SalesTech Interview with Eddy Swindell, Co-Founder, Sales and Marketing Director at Fresh Relevance
Tell us about journey in sales. What attracted you to start Fresh Relevance?
I’ve been in digital marketing for 20 years, specifically in the SaaS Martech space. Previous to Fresh Relevance, I held sales leadership positions at Responsys and ExactTarget. While working at an email service provider, I noticed an opportunity for ecommerce businesses to collect customer data in real-time and combine with content tools for personalization – with no integration required. As such, I launched Fresh Relevance with two co-founders in 2013 to solve this market need.
How different is selling Marketing technology products compared to other technologies, for instance IT SaaS and Cloud?
Firstly this is a highly competitive industry. I always refer to the 2018 Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic, now over 6000 logos of martech companies represented. I’m sure other sectors are equally competitive but Martech is up there with the fastest changing tech landscapes. As well as this rate of change there are multiple disciplines that are in the mix from web to email, apps, media, data/CRM, email marketing, etc.
This is a fast-moving, relatively complex environment. Marketing is both an art and a science, so it attracts people with these different characteristics. Typically we see a combination of creativity, technology and analytical skills in our prospects’ and clients’ businesses.
Tell us how you achieve Marketing-Sales alignment at Fresh Relevance?
We align sales and marketing on a number of levels from a tightly defined target market to seasonal focuses on industry sectors and specific promotions.
What is the Sales culture that you represent? Why is it important to build a Sales-focused culture for any business?
Our wider company culture feeds into our sales culture. It’s obviously very important to be driven and disciplined, but at the same time, we focus equally on putting the success of our clients at the forefront of our mission. This manifests itself in our sales culture in different ways. We focus heavily on industry and product knowledge so that every team member is equipped to really grasp a client’s business and make recommendations with a deep understanding of the industry that the client operates in. This approach has been invaluable for our business and how we cut through the noise of such a busy market with useful insight that our customers and prospects are excited by.
How do you achieve this culture-balance at Fresh Relevance?
We achieve and maintain this with a focus on some core areas, all of which blend tech and skills development:
- Sales Enablement and Coaching
- Evaluation of a clients business in terms of technology deployed and revenue improvement opportunities
- Presenting our proposition in a manner that’s highly professional and valuable to the client
How do you leverage AI and Automation at Fresh Relevance?
AI and automation are a key element of the Fresh Relevance proposition. In terms of our sales methods, we leverage AI and automation tools in different ways, including market analysis and definition, as well as communication planning and management.
How do you promote Sales Coaching to empower your Sales teams to deliver on the performance targets? What are the major pain points for Sales-driven companies in leveraging programmatic technologies for their own benefits?
Still now, with a range of advanced tools available that purport to help Sales organisations with areas such as automation and outreach, the biggest pain or risk is your messaging blending in with the noise created in such a crowded space. As a budget holder in my own business, I am constantly prospected very badly by a range of companies with Automated Messaging that stands out a mile as having no substance or understanding of my business. These never get any more attention than is required to delete a message.
What are your predictions and observations on the “Role of Chatbots and AI Conversations” influencing Sales journeys?
In the future, AI-driven chat bots may be useful if you are prepared to invest considerable time in training a model and if your website is so busy that your challenge is one of qualification over meaningful engagement with a knowledgeable team member.
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a Sales leader?
I keep an open mind and periodically test new applications for specific areas of my business.
Which events and webinars do you most occasionally attend and why?
I usually find events and webinars whilst researching topics that I am concentrating on at any given time. Recent topics that I have researched and consumed a vast quantity of material around include both industry knowledge and sales execution with a particular focus on motivation strategies, AI in marketing, SDR excellence and all areas of personalization.
Your advice to sales teams and members in the Adtech industry—
Become an expert in your field and share your knowledge.
Tag a person whose answers to these questions would like to read from the industry?
I fully subscribe to Todd Caponi’s openness and transparency in the sales process. Integrity underlines everything I do with my sales organisation and Todd has this in droves.
Thank You, Eddy, for answering all our questions. We hope to see you again, soon.
Founded in 2013, Fresh Relevance delivers an effective personalization platform for digital marketers to engage customers with contextually relevant content through email, web, mobile and social channels using behavioral and transactional data in real-time.
Eddy Swindell is co-founder and CRO at Fresh Relevance. While working at an email service provider, Eddy noticed an opportunity for ecommerce businesses to collect customer data in real-time and combine with content tools for personalisation, no integration required. He launched Fresh Relevance with co-founders Mike Austin and Pete Austin in 2013 to solve this market need. A digital marketing veteran with almost 20 years of experience in the SaaS martech space, Eddy previously held sales leadership positions at Responsys and ExactTarget. Eddy is a graduate of Kingston University with a degree in Business Studies.