Why your 2024 Revenue Planning needs Internal Activity Attribution Data

This blog explores how tracking activities to internal users results in better revenue execution, capacity planning, and commission payouts.

Marketing attribution has long been talked about, and there are several tools available today that can accurately highlight how much marketing activities influenced the pipeline and revenue.

However, the same cannot be said about attributing revenue activities across the revenue funnel. This remains a dark funnel.

With every business focusing on optimizing efficiency, understanding the intricate web of revenue activities within an organization has become crucial for success.

Over the last quarter at Nektar, we observed an increasing need for attributing activities to internal teams. This approach goes beyond traditional tracking methods, providing a comprehensive view of who is driving key initiatives, how their efforts contribute to success, and how their involvement influences the bottom line.

In this article, we’ll uncover the benefits of attributing activities to internal teams across different business areas.

Introducing Internal Activity Attribution from Nektar

Last quarter, we released Internal Activity Attribution. The problem statement we wanted to solve was clear:

We want to know where is every revenue-contributing individual spending their time and how is that influencing our revenue.

Nektar’s Internal Activity Attribution is a low-lift, CRM-first approach to attributing every revenue activity to its internal (company, not prospect) participants. This is done without duplicating any data on any Salesforce object. So there’s no worry of messy and dirty Salesforce data.

Attributing activities is possible only when activities are in the CRM. So, firstly, it requires a foolproof revenue data capture solution. While there are some activity capture features offered by sales tech vendors, they’re marred with challenges:

  • Sales Engagement Platforms and salesforce solutions do not ‘create’ contacts on Salesforce. So when a contact is not there on Salesforce, the corresponding activities do not get captured.
  • Conversation intelligence tools only capture those meetings that will be recorded by the tool. Also, future meetings do not get captured until the meeting is completed and recorded. So ‘meetings booked’ cannot be reported easily.
  • Salesforce Einstein Activity Capture captures everything that’s on a calendar – internal meetings, PTO, focus hours, and private events, which results in messy data in the CRM. There’s no way to exclude these from getting captured.
  • For Sales forecasting tools that provide activity capture, this is purely an afterthought and not a focus. So their activity capture features are inadequately developed with a lot of gaps in the capturing, matching, and mapping logic.

All the data gets added in Salesforce standard objects, so it’s completely reportable.

Salesforce meeting report for a single account with 3 opportunities highlighting who contributed to the different opportunities and how much time they spent.

Why Internal Activity Attribution Matters

An opportunity (be it a new business or expansion) gets created and closed successfully only with tight and timely collaboration between multiple teams. In the case of a new business, a BDR or SDR first qualifies a lead and then creates the opportunity; the newly created opportunity gets taken over by an Account Executive, who is assigned as the opportunity owner. However, for this opportunity to be won, the AE then collaborates with more internal stakeholders – a solutions engineer or a solutions consultant to deliver relevant demos, and maybe a sales leader (Director, VP) for engaging executive sponsors.

However, the data does not show the participation of the SDR, the solutions engineer, or the sales leader.

Ultimately, when the deal is won:

  1. all the credit goes to the AE, resulting in an inaccurate visibility of team productivity including the SDR and the SE.
  2. commission payouts become unfair because data does not show the involvement of the SDR or the SE.
  3. the truth/reality of why the deal was won remains hidden, which limits the possibility of improving sales plays and processes.

But if internal attribution is being done for every revenue activity, this is what the data would show:

  1. In reality, there were 5 people closely involved in the success of the deal giving a better understanding of how everyone is spending their time. This is data from a single deal, but when done for every closed-won and closed-lost deal, this information becomes valuable.
  2. Commission payout becomes fair, resulting in enhanced morale that feeds into productivity.
  3. More clarity on what it takes to win a deal that can then be baked into sales plays and processes.

Benefits of Internal Activity Attribution

Here are the top benefits of internal activity attribution:

1. Identify which roles are influencing revenue and in which stages

With internal activity attribution, it becomes clear who was involved in which activity and how their participation influenced revenue.

Attribute success to the right people so that they can start getting involved in deals when required and improve the probability of winning the deal.

  • For example, if win rates are higher when solution engineers get involved in stage 3 instead of stage 4, then as a best practice, this winning pattern can be replicated for every ongoing/future deal.
  • Going a level deeper, it can also address which specific SEs should be aligned in which types of deals. Some SEs may be good at presenting to enterprise executive leaders, while others may be great with mid-market buyers.

2. Capacity planning for optimal load balancing

Hiring key resources for the new year to meet the new revenue goals is always an important discussion. But this is only possible by knowing the capacity and productivity gap. When it’s been identified which role needs to get involved in a deal for higher chances of winning, the immediate question should be: Do we have enough of them to support our sellers? If they are stretched out too thin, then this will affect win rates.

For example, if win rates are higher when SEs get involved in deals, but currently the SE-to-AE ratio is not balanced, then it’s worthwhile to plan for budgets and hire an additional headcount. A similar example can be taken from an SDR-to-AE ratio perspective.

3. Accurate commission payouts through accurate attribution

For companies that closely monitor deal involvement and influence to pay commissions to the corresponding people, this is extremely helpful.

  • There can be instances where an SDR, AE, a partner, and an SE got involved in a won deal, but current activity data would only show the AE’s involvement resulting in unfair payouts. Nektar’s multi-user activity attribution will clearly show who got involved, when, and for how long to implement data-driven commission payouts.
  • This would also be important for Global Accounts (like Unilever) where there could be Regional Accounts (Unilever India). In case there is an opportunity where there is an overlap, companies struggle to attribute efforts of Global AE vs. Regional AE (similarly SEs, etc.)

4. Measure the productivity of every revenue-contributing individual

Understand who is spending how much time in which accounts. Are my sellers, SDRs, BDRs, solution engineers, professional services consultants, and CSMs under-spending or over-spending time talking to (potential) customers?

Driving Revenue Efficiency with Internal Activity Attribution

Equipped with data and insights on capacity levels, productivity levels, who all should get involved in deals, and at which stage are vital for strategic planning as we enter a new year.

If you’re still struggling with incomplete visibility into your revenue process, it’s time to start evaluating and carving out budgets for a solution that restores your revenue data foundation and gives you more control over your revenue process.

Get on a call with our experts to learn more.


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“Nektar.ai has helped us operationalize playbooks for our Go To Market teams. Not only do we have clear visibility into the process gaps, but we can proactively and consistently guide the rep into taking the next best action in line with our GTM playbooks.”
Yash Reddy
Chief Business Officer