2021 RevTech Survey Results with David Elkington

Overview:In this episode of Digital Conversations, Billy Bateman discusses findings from the upcoming 2021 Annual RevTech Benchmark Study with Dave Elkington, ChatFunnels Chairman. They discuss latest RevTech trends such as revenue technology, bundling platforms, regional trends, and how to use tech to get ahead.

Guest: David Elkington – David Elkington is the CEO and Founder of InsideSales.com. Dave has a rich background in technology, venture capital and corporate development. As CEO and Chairman, he has led InsideSales.com to consecutive 50-100% year-over-year growth rates, starting with the company’s inception in 2004.


Billy: Alright everyone, welcome to Digital Conversations. I’m your host, Billy Bateman and today I’m joined by Dave Elkington, Chairman at ChatFunnels. And we’re gonna be talking about the Revtech Benchmark Survey that we did in conjunction with the RevTech Summit last month. Dave, thanks for coming on, man.

It was a super interesting study. I think people are gonna be blown away with the findings.

Dave: Yeah, I think it’s really interesting. You and Dr. Oldroyd, you did the MIT study probably a decade ago now. And you worked together on putting this together for us. So what was the objective with the study?

Yeah, and a little bit of background. So Dr. Oldroyd, and I did a study looking at response times on on how quickly leads go cold. And so you know, we had had I’ve done a lot of work together. He was teaching at MIT at the time. I think, subsequently, he’s been at several universities teaching at a local university here at BYU.

So you came to us and said, I’d like to actually analyze what’s happening in the market around technology that supports this new growth title, right. So yeah, one thing you shared with us is that there’s a new title essentially emerging in the market around growth, right? Yeah.

Growth, revenue, revenue marketing, revenue, growth, marketing, titles, Chief Growth Officer, etc. So you and Dave said, hey, let’s do a study to see what’s the technology that’s supporting that? And more importantly, I think what we’re trying to understand was, is it siloed still today? Or is it becoming the same thing? So let’s kind of dig into a little bit of what we found.

But before we do it, I’ll share some of the methodology, I’ve got some notes here sort of is the people viewing this, look to the left. They’ll know what I’m doing. But we actually had a shockingly large number of respondents, we had almost 900 respondents in for a survey today, that’s a crazy number, honestly. Yeah. And what the reason we were able to get such a large number is this was tied to your event. Yeah, your RevTech event.

Yeah. Everyone that registered had the option to take the survey. It took anywhere from two to five minutes, depending on how detailed you want it to be. But we went through and we were asking, okay, what do you guys use in terms of revenue technology. We broke it down into what we thought were the top 10 categories. And the findings were really interesting.

So yeah, the categories were kind of standard categories you’d expect. CRM, marketing, automation, email marketing, SEO, compensational marketing, compensation, kind of the usual stuff. Web optimization, sales intelligence, sales automation, like is a XANT outreach.

That’s right. And I think you’ll see here soon, there’s the the study, it’s about probably 70 pages is a pretty, it’s pretty girthy study. And there are, and I’m just looking at the notes, there are 56 charts; 10 of them are just the results of the questions; 11 analyze the technologies used by region; 9 analyze based off the company size; 10 analyze by industry; and then 10 are really digging into what combinations are effective.

So again, the core objective was to say, what’s happening in in revenue related technology? I’m going to kind of just hit the the key finding. What we found was that for sure, these technologies are being bundled together. They’re using sales and marketing technologies are no longer as separate silos, but we’re seeing them begin to intertwine, and we call them couplings. There’s lots of revenue supporting technologies that are both on the marketing side and the sales side.

One is conversational marketing. Marketing usually buys it, because it goes on the website, it comes out of their budget, if they’re still siloed by budgets. But sales is actually a really heavy user, and more often than not, are the ones using it every single day. And in it, taking conversations, letting them book meetings more engaging with people.

And we’re seeing that across the board. Email marketing tools are used, supported and funded typically by the marketing team, but then they’re generating MQLs for the sales team. It’s all being intermingled and it’s now a new thing of just revenue marketing or growth marketing or just growth with revtech as the infrastructure.

I think it’s super fascinating. What we found was RevTech, technology supporting revenue, basically have a 20 year adoption cycle. So it kind of let me explain what we mean by that. In the findings, there are basically three real buckets of technology with different adoption, kind of adoption clusters, right?

The first one is the cluster in the early 2000s. This is CRM, marketing automation, and sales intelligence/data. Right. So this is these are all companies that were largely founded in the early 2000s, late 1990. So think salesforce.com founded in ’99. That’s right. So there’s about an 80 to 90% adoption rate on those kind of technologies.

So as you kind of look internally, you’re like, okay, what, what are the best practices? What are people doing? If you haven’t deployed a CRM, marketing automation, and a solution for your leads and sales intelligence, you’re behind. You’re at 10% in the wrong way. Yeah. Like you’re the wrong kind of 10% of it there.

