There’s little doubt that a traditional customer 360, where client data is collected, aggregated, and centralized in your CRM, benefits numerous stakeholders.
Analysts and management, for example, can pipe the data into a business intelligence platform, where they can uncover insights that enable them to make key decisions.
That said, the value of collecting and analyzing data can only go so far. What your teams at large need—in particular, your GTM teams—is a way to receive the right data at the right time. Only then can they strike while the iron is hot, whether that’s following up with a customer that hasn’t logged into your application for a certain period of time, adding leads to a campaign after attending a marketing event, or notifying sales when a prospect shows signs of buying.
We’ll further explore how a modern customer 360 enables GTM teams to leverage client data to spur intelligent actions—with the focus being on ACTIVATING data (the modern approach) versus simply CENTRALIZING it (the traditional approach). But first, let’s take a closer look at why traditional customer 360, even when successful, hasn’t been “transformational.”
The shortcomings of a traditional customer 360
Here are just a few of the top issues:
Data is accessible but non-practical
Since a CRM is treated as a system of record, it isn’t designed to help GTM teams take action. Imagine a wall of file cabinets with all the information you could possibly need about your clients. CRM is simply the digital version of this. Even the most savvy GTM folks who can successfully track down relevant customer info often don’t know the most effective thing to do with it. And giving them a binder on their first day of onboarding with all of the available playbooks certainly isn’t the answer.
With this in mind, modern GTM teams have largely adopted “systems of action” that help them execute marketing, sales, and customer success motions at scale. These include sales engagement tools like Outreach or SalesLoft, account-based marketing/intent data platforms like 6sense, ZoomInfo, or Demandbase, conversational intelligence platforms like Gong or Chorus (ZoomInfo), customer success software like Gainsight or Catalyst, and so on.
As IT or engineering works with different stakeholders on providing data for the customer 360, many have somewhat related requests.
For example, the marketing team may request product usage data in a certain format to identify candidates who are ripe for specific upsell or cross-sell campaigns; all the while, customer success might ask for product usage data in a separate format to pinpoint clients who are at risk of churning.
Despite the fact that a data type can be the same, they might look slightly different because they’re coming from different teams who plan to use the information in different ways. When this happens at scale, your customer 360 can end up with enough similar, yet subtly different, pieces of information that ultimately confuse your teams and keep their efforts siloed.
Poor employee and client experiences
Even with a robust customer 360, your GTM team is still forced to hunt down key information.
Maybe a customer success manager (CSM) needs to track down specific tickets before their next QBR with a client; perhaps a CSM needs to find a playbook when faced with a specific cross-sell scenario; or a marketer needs to know whether a contact visited a certain webpage to better determine if they should be added to a specific campaign.
Whatever the situation, the manual work of searching for information across applications is time consuming and unpleasant, and it prevents your GTM teams from engaging in the work that they’re uniquely qualified to perform.
Moreover, forcing your GTM teams to perform these activities hurts the customer experience in a variety of ways.
Your CSMs, for instance, might not be aware of a significant issue on time, thereby preventing them from resolving it quickly; or a CSM might not have all of a client’s success metrics on hand in their QBR call, preventing the CSM from showcasing all of the value that the client is seeing from their product—and allowing the client to feel good about the partnership.
How modern GTM teams should operate, with or without a customer 360
While a long-term goal for GTM teams can be to get all their data centralized (though this initiative is usually owned by IT), which includes data from “systems of action”, their primary goal—and what a modern customer 360 empowers GTM teams to accomplish themselves—is to make the right data actionable for the right stakeholder in the short-term.
In other words, the modern customer 360 is about driving impact now—versus waiting for a years-long IT initiative to cross the finish line.
Let’s take a closer look at how this can work by walking through some examples:
- Once a customer success manager has a QBR coming up, they get notified via a platform bot in your business communications platform; within the message, they can create the QBR deck automatically with a simple click of a button (the bot populates a templated deck based on the information it finds in the relevant apps).
- Any time a conversational intelligence platform detects a competitor’s name during a sales call, a platform bot goes on to share the battlecard for that competitor with the rep from the call. The bot also includes colleagues who’ve won deals against that competitor, allowing the rep to learn who they can reach out to if they need any guidance. At the same time, marketing can trigger a competitor-focused campaign to assist in the background.
- A sales rep can get alerted when a previous buyer changes roles via a platform bot in an application like Slack; within the message, the sales rep can learn more about the contact’s role at their previous company, see what their new role is, and add the prospect to the appropriate nurture sequence via Outreach, or a similar application. Here’s more:
Provide actionable data to your GTM teams at scale with Workato
Workato, the leader in enterprise automation, allows your revenue teams to integrate their tech stack and automate GTM workflows in ways (as shown above) that enable them to act on customer data quickly.
The platform also offers Workbot, a customizable platform bot that enables your GTM teams (and anyone else) to bring relevant data and workflows to their business communications platform, whether that’s Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Workplace from Meta.