The Daily Briefing: April 22, 2020

April 22, 2020

Jackie Goudreault

In today’s Daily Briefing, Jim Benton was joined by Vinay Bhagat, the Founder & CEO of TrustRadius. They discussed data sourced from Chorus and TrustRadius about how segments and markets are behaving, and how companies are adjusting their spend in the current climate.

Before they dove into the data, Vinay and Jim discussed their view on COVID-era markets. “This is a forcing function to become a true master of your craft,” said Vinay. “You have the opportunity to refine your skills.”

Jim agreed. “It’s time for sales to shine. It’s your time to do what you do best.”

Meeting volume up 9% week over week after being down the first two weeks of Q2 #

Chorus is reporting that meeting volume has ticked upwards last week after a slight downturn at the start of Q2. In terms of productivity, this is a sign that companies are adapting and possibly adjusting their sales strategies to fit the current time.

“We’re really focused on customer engagement,” said Vinay. “On the new business side, there is some stratification. Enterprise or net new logos are moving forward. On the smaller end of the market, that’s drying up a little.” It’s important to adjust so that teams are focusing their energy in the right direction. “We’re adapting to spend our energy where there’s more leverage,” he added.

Meeting volume may be up, but cold calling is down as Chorus has reported in recent Daily Briefing episodes. Vinay has seen a similar trend and recommended experimenting with new strategies and tactics to move the needle.

“Our SDRs hit a wall on new appointment setting, so we had to modify messaging and strategies,” he said. “Then last week, we had our best week in terms of appointment settings due to some experimenting.”

Meetings are still down an average of 8% across most segments when compared to baseline, but are up at least 7% on average week over week #

Looking at the data, Jim noted that Chorus is seeing strength come back into some segments, particularly SaaS industries.

This made sense to Vinay. “Companies are looking to buy solutions that can help them to connect with their current teams and customers.”

Some industries, like Media and Ad Tech, are still seeing sharp declines. “This is a knee jerk reaction to the crisis,” said Vinay. “Some companies have pulled their ad spending. I think it’s a mistake.”

Where are companies decreasing software spend

Where are companies decreasing software spend?

TrustRadius’s research team has been conducting surveys with software buyers to understand sentiment around software purchases #

This data was last refreshed on April 14th.

Mirroring Chorus’s meeting volume data, TrustRadius is reporting that companies are more likely to buy meeting & collaboration software and security while curtailing spend in other areas like MarTech, Project Management, and HR Tech.

However, in many areas, we’re seeing these segments start to rebound, indicating that people are entering into buying cycles.

When asked if companies are engaging with reviews differently, Vinay was emphatic: “Yes.”

One thing Vinay and TrustRadius have noticed is that they are seeing really long Time on Site. “People are reading comparisons,” said Vinay. “Our most popular right now is Microsoft Teams versus Zoom. That has an average time on site as 40 minutes!”

People are paying more attention to how services and software compare, it seems. “Maybe it’s because industries that aren’t particularly tech-savvy have needed to engage with technology quickly,” said Vinay.

In terms of how companies are spending right now, Vinay says that there will be a rebound. “Psychologically people will feel more confident and will return to normalcy. But for now, while things are uncertain - people are not sure whether they will return to spend.”

The need for certainty - the search for it - is key to TrustRadius’s mission. “We don’t believe that 50 words are enough for a review,” said Vinay. “We allow people to write a narrative to include the pros and cons, and their specific use cases.” All in search of crowdsourcing the truth.

Vinay offers this advice: Invite all of your customers to give feedback, not just the happy ones. “[To avoid] cherry-picking when it comes to reviews,” he said, “we have active programs that encourage brands to actively lean into to get holistic feedback. Chorus has done this. Ultimately this will drive better reviews and products.”

Most Surveyed expect to return to prior spend levels by 2021

Most Surveyed expect to return to prior spend levels by 2021.

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