Speakers: Billy Minor, Manager, Sales Operations, WP Engine
How did you run revenue prior to adopting Clari?
Billy Minor: WP Engine stood up a Clari instance about two years before I arrived, and I couldn't imagine life without it. It's so critical to our sales organization, it's the primary platform to facilitate our deal inspection and pipeline reviews between managers and reps. From a leadership perspective, it offers a bird's eye view via the analytics modules, and the AI projection is something we lean on every single day, as we think about calling our business.
How does Clari help you prevent revenue leak?
Billy Minor: One of the primary ways Clari supports us in preventing Revenue Leak is simply the CRM score. In a highly transactional business, the number of deals in the pipeline at any given time is extremely high. So where does the front line manager put their attention? Where do they begin their inspection process? Where do they find the deals where they can get involved knowing that there's a sea of deals in the pipeline at any given time. We leverage a weekly commit process that Clari facilitates for us that allows the sales rep to signal to the front line managers in the business that deals next week that they feel very confident in at that point, the first order of business for our managers is to inspect the CRM scores of those deals and as a immediate and intuitive grade on the well being of those deals. If we see deals that are being committed with low CRM scores or even moderate CRM scores, it informs the manager exactly where to look where to get involved, where to add their support. Without that focus, often our managers are unclear as to exactly what to expect and end up going kind of deal by deal by deal inspecting everyone at the same level of granularity when that's not necessary. The CRM score indicates where support is needed and where there are weaknesses and allows our manager's attention to be focused there as opposed to deals that are already very strong and don't need their support.
What are some of the processes you’ve put in place with employees to achieve revenue precision?
Billy Minor: In a highly transactional business with cycle times anywhere from 2 to 12 days. The number of deals in the pipeline at any given point is always very high in order for our reps and our managers to know where to look at any given point where to put their focus on their energy. We leverage a weekly commit process and you must be thinking weekly that sounds like helicopter parenting but let me walk you through it. Given that our business is so transactional, our reps have only very limited visibility in what they're going to close throughout the full month or throughout the full quarter. However, they have a really strong point of view on what they can close in the next 7 to 10 days. So on Thursday mornings each week our reps go through a weekly commit process where they tag the deals within clary that they expect to close next week and in this they offer an opportunity for the front line manager to inspect the deals that our reps are depending on. Right, it's a bit of a confidence interval for our reps saying 'hey, these are the deals we feel super strongly about and are depending on to hit our number. It allows the manager to know where to look, evaluate the CRM scores of these committed deals and quickly be able to navigate what are the strength and weaknesses in these commit deals. If you've gotta commit deal with a low CRM score, it's an obvious opportunity for a deeper dive inspection. Conversely, if you've got a commit deal with a high CRM score, it probably requires very little attention unless it's a abnormally high dollar amount or something like that. So the manager can just kind of graze on by and and not worry about taking a deep dive into that into that deal because Clari has already done the work. It's inspected the deal on behalf of the manager. Okay this again, I'm sure still sounds like a lot of work on the reps behalf but Clari makes this so easy in the ops panel, a rep can quickly sort their deals by closed date or by any other attribute that they care about. And just through the inline editing feature just tag the deals that they feel strongly about. Well, of course, knowing that the manager is going to sweep behind that rep and inspect these deals heavily. We've kind of backed into a rep behavior here where the rep is incentivized to be pretty clean and up to date on their hygiene. So what we typically see is as deals get committed through the inline editing functionality in Clari, you will also see the rep update the next steps and the MEDDIC fields and accommodate for any adjustments necessary in the closed date. All of a sudden we've kind of threw a bit of a forcing function increased deal hygiene on the deals that matter most. So now, we know exactly where to look in terms of what deals and those deals are very clean in terms of their Salesforce hygiene. That's win-win. And what we know on the back end by analyzing this commit process is that the majority of the deals that we win next week were committed this week, in that we can measure our commits on a Thursday or Friday and be able to speculate on the strength of the weakness of the week coming up, which allows us to keep a strong pulse on next week's outlook at any given time.
How does the Clari Revenue Platform help you run revenue like a process?
Billy Minor: We leverage our Clari instance to facilitate a handful of very important ceremonies that take place throughout the week that allow us to keep our finger on the pulse of the business On Mondays, the senior leaders in the sales organization, meet and talk through their monthly calls, the dollars that they think they are going to close in a given month and they cross reference that to the Clari Pulse module that speaks to the AI projection. Any gap in the leaders call to the AI projection needs to come with some backing on why the call is different than what Clari believes. We've done some historical accuracy testing on the Clari AI projection and are really thrilled with the tools ability to signal our business throughout the month. And I guess it's worth saying that we run a monthly business as opposed to quarterly business and that's why, you know, we're so focused on predicting the month. On Wednesdays and Thursdays for our frontline managers, we've got a number of cadences around deal inspection and pipeline review that happen throughout the analytics modules as well as rep by rep, you know, review of each individual pipe and allows our frontline managers to get really aware of, of the health and well-being of their pipe and analyze their reps, weekly commits and get really get involved anywhere that the sales manager needs to in terms of deal review or inspection.