain topics (i.e., integrations, pain points).

Next: Have that call with the sales rep and be 100% dialed in, completely prepared. Efficiency FTW!

Customer Success Workflow #5: Validating and flagging customer health

100% customer retention is pretty much impossible. Sure, it may be a goal for some revenue and customer success teams, but it’s a bit unrealistic.

That being said, maximizing your customer retention number — and growing each account — is often what matters to most CS teams.

And one way to ensure your customers renew and grow? Be sure they are happy. Thrilled. Raving fans, if you will.

But how do you know how “healthy” your accounts are? Customer surveys? Ask them directly? Review account usage? Gainsight?

Yes. Yes. Yes. And Yes.

But also use Gong to validate and flag customer health.

Here’s how it’s done:

First, find the account you are interested in using the global search bar in Gong. Then, right out of the gate, you can see every interaction with this account.

Pro tip: Ensure there is a good back-and-forth. If it’s just you reaching out to your customer … no good. Look for balance. Ideally, there will also be a mix of phone/video/email communications.

Next, look for some key indicators as to the health of the account: Search within the account to look for things such as Business Reviews: Many companies do quarterly business reviews (QBRs) to show customers how their account is doing, review ROI, and explore ways to get more out of the account. No recent QBRs? Not a good sign.

But let’s say there was a recent QBR: a good sign. However, what was discussed on that call is even more critical. The devil is in the details!

Within the QBR search, go to calls and scroll to find “Top Topics Discussed.” There you’ll see the following breakdown* sorted by most to least:

  • Small talk
  • About the prospect
  • Pricing

Additionally, search for “renewal” and start scanning calls and emails where renewal was discussed. Then look for “next call.” Has it been scheduled? When is it happening?

*Depending on what was discussed, some of these topics may differ.

One last thing: It’s often important to understand who on the account you are speaking with. Talking with the “right” people, especially regarding renewal and growth, is essential.

Looking at the engagement map, you can see exactly who the CSM interacts with.

Before you even chat with your CS rep, you have a pretty good sense of the health of the account … and what precisely to hone in on.

Customer Success Workflow #6: Track adoption of new initiatives

Trackers: a set of keywords Gong customers create to track conversations and trends.

Gong customers have been using trackers since 2016. At the time we launched them, they were revolutionary. But over time, we realized a few things: 

  1. Too many options: It’s tough to think through every possible keyword that would make sense.
  2. Context matters: Sometimes keywords are flagged but are false positives.

So in October of 2022, we launched Smart Trackers, the Generation 3 conversation understanding solution, a “patented technology that uses state-of-the-art AI to leapfrog the need for keywords and find concepts easily and accurately. Smart Trackers identify concepts that revenue leaders care about with much higher accuracy: they find up to 80% more occurrences, with up to 80% fewer errors.

Customer Success Teams use (smart) trackers all the time.

Customer Success Workflow #6: Coaching!

It’s no secret that coaching is integral to success … in life, in sales, and even in customer success!

But how do you know where to spend your time? How do you maximize efficiency? You can’t be on every call, in every room, in every conversation. 

The answer, obviously, is Gong.

With Gong, managers’ time is maximized by making it easy to gauge the quality of conversations and topics discussed. The result: they can coach their team to help customers realize the value and achieve goals.

Fun fact: 71% of CS teams using Gong improved their escalation process.

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Let Gong do the work for you: Leverage Gong alerts. YOU decide what you want to focus on. QBRs? Sure. Set up alerts for a daily digest on all QBR calls.
  2. Let your team decide: Have your CS team send calls to you. Let them choose which calls they want help with.

Protip: Tag these calls as “Listen Later” so they are teed up when you have time (ideally, you’ve blocked out time on your calendar to “listen now.”

Take advantage of the data that lives in the TEAM tab, specifically the COACHING board. This view shows all members of your team and the feedback you’ve provided. Pay specific attention to the “Last Feedback” column. Has it been a minute since you’ve given feedback to a specific team member? Get on it!

Now you know.

It’s time to test your Revenue IQ

Revenue Intelligence definition? ✅

6 workflows CS teams can use? ✅

Let’s see what you’ve learned. Take our Revenue Intelligence Maturity Assessment now.

After this test … err … assessment, you’ll know where you stand when it comes to your knowledge of Revenue Intelligence.

Let’s get started.

WRITTEN BY
Jonathan Costet

Senior Growth Marketing Manager @Gong | Au revoir opinions, bonjour reality