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Gong CEO: B2B Sales ‘Requires Reality, Not Opinions’

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In a time where it is critical to understand customer reality, it’s vital for B2B companies to use revenue intelligence to unify their teams around comprehensive data. This ultimately leads to more-informed business decisions and better outcomes.

In an interview with Demand Gen Report, Gong Founder and CEO Amit Bendov shared insights into the importance of revenue intelligence and how streamlining this data within an organization boosts workplace efficiency.

Demand Gen Report: How do you believe revenue intelligence impacts modern go-to-market practices and changes the future of B2B sales?

Amit Bendov: I think it changes more than the future of sales, but it changes the future of companies. I think you will not be able to be a business or to compete effectively if you're not equipped with real-time information and what's really happening with your customers. First off, the talent market is becoming harder. You can’t just hire people, throw them in and if they don't succeed, you fire them. People rely on you to make them successful. And if you don't do it, they leave, so you need to make sure to have a finger on the pulse of your company to allow it to become a magnet for talented people. Second, the market is changing so quickly. We have companies saying they’re getting competitors every couple of weeks and they don't even know what their names are. Everyone knows buyers are different. Product differentiation is eroding because products evolve so quickly, and it is the buyer experience that really matters. So, if you're not in control and you don't know what your buyer experience is, you're at a disadvantage. Also, there's a disconnect between marketing and sales and the rest of the company because salespeople are the ones that are in the trenches speaking with customers. Marketing, product and leadership stay in the back and are being fed with what the salespeople are telling them. Now with Gong, everybody's in the trenches, because everyone can listen to what customers are saying about products.

DGR: Can you share a quick rundown of Gong for our readers to get to know the company better?

Bendov: We started the company and we built the company with several key properties: first, we capture reality, not opinions. Second, we comprehend everything that happens with the customers. The first version was really simple. It would latch on to Zoom meetings, record everything, transcribe it, give some key insights and then tie it back to the CRM system. So, it was a very, very simple system. If I had to call my team members, my managers would know exactly what happens without me having to do anything. I don’t need to take notes, I don’t need to update the system.

Today, [Gong] is a much more comprehensive system that captures a lot of interactions. It reads your emails with customers. It listens to phone calls. It’ll understand what's being said and use those understandings to create insights.

DGR: What are you seeing some of your top customers doing by leveraging this type of intelligence?

Bendov: It helps in several areas. One of them is just helping you with your pitch. If I'm a rep that tends not to ask a lot of questions, Gong may recommend that I reduce my talk time to 45% from 75%. For example, one of our customers was able to increase sales by 12% by making a simple change to their sales pitch. They sell point-of-sale equipment to small businesses like restaurants and shops as a hardware component with iPads along with a software application. Gong recommended that they flip the order of hardware and software — that they bring out the iPads before they talk about the app. That small change increased sales by 12%.

[Gong] really doesn't understand what the hardware is, what software is, it doesn't understand the business. It’ll look at the top reps, the top 5%, to see what they're doing that is consistently successful and is different from everybody else. This is something that humans just can't do. The software detected, after [analyzing] thousands of conversations and their outcomes, insights that nobody would have been able to even think about.

DGR: Any final thoughts or tips that you would provide organizations looking to get this kind of surface-level view of their customers and transition into more AI-driven automation?

Bendov: I think that the marketing profession has seen a tremendous amount of automation and intelligence over the last decades. It's incredible how selling is still pretty much an art. Sales is not an art, there's a science to it. And that's very dangerous because it's very outdated. In the B2B world, it's changing a lot faster. Now there’s an opportunity in both AI and technology, as the changing market challenges companies to not lag behind.