The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 2 months ago

Transforming Your Sales Org Through Data & Technology w/ Seth Marrs

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This quarter, you're falling behind and worried you won’t make your sales goals. Taking a look at your sales team, you realize that if everyone could just sell like your top earners, you’d be way ahead of your target by now. What if there was a way to take the artistry of your best reps and boil it down to a science all your reps could follow?

That’s exactly what my latest guest, Seth Marrs, Research Director at Forrester, is an expert in. He joins the show to share how you can marry the art and science of sales by effectively leveraging data and technology into your sales org.


Now that you know what it takes to transform your sales org with data and technology, are you ready to dive into how to rehumanize your customer experience or learn the secrets to personalizing at scale? Check out the full list of episodes: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience.

You're, listening to the db revenueexecutive experience, a podcast, dedicated elpin executives, train theirsales and marketing teams to optimize growth, whether you're looking fortechniques and strategies were tools and resources. You come to the rightplace: let's accelerate your growth in three to one: welcome er ye one to theb to be revenue executive experience. I'm your host chad sanderson todaywe're talking about how organizations can most effectively leverage dated intechnology to transform their sales orks. Now we all know there's a host oftechnologies out there. We know a lot of people like to hide behind some ofthose technologies. We want to find out how we use them effectively to optimizethe redue funnel to help us do we have with a set mars research director atforester set. Thank you for taking time and welcome to the show great to behere thanks for the invite all right. So before we jump in, we like to ask aquestion just for our audience to get to know you a little bit better forthose that know you mostly through work. What is one thing you're passionateabout? They might be surprised to learn about. I am a very active age grouper with duathlon,so competing on national events and international events spent a lot oftime going around the country and competing in those, so probablywouldn't know that especially be remote for the last few years there lest lastyear, right how? How did you get into that it? I mean just as really as iother way to stay in shape, so it's you can do your workouts and then alsosatisfy that kind of competitive urge that comes from playing sportswhen i was younger, so it's a good way to do that. To do both love it allright, excellent. So, in terms of topic of the day, some of our audience maynot be familiar. Many are going to be familiar with forester, obviously, butmany may not be really understanding what a research director does or howthey approach their position in order to have that kind of totality of viewfor the industry would love it. If you...

...could just give a little bit of adescription or overview, yeah, absolutely we're in a very uniqueposition as a directorate forest or what i do every day. I do two things i spend time talking to clients aroundthe issues they're seeing and connecting them to the research and theexpertise that we have within the business to help them, and i spend therest of my time researching understanding talking to tech, vendors,talking to thought leaders in the market to make sure that i'm on thecutting edge or understand all the different opportunities and bestpractices and things that are happening in the in the sales world and actuallynow moving into the revenue world, so that when i have, those client callsi'm best position to give them advice and guidance. That's kind of helpedthem grow awesome. And so what was it i mean you could have picked any topic?Probably, but what's the? What is it about the combination of sales andtechnology that makes it such an interesting focus for a passion for you?I've spent a lot of time in it huge passion for technology leveraging, datato drive businesses forward, and i've always been interested with sales,because sales has always been talked about to a certain extent, is more artthan science. So when you start pushing technology into sales, you have thatclash of kind of the art and science and trying to find that balance pointwhere you could make the most out of the artist as this as the sales rab byhelping them leverage. These tools is really interesting to me and and aspace where you do it right. You can really get some exponential impact inorganizations. There's an interesting blend there right, there's that here wekeep it, especially on the b tobie. How do we keep that human human connection,but still levers the technology so that we get the efficiency the scale, theimpact, the better understanding of her clients and things like that? How wouldyou kind of describe to an organization how they should effectively beleveraging the tech and where that line...

