Sales isn’t the only team responsible for revenue anymore.
The fastest-growing companies understand revenue growth is a shared responsibility between Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success. Growth comes from these teams working together as one revenue unit to provide value across the entire customer lifecycle.
This shift has been in the works for years.
Public markets obsess over a company’s net revenue retention. So you not only need to maintain revenue but grow revenue post-sale.
As a result, there's been a rise in Chief Revenue Officers who oversee all of Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success. CROs are responsible for driving new business but also renewals, upsells, and top-of-funnel leads.
Operations functions have changed too. Increasingly, companies have a Revenue Operations team that oversees sales ops, marketing ops, CX ops, analysts, and more.
And given the turbulent economic climate, companies will focus less on acquisition and more on retention and expansion with existing customers (public companies like Salesforce have already said this will be their priority in 2023).
Therefore, more companies need a holistic strategy to focus on how revenue teams can support each other across the funnel.
Companies need to shift from sales enablement to revenue enablement.
I’ve seen it work at Lattice
I felt this shift toward revenue enablement as the VP of Marketing at Lattice.
Our best deals always came from Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success working together.
- We didn’t worry about whether a lead came from inbound or outbound.
- We worked together to create marketing campaigns leading to booked meetings.
- We made product marketing collateral to help the sales team push deals across the finish line.
- We ensured onboarding and implementation matched what the customer was sold on
Working together helped us realize that successful customer onboarding was the number one predictor of whether a customer would churn or expand its relationship with Lattice. If the customer didn’t adopt the product, there was no chance for renewal.
We would never have had this insight by working as siloed teams.
However, enabling this type of revenue team collaboration is one of the biggest issues facing companies today.
What’s driving the need for revenue enablement?
As we’ve built Dock, I've interviewed hundreds of Sales, Customer Success, and Marketing leaders.
Through these conversations, I’ve heard the same trends come up again and again around the modern buyer and customer experience.
Power has shifted to buyers
Buyers do so much research before talking to sales. Buyers search for solutions on Google, read G2 reviews, ask peers and communities for recommendations, and get bombarded with solutions on social media.
This research, combined with the vast number of competitive solutions available, means the window that sales teams have to work with buyers is shrinking.
According to Gartner, only 17% of a buyer’s time is spent talking to sales. And that 17% is shared with your competitors.
As product-led growth becomes more popular, this dynamic will only accelerate.
Therefore, sales teams can’t rely on traditional selling conversations to drive growth.
Selling is now consulting
Because so much of the buying process is information gathering, the best sellers today are consultants.
Top sellers collaborate with buyers to answer product questions and show how the product will solve their problems. They help reduce complexity for buyers by curating information, navigating features, and advising on the pros and cons of each decision.
These salespeople don’t talk shit about the competition. Instead, they make honest recommendations based on the buyer’s needs.
For enterprise deals, these sales reps give buyers a roadmap to making a purchasing decision as an organization.
Buyer’s remorse kills revenue
After the sale, Customer Success faces the challenge of getting a buyer to roll out and adopt the product.
But getting customers to adopt the product they just purchased is harder than you think. (How many software tools has your company bought and then never fully rolled them out?)
A 2021 report estimated that $260 billion was wasted on unsuccessfully implemented software products in 2020 alone.
Customers have other priorities on their plates, so Customer Success has to be hyper-organized.
There are so many tasks, documents, training videos, and presentations to get through that customers don’t know what to do next. So, inevitably, they get frustrated and feel buyer’s remorse.
These challenges continue after onboarding when customer success teams rely on emails and meetings to share back-and-forth information related to business reviews, adoption opportunities, product support/questions, and more.
Why is revenue collaboration so hard?
Companies have tried to force a square peg in a round hole for years by using internal tools to manage revenue processes.
There aren’t tools built for cross-team collaboration
Behind every client manager, multiple teams support their work:
- Marketing teams create content and campaigns
- Leadership teams share best practices
- Rev Ops teams analyze data and set up software
- Security teams draft policies and enforce compliance
As companies scale, it’s harder to share information and enforce different processes across these teams.
- It’s hard to share product information. Companies rely on wikis that quickly become bloated and outdated.
