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How we got early revenue intelligence wins at Uber for Business

May 31, 2024
Nick Lewis

Nick Lewis

Global Head of Revenue Enablement

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As the Head of Revenue Enablement at Uber for Business, I’m preparing my revenue team to welcome a major surge of new rep headcount into our broader organization this year. But proportionately, we still intend to keep our revenue operations team lean, which means efficiency is paramount if we want to coach and ramp the new hires appropriately. 

If our first cohort of new hires isn’t as productive as anticipated, it will throw off our plan for every team after them, and we’ll find ourselves iterating late in the game. We want to nail this first hiring drive.

To prepare for the change, we consolidated our tech stack, leveraging revenue intelligence to transform our revenue team’s operations. We expected it to boost productivity but didn’t realize how quickly and significantly the technology would boost trust and empathy across our teams. 

It’s already had a dramatic effect on our learning pathways, team culture, and performance. Revenue intelligence has created a foundation for our newfound open access, objectivity, and shared insights, making it easier to achieve a team-oriented culture — from onboarding onward. Specifically, we’ve seen three major wins in just three months with the technology.

Win #1: Insights into cohort performance pave a path for learning

I started my career as an elementary school teacher, so I’m keenly aware that our educational model gives kids identical training and expects them all to arrive at the finish line with the same outcomes. We rely on this approach because one teacher can’t possibly personalize their teaching to every child in a classroom. 

Now translate that model to a sales org, which is essentially a learning space. Not surprisingly, the same thing happens: The manager does their best, but few reps receive a tailored learning program. 

When you add AI-backed revenue intelligence to the mix, everything changes. Managers can diagnose where each rep struggles, and identify an appropriate intervention. In some cases, they can even deliver that intervention to the rep in almost real time. 

Most of us are naturally inclined to categorize reps as high, average, or low performers. But even within these categories, there are subtleties we can untangle and address with the help of AI. 

For example, with Gong, we can uncover the nuances of a high performer who’s great at building pipeline, but struggles to close. Their pipeline generation skills covered what they lacked in closing, but now we can provide tailored coaching to make them even stronger. 

Using Gong to understand the proficiencies and weaknesses of individual reps at a nuanced level is incredible. We’re using it as a diagnostic tool, plugging our reps into the right training at the right time based on conversations they’ve just had. This unlocks the capacity for human growth in real time, which is truly profound. It also raises our revenue per rep — and our ability to build a high-performing team.

Win #2: Voice of the customer leads to objective decision-making

The impact of revenue intelligence goes beyond our direct sales organization, extending to our product, marketing, and customer success teams. It’s easy for the latter teams to feel like the sky is falling — that the world is on fire — because they’ve heard certain rumblings amongst prospects or customers. 

This concern often sparks an understandable reaction, with reps or CSMs requesting immediate changes to the product. Often, the product team has a different perspective. 

It’s been incredibly useful in these scenarios to turn to something objective, like AI. Gong’s platform surfaces insights from conversation intelligence data that better reflect the voice of the customer or market changes, and quantify the severity or frequency of a particular issue. 

All of the teams can better empathize with the pain that customers feel, and understand each other’s perspectives on an issue using real data. 

I can already see that this has fostered more authentic and collaborative engagements across our sales, customer, and product teams. Having access to unified information in one place strengthens cross-functional collaboration, and opens up opportunities to build better products faster.

Win #3: Open access leads to better performance and productivity

Now that we’re using AI-powered revenue intelligence, our reps don’t have to do time-consuming — and manual — tasks, like taking notes in Salesforce. Those are automated and taken care of for them based on customer interaction data. But it’s not just the reps who benefit from the efficiency of revenue intelligence.

Like all revenue enablement leaders, I’ve sat in on hundreds (possibly thousands) of pipeline review calls with managers and reps. Before Gong, I’d hear the same questions and answers over and over. That was disheartening, especially when the conversation didn’t move beyond, “What’s your deal going to do?” and the rep responding with “I’m going to have another conversation with them to move things forward…” 

Discussions like that are an outdated and inefficient approach to coaching and deal execution. 

Revenue intelligence has enabled a strategic shift in how we support our reps, and it’s changing the trajectory of the entire revenue organization. We can now quickly understand trends and develop playbooks that drive more predictable revenue.

For pipeline, sales leaders use revenue intelligence to identify what is going on in a deal before they go into a review meeting with a rep. The platform puts a spotlight on moments inside deals that are coaching opportunities, so our managers go into their meetings with truly meaningful and impactful coaching and guidance that keeps deals on track.

This has moved us from generic coaching to more concrete guidance and advice. The impact of this targeted coaching goes beyond the call or deal level, adding up to something incredible when we see the impact it’s having on our overall pipeline. 

Insights, objectivity, and access expedite change

Now that we’re using AI and revenue intelligence, the objectivity and empathy emerging among our teams is evident on a daily basis. It’s changing every aspect of our workflows and our coaching. It’s already saving precious time by bringing teams together, infusing our training with a new level of focus and clarity, and giving our reps greater confidence. 

I know there’s a whole roster of improvements that are about to reshape our future, from more effective deal execution to smoother workflows and faster product iterations based on the voice of the customer. For now, it feels like we’ve cracked open a door in terms of what’s possible, and we don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

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