Tell us about your role at the company and the team you handle.
I’m in a newly developed role at ValueSelling Associates, leading growth and success initiatives for the company. Our team of Associates — all sophisticated, tenured sales experts — trains leading enterprise companies with the ValueSelling Framework sales methodology. Therefore, staying on top of the technology map is incredibly important for each associate.
What was the biggest attraction for you at Dreamforce 2018?
I attend Dreamforce to focus specifically on content management technology and Salesforce Lightning. As part of my focus to grow the company, I need to source software that makes life easier for new associates and will be adopted by my tenured team. I spent time learning more about Einstein Analytics and cruising the Expo floor.
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Which sections of the event particularly kept you busy?
The hands-on training is particularly interesting to me as I came up to speed on Lightning. I had planned about spending more time in Trailhead to ask questions and get some hands-on experience.
Do you see Salesforce changing the tech-equation with diverse acquisitions and new product launches?
I think the Apple partnership is very exciting. Being able to speak to Siri to update notes and tasks could drive higher adoption for all users.
How do Salesforce trends and technology impact your business?
Internally, Salesforce is a central focus because it’s becoming easier to create data with their new integrations. I believe the Winter ’19 Outlook integration is going to be very exciting for my team. No one wants to input data. They want data to automagically appear. On the client side, we offer a ValueSelling solution that integrates with Salesforce, giving clarity to opportunity pipelines for sales teams and sales managers. We must stay on par with market demand to play a significant role in our customers’ sales success.
How do you plan to extend the benefits of Dreamforce to your employees, customers and technology partners?
Glad you asked!
I presented my findings from Dreamforce at our annual company meeting. I seek our associates’ advice for leveraging these tools and ideas within our internal business as well as with our customers.
What are your thoughts on Adobe buying Marketo for $4.75 billion?
Adobe has enormous foresight. The trend I started to see, as I researched a new content management solution, was the tie-in to prospecting. This cross section of content, data, prospecting, and a B2B sales experience is an exciting one.
How do you see Marketing and Sales operations evolving with the availability and maturity of better intelligence and reporting tools?
I’m happy to say that my VP of Marketing and I are working closely together to ensure that our efforts are aligned. The new insights into our marketing efforts allow us to spend time more efficiently. I look forward to incorporating more metrics into our 2019 strategies and initiatives.
How much of that impacts your own work at your company?
It has numerous impacts: from ramping new associates to launching new lead generation initiatives to understanding the ROI on our technology stack.
Would you provide us your take on turning AI-driven and enabled by 2020?
My first experience with AI was while I was at Rosetta Stone. AI was very new, and I was given a project to build an AI persona and teach it a new language. I taught it German vocabulary; although our conversations were short as it only learned about 200 words.
“Gut Gemacht!” (“Well done!”) When I was at ChatLingual, we used Natural Language Processing. I was able to work with the IBM Watson team and learned a lot about the set up required. My prediction is that we will not hit it in 2020, but perhaps by 2022.
An inspiring quote from past editions of Dreamforce that you have ever heard?
I like what Jessica Alba said, “I don’t know,” is no longer an acceptable answer.”
Thank You, Julie, for answering all our questions. We hope to see you again, soon.
ValueSelling Associates is the creator of the ValueSelling Framework®, a proven formula for accelerating sales results. The ValueSelling methodology makes complex selling simple. This straightforward and practical approach enables your team to grow revenue, improve margins, and increase productivity. Since 1991, leading sales organizations have chosen ValueSelling for customized training, reinforcement tools, and consulting services that deliver measurable results. The ValueSelling Framework—it works.
Bill Hu joined Certain from Layer––a provider of messaging software for apps––where he served as the vice president of sales, leading go-to-market sales strategies and tripling revenue growth in one year. Before Layer, Hu was the regional vice president of sales at Gainsight, and director of sales for cloud-based sales performance management software company Xactly, where he led the highest performing team, helping drive company growth from $5M to $75M in annual recurring revenue. As a first step in moving Certain’s sales strategy forward, Hu plans to expand the sales team and welcome additional enterprise representatives to build the organization to scale.