The Playbook for Winter is Different than the Playbook for Other Seasons

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What We Learned in 2023


Author:  Chuck Ingram

2023 was definitely a year of challenges and learning. We thought winter was coming… and it certainly has. We have learned a lot of important things that will keep fueling us after winter is over. But one thing that stands out is the way to protect your business during a financial winter it is not through growth at all costs but certainly not short-term cuts either.


I know it sounds a little different because we are so used to hearing about layoffs, cost-cutting, and restructuring balance sheets, and while those can be important and sometimes needed. I’m going to share three things we’ve learned that nobody is talking about today, that might offer a completely different perspective on the way you take advantage of an economic winter.


So, what is it that everyone is missing about thriving in economic winter?


It is Data.

Specifically starting with CRM data and how you can use data to create a diagnosable, predictable revenue engine that aligns with your Go to go-to-market strategy.

The thing we’ve learned is simply that we must take the friction out of collecting data – specifically data about how we interact with our prospects and customers.


The big idea here is just like tech at home knows what you’re doing and picks up events you should be aware of – like a delivery, or a walk, or even a heartbeat – we can leverage AI to sort through emails, meetings, and documents to collect the right data about your customers and prospects.  This is important because even the best system will not work without good data. And 91% of companies say their CRM data is bad right now. So, it is the perfect place to start.

The second is leveraging AI to enrich the data with your GTM playbooks for sales and service.


The main thing to understand is that for too long – our teams that sell and serve our customers have relied on experience and intuition. While those are important – by using AI – we can bring a coach on the field to help them be the best they can be.  And there is evidence to back this up.


Before the call – we learned that buyers think that typical sellers are unprepared 82% of the time during the call, we’ve also learned that the quality of the questions we ask is directly proportionate with the effectiveness of the call.  You can get about a 74% increase when a Rep asks eleven questions in the discovery call, and you can double your close rate when you ask questions about the impact of customer’s decisions or about critical events.


In addition, if you send an e-mail within a 1/2 an hour after the call you will get twice as high of response rates, four times the conversion rate, and a 21% shorter sales cycle time.  If you use AI to help you craft the e-mail it can save you 23 hours per seller every single month.


CongruentX launched a solution called DialoguePrime that works with Microsoft’s Sales Copilot to do exactly those things – all with no friction.  This means that by using AI we can most literally send our best Rep out on every sales call, or our best agent can answer the phone to serve our clients.


The third thing we have learned

Is we can use optimized data and convert it into unit economics visualization across our entire revenue engine from marketing leads through customer impact and renewal.

This is key because most firms have a keen understanding of the product or service they produce down to the penny and the second. Until now creating a similar engine on the revenue side of the house did not have much value because the data was not accurate.


Now, I know what you are thinking. My team will not use CRM even if we threaten them????…good news is now we can take all the friction away with Microsoft Copilot for Sales.

You might also be thinking that the team will only use it if we make them – they will not see the value in it helping them. Once people see how easy it is to help your managers drive their plays out into the field to help the team deliver better and more consistently – Before, during, and after conversations – then THAT “Dialogue” is an easy one.


Well, the tricky thing is that even if they use it and it helps them sell – how does that help me build a growing, predictable business? You may see the value in this kind of unit economics data – but almost nobody sees it in their CRM. What if it was just “there”? It was a part of your CRM.

We have learned that having integrated unit economics data increases a company’s growth rate by 15% and profitability by 15%


Playbook for Economic Winter

In 2023, we learned that the playbook for economic winter is different from the playbook in the past with a special focus on the strategic use of CRM data and go-to-market strategies. The key takeaway is the importance of harnessing CRM data to create a predictable and diagnosable revenue engine, crucial for thriving in tough economic times.


We discovered the necessity of reducing friction in data collection and the pivotal role of AI in enriching data and guiding sales and service strategies.


This approach not only improves customer interaction but also significantly enhances sales effectiveness and service quality. Moreover, integrating unit economics into CRM systems emerged as a game-changer, driving growth and profitability.


These insights underline a transformative approach to CRM usage, one that turns economic challenges into opportunities for growth and success.


Let us make winter our season together.  Contact us today.

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