- It’s hard to find content. Marketing creates tons of content, yet sales and success teams struggle to find the best resources to share with customers.
- It’s hard to share customer information. When key employees leave, companies are left digging through email and CRM notes to figure out the status of a customer relationship.
- It’s hard to be timely. When it comes time for a security review, sales reps bother incredibly busy security and ops teams to provide documentation and answer all the security questionnaires.
- It’s hard to be consistent. When sales reps share pricing quotes, they often send out the wrong pricing and terms, which makes the Revenue Operation team’s life much harder.
Everything becomes “tribal knowledge”—trapped in drive folders, internal tools, and email inboxes. Top performers know where to find their favorite content or how to get things done, but there aren’t tools to help cross-functional teams collaborate effectively at scale.
Collaboration software isn’t built for clients
The software client-facing teams use to collaborate with customers hasn’t kept pace with digital buying trends.
Managing complex customer relationships over email is out of the question. Things get lost in long threads with too many links and attachments. It’s confusing for everyone.
Therefore, most companies turn to internal productivity tools (e.g., Google Docs, Asana, ClickUp, Slack) for external collaboration with customers.
I've seen hundreds of Google Sheets used for mutual action plans and customer onboarding. Or Google Docs used as makeshift client portals, project hubs, and proof-of-concept worksheets.
The problem is that these tools are not designed for premium customer interactions. You can’t treat customers like any other team member.
Tools designed for internal collaboration create awkward moments for customers (Just ask anyone who has ever tried to share a Google Doc with a Microsoft user or vice versa.).
Project management tools like Asana or Trello, while better for collaboration, require customers to create an account, log in, and look at a board of messy tasks—a potential friction point.
Instead, you need to create a premium collaboration environment that impresses your champion and makes them look good in front of their boss.
Revenue leaders don’t have visibility
Lastly, with existing tech stacks, leadership teams lack visibility into the collaboration already taking place between Sales, Success, Marketing, and the customer.
Customer relationships are trapped in email threads, messy Google Drive folders, meeting notes, and internal project management tools.
Sales leaders aren’t measuring these touch points, so these positive behaviors aren’t incentivized or encouraged in pipeline reviews and coaching sessions.
Additionally, companies are using a bunch of stitched-together point solutions that don’t give companies visibility into the status of customer relationships.
- Marketing works in their CMS
- Sales works in their CRM
- Success uses another tool for onboarding and support
It’s impossible to get the data from all these touchpoints into a CRM to inform a sales forecast or track an implementation adoption.
But that’s about to change.
The revenue enablement platform that customers love
At Dock, we’ve taken what we’ve learned about the modern buying experience to create the first revenue enablement platform with collaboration at its core.
Dock supports a two-sided approach to collaboration:
- Collaboration between revenue teams: Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, and Operations can work together to drive revenue.
- Collaboration with customers: Revenue teams can work with buyers and customers to drive better outcomes.
Here’s a big-picture look at how we think about our product and the different ways that Dock supports the entire customer lifecycle.
Dock's revenue enablement platform is currently made up of four products:
- Workspaces to collaborate with buyers and customers
- Content Management to manage and track customer-facing content
- Quotes & Order Forms to close deals faster
- Security Profiles to streamline security reviews
Here’s why we built this specific suite of tools.
1. Workspaces for Buyers and Customers
With Dock Workspaces, we’ve given sales and customer success teams a better channel for collaborating with customers:
- Sales teams create digital sales rooms to support champions through the sales process. These rooms can host all of the core content that gets shared during the sales process—from demo videos to proposals—plus mutual action plans that guide buyers toward closing. Instead of digging through emails, buyers can easily find what they want in the sales room.
- Sales and pre-sales/solution engineers use workspaces to run proof of concepts. Within a workspace, organizing technical setup instructions, aligning on success criteria, and sharing key documentation in one place is easy.
- Implementation teams use Dock to onboard customers. With Dock, implementation managers organize tasks, training videos, rollout schedules, and more.
- Customer success teams can use these workspaces as a client portal to run business reviews, share best practices, align on next steps, and manage a renewal.
- Leadership teams can easily templatize any workspace to build a repeatable process within a company—no more Google Docs and Sheets to work with your customers.
