People.ai

At People.ai, we’re firm believers in the power of data to build greater sales and marketing alignment. But what data should an organization focus on? What joint tools need to be in place? And how do you transform the sales and marketing team’s rivalry into collaboration?

These are some big questions organizations across the globe have to answer. There are thousands of tools clamoring for a slot in the sales and marketing tech stacks—so how do you pick the right ones? Luckily, the panelists at our recent sales and marketing alignment meetup had some ideas on where to start, and what pitfalls to avoid when implementing new technology.

Don’t Bite off More Tech Solutions Than Can Be Reasonably Implemented

Technology can solve so many of our sales and marketing alignment challenges. So that’s got to mean implementing more tools to support that effort will generate results more quickly, right? Not so fast! First, you need to make sure you have the right resources in place.

“In my previous role, we definitely made the mistake of bringing on too much, too soon,” said Jenny Coupe, Sr. Director, Americas Marketing, Akamai. “If you don’t have the people on board to do the care and feeding, that tool is just going to sit there. You’re not going to get anything out of it. It’s just going to make things more complicated.”

So how do you decide what to implement and when? Here’s how Jenny’s team is prioritizing.

“The tools I decide to bring into my tech stack are based upon my business pain points,” said Coupe. “Right now, why am I focused on attribution? I want to make sure marketing gets credit when we’re supposed to get credit. Unless you’re bringing in something that kind of shows you the full weighted experience, it’s going to be really tough to argue to get credit on a single touch. That’s why we’re fighting this battle. We are using a tool called Bisible right now to help us with this.”

Be Careful Not to Purchase a Host of Tech Problems with Your New Technology Solutions

“As you start to build out this beast, you have to tack on a whole bunch of different products and services on to this, and you solve one problem and you create another, said Jason Dorfman, Inside Sales, Rubrik.

Dorfman went on to note that sales tools like auto dialers have improved the sales team’s ability to connect. “But as you get better with connecting with people, the walls go up,” said Dorfman. “So the connect rates now are much lower than they were five or ten years ago because you didn’t make 400 call or 800 calls per day back then.”

The Best Sales and Marketing Alignment Technology is Yet to Come

Thanks to the gains in AI and other innovative new technologies, we’re just on the cusp of seeing the ways sales and marketing will be able to harness technology to hone their buyer’s journey.

“A few years ago it was all social, social, social,” said Ryan Ried, VP Sales, Oracle Marketing Cloud. “There are going to be more integrations to tools where you can really track your digital marketing with all the other types of marketing, whether it’s print or field marketing or whatever it may be. I’m excited to see it. Plus, it’s also a hell of a lot more fun to sell to marketers than it is to a finance guy.”

For more insights from our panelists, check out the fourth installment in our six-part The New Sales and Marketing Engagement series.

TRANSCRIPT:

Ryan Ried, VP Sales, Oracle Marketing Cloud
Jenny Coupe, Sr. Director, Americas Marketing, Akamai
Jason Dorfman, Inside Sales, Rubrik

Ryan: I’m at Oracle, so I can only throw in Oracle tools. Right? You probably have all seen it on LinkedIn or whatever. There are so may tools out here. The marketing space like fifteen or ten years ago, even five years ago, you could fill up the companies that clearly addressed the marketer in one slide with ten or twelve big logos, right? Now they say there’s 5,000 companies that’s supporting the marketer and they all claim they do a little bit of what the other one does. They define it a little bit differently. I come from a BI background, so competition and being in a competitive space is something that I’m used to. But there are great tools out there that I’ve seen. I met with Oleg and we’ve talked about People.ai’s tool. I looked at him for the first time and I just, like, “Seriously?” I didn’t really believe it, and then I started calling around to some friends and talked to them. They’re like, “Yeah, it’s killer stuff.” So I think that there’s going to be more innovation. I mean, a few years ago it was all social, social, social. There are going to be more integrations to tools where you can really track your digital marketing with all the other types of marketing, whether it’s print or field marketing or whatever it may be. I’m excited to see it; plus, it’s also a hell of a lot more fun to sell to marketers than it is to a finance guy. More people are wanting to get into that space.

Jason: There’s a lot of tools out there. Personally, in my position these days, I’m really focused more on the reps, teaching them how to sell, how to engage, how to build trust with customers. I’ve off-loaded some of the tool selection and management to other people at the company. There’s a lot out there. There’s a lot of noise out there, and I think the reason there’s so many companies in this space is because there is some real pain with sales and marketing tools and that entire ecosystem. Both the integration between all them, trying to select which tool is the right tool. Spending the time and putting it in place. But I think there’s definitely problems to be solved, especially across the board. I think a lot of the problems are caused, honestly, by Salesforce and the way that the CRM is structured.

Jason: It’s all their fault. Going back to my initial point, it’s something that can be customized very, very heavily. As you start to build out this beast, you have to tack on a whole bunch of different products and services on to this, and you solve one problem and you create another. With tools that have the direct ROI like autodialers … You have things like Insidesales.com and Connect and Sell, they’re all really, really powerful, but as you get better with connecting with people, the walls go up. So the connect rates now are much lower than they were five or ten years ago because you didn’t make 400 call or 800 calls.

I think there’s definitely going to be some companies out there that can make a big impact and really completely change the game, but I think there’s also a lot of smaller players out there that are just kind of nipping at the edge and they’re more of a vitamin rather than a pain killer. It’s just about picking, kind of, the right thing for you, but …Yeah, to each their own.

Jenny: One word of caution there, I certainly made the mistake of … You know, everybody’s seen that crazy tech stacked slide of all those logos so everybody’s kind of overwhelmed by that. But in my previous role, we definitely made the mistake of bringing on too much, too soon. If you don’t have the people on board to do the care and feeding, that tool is just going to sit there. You’re not going to get anything out of it. It’s just going to make things more complicated. For us, we’re really focused on attribution right now. We’re looking at tools around attribution. I think, over time, we’ll see a convergence of all these 5,000 companies, because as a marketer I don’t want to manage ten vendors, right? I want to manage three, or four maybe, I don’t know.
The point here is that the ones I decide to bring into my tech stack are based upon what are my business pain points. Right now, why am I focused on attribution? I want to make sure marketing gets credit when we’re supposed to get credit, right? I came into a company where they said, “Oh yeah, we use Salesforce; we used First Touch.” Okay.
Next company, “Oh, we used Last Touch, gotta use Last Touch; that’s it.”

And then you’ve got the campaign influence. Unless you’re bringing in something that kind of shows you the full weighted experience, it’s going to be really tough to argue to get credit on a single touch. That’s why we’re fighting this battle. We are using a tool called Visible right now to help us with this. It’s an overlay into Salesforce. It’s pretty good. It’s fairly low cost, which is always good.
That’s kind of my current focus, and I think again, tools are great but you gotta have the right skillset onboard to actually give it the care and feeding.

Ryan: Since I get to give a plug, I’ll give one to Datorama. It’s a very cool tool. It’s very new. I shouldn’t say very new; it’s new around the analytics and digital marketing. They’re working some of the largest digital marketing agencies throughout the world. They’re doing a lot of great things. That’s the one company I see that … The great thing about analytics is if you put it in right and you pull it out right, it can help you make a heck of a lot of good decisions. The bad side is that you only get out of it what you put in. If it’s not accurate data going it, you’re not going to get it coming out. They help with that.