...may be yeah? I mean i spent a lot of timetrying to somewhat stay away from the efficiency side. That's what welltrodden path where i've been spending. A lot of time researching is on how youcan leverage this technology to actually improve sales outcomes andthat's kind of a thing where people say yeah. Of course, that's what i want,but it's not really what a lot of the sales technology has been designed todo. A lot of it's designed around efficient ses on pipe in pipe liemanagement, efficiencies and activity aggregation, but not necessarily set upfor the rap, but that is where the real kind of gold is, and also with the withthe introduction of a i and how this stuff is going. There's a realopportunity to do that. So i've spent a lot of time in that area, specificallyfocusing how do you align those to and that's a there's, a lot of conflict with thatone, because i think when people see these technologies sales ropsespecially see that they see it more. As you're telling me i to do kind ofrote steps and that's how you're god that's the you want me to be a robot,and that balance- that's not what this is about. This is really aboutaugmenting and being able to provide insights that make the rep better nottelling them what to do, and so how do you? How do you approachthat with them? Is it? How do you give them like paint the picture for a rapon hey? This is going to help you in the long run i mean we go back to whenpeople we had to first make them start using the cramer, or you know theconstant battle that that every sales leader has had of getting them to urm.We had to make it valuable for them, and so i'm curious when you advisecompanies on this blend of the two. How do you get them to a point, or how doyou advise them so that they can in some way make it valuable from the repsperspective, so you get the level of adoption and application that we want.That will drive those outcomes yeah. I one of those key places is in theintersection between sales and marketing and actually using a cram forwhat the crmison'd to be used for to drive, to drive results on the saleside and where i get the biggest...

...reaction. When i talk with sales teamsis talking about the opportunity, as that kind of center point to work thedeal and using it as an enabler to bring the rest of the organization inso if a sales repletes an opportunity in and connects all the contacts theyknow and makes that visible in the system using technology like intent,data now marketing can connect in with you and start telling you what'shappening, digitally because one of the things that were continuous to seeingis not news, but buyers are spending a lot more time searching on their own,so the rep is still vitally important, but you're getting less time in frontof the buyer. So you have to make a bigger impact, but what i think a lotof people miss is by having all those transactions go, digitally they're,actually a lot more visible than they were before. So if you can tap intothat visibility with marketing but doing for years and then show them whatyou're looking at from the opportunity standpoint that deals you're trying toclose, they can start feeding you insides that correlate to what's goingon in the deal that allow you to really make different decisions and moreproactive decisions to close that that something that's never really beenavailable. Even today. It's not really we're just at the beginning of it, butthat allows for insights that they can now leverage to help them win byworking with marking and by opening up and then marketing can also tell youhey. This person over here is talking about, is starting to look into thisand and here's what we're seeing with another buyer that, maybe you didn'tknow that's connecting with it. So just one simple example of workingwithin your system and leveraging the insights and technology from marketingstexta from and bring that into the sales text back to make it visible. Sothe rep can not be not be, like, i said before not rotl to what they needed todo, but be able to give insights that inform their next action, and so thatmakes the data of court. You know...

...everybody knows that it is absolutelycritical for customizing customer journeys and things of that nature,with some of the trends that we're seeing, for example, google, announcingthey're letting cookies go, and this rise of customer data platforms wherecompanies are going to have to maintain and capture and analyze their own datamoving forward, because it do, you feel like that kind of thing is going tomove us closer to making this a reality where i don't have to rely on a thirdparty aggregator to get my date. I can get the intent data that i need toprovide these insights to guide the effective action of the sales team willbringing that data internal owning that date, internal from the marketing sider.Maybe it's a cio side, whoever is going to own it. Do you think that will getus closer to this reality? Where we'll have the data necessary to provide thisinsane to the sales team, i don't know if it'll it'll make itcloser, because all of those things are good data points. I think the big stepthat many companies need to take is the one they don't really want to take itand that's doing the rote. The road boring stuff of having a great, wellstructured and well het out account hierarchy. Aggregating data with athoughtful approach that make sure that what's coming in, is clean and can beturned around and use to drive insights or to attach insides that are coming into help the rap i'm shocked at how often i see organizations super excitedabout all the front and stuff and what it's going to do, but then superdisappointed when it doesn't work because they haven't built their datastructure in a way that allows them to lever those insights and that's a hugepoint. Yeah and it's amazing, because it's ithink, it's time and money- that's a lot of times it when i, when i talkabout it, it's time and money and as an executive or as a company. The lastthing you want to do is spend money and allocate time to a project. You want itdone now and you want it done. Cheap and data structure and a and dataintegrity doesn't quate either those you have to spend time and money tomake it right long term. It will be...

