Beyond CRM? Altify Touts CRO as Next Big Enterprise Aspiration

While Salesforce leads in customer relationship management (CRM), one of its partners, Altify, is pitching a new category of enterprise software that it says gives companies a way to get more value out of their commercial relationships.

customer relationship

Salesforce partner Altify is promoting its new Spring ’19 release as focused on the main thing companies need to be successful—revenue. Altify differentiates itself from other selling tools and platforms by focusing on Customer Revenue Optimization.

While the Salesforce platform has many tools to help its customers find prospects, cross-sell, upsell and close deals, Altify argues that it’s not enough.

“We are a native application in Salesforce, and I’ve used Salesforce for the better part of 15 years,” Anthony Reynolds, CEO of Altify, told eWEEK. “As an individual seller I didn’t get much value from it, but as a manager I did. With Altify, you get more out of it than what you put into it. That’s our central equation—the outputs need to be greater than the inputs.”

Altify’s applications fall under its CRO umbrella and are designed for B2B sales organizations that use Salesforce and other “best-of-breed sales, marketing and customer success applications.” In addition to Salesforce, Altify offers integration with LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator software.

Altify offers three core modules under its Customer Revenue Optimization umbrella of services: Sales Process Manager, Opportunity Manager and Account Manager.

New features in the Spring ’19 release include Dynamic Account Plans designed to let all employees contribute to customer strategy and account plans. It also gives chief revenue officers a structured process to continually test and improve those plans for the highest customer value and revenue impact.

New TeamView Opportunity Dashboards and Opportunity Close Plans round out the new features in the Spring ’19 release available as of Feb. 27.

TeamView dashboards track status against opportunity plans for all accounts from early deal qualification to the development and execution of mutual close plans.

One early customer, Anaplan, said Close Plans is proving useful in helping the company stay closer to its customers. “Altify’s Spring ’19 release with Close Plans is exciting. It will give our sales teams the ability to stay in lock-step with our customers throughout the sales process—right through to close,” Steven Birdsall, chief revenue officer at Anaplan, said in a statement.

Rise of the Subscription Economy

Reynolds said selling has changed in recent years where it’s less about finding out if a company has a budget to buy than whether they have access to funds. He argues that’s a key distinction in today’s “subscription economy” where SaaS applications have grown in popularity. “In the subscription economy, the CRO [chief revenue officer] yields a lot of power,” said Reynolds. “If he can see something is going to contribute to top-line revenue, he tells the CFO to find the budget and make it happen.”

In addition to its Spring ’19 news, Altify released its 2019 CRO Benchmark study, which surveyed more than 640 sales and business leaders globally in partnership with Salesforce, MapAnything, Gainsight, Traction on Demand, NewVoiceMedia, Highspot and Outreach. The findings showed that 92 percent of sales and business leaders see revenue generation as their primary focus for 2019. Earlier benchmark surveys had customer retention in the top spot. Altify argues that companies can make both a priority. CRO aims to modernize the traditional CRM model and improve the personalization of the customer experience, two areas it argues are critical success factors in highly complex B2B sales.

Other highlights of the benchmark report include a finding that 77 percent of sales and business leaders believe customers are more in control of the buying process than ever before. The report also indicates a majority of companies believe they are leaving money on the table, with only 46 percent stating they are good at maximizing revenue from their existing accounts. Also, only 43 percent said they close sales opportunities as they are originally forecasted.

Ovum analyst Jeremy Cox is bullish on the value CRO can potentially offer. He calls CRM useful as a system of record, but it is “yesterday’s story” when it comes to driving revenue growth.

“Being able to record activity, while useful as a system of record, does not directly impact the quality of engagement with customers,” Cox said in a statement. “With CRO, Altify places the customer at the centre of every interaction, to focus attention on the customer’s desired outcomes, and by providing intelligent guidance on the most relevant action, to help customers achieve their aims. Revenue and growth are the natural consequence.’’

David Needle

David Needle

Based in Silicon Valley, veteran technology reporter David Needle covers mobile, bi g data, and social media among other topics. He was formerly News Editor at Infoworld, Editor of Computer Currents...