There were so many sessions happening that it was physically impossible to see everything. Tough decisions had to be made left and right when hustling from room to room. Even during the sessions it was a daunting task to take in everything being said. There are probably people getting back from the conference who have a phone full of pictures of slides, surprised at just how many things they wanted to remember and save for later.
There were many themes that emerged during the Summit: account based marketing tactics, sales and marketing alignment, new demand generation strategies, and many more. Seismic was lucky enough to have two customers discuss the way they have transformed their organization in unique ways. Each one faced issues similar to those plaguing other companies, and the way they were able to solve those issues can serve as an instructive example for sales and marketing professionals.
Unleashing the Power of Sales Communication Best Practices
Cathy Rowell, Knowledge Management Leader at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, kept hearing the same complaints from her sales teams. They’d lament that “we were filling their inboxes with too many email newsletters.” As anyone who works at a large organization can attest to, emails can quickly become difficult to manage and navigate. With such a deluge of emails, it is necessary to prioritize, and Sales is more likely to value emails relating to deals they’re working than general marketing emails.
This was an important problem that Rowell and the team needed to solve because they needed the sales teams to be up-to-date on the latest happenings at HPE, but didn’t want to bombard them with emails that would ultimately go unseen. She and her communications team, led by Alicia Moody and Sandra Shagat, brainstormed on the idea of “informing and educating our sales team through access to news using a digital platform.” They eventually settled on a design that was “a cross between Pinterest and Flipboard,” she said.
Instead of searching for, or creating, a brand new platform, the team turned to Seismic, as HPE was in the process of implementing the sales enablement platform. Using the team’s vision and feedback, NewsCenter was born, and a new era of keeping Sales informed was ushered in.
Now wherever they are, HPE’s sales team can access a personalized portal that provides them with all the news they need to know. One of Rowell’s requirements was that the platform be easily accessible. “It was really important that this solution was mobile first. We heard over and over that while [reps] were waiting to meet a customer they wanted to have easy and quick access to news on the go.”
NewsCenter is fully optimized for mobile and lets those reps have everything they need right at their fingertips. That level of access helps them beat the odds—SiriusDecisions reports that 82% of B2B decision makers think Sales Reps are unprepared. Now, HPE reps are always up to date on the latest happenings in the organization and their territory, wherever they are. “People love having mobile access.”
Since launching to over 17,000 users, Rowell says there has been overwhelming support for the new platform. “The feedback so far has been nothing short of amazing.”
Improving Sales and Marketing Alignment with Technology
Nearly every large organization uses both a CRM and a MAP these days. Those two platforms are now seen as integral to the success of marketing and sales departments. But those two systems are unable to talk with one another and because of the disconnect, valuable information is lost. Sales does not have readily-available information about a buyer’s habits that they can use to improve engagements, and Marketing cannot see how their efforts help close deals.
Daniel Gaugler, CMO at PFL, was well aware of this problem and wanted to fix it. In his words, he wanted his Marketing team to, “add value at every stage, make it rewarding for the buyer, and be human.” He knew that personalized outreaches were the best way to connect with buyers and speak directly to their needs. Connecting both the CRM and MAP would give Sales and Marketing direct access to each other and provide the opportunity to meet the goals he had laid out.
Eventually, Gaugler settled on Seismic as a platform that could bring the disparate systems together. A sales enablement platform gives Sales the power to personalize every touch based on the information that Marketing has already collected about a buyer. Personalized content speaks directly to a buyer’s needs and provides them with solutions to their actual problems. With a sales enablement solution, Sales and Marketing work closer together than ever to engage buyers and understand their journeys.
At the beginning of his quest to improve sales and marketing’s alignment, Gaugler said “Personalization at scale was the goal. We want every touch to feel like it was created just for that buyer.” Utilizing a sales enablement platform to bridge the gap between Sales and Marketing allowed Gaugler to cross that goal off his list.