Why building pipeline in 2024 is harder than ever

How did we get here, and what does the future of sales engagment looks like in the era of product-led growth and Gen-AI?

Jonatan Dykert


May 3, 2024


tl-dr; Today seven out of ten SaaS revenue teams report pipeline as their biggest growth obstacle. Traditional tactics that rely on flooding inboxes are just not working as they used to. GenAI has accelerated this to a point where the value of such outreach is nearing zero. Teams adapt by leveraging data and signals for personal and well-timed engagement. But this is a lot easier in theory than in practice. That is exactly why we built Ripe - a data-powered customer engagement platform.

How we all got locked in a race to the bottom in the first place

For years, the pipeline recipe, whether you’re focused on outbound or inbound, has been to find and qualify emails based on simple firmographic data and then add these people to an email sequence. If there is no reply in x days then you write, call and message again and again and again etc. This has saturated our inboxes and made phone manufacturers block incoming calls from unknown numbers. This approach has overwhelmed our inboxes and led phone manufacturers to block calls from unknown numbers. The more companies use this strategy the worse it gets for all the players in the system as a whole.

AI features in sales engagement software like Outreach, Salesloft, and LinkedIn perpetuate this race to the bottom. They have little to no meaningful data feeding them and use pitch scripts and basic firmographics as their main data input. Output, as a result, is not materially better than it used to be pre-AI. We can create more of the same, faster. As slightly personalized emails become more common, our responses become increasingly indifferent. 

Most GTM leaders recognize that the channels they have been using for the past couple of years (email, phone, Linkedin) are currently on a downward trajectory, meaning they all have started to email and call even more to hit the same targets, perpetuating the downward spiral. This has prompted Google and Microsoft to limit how many emails you can send from a domain. We’re stuck!

Data and signals allow you to do much more - with much less

Modern GTM teams have started to adapt to this harsh reality. The best ones do everything they can to gather more data on prospective buyers. This naturally means enriching domains, IP addresses etc. but more importantly, they look at user interactions with the brand and the product. A common example is sending messages to people that lurk around the pricing page. Outreach messages triggered by a relevant action from the recipient, convert many times better than traditional generic outreach (which in contrast is almost always triggered by inaction).

This signal-based approach can dramatically improve a team's results. The best SaaS companies maintain an ideal customer profile (ICP) signup-to-opportunity ratio of about 10:1 but increase conversion rates even slightly, e.g. from 10% to 14%— resulting in 40% more pipeline generated. If win rates stay the same or go up that is 40% more revenue generated without increasing the number of signups. Both the CAC and the unit economics of the whole motion change dramatically. This math makes it a certainty that teams that invest in data collection and utilize these signals effectively will outperform those that do not, by a wide margin.

Ripe is sales engagement reimagined for a new reality

With rich real-time data from your whole tech and sales stack at the core. Ripes' customers get a unified view of real people at real companies and how they are using the product. As a result, you can test and deploy signal-based outreach with ease.

Using our web SDK, customers can leverage their product and website as a net-new channel for 1-1 engagements to increase conversions further. For instance, a rep can offer help with onboarding using an email, or even better, a pre-recorded video in-app just when someone is starting to invite their colleagues to join the account. This is not only a much more effective way to do sales and customer success. It’s a way to radically improve the overall user experience and buying journey of your product. Which in turn makes it all the more likely for you to generate champions in the process.

A big hurdle for commercial teams remains to get the engineering resources required to prove how big a change this can make so Ripe offers pre-built two-way integrations, you can capture all user interactions across your product, website and CRM with little to zero engineering hours spent.

The impact of data-powered GTM motions

Our promise is simple. With Ripe new business and expansion pipeline will grow by double digits. And we deliver. Today, Ripe is also being used by data-driven success teams to decrease churn without increasing headcount. This means we're now in the business of helping our customers grow even faster while keeping their costs under control.

This is just the beginning.

Our mission is to bring the power of data-powered and AI-assisted flows to the full GTM stack. The teams of the future will use all the data available to them to tailor the buying journey for each individual customer so they can discover their value as quickly as possible.

This new way of adopting and buying software will have a huge impact on many careers and businesses and we could not be more excited to be on that journey with our existing and future customers. The future sure looks bright when you imagine how to fuel the growth of the incredible products folks put out in the market today.