June 8, 2017

#479. How to Understand and Use Sales Data. With Oleg Rogynskyy.

Oleg Rogynskyy, Founder and CEO of People.ai, a sales management platform based on hard data, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[1:45] Most of the decisions around managing a sales team are made on hunches and intuition, with little data. Oleg finds this to be the biggest challenge for sales managers today. If they use data, they use lagging indicators, such as revenue.

[2:26] Oleg comments on sales stacks, and how they generate silos of data that need to be managed. People.ai sets out to offer full transparency of activity information, and the ability to positively influence how sales is being done by the team.

[4:15] Multiple apps each cover their own piece of the stack. There is no unification of data between apps. People.ai makes sales management easier by making data accessible.

[7:45] Oleg says People.ai connects to 90 systems, and pulls in information in high-resolution about everything the sales reps do, and formats it to answer specific questions that sales directors have everyday.

[8:22] One example is ramp. People.ai tracks reps across multiple metrics, against successful or unsuccessful ramps. People.ai retrieves data about all the activity of the rep.

[10:03] Oleg addresses confirmation bias. He explains that People.ai will confirm or discredit a manager’s hunches, and reveal the factors behind their concerns.

[11:30] Oleg addresses the topic of correlation and causation and discusses People.ai’s use of AI, or “clever machine learning.” V2 will be more predictive.

[14:01] People.ai is attempting to add a layer of data to the interaction between manager and rep. Oleg explains why this is important to understand sales performance.

[18:44] There is a green field of opportunity for data impact outside of sales. Oleg considers sales to be the best data set to train the machine, in preparing to address other verticals.

[19:26] Other than revenue, it is hard for managers to know what makes a salesperson better. Oleg explains how this involves data issues, data education, Salesforce report limitations, and reluctance of sales managers to dig into data.

[23:07] Oleg points out that most people using Salesforce follow the same model of selling. People without CRM are still producing activities that are captured within systems. Data analysis can improve the performance.

[28:14] People.ai is ‘fully stack agnostic.’ They have customers who do not use CRM. The data sources are the email, phone, calendar and other systems they use to communicate.