The next bucket is really more traditional things like SEO, SEM, some of the Sales Automation, website optimization. That’s right. It falls in that bucket as well. And that seems to have roughly about, you know, 40% to 60%. adoption rate. Yep.

And then the new stuff, so conversational marketing, conversational intelligence, anything that seems to have AI, or more highly automated process, that stuff…

Yeah, it’s pretty low. Adoption rates, 10% adoption rate, 20%, 30%. Conversational intelligence, I think was somewhere in 10%-15% is where they came in. Conversational marketing had about like a 40% adoption rate. It’s still a long way to go.

Again, as a company, if you want to get an edge, what you’re going to do, in my opinion, you’re going to get this study, and you’re going to say, okay, how do I see from my industry, where people beginning to go, and then go there before them, right? This is the old Wayne Gretzky, like, you know, skate to where the puck is going to be that we’re not where it’s at where it’s at.

So there’s a few other notable observations here. So one, Salesforce, as expected, dominates the market in the CRM space. But that’s only for the large and mid size, not for the small. So HubSpot has kind of run away with the small and it appears as though they’re moving up market into the mid.

Yeah, and another thing with HubSpot, they’re moving into just out of that CRM and marketing automation into more of these areas as well.

So there’s a whole platform approach that we’re gonna we’re gonna talk about.

Here’s another one companies in the Pacific West region. So it’s what you think California, all the way up to Washington. This is again, as expected, but they’re they’re huge users of technology. So the Pacific West are way ahead of the rest of the country. And some of this, again, I’m speculating here, like, this is not, you know, there’s not data on this. But the venture space, all of these venture backed companies really buy from each other.

Yep. So Silicon Valley, you know, companies, it’s a very small network. And my guess is that’s most of the listeners here, it seems to be the case that they buy from each other very, very heavily. The other one that I thought was kind of interesting was e-commerce technology focused companies adopt dramatically more than the rest of the industry. So the e-commerce space really understands the idea of RevTech and automation around driving revenue.

Yeah, I mean, it makes sense, their whole businesses is electronic. That’s right. So it makes sense.

But but we are seeing the B2B folks are following, but it’s just you know, it seems to be a 5-10 year lag.

Yeah, it does. You know, that reminds me of something Ken Croge, who is your co- founder at InsideSales, and my boss, when I worked there for a while, he would always tell us, the B2C guys are always ahead of us on technology, trends, tactics, so we need to look to them.

So in the B2B space, that’s actually an amazing finding here, is go see what the E comm guys are doing, and if that’s working, and do it. Figure out how to arbitrage in your space.

The next one is one you alluded to. The platform approach is clearly more preferred. When people think about pairing, they’re going to buy Salesforce CRM, and then they’re going to deploy Pardot and then they’re going to deploy their email marketing solution. I forget the name of it.

And then similarly, HubSpot. They’re going to deploy a full platform, so they’re actually not selecting best in class solutions where they provide integrations, we’ll do this and than this and than this and use integrations to time together, that didn’t seem to be the trend.

No, it didn’t at all.

A couple of other interesting points were companies seem to prefer to buy from vendors have a similar founded date. Now, that seems kind of weird. But it feels, again, I’m speculating. But it seems as though companies are interested in buying a level of safety and security. So if I am risk adverse, I’m going to buy from Salesforce that’s been around since you know, the 1990s. I’m going to buy from Aliquot. That’s also, you know, from that same genre. So people seem to have this appetite of risk. And they’re like, Look, I’m not gonna, I’m not going to invest in a startup.

Yeah, yeah. We saw that for sure.

A few other things, these are going to be kind of obvious, and I’ll share some of what I think you guys can do. Listeners can do as a lesson but people buy often from vendors that are in their region. So if we looked at the providers, the adoption rates, or the deployment rates of their technology was almost in these concentric circles around their headquarters.

Yeah, yeah. It’s really interesting, because the internet makes it accessible to everybody. But as people, we still have a tendency to be like, you know, you’re just up the road from me, you know, speaking, I’ll buy from you, rather than somebody on the other side of the country.

And it’s not just what you would expect, like in the Silicon Valley, or here in Utah in Silicon Slopes, but it was in all of the regions across the country. Companies based in the Southeast, they were pretty heavy there in the Southeast.

Yeah, super interesting. I thought. The last point is large companies seem to be deploying ABM at a much larger scale, small companies are deploying email marketing. And the rational I think, is large companies do a lot of account based selling more complex selling, smaller companies are looking for the very low cost.

Yeah, they’re looking to get customers in the door as cheaply as possible. I think that’s it.

So look, we don’t want to reveal the whole study. There’s a ton packed in this. It should be available here shortly. Where can they go to find it, though?

If you go to our website, it will be really easy to find go to the resources section, you can download the study. And we’ll also be posting it, we’ll be emailing it if you’re already on the email list, you’ll get that and then we’ll post links to it on our social next week. Cool. All right.

Thanks, Dave.