Transforming Your Smartphone into a Strategic Sales Weapon

Venkat Rangan

Venkat Rangan
CTO, Clari

Transforming Your Smartphone into a Strategic Sales Weapon

My smartphone today has more computing power than the PC I had in the 1980s, but that means nothing if it doesn’t deliver what I need, when I need it. A contact’s phone number. A real-time traffic report. A support ticket in a database. These are just some of the go-to information sources I need to regularly access on my phone.

Sales reps want their smartphones to give them what they need, too. That’s why I’m focused on optimizing a mobile-first experience — one that serves up relevant content from many enterprise applications and puts it right in the palm of a sales rep’s hand. A bit like Google Now, but for work!

"In Why Selling is More Difficult Now,” Anthony Iannarino notes how hard it is for reps to “make a difference” and build trust. I agree and we’ve found trust and credibility go hand in hand... and having the right information at the right time helps drive credibility.

That’s easy to say, but the problem is trying to access a variety of application sources (a.k.a. silo diving). It’s a time-consuming and extremely frustrating proposition for sales professionals. One rep told me effective meeting planning requires him to read up on the latest news, check his calendar, emails, and LinkedIn, update his CRM system, refer to licensing and support databases, and more.

In all, he estimated he had to dive into nearly a dozen information silos before every customer meeting to successfully provide value to a prospect or upsell an existing customer.
If you think that’s a bit of an exaggeration consider the typical purchase order (PO) process. It has four critical steps:

  1. Legal sends the PO to the rep’s email. The sales rep has to open the email application, search for the email, and locate the PO.
  2. Rep brings up the PO in Microsoft Word to review requested changes.
  3. Rep brings up DocuSign to digitally sign the PO once changes are verified.
  4. Rep sends the signed PO to the customer to sign.

Think about how long and cumbersome the whole experience is, and how many times sales reps endure this scenario. Imagine how much more productive reps could be if the whole process was streamlined into a nice, beautiful experience. But the reality is, delivering such an experience is incredibly hard. This is where Clari technology comes in.

We’ve found a new and better way of connecting all the dots — the customer name, the opportunity the sales rep is pursuing, and the contacts that matter with their emails and meetings. Think about the PO example. Clari simplifies the whole process by automatically displaying the latest approved PO from a rep’s email immediately following a meeting; by providing a pointer to the best application to capture signatures; and by sending the signed PO back to the customer, as well as to the purchasing department.

Our platform makes it possible for sales teams to prepare for meetings and follow up with customers without having to dive into and out of a wide variety of applications — from calendar to email to CRM. Our technology advantage is discovering content to help reps sell at exactly the moment they need it. We call the data and algorithms driving this discovery our "sales knowledge graph."

Sales professionals using Clari are breaking down the digital walls that exist between applications and getting everything they need to get their job done. And our single application provides real value within minutes of installing — transforming a typical smartphone into a strategic sales weapon that makes it easier for sales reps to know more, sell more, and update less.

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