As B2B sales reps go through their annual performance reviews with managers, a startup called CommercialTribe has created a software-as-a-service tool that will grade them across 24 behaviors based on an analysis of more than 40,000 recorded sales interactions.
Based in Denver, CommercialTribe formally launched CT Coach earlier this week, boasting HubSpot as an early customer that says it has improved sales team performance by 22 per cent. CT Coach works by offering a framework that rates a rep on a one-to-five scale based on how they handle tasks such as setting an effective introduction and agenda, the kind of storytelling about a product or service they use, how well they qualify leads and so on.
CommercialTribe CEO Paul Ironside said he learned about some of the behaviors as a sales person himself, working for B2B organizations such as the former Corporate Executive Board (CEB) and tech research giant Gartner, Inc. Initially, CommercialTribe was focused on offering a platform to help sales people make pitches using video, but over time the organization realized there could be a value in recording moments like discovery calls and building what was learned into its own app.
“I came to the conclusion that to improve productivity, it has to happen through the front line sales manager — what we would call the force multiplier — and through the evolution of the product, we really began to understand how to leverage measurement in sales,” Ironside told B2B News Network. “In many cases they’ve been given no guidance on what to look for (in a rep’s performance).”
While many B2B firms use tools like customer relationship management (CRM) to help improve the ability of reps to be more data-driven, Ironside argued CRM doesn’t get to the underpinnings of what degrade an individual rep’s ability to advance from one stage to another in the sales cycle.
The usual recourse for B2B firms when sales sag is to make sure there aren’t issues with things like territory design or resources allocation, Ironside said, or they over-invest in sales enablement without seeing significant return. CommercialTribe believes CT Coach will give them something to provide actionable direction to reps and turn them from “B” level to “A” level.
“Organizations are beginning to wake up to the reality that less reps are getting to their goal,” he said.
And while IT decision makers such as CIOs may play a role in the decision-making process for something like the CommercialTribe platform or CTCoach, the fact CT Coach is SaaS-based should address any concerns over security or adherence to regulations such a GDPR, Ironside said.
“The bigger issue going forward is to integrate this with all the other sales technology they might be using,” he said.