Gong: “Revenue Intelligence”, a.k.a. AI-Powered Sales
The next generation of business applications will be powered by AI. Prior generations – including today’s “systems of record” -- were workflow-driven and served to document and mechanize defined business processes. The Achilles heel of the system of record is its data layer, a highly incomplete relational database reliant on biased and busy humans to populate it. AI-powered applications go beyond this, directly tapping the ground truth of raw data (wherever it resides) and using it to intelligently steer business processes. Gong has emerged as an archetype of this new breed.
Within 30 minutes of meeting Amit Bendov, founder and CEO of Gong, I knew I had to find a way to work with him. What stood out was his intimacy with the business process he aimed to touch. Amit is not an elite technologist – that distinction goes to his equally brilliant co-founder, Eilon Reshef. But I could tell that he deeply understood the needs of sales organizations, particularly modern inside sales teams, and had a unique perception of how to apply AI to meet those needs. This was born out of his own experience as a sales and marketing leader, one of the pioneers of the low-touch / high-velocity go-to-market model that has proved so game-changing in enterprise technology.
Amit and Eilon were pragmatic, but ambitious. They started by identifying low-hanging fruit – the “dark data” of voice conversations that was almost completely unexploited. Their first product was tightly focused on conversational analytics and a set of use cases (such as sales rep coaching) with rapid time to value and the opportunity for end user love. But the founders’ vision for Gong did not end there. These initial use cases would prove to be the first phase of a bigger strategy for the remaking of enterprise CRM systems in an AI-powered image.
Wing began work with Amit, Eilon and the rest of the Gong team when they were looking to grow their North American go-to-market effort in earnest, investing in the company’s Series A-1 in 2017. Things weren’t quite as obvious back then: deals were small; ARR was measured in the thousands; competitors were viewed as more likely to win. Since that time, Gong has established itself as the clear leader of the “revenue intelligence” category it created, earning the right to play in an even higher stakes game. What Gong has accomplished thus far is exciting; what lies ahead could be transformative.