If you've got your finger on the pulse, your eye on the ball, and your ear to the ground, you'll know that we've just launched our brand-new The Art of Conversation report.
The report was built in partnership with Gong and Chorus.ai - two leading AI platforms in the world of conversation and revenue intelligence. Tools like these were, until more recently, more typically used by sales teams but now we're seeing the growing potential for product marketing functions too.
In this article, we cover:
- The difference between revenue intelligence and conversation intelligence
- What is revenue intelligence?
- What is conversation intelligence?
- Turning customer conversations into actionable product marketing strategies
- An example of Gong in action
What are revenue intelligence and conversation intelligence?
The first important thing to note here is that both solve the same customer pain points, sell to the same buyer, and solve pretty much the same use cases.
Both concepts are based on acquiring insights (typically by a frontline rep such as an AE or CSM, but now also PMMs) from interactions with customers and prospects. Literally, it’s about recording, transcribing, and analyzing customer interactions such as calls, meetings, and emails using a tool like Chorus or Gong.
These actionable insights are then used to drive strategies and decision-making - but more on that in just a moment.
The difference between revenue intelligence and conversation intelligence
The main difference between revenue intelligence and conversation intelligence - when we really get down to the brass tacks - is in how the two companies we’re shining the spotlight on here (Gong and Chorus) position themselves.
Both companies started out as conversation intelligence. Since then, Gong has evolved to hone in on the term revenue intelligence, while Chorus has remained with their core: conversation intelligence.
What really sets conversation and revenue intelligence apart is the focus on various use cases. Revenue intelligence is predominantly specializing in deal intelligence, whereas conversation intelligence is focused on providing AI-based insights to the entire organization.
The common principles of both CI and RI are:
- Automation over manual data entry.
- A complete view of all customer interactions, not just an overview.
- Access to real-time data for decision-making.
- Forming data-driven strategies based on real conversations.
- Connecting the entire company to the voice of the customer.
What is revenue intelligence?
Gong describes revenue intelligence as “the new way of operating based on customer reality instead of opinions”.
It combines deal intelligence, marketing intelligence, and people intelligence to provide a far more holistic approach to gathering and using data on what will maximize revenue. It also provides a more accurate view of customer reality by going beyond conversations, incorporating non-conversational data sources to derive richer insights using AI.
Gong outlines the five principles of revenue intelligence as being:
- Productive: Automation over manual data entry.
- Comprehensive: A complete view of customer interactions, not just a fraction.
- Timely: Access to real-time data for decision-making.
- Unbiased: Forming strategies based on reality rather than opinion.
- Aligned: Connecting the entire company through data.
What is conversation intelligence?
Chorus describes conversation intelligence as providing “a complete view of customer relationships to drive predictable revenue and outcomes at scale”.
Chorus solves three core business problems the entire office of the CRO struggles with:
- Driving team performance - this means understanding what works and what doesn’t across your frontline teams to drive winning behaviors.
- Maximizing revenue and preventing risk - deeply understanding the behaviors and relationships that drive revenue to get ahead of any looming deal or renewal risks.
- Making better strategic decisions - providing the entire organization (including product marketing) access to the voice of the customer to enable org-wide customer obsession.
Turning conversations into actionable product marketing strategies
Now that we're clear on what conversation intelligence and revenue intelligence actually encompass, let's take a look at how PMMs are using these tools to generate actionable, data-driven strategies - no longer just relying on assumption.
We asked a few of our The Art of Conversation report interviewees how they’re turning their insights and findings into actionable strategies and here’s what they revealed:
“I get multiple emails a week flagging something interesting someone has said on a Gong call. It’s then sitting in my email inbox and I’ll go take a listen to it and think, “Wow, that’s fascinating intelligence”. That will then become part of our battle card strategy and part of rounding out a particular competitor, or it becomes a piece of anecdotal data that I can take into a conversation with sales management, for example.
“It’s almost like the tip of the iceberg, where that one thing that resonates with someone means you suddenly start unearthing a lot of other layers. Instantly, you start making better business decisions because once you get that one nugget of information, you can start digging for more.”
Erik Mansur, VP, Product Marketing at Crayon
Erik also spoke to us about how gathering data and field intel via tools like Chorus and Gong is a highly effective way to speak in the same language as the customer.
He touched on how call recording was less widely accepted pre-COVID, but how the pandemic has shifted attitudes and opened new realms of opportunity for sales teams and PMMs:
“At the outset of the pandemic, when anybody heard the Zoom lady say, “call recording is on”, people were off-put by it, they were like, “why are you recording my phone call?”. But now, I think people have started to recognize that people want to have it for posterity - they want to be engaged and look at the screen without having to constantly be taking notes. I like being able to get what my customers and what my prospects say right, in their voice, in its purest form. Recording a conversation has become far less stigmatized. It’s no longer a bad thing to want to get it right the first time.”
Aligning messaging and positioning with words that customers actually use is also a sentiment and actionable strategy echoed by Vincent Lo, VP, Product Marketing at Klue:
“As product marketers, we’re responsible for communicating what we provide as an offering out in the marketplace and provide a narrative that differentiates it. Well, guess what? You can’t actually do that in a vacuum. Prior to conversation intelligence, you’d sit on customer calls and prospect calls. The second way would be to find time to schedule in interviews and have calls with your prospective markets and other people in your ICP. But neither of those are exactly scalable.
“Conversion intelligence allows you to do it from a product marketing perspective - from a messaging and storytelling perspective; from the perspective of what customers are saying they’re hearing in the market so you can adjust your own messaging and positioning, and align this with the words customers actually use. I think that’s often an overlooked aspect of intelligence and insight. We’re actually mapping what we want to say to the words that people actually use.”
An example of Gong in action
Louise Dunne, Product Marketing Manager at Linnworks, shared with us how the product marketing team at her company use Gong to refine messaging, create buyer persona assets, define customer and market research, shadow live sales cycles, and support sales more effectively:
“I first used Gong in a previous product marketing position where it was rolled out to the sales team as a sales coaching tool. Product marketing was given access to the platform so that we could analyze call recordings and transcripts using watch-back functionality, as we were refining our high-level messaging to create assets for specific buyer personas.
“There were three of us on the team, each assigned a buyer persona. We worked together to plan our goals for the project, define our research approach, and created a scoresheet to document feedback on Gong calls such as tracking persona title, questions asked, aspects of the platform demonstrated, metrics, and so on. We identified recently closed, won opportunities with relevant personas, and then ‘shadowed’ these deals using Gong.
“As the company was global, it would have been challenging to shadow live sales cycles due to time differences and scheduling conflicts and would have had to rely on sales rep feedback rather than gathering these insights firsthand.
“After shadowing a number of deals, we each collated our findings and then worked with key stakeholders in field-facing teams to refine messaging based on the specific insights we learned about each buyer persona. We then created a bespoke bill of material for each persona type, building on core global messaging and reflecting the buying cycles for each persona.
“This bill of material was shared with sales teams targeting each persona and adoption of these assets was high, thanks to the hands-on involvement of sales reps in their creation and the validation that this messaging was targeted at specific personas.”
Wanna delve deeper into the realms of revenue intelligence and conversation intelligence?
Wanna find out more about how AI-based platforms like Gong and Chorus are shaping the future of product marketing functions around the world?
Download the full report. 👇