Chris Harrington, CEO
For the longest time, the B2B buying process followed a typical journey where businesses produced, marketers talked, and customers purchased. The buying process was dominated by the salesperson’s ability to convince the buyer to purchase his products. Then came the digital revolution that altered the buying patterns. Now, two-thirds of the buying cycle is completed before a buyer speaks with a sales rep, as per a study by Forrester. Digital channels now allow buyers to have unlimited access to information. B2B buyers often prefer to research online for competitive comparisons to make educated decisions and develop selection criteria or shortlist a list of vendors solely based on digital content. Similarly, there are twice as many people on the purchasing team today as there were just five years ago. This makes it even more difficult for sales reps to navigate and influence them to buy a product because they don’t know the buyers.
Due to the lack of access to buyer data, sales teams are still struggling to understand buying patterns and are clouded by various questions such as: How do they buy? What do they buy? What do they value? It is getting harder for sellers to know who to engage or how to connect with buyers. The use of legacy and outdated solutions only increase unwanted and untargeted outreach. Sellers need a better way to consistently identify, prioritize, and engage their ideal customers, whereas leaders need better visibility and measurement into sales performance. XANT leads the way in sales acceleration with its AI-powered platform that leverages buyer intelligence on collective data to harness its power and educate sellers of the buying patterns. The company’s platform, Playbooks, empowers users with a unique data advantage by providing actionable insights from 27 billion revenue interactions and outcomes and 183 million buyer profiles, enriching customer CRM data with buyer intelligence. The company is the only one in the field to have access to anonymized collective data, which identifies who to target, how they behave, and how reps should engage with them. “We unleash AI’s highest value potential by harnessing unique buyer data and apply it to machine learning models in real-time to understand and guide sales reps on buyer behaviors,” says Chris Harrington, CEO, XANT.
Data Prioritization, Automation, and Reporting in One
Playbooks is the first Enterprise Sales Engagement Platform that offers the data, prioritization, automation, process, and visibility into performance required to meet both sellers’ and leaders’ needs so they can accelerate revenue results. Playbooks enables clients to engage more leads with intuitive sales cadences, called Plays, and build customized repeatable processes to manage lead follow up, opportunities, and outreach. Clients can ensure prospects and customers receive the right number of contact attempts, in the right channels, over the right period of time. By running Plays across multiple channels—including SMS texts, email, calls, voicemail, LinkedIn, and direct mail, clients are able to make their attempts more effective. Playbooks uses data to make recommendations for optimal Plays.
Our automation enables clients to align the right tasks at the right time and in the right order
For example, we’ve found that contact rates can increase up to 100x if the response time is within five minutes.
At the same time, clients can track email opens, clicked links, downloads, and forwards from multiple recipients to precisely know how their attempts perform. Playbooks can automatically set up triggers to mark a contact attempt, update CRM fields, and alert reps of additional required actions. Plays help accelerate sales productivity and consistency. Opportunities are effectively managed with standardized processes, task and activity triggers, and automated administrative work.
"We apply AI with its highest value potential by harnessing unique buyer data and apply it to machine learning models in real-time to understand and guide sales rep on buyer behaviors"
At its core, Playbooks is all about automation. Playbooks enables sales reps to invest all their time only on high-value selling activities while automating other time consuming and non-sales tasks with its Robots engine. Robots can be set to automate administrative tasks, processes, workflows, data sync to CRM, email sends, and more.
In a recent study, Salesforce found that sales reps spend only 707.2 of the 2,808 working hours in a year selling. But using automation Robots can save reps from spending their time on time-sucking administrative tasks. According to Forbes, you can save up to two hours of your day with automation.
With Playbooks, “Robots” work behind the scenes to read all CRM fields and interpret the field type automatically. Similarly, it can automate and standardize engagement with opportunities across the funnel. They also auto-enroll accounts, leads, and cases into their sales to move them along the process quickly. “Robots automation enables clients to align the right tasks at the right time and in the right order,” says Harrington.
Playbooks uses prioritization to filter outreach and direct sales reps to the highest priority customers and tasks. The platform leverages predictive AI to make the next-best-action clear—saving time, optimizing resources, and leading to quicker results. Managers can create flexible prioritization rules through custom sorts that help reps prioritize daily tasks. Similarly, the scoring feature in Playbooks identifies accounts and people that are likely to engage and buy. By assigning a comprehensive score, the platform indicates the likelihood of the account to close. This way, sales reps are guided with scoring to contact the right accounts to close deals faster.
What truly differentiates Playbooks is its proprietary Buyer Intelligence, which is powered by collective data insights into buyer behaviors. Buyer Intelligence helps clients predict things like who is most likely to engage, what time of day they are most likely to respond, and which communication method is most likely to reach them. The platform understands the individual buyer’s behavior to recommend the best way to reach out to them at the right time. This includes Buyer Hints—users get unique insights into customer profiles and tips about prospects’ level of influence and behavior.
Another feature of Buyer Intelligence includes Buyer Maps—reps can leverage the collective intelligence of all sellers on Playbooks to identify engagement patterns, and then suggest new contacts to reps based on those patterns. Also, the platform’s data verify feature automatically publishes verified contact data based on successful past interactions saving sales reps much time and provides them additional contacts (not in their CRM) that may be part of the buying committee.
Importantly, Playbooks offers reporting capabilities that enable managers and sales reps to look at the bigger picture to measure key metrics’ performance and give them insights into efforts and effectiveness. This way, sales reps identify the campaigns that deliver maximum outcomes. The platform provides detailed insights into specific activity metrics such as average talk time per rep, the number of attempts to reach prospects, and more. Sales reps can build reports with a data visualization engine to classify activities based on teams and reps. What is more, clients can easily integrate Playbooks with CRM and other tools that enable clients to retrieve data from these tools. “As clients invest millions of dollars on CRMs, we enable them to use that data and store it in one place,” says Harrington.
Playbooks empowers managers to motivate their teams with scorecards that use gamification to inspire healthy competition. Based on their performance on key metrics, reps earn points and ranking on the team’s leaderboard. Each team’s performance is rated on leaderboards in real-time. This high-visibility motivates agents to step up their game and improve results. “With better visibility and a rich set of tools that give managers intuitive control over their business, they are able to use Playbooks to build a machine that delivers repeatable results,” explains Harrington.
Pillars of Success
Leading an aggressive strategy at XANT is the CEO, Chris Harrington. Chris is an enterprise revenue generation expert with over three decades in sales and marketing leadership. He was previously the catalyst behind Omniture’s meteoric rise from an unknown player in the crowded online marketing and web analytics space to become the #1 solution, acquired by Adobe in 2009. After leading global enterprise sales at Adobe, he took the helm as President and a member of the Board of Directors at DOMO, a BI and data visualization SaaS company, leading them through several years of high growth and a massive IPO. He’s been a pioneer in widespread SaaS adoption and is leveraging his rich experience and expertise to revolutionize sales at XANT. Over the years, he helped the company navigate through a number of significant strategic shifts, bringing XANT once again to a point of high enterprise growth.
Elaborating on the company’s future, Harrington cites that over 50 percent of today’s workforce is millennial, which means they are permission-based buyers with a completely different way of consuming marketing content. The company equips sellers to coordinate with this emerging group. XANT, on the other hand, will continue focusing on the buyer journey. The company will keep gathering data insights from the customer across the entire sales funnel and leverage it to help clients close more deals. Here, XANT will gather collective data from all its clients regarding buyers and their buying patterns to predict trends. “At the end of the day, Buyer Intelligence is the heart of what we do,” adds Harrington.