Relevance: How Clari Gives Sales Only What Matters, When It Matters

Venkat Rangan

Venkat Rangan
CTO, Clari

 Relevance: How Clari Gives Sales Only What Matters, When It Matters

My inbox collects hundreds of emails a week. My allocated space in Dropbox is quickly filling up. So is my Google drive because I'm collaborating with more people every day. But what actually matters? What’s most relevant?

As engineers, it's our job to figure that out, then to actually deliver it. It's hard. But it's what people need. Particularly sales people.

I'm pretty good at remembering what’s been stored where, but getting access to all of the details isn't always easy — especially when I'm traveling.

Compared to sales professionals, I'm no road warrior. So if I think it’s hard to access something from the road, imagine their frustration. My colleagues and I call it "silo diving" into information sources and it's a significant obstacle for sales that we’re focused on eliminating.

It’s easy to imagine how customer escalation issues can become a nightmare for sales reps. With few established processes to help even one customer, a rep has to find the right support ticket in a database, review internal FAQs on the company’s intranet, reach out to engineering via email, and consult the CRM system for similarities. And worst of all, none of the applications would make it easy to cut and paste what that rep needed so it could be collected it in one place for future reference.

This sort of time-stealing administrative work is typical of what we ask of sales reps, yet most reps fill their days with meetings — so they can actually sell something. They don’t have time for this sort of digital minutia. And when they aren’t in a meeting, they are preparing for one or checking off follow-up tasks from one that just occurred. But what if a rep could stop diving through documents and applications and have just what was most relevant about a particular customer right in the palm of his or her hand?

That’s what relevance is all about.

Something is relevant if it is important to the matter at hand. If it helps me determine what to do right in that moment. And our goal at Clari is to serve relevant content from many different enterprise applications to sales reps when and where they need it. Content from email, LinkedIn and other professional networks, newsfeeds, CRM systems, support databases, calendars, note-taking applications — you name it.

Our technology connects to content sources, converts raw data into related entities that matter: people, email threads, deals and opportunities, documents and more. We then build a knowledge graph to help sales reps identify and prioritize activities and documents. That is, what activities and documents — exactly — will help them sell more? And this works at the speed of selling. The knowledge graph ranks the entities and their connections to surface content for the exact moment it is needed.

Let’s think about a concrete example: that important meeting you just had with a prospect drives the importance of the people in that meeting higher, relative to other folks from that client. Likewise, the ranking of content you delivered just prior to closing a deal or that generated the largest number of people discussing its content get a higher importance. We combine this with what you are doing at this very  moment, based on meetings on your calendar and records from your CRM system. The result is a powerful construct: a graph encompassing all critical entities – meetings, people, emails, account and opportunity, the point in the sales cycle, attachments and other items from your content library, and the most recent events of your day. They’re combined into one graph that shows what’s most important. Your goal is to sell. And you now know what actions will help you be most effective.

The result is a powerful construct — a graph encompassing all critical entities including meetings, people within meetings, emails exchanged among the people in meetings, the account and opportunity context of meetings, attachments and other items from your content library, and the most recent events of the day. They’re all combined into one graph that actually shows what’s most important.

The Clari relevance engine brings in all the signals that matter, significantly increasing the connection of content delivered, compared to what a naïve text search would find. In short, our algorithms focus on giving reps what they need, when they need it.

Smartphones are more useful with relevant information, and we give that important information to reps via their devices — quickly and where it’s convenient. Only then, can sales professionals turn their current customer engagement into a successful outcome. That’s the power of relevance.

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