And all of this data connects back to a CRM, so companies can improve how they forecast sales deals, manage renewals, and more.
To help our customers get started, we’ve created a number of workspace templates.
2. Content Management for Sales, Success, and Marketing
Back at Lattice, deciding where to host sales content was a constant challenge. We tried putting it on our website, Notion pages, and various other solutions. The sales and success teams were always asking for a better solution.
Honestly, I never successfully solved this problem.
The old world of sales enablement software tried to solve this with platforms that combined sales training with content management. However, most of these platforms have weak search capabilities, and they’re usually cut off from the rest of the company.
Because most companies already have a company-wide knowledge management platform (e.g., wikis like Notion), many sales teams move their content management into these tools.
This was a smart move to create cost savings and efficiencies, but it still didn’t solve the discoverability challenge of finding the best content to share with customers.
That’s why Dock’s Content Management System is my favorite new product. It’s scratching my own itch of a problem I felt deeply as a marketing leader.
With Dock’s CMS, we’ve made it easy for the marketing team to organize content for sales and success teams. Content can be organized into boards and collections while also being discoverable via search.
Within a few clicks, a sales rep or customer success manager can find what they are looking for and share it with a customer.
For every asset shared, you can track how much it’s getting used internally and how specific customers interact with it. These analytics help you understand how content performs, so the marketing team can improve what you share with customers.
3. Close deals with Quotes & Order Forms
The key to revenue enablement is, of course, actually generating revenue. That’s why we’re also building tools into Dock that help Sales and Success get deals across the finish line.
When we looked at the market, we were surprised to see the options available for companies. You either had to:
- use an e-signature provider that focused on the legalese of the agreement,
- put together a Google Doc proposal, or
- use a PDF proposal builder where the sales team would usually get lost in the design.
We decided to build an order form generator that puts the core of the agreement at the forefront. Customers really just want to understand:
- What they are getting
- How much it will cost
Sales teams needed an easier way to put that information together for a customer.
At the same time, RevOps and leadership teams need control over this process.
That’s why we built a product library into our order forms to make it easy for RevOps to create a list of predefined products that can be shared via pricing quotes and order forms.
Over time, we also plan to add approval workflows and deeper customization to support the needs of different teams.
4. Streamline security reviews with Security Profiles
With new legislation around GDPR, CCPA, etc., there’s a growing need for security reviews in any vendor selection process. So the security review is now a make-or-break moment for any deal.
But when interviewing customers, we discovered security reviews are a messy process.
Sales teams don’t know where to look for the right policy and compliance information to send prospects, so they constantly bug the security team with questions. If they were slow to answer, the deal would stall (or worse, fall through).
We learned that the best way to avoid this process is to pre-emptively share your security documentation with customers. Showing that you’re organized and that you’ve been there before builds trust.
That’s why we built Security Profiles.
Dock’s Security Profiles make it easy for the sales team to share the right security documents and FAQs with prospects.
On Dock’s backend, your security team can upload all your most up-to-date security documentation through an admin portal.
Then, Sales can share the documents with a prospect by adding the Security Profile module to their Dock workspace. When needed, documents can be protected by an NDA.
By getting ahead of security reviews, you'll streamline the compliance process, build trust, and close deals faster.
Dock: the first collaboration platform for revenue teams
Instead of relying on internal productivity tools, companies need a dedicated system for everything that gets shared with the customer.
Companies need the equivalent of a customer-facing CRM.
While a traditional CRM is great at storing customer data, you also need a system that organizes your customer-facing interactions. You need a platform to manage the full customer lifecycle.
That’s what we’re building at Dock.
Dock is a dedicated platform for revenue teams to find what they need and get a customer to take action—whether that’s to watch a demo video, complete a security review, sign a contract, or onboard a new customer.
This all happens under one platform that gives leadership teams visibility into what’s actually happening in their customer relationships.
Dock has made a lot of progress over the last couple of years, but we still have an incredible amount of work to do. Over time, we will keep building features and products that help cross-functional revenue teams generate revenue as one cohesive team.
In the future, we think Dock will be the system of record for how revenue teams work with customers.