Speakers: Christopher Vik, SVP, Global Sales, Leapwork
How did you run revenue prior to adopting Clari?
Christopher Vik: Before we got Clari, we were mostly using spreadsheets and we also tried to do things in Hubspot and Salesforce. Literally we just migrated from Hubspot as we're growing and we needed a CRM tool that could scale. So then we tried to use the forecasting component in Salesforce. But because I tried to use Clari and a couple of other tools in the past, I knew that life would be way easier for sales leaders and reps if we had a tool that would make it super simple and quick for them to update forecasting on the go.
Why did you ultimately select Clari over other platforms?
Christopher Vik: We selected the Clari platform because I've used Clari at three different companies in the past. I've also tried a different tool called BoostUp and it was pretty clear to me that, you know, Clari is probably a little bit more expensive than other tools, but it's all around adoption and all around usability, and we felt that with a tool like Clari, it would be pretty intuitive to run revenue operations for the sales leadership team and also for the sellers as well in the field. We love the intuitiveness and the usability of the tool. Super simple to understand and I'm also super happy to see that over the last couple of 3 to 5 years, Clari has gone through a couple of acquisitions and now have an end-to-end suite more like a platform in terms of how to run Revenue Ops, which for me it was pretty simple. I could centralize basically three or four different tools into one application. So that made it super simple for us.
How does Clari help you prevent revenue leak?
Christopher Vik: I think there are many scenarios of how Clari does that. I think the most, the biggest problem I had was the closing process and the sales team being in command of the paper process or decision process. And with Clari launching this product called Align, it made it very easy for everyone to not have to do close plan to joint evaluation plans for the prospects, living in different forms, different documents and with zero visibility up through the food chain. So that's probably the biggest impact that Clari has had for us, the ability to align digitally on the closing process and know exactly where the reps are, but also understand very fast where the reps are struggling in terms of getting, for example, alignment with what we call the economic buyer or maybe they're stuck at this step in the paper process. And it's very simple for us from a Rev Ops perspective to jump in and figure out, you know, with almost like a sixth sense, where do we need to run enablement for the sales team to have these high impact meetings, with higher proficiency.
What are some of the processes you’ve put in place to achieve revenue precision?
Christopher Vik: The first thing we had to do was to align the sales process and it was pretty clear in the early days that we were running sales processes in a different way. So the first thing we had to do was to align the entry and the exit criteria through each stage of the sales process and in our sales process we have a very critical stage called the new business meeting, which typically moves from pipeline into qualified pipeline or a visible opportunity and we had to align so that first, the sales team were trained on like what are really the exit criteria to move from a discovery into scope, so meaning from pipeline into qualified pipeline so that we could trust the underlying data. That was step one, and then step two was to really make sure that we start to train the AI component of Clari because we had you know some reps that were literally going from from pipeline into commit and the problem with doing it that way is that you're not training the AI component and what I'm really excited about now is that I start to see the force understanding that if they you know update their Clari, if they update the sales stage accordingly they are training the AI component to learn how this rep is running the forecast. So what's really interesting now is that a tool that typically was used in the past to look at weighted forecast throughout the stages, throughout the sales process. That is now something that every seller can now look at based on the historical performance, meaning, if I want to understand what is my ability to go and close and earn some commission in Q1, Q2, to let's say 3-6 months out in the future. I can now start to look at historical ability to convert through each sales stage. So if I know that at pipeline stage, I have a conversion rate of 87%, but once I move into scope, I have the ability to close 55% of everything in scope within a quarter. Then you can start to project how much quality pipeline actually is required for the next 3, 6, 9, 12 months ahead in the future. So you don't have to run a generic "oh you need 4x pipeline." In some cases, you might see that you only need 2.1x pipeline based on the ability to convert throughout the stages. So that is one of those things that's that is the process we're putting in place now because we have access to the data and because it's not living in spreadsheets. It gives transparency across the entire organization on how we're actually performing. So, for someone like me who's looking at, you know, projections of hiring and where are we going to double down on recruitment, which teams are really struggling where, and looking, then, at where do we need to put enablement in place and what are the specific problems the force is struggling with to run better targeted enablement. Those are some of those things that comes as a consequence of having the insight that Clari is giving us. So another process I would say that we put in place with Clari is to pipeline generation, PG, as we call it, is a big part of our DNA. When you're a startup scale up, you really need to own the future yourself. So, prospecting into the ideal customer profile with great customer stories is really, really important. So we are using the Wingman product from Clari to make sure that the sales leadership team are, as a part of their operational cadence, they really listen in to these Wingman calls to give feedback to the reps before, Monday's 1:1. And what we're starting to see now is that it becomes the thing people, are really seeking and craving the coaching. So now we have these Wingman calls where people are asking each other, hey, I would love for you to see what you think of this call, what could I have done better, et cetera. So that, again, is another consequence of putting in place, the ability to be transparent across every single team in the company of how we are performing.
What excites you most about the power of combining Clari, Wingman, and Align in the Clari Revenue Platform?
Christopher Vik: It's very, very simple – before I started as a board member of this company and I was really figuring out how can we become more data driven as we scale up. And I was considering tools like Clari, I was considering Chorus or Gong, I was considering People.ai and a couple of other tools and the thing that got me most excited when I truly understood the capabilities that Clari is bringing to the table, now, in 2022, versus 2015 when I used them for the first time, is that it's actually now a platform and I can combine all of those three technology platforms, as I just mentioned into one single platform, which makes it simple for adoption because there's one place, single source of truth. It makes it very easy for us to figure out, are we on track towards the forecast, and should we be within the 5 to 10% accuracy of forecasting that we aspire to become, or to be at, and when you have everything centered in one tool, whether it's the Align product to see where we are in the closing phases or the joint evaluation plan, or, if it's listening into Wingman calls to enable teams combining with a technology like Crayon, where we are ultimately popping up a competitive intel. So, if the competition is mentioned on the call, we have a functionality together with Clari, where if that competitor is mentioned on a Wingman call, there are battle cards popping up on the screen, which, again, is a part of like how are we going to make, you know, the sales force beat productive capacity and time to ramp. And that's probably one of those biggest things that gets me most excited about how technology can fuel, you know, the ramping of existing and also new reps, because we're focusing a lot on training and enablement on the entire go-to-market team.