...good but short term. If you don't spendthat time and money, it's you're going to short change yourself when it's allthese other tools, you're buying well and it'll, show up it'll show upthe lack of that structure. The lack of it being cleaned it and cared for willshow up throughout the entire revenue funnel whether it be your prospect isnot having the information that they need or insights into the roles thatthey're prospecting to, or your customer success team on the back end,not really understanding what's going on in an account when they could haveamazing insights. If the data structure was there, do you have an example ofthat you can think of where a company has invested that time, and maybe someof the outcomes that they've seen that you could share i've seen severalcompanies that will start with that where they have it's weird, because ina lot of cases, companies will splinter it out in a marketing organization,will they're starting to use dp to really aggregate all their informationtogether. So i think we're starting to see it on that side, where they'restarting to have the philosophy of putting all that data together. Theproblem is in order for a sales organization to really utilize that youneed to bring it over and connect together where we connect the theresult. Engine like your erps or those types of systems that are monitoringtransactions. So i'm starting to see it on the marketing side, where they kindof get it and they're pulling it all together and i'm. I see it to someextent with some companies in no way they're managing master data andthey're starting to aggregate those two together. So the companies that areworking down that path are the ones that were starting to see differentinsights and they're, starting to go a layer below just kind of the genericstuff and they're going to be well position to utilize. Some of these newtools that are able to analyze all that information inaggregate and then display actions and next best actions, not just at thecadence level, like you'd, see n al's engagement tool but deep into thecontact level like well. There is, there are certain tools out there thatcan show you not just what the best...

...next step is, but also what the bestnext step is for that particular contact on that particular deal. Thatstuff is pretty cool to see when we've seen some companies starting to move inthat direction, and so there's a lot of tools out there and a lot of differentsegments and ways. People could look at him just kind of curious from yourperspective and you probably have the best view of the entire kind ofindustry in the tech out there. What's the tech pieces that excite you orparticular products that you've seen that you think are harnessing thisopportunity to get to the next level the most exciting space to me? Is thisintersection between sales, engagement revenue operations and revenue,intelligence, or i mean a lot of times. People combine together revenueoperations of revenue, intelligence and that to me, is the most exciting spacein sales tech right now, because they're all competing to be that unifythat that pin of glass for the rap that pan in glass for the manager andthey're doing a really exciting stuff. The cadence optimization that you canutilize in sales engagement platforms for early stage type line managementearly stage qualification is really really good and i think it sets thestage for what's going to happen late stage because, as you add data tocadences, you can make the cadences smart. So, instead of having a rotecadence of five steps, where you're doing interactions, you can have itchange with each interaction. I think you'll see other vendors on the revenueintelligence side, they're, actually trying to skip to that right now and donext best action based on all the data. That's in their system that the hardpart about all of this stuff is first, i don't think many sales organizationsare ready for it like on when you talk about cadences most people by spend agood deal of my oncle engagement platforms and then are on one step,cadences and and using one piece of technology or a four step cadens, whereyou just use it for email, and it's like these vendors will show you thatif you just use multiple forms of communication, you can increase yourodds of winning, but many of them are...

