Digital organizations are the way of the future, and revenue organizations are following the trend. Alexander Group predicts that in 2022, the Revenue Organization will have an increased role in IT governance. Additionally, there will be an emphasis on quote-to-cash, self-service enablement, and commercial AI applications. Digital investments will be a top priority for CROs to drive growth and create operational efficiencies in 2022.
Traditionally owned and managed by IT, Revenue Operations leaders are increasingly taking bigger roles in managing the IT strategy and tech stack. As the focus continues to shift away from buying and maintaining products to delivering end-user value, Revenue Operations will increasingly own the process of Revenue Organization IT strategy, implementation, training and ongoing business outcome monitoring. An example of this is CROs pushing to automate quote-to-cash/service processes to improve deal velocity and pricing consistency, a highly important function that crosses the marketing/sales/service spectrum, while concurrently involving key stakeholders in IT functions.
Furthermore, Alexander Group predicts that Self-Service channels within consultative sales models will gain in popularity in the coming year. These tools have been primarily used in the SMB and Mid-Market segments; as 2022 unfolds, more self-service will become inherent in enterprise deals as buyers shift their preferences towards digital engagement. As a result, new roles will emerge to support self-service capabilities and be closely tied to the overall sales performance.
Lastly, Alexander Group predicts that XaaS Revenue Organization leaders will invest in AI/ML in areas such as opportunity identification, account prioritization, and early warning systems for renewals and customer success. More off-the-shelf applications will continue to be central to the AI/ML revenue organization strategy with AI/ML embedded into the distinct products. By the end of 2022, new processes and internal roles will emerge as a result of these applications.
Davis Giedt: Welcome everyone to our series on tech predictions for 2022. I’m Davis Giedt, leader of our analytics and research practice here at Alexander Group. And with me today is Ted Grossman, principal and leader of our technology industry practice. Today’s topic is digital investments and our predictions for 2022 on that particular topic are that the digitization of the revenue organization will continue to see investment and become a larger piece of the IT budget. There’s going to be an emphasis on quote-to-cash, artificial intelligence investments, as well as self-service enablement. And then internally, if you’re looking internally at the organization, revenue operations, which is an emerging trend within organizations in itself, will own the process of setting IT strategy within the revenue organization, as well as implementing some of the technology tools that they’ve purchased, training folks on it, and doing ongoing business outcome monitoring to make sure that they have successful outcomes from the investments that they’ve made. So Ted is going to tell us a little bit about this today. The first topic is sort of this notion of revenue operations having an increasingly important role in IT governance. So Ted, you want to tell us a little bit about what that means
Ted Grossman: Technology to enable sales, you know, we’ve had CRM for quite a while, and there have been other tools that have evolved, but there is now a plethora of tools that can really impact the effectiveness and the productivity of a sales organization. And companies are more than experimenting with that now; they’re actually, it’s becoming standard practice to utilize these technologies in more and more ways. As technology takes that spot, it becomes more and more a bigger part of the, you know, the arrows in the quiver of the CRO, and they care about it where in the past they might have let IT run some of these things, or that might have been a light partnership where, yeah, these are tools like CRM that we need to have. They’re now becoming, you know, we have to have them and they have to work in ways that are going to impact results. So the investment has, we’re starting to see the beginnings of a trend towards much higher investment in technology, and specifically, what that means is revenue ops and the revenue organization taking more control over what it’s being spent on and how it’s being used. So if you think about governance, you know, I think of it in terms of, OK, what are the system requirements? What is it we’re trying to do with it? Which vendors do we want to use? Providing the budget for it. Who is going to provide technical support or both business support and, you know, I guess IT/technical support? How are we going to monitor the effectiveness of this, and how are they going to get implemented? Some of these will be a partnership with traditional IT and other organizations, but what you’re going to start seeing is more leadership coming from the revenue ops organization and the revenue organization as a whole.
Davis Giedt: And so tell us, tell us a little bit about self-service channels within this environment and how that’s going to become really important in the technology B2B environment. What are your thoughts on that?
Ted Grossman: Yeah, no. I think a couple of things that are interesting. So self-service tools, you know, being able to either purchase or learn about the products in a low touch or non-touch manner from a human being perspective, have become increasingly utilized. Traditionally, they’ve been utilized in what I’ll call broad segments, you know, the SMB market or the mid-market where you have lots and lots of customers and you can’t afford to actually touch them with people. The tools are getting better and better, and I think what we’re starting to see is it’s not just you divide it by customers, but you actually divide it by the types of transactions that can be done in a self-service mode, and companies are realizing that they can do more and more with this. And so what you’re starting to see is even self-service applications and self-service use-cases are showing up a lot more even in enterprise and even in global and strategic accounts. And customers like it, that’s the main thing. And because customers like it, you can embody you to be quicker, you can be faster addressing customer issues, you’re going to see this investment. It’s actually a competitive advantage if you have it in your customers, in your competitors do not. So I see this as something that is going to become a broader tool. I don’t think it’s going to replace humans. I think humans will be around for a long time. But so many of the tasks that are more transactional and can be done by through a machine are going to be done through a machine and through self-service.
Davis Giedt: So further on that topic, tell us about how you think organizations are going to leverage, A.I., artificial intelligence and machine learning in 2022.
Ted Grossman: What we’re now starting to see is you’re not going to be an AI company, a software company that provides AI, you’re going to be a software company that provides territory management and it’s going to do a count propensity for you, you know, helping companies with their customer success and renewal management processes. And you’re going to be able to look at a data, use machine learning as part of your application, and that’s going to identify an early warning system that tells you these customers need more attention. So AI is going to be something that I don’t think it will be purchased directly; companies were using software like Watson from IBM in the past, for example, trying to build their own. What you’re going to see is AI is going to be showing up in every application, or going to be added to every platform that you can see, and we’re starting to see the beginnings of that. But now it’s really taking on a life of its own. So that’s where the prediction is that we think that’s going to be a big deal. It has big implications because whenever you have that AI, you now potentially have new processes and you probably have new jobs internally. So, when companies think about this growing, this capability growing within their application set, it has a really big implication for what kinds of roles and data scientists and so forth do I need to bring on board in order to take advantage of it?
Davis Giedt: And there’s a lot of powerful off-the-shelf applications that folks are purchasing now, and that’s going to continue to be really important for 2022.
Ted Grossman: Absolutely. And we’re seeing natural language applications that support self-service. We’re seeing tools that in real-time will support a sales rep with better value propositions and objection handling and things of that nature. So that’s pretty exciting stuff.
Davis Giedt: Well, thank you, Ted, appreciate all the insights. That’s all the time we have for today and thanks everyone. We’ll see you on the next video.