SalesTechStar Interview with Carlos Hidalgo, Chief Strategy Officer at DemandGen and Founder/CEO at VisumCX
Marketing and Sales thought-leader Carlos Hidalgo joins us to share his expertise and insights from his 25+ years driving B2B Marketing and Sales initiatives for some of the world’s best technology companies.
Can you tell us a little about yourself Carlos (including your hobbies!) and your biggest sales and marketing takeaways from your journey so far?
I am a husband to my incredible wife Susanne, a dad to four amazing kids, (all adults!), and lucky to have an awesome daughter-in-law! I live in Colorado (where I have for the last 10 years) and enjoy everything the outdoors of Colorado have to offer, including hiking, fishing and skiing.
As for sales and marketing, I live in both of those worlds. I have been in B2B marketing long before we ever commonly referred to it as B2B and believe to be good in both marketing and sales you need to understand your buyers and what makes them tick.
Tell us a little about your books
I have had the good fortune to be able to write two books so far.
The first book Driving Demand was published in 2015 and discusses the changes organizations need to make to create a modern demand generation engine. The second book, The UnAmerican Dream was published in June 2019 and is an invitation to business professionals and entrepreneurs to shed the culture of workaholism and begin defining success in a healthier and holistic way.
What are the top 5 demand generation tips in B2B sales you swear by?
My top five tips for successful demand generation are as follows:
- Understand your buyer. Know what their needs are, who is involved in the buying committee and the steps they take to purchase – this take involvement from both marketing and sales.
- Know that the buyer does not care about your product or solution. They care about meeting their needs.
- We do not need more content, we need relevant content that engages buyer across every phase of the buyers journey.
- Technology is not a strategy. Technology can only enable strategy so if you buy technology with no strategy you will not get the full value from it.
- Demand generation is not a set it and forget approach. You need to analyse and continually optimize.
Can you tell us about some of your most successful sales/marketing campaigns so far?
I have had the opportunity to help design and implement many successful demand generation programs in collaboration with my clients. The one that I will talk about is the most recent one where we reduced the amount of content by 80% and increased the qualified leads by over 100% and contributed several million to the sales pipeline.
What according to you are the top 5 things that B2B/Tech Sales leaders should always keep in mind when planning a Sales Strategy/Campaign for a new Tech tool/new Tech Product?
- Much like I tell marketers, is that sales people need to know what their customers need, not what they want to sell. If you do not know the problems you are trying to solve for, you will not be effective in sales and hint. . . it’s not about the features of your product.
- Before you launch a campaign, enable your sales people to be subject matter experts in their filed or in their customers market. You should be able to speak to the issues and the solutions without ever mentioning your product or service. This is how you become an advisor to your customers.
- Align with marketing. Far too often marketing and sales do their own thing and then inform the other department, which causes misalignment. There has to be better coordination and that starts with defining a common view of the buyer.
- Know that sales no longer leads the buying process, the buyers do and stop trying to “disrupt” the buying process. I have not yet met one individual who enjoys being disrupted. Be helpful!
- Sales is crucial in delivering customer experience which begins long before a buyer makes a purchase. If the sales process is a bad experience, you are already starting at a deficit.
What are your thoughts on the future of sales/salestech? How do you eventually see salestech play a role in the future role of the typical B2B/sales professional?
I hope organizations use tech to gather more insight and use that insight to be more human in their approach to buyers and customers. At the end of the day, we are selling to people and the more human we can be throughout the process the more success we will have.
What’s your smartest sales/marketing/leadership/productivity hack that you’d like to share with the audience?
We have to begin working smarter which does not mean we need to put in more hours. The human brain has a capacity to work for about two-hours straight before we need a break to allow for a mental reset, its called ultradian rhythms. You will be more creative, have more energy and better mental clarity if you align with these hardwired rhythms and allow for 20 minute mental breaks every two-hours. Try it, it works!
Tag (mention/write about) the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read!
Hands down, Craig Rosenberg of Topo!
Your favorite Sales/SalesTech quote.
“Technology is not a strategy” and yes, it is my quote ☺
Tell us about some of the top sales/salestech/other events that you’ll be participating in (as a speaker or guest!) in 2020!
I am still in the process of filling out my schedule!
DemandGen delivers demand generation, lead management consulting & marketing automation expertise with Eloqua, Marketo, HubSpot & Salesforce CRM.
Carlos Hidalgo is founder and CEO of VisumCx, a Customer Experience Strategy Firm. Carlos has over 25 years’ experience working with B2B large enterprises to start-up organizations in delivering multi-channel customer experience strategies and programs. Carlos recently joined DemandGen Inc as Chief Strategy Officer.
Carlos is widely recognized for his expertise in B2B change management strategies, marketing, sales, content and demand generation and is also international speaker on how organizations need to transform in order to drive innovation and growth. Carlos is the author of Driving Demand, which is ranked as a top 5 marketing book of all time by Book Authority. Additionally, he has won numerous awards and has named to some of the most prestigious leadership lists in the industry including the SLMA Sales Lead Management and the most Influential in B2B Marketing by Onalytica.