Interview with Jim Misuraca, VP Strategic Alliances at Decibel
If you’re not selling a cutting-edge technology that solves a problem or alleviates a pain point, what are you selling?
In an interview with Jim Misuraca, VP Strategic Alliances at Decibel, we find out his vision into the future of SaaS in a cloud-dominated ecosystem.
Tell us about your journey in sales. What galvanized you to join Decibel Insight?
In a nutshell, Decibel’s technology is the reason behind why I joined this company. No other marketing enables brands to deliver the optimal digital and discover the “why” behind online customer behavior.
Which other careers would you have most likely ended up having, if it was not Sales and Alliance management?
If I had chosen a different career path, the fields of marketing or product would have likely been the direction I took. During the first six to eight years of my career, I worked in product development and product marketing, at companies such as Verizon and Dex Media. This helped direct me to the field of marketing technology that I’m passionate about now.
How do you define ‘Strategic Alliances’ from the modern context of customer experiences?
A strategic alliance involves any partnership that drives revenue, helps maximize renewals and/or is a logical technology extension of our current platform.
What’s the future of SaaS in a cloud-dominated ecosystem? How much of a role do technology roadmaps and company vision play in ensuring alliances coming together?
The future of SaaS is very bright. Decibel’s CEO Ben Harris does a great job thinking two steps ahead of the market. In my role, we look for technology gaps that we can fill and pain points not yet being solved for by other companies. In addition, partnerships with large enterprise software companies – like Adobe and Oracle – enable Decibel to get a preview into the direction that these organizations are heading, from a product perspective. It also offers an opportunity for Decibel to partner with these organizations – and others with similar strategies – by aligning a collective vision for a better online customer experience.
How do you differentiate between Customer Success and Strategic Alliances?
In a number of ways, there are similarities between Customer Success and Strategic Alliances. A majority of Decibel’s partners work with our Customer Success teams in an effort to align on accounts and vice versa.
How do you bring them together for sales at Decibel?
There are several ways for Decibel and its partners to align on accounts to influence revenue and maximize renewals. In addition to account alignment exercises, there are numerous sales enablement, co-marketing events, product roadmap discussions and other opportunities for Decibel to work with partners to mutually drive sales.
Who in the industry are you keenly following for collaboration on sales and alliance knowledge?
Staying updated on the leaders in technology– such as Adobe, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, etc. – is a key part of my strategy in understanding the latest happenings in the industry. Knowing who these organizations are partnering with helps me keep track of the companies that could be prospects for Decibel. Additionally, I keep track of my extensive network of Alliances executives from ISVs in martech and adtech. In terms of industry influencers, I follow several analysts such as Scott Brinker, David Raab, Jay Baer, and Gary Vaynerchuk.
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a sales leader?
Working at a company that is empowered by machine-learning technology, I’m always looking for ways AI and machine learning can help both Decibel and other ISVs leveraging AI that we may want to integrate with. Our platform, in fact, is powered by machine learning.
Which events and webinars do you most occasionally attend and why?
To keep track of the latest partners that we should be pursuing as a company, I attend a blend of industry events, including MarTech, Future of Email and eTail and enterprise software company user events like Adobe Summit, Oracle MCX, and Salesforce Connections. Both types of events help generate a variety of potential partner meetings in a short duration. Keynotes at these types of events also help keep me and Decibel in the loop on the latest industry trends, and see what’s being highlighted by experts and leaders in real time.
Your advice to salespeople in the B2B sales industry:
Stay focused. Ask yourself one question: If you’re not selling a cutting-edge technology that solves a problem or alleviates a pain point, what are you selling? If you are unhappy with your response, consider rethinking your position and selling a product, solution or service that you are passionate about and see a future for.
Whose answers to these questions would like to read from the industry?
I’d love to read responses to these questions from other Alliances executives.
Thank you, Jim, for chatting with us!