...just getting used to the technology soreally at the beginning. But as this evolves in these two technologies arethese. The categories are kind of merging together and eventually it'sgoing to lead to a rat being able to log in and seeing contextualrecommendation saying you know with this particular contact in thisparticular stage of the deal we recommend or we've seen that seventytwo percent of the time, if you take this action, it leads to positiveprogression and the deal and then when the rep actually does or doesn't do itit a log that to so. If you get a rap whose figured out how to do it adifferent way, it'll eventually tell you hey you do this different way,because this may may have been a higher percent at one point, but now, as we've seen it, someone elseis doing it better. So you that's, where you'll get that continualprogression that can work alongside the rap and make sure that they areinformed enough to make the best decision possible at each step and thenit allows the reps to apply their expertise, ideally their expertise thatthey're bringing were things that they know have worked. The systemcontinually gets fed the results, and so it had made to use. The word learns, butbasically, from a statistical standpoint, provides the hey based onmath, here's, here's, what we're seeing working and it's not afraid to say, hey.We have to change it because we've gotten new data, which is somethingthat removes ego i mean. Obviously the technology doesn't have the ego, butsales reps historically do so yeah. So how do we do and equip them in a waythat isn't going to it's going to show him they're still bring in something tothe table, and i think that's going to be part of that delicate balance aswell, or you have a different perspective on that. Oh, i think, andthey do bring something in table critical components to the table. Theyhave to have that boughton reasoning to a not not to be a slave to the modelbut to be evolved with it right. So as things change and because you've got abuyer on the other side of it, you can't just press one button if it worksthe same time over and over and expected by or not to react to itthey're kind of all too so as a sales rup, you need to manage that dynamicand provide feedback. So it's just...

...going to it's going to give you a toolkind of going back to our original kind of starting point, a tool that helpsyou self more and raps just are when they see that they're very hesitant,because most of the tools they've been given over time are more on and besthelping them be efficient at worst they're, a monitoring tool. That's justforcing you to spend time and administer it kind of put stuff in tohelp other people, but i think that's on the verge ofchanging and changing pretty significantly with some of these newtools like be for revenue, intelligence and sales. Engage men cools excellent, all right. So, let's changedirection here, a little bit. We ask all of our guess two standard questionsat the end of each interview. The first is simply as a thought of yourself as aresearch triter forton. That makes you a prospect, no doubt for a lot ofpeople out there and i'm always curious to know when somebody doesn't have atrusted referral or reference into you. What works for you individually forsomebody to capture your attention and earn the right to time on your calendar.I think the biggest thing for me is to show something that, without for tryingto force an interaction to give me a pathway to learn more or to show me howhow it will add value, how whatever technology is coming to me will addvalue to me and ideally, in the easiest, simplest form possible. So whateveryour biggest cell point is on the technology, you want to put that rightup front and then give me a pathway to kind of burrow in deeper right. So, ifyou send something to me, i won't be responsive to someone trying to call meor someone trying to do per se. But if you send something to me- and i see itand it causes me to click in and then i have the way to click in deeper andever that's kind of the way at that i've been drawn in in the past to finding something- that's valuablefor me that be willing to spend money on in an organization i'm working forexcellent, okay. So last question: we call it our acceleration insight. Ifthere was one piece of advice, you...

...could give sales professionals that youbelieve, if they listen to, would help them achieve or exceed their targets.What would it be and why the biggest thing i would recommend is make surethere's there are so many different technologies out there, even withindifferent technology segments, make sure any technology by is analyzed in areview from the perspective of the solution. You're trying to solve withinyour particular business, understand your process first and then evaluatetechnology on its capability to solve your problem, not on its why yourcapability in general. Very often, i see companies that by the technology,because it's either the flavor of the month or looks really cool, and wereally want it a lot of times you really want to. If you want to besuccessful a technology and make the most of it, you need to fit it into thethe issues and and problems you're trying to solve in your business orthings you're trying to accelerate perfect set. If a listeners interestedin talking more about these topics, we touched on today or reached ounto,where would you like us to send them? Yeah just send them through to linkedin,and it would be great. You got connect on lincoln and happy to chat all right.I can't think you know thank you so much for being on the show today. No noproblem, thanks for aving, all right, everybody that does it for this episode.You know the drill check as out of pe to be reezon, show the episode withfriends of family and until next time we have value selling associates, whichyou all nothing, but the very best you've been listening to the b tobrevenue executive experience to ensure that you never miss an episodesubscribe to the show and itunes for your favorite podcast player. Thank youso much for listening until next time. I.

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