The more data you have about your customers, the smarter you can be in your approach. Creation of content based on data is a great example of how things have changed the paths for sales.
Every company needs SaleScouts who can start closing with warm B2B leads and sales intelligence and deliver on more deals. What are SaleScouts and how to identify them in the crowded sales tech industry? Well, SaleScouts are known for their intelligent conversations. In this interview, we spoke to Todd Schulte, SVP Sales At SaleScout.
Tell us about your journey in B2B sales.
I’ve been in B2C for most of my career and watched B2C evolve itself around the use of scientific data from catalogs, email, online and now, one-to-one data. Recently, I’ve noticed B2B catching up on the customer lifecycle and becoming scientific in its approach, akin to B2C processes. Now that ABM has come to B2B there is a lot of hand-holding up front, and I’m excited to bring my analytics experience to help develop these relationships.
How different are Client Acquisition and Revenue Development activities today than when you first started in the sales industry?
Today, you see advanced analytics in everything.
Twenty years ago, client acquisition involved getting a list and making calls. Feedback came from the field reps. Those days are gone for good. Today, product, marketing, and sales are joined at the hip. Looking at today’s funnel, digital marketing, nurturing campaigns, scoring browsers based on behavior, market-qualified leads, business and sales development representatives (BDR/SDR), sales qualified leads and sales qualified opportunities – these terms didn’t exist 20 years ago. Now, everything is measured, and even a slight increase along the path can lead to a significant increase or decrease in cost per acquisition
Looking at revenue development, we must be more than a provider, we must be a partner. To do this, customer success teams need to be developed and trained, and available as a resource throughout the lifecycle of our clients.
With the analytics of everything, we are much more integrated and invested in our clients than ever before. We work together on campaigns on the front and back end.
We’re focused on the objective of the campaign and providing the absolute best data needed to meet those objectives. We help with training on how to handle the data, and once the campaign is complete, we are involved in reviewing the results. We deep dive on the results data (i.e., responders vs. non-responders) to improve the next campaign and start the cycle all over again.
What is SaleScout and how does it ease sales pressures on the business?
SaleScout uses exclusive data sources, human verification, and AI to deliver the most accurate and qualified B2B leads available in the market today. Where most B2B data providers are happy with 70-80 percent accuracy, we run 95 percent or greater. We work with both marketing and sales teams, offering unique solutions for wherever they are in the funnel.
We can provide marketing with highly-qualified leads based on everything from hardware and software installs to telecom and unified communications. These work extremely well in nurturing campaigns where you need to scale on a prospect list. Sales teams, on the other hand, are more interested in prospects further down the funnel that are highly-qualified, and a trigger event to indicate a buying opportunity on the horizon.
For sales, we provide Buyer Signals that capture critical moments when the door to a new sale might be opening, such as a business that is looking for new locations, mergers, and acquisitions or new executives that have joined the company.
How has ABM and Technographic data changed traditional CRM paths for sales?
In B2B, every single account is a critical account versus consumer. In consumer, your best customers typically have a lifetime value (LTV) of a couple of thousand dollars. In B2B, $1,000 could be a single order.
In B2B, you can’t afford to lose accounts, and account-based marketing (ABM) and technographic data help with that on the front-end and back-end of a sale. The more data you have about your customers, the smarter you can be in your approach. Creation of content based on data is a great example of how things have changed the paths for sales.
Customized content creates credibility in the marketplace, serving as both a lead generation and client education tool, helping you provide laser focus instead of taking the shotgun approach.
How do your Scouts help in the Sales Ops Revolution?
The sales ops revolution is another layer in the sales process that helps clients move the needle. SaleScout is a data company. If you look at all the data that is available today – behavioural, personality profiling and social to name a few, there is a ton of data available to the industry, but knowing that four to five percent of the data decays each month, it’s critical to have a data source that is looking for today’s data, not last month’s.
SaleScout’s optimization application helps keep data up-to-date and accurate. All our data is human-verified and extremely timely and accurate. Our SaleScouts, on the other hand, provide triggers that are as close to live as you can get, providing our clients the ability to reach out to highly qualified prospects way before the competition.
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a sales tech champion?
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are being used more and more to address fundamental strategic issues, from who to pursue to how much to invest in different audiences and which resources to use. This evolution has made segmentation and allocation become standard procedures.
Also, with these advances, sales organizations will rely on data scientists more and more. If you don’t have a data scientist onboard, you are behind. However, providers like SaleScout have realized the value of having one on board and it has become a value add to the services available.
What do email automation tools mean to sales and sales ops teams in 2018?
It’s important to use email automation tools to distribute content, employ drip campaigns and to educate customers and prospects. It applies to everyone.
What are your predictions about the “Good data versus Bad Data” hygiene? How does SaleScout enable sales teams to work with good data?
If you put garbage data in, you’ll get garbage out.
In the U.S., 30 percent of all workers either change positions or companies annually. This means that even if you start with a good data list, it can go bad very quickly, requiring constant checks on the integrity of the list.
SaleScout performs data hygiene for our large partners from title mapping and normalization, to contact optimization and data append. The upfront cost of keeping your data fresh and current is much less than the cost of inputting bad data into your sales process. Anywhere you can have a better data strategy and fill the holes, you will have better results and better cost savings.
What do data science, process automation, enterprise planning and advanced analytics mean to modern B2B sales leaders?
All of these help B2B sales leaders function effectively in the current environment.
Data science makes us better at what we do. Process automation keeps our people in front of the account, building relationships instead of performing administration tasks day in and day out. Enterprise planning looks at the macro environment and focuses on the political, economic, social, technical, legal and environmental (PESTLE) landscape, using data to help strategize how and when to approach leads effectively.
Advanced analytics helps us look at the micro=environment, with a focus on moving the needle by looking at variables like monthly recurring revenue (MRR), cost per acquisition, and click-through rates. Effectively using these tools together provides current B2B sales leaders a substantial competitive and financial advantage in the marketplace.
What are the major pain points for businesses in putting a 360-degree focus on Sales Ops for better account conversions?
The biggest challenge is getting marketing and sales teams on the same page. We’re making progress as an industry, but it is difficult. Five to ten years ago, marketing, sales, and product were siloed in their own departments and didn’t communicate like they do today. Now, everybody is working toward the success of the company, and that means looking at how to impact sales.
Which events and webinars do you most occasionally attend and why?
SiriusDecisions is one of the best gatherings in the B2B space. It’s a great place to figure out what is going on in the industry, how people are using technology, what’s in their tech stack, hear great case studies, and have conversations with quality decision makers. I also like Dreamforce because you can’t go wrong with Salesforce. The Sales Hacker webinars provide access to movers and shakers within the sales world who cover topics that are applicable to anyone trying to improve their sales skill set.
Tag a person from the industry whose answers you would like to read here:
Jeremy Polster at Nextiva
Thank you, Todd, for chatting with us about SalesScouts and the dynamic of role of sales technologies today!