Interview with RO|Innovation      3/24/2016

Let’s Get Real.

In this series, we interview sales tool providers and get real about the problems they’re solving and why you should care (or not).

This week I interview Jim Mooney, CEO of RO|Innovation.

Nancy: I ask guests to answer the first question using what I call the “You know how…” format. Tell us, what does your solution do?

Jim: You know when sellers are in a conversation with a prospect, and the prospect says, “I love what you’re saying about how your solution might be able to help me, but do you have other customers that look like me? I’d really love to see a case study or talk to someone about their experience and success using your solution before I make a buying decision.”

Anxious to keep the sale moving forward, the salesperson says “Sure, I do!” and sends a frantic “please help” email to a bunch of people within their company saying something along the lines of “Do any of you know anyone using this product, in this vertical market, with this company size? I need a customer who can speak to my prospect immediately so this deal can close!”

The problem with that scenario is it slows down the revenue cycle because the seller has to essentially hit the “pause” button until they can find the right customer to connect the buyer with. That’s where RO Innovation can help.

Our solution helps automate that customer reference workflow for the salesperson without slowing down the revenue cycle, so the seller can deliver the right “voice of the customer” content to the right buyer at precisely the right time in their sales cycle and drive those deals to close faster.

Nancy: That sounds like a problem worth solving (and a worthy solution). But let’s get real, sales and marketing organizations have a lot of challenges and they have to make choices about which to solve first. Why shouldn’t they continue with things the way they are if they’re getting by? What are the ramifications of not solving the problems you outlined?

Jim: I’d sum up the ramifications of the ‘status quo’ in two words: lost revenue. Not being able to put prospect on phone with the right customer at right time in sales cycle, or being able to quickly find and send the right case study or video testimonial or marketing collateral on a moment’s notice slows down the sale, hurts the buyer’s experience, and in some cases might lose you the deal all together.

While the buyer is waiting for you to send them what they asked, they may decide to move on to a different solution. There goes your revenue…
We hear lots of stories from people who come to us for help after doing a Loss Analysis and tell us they were able to identify a pretty hefty amount of lost revenue due specifically to the issue of not being able to source the right customer reference at the right time during the deal cycle.

It’s a problem that a lot of B2B companies face, but luckily is one that is easily remedied when you have the right tools in place, like RO Innovation.

Nancy: What types of questions should Marketers ask to decide whether solving this problem should be a high priority?

Jim: A few questions marketers should ask themselves include:

  • What marketing collateral does sales use during selling cycles? Is it different than what our buyers engage with at that stage?
  • Do we have gaps in the content and customer references sales need from us?
  • What is our customer reference fulfillment time and workflow processes? Do they align with what our buyers and sales team need?
  • How are we making content aligned with sales opportunities? Do we push it in a format that’s easy for the sales team to use?
  • Can sales easily find, send and track engagement on the content we produce to support their sales cycles?
  • How much revenue did the customer reference and marketing collateral we produce actually drive?

Nancy: What types of questions should sellers ask to decide whether solving this problem should be a high priority?

Jim: A few questions salespeople should ask themselves include:

  • How often are we using customer references in our sales cycles?
  • When we do NOT use references in a sales cycle, does it result in a win, loss or no decision?
  • When a customer reference or customer content is needed, how quickly can we get it to the buyer?
  • Can we find the right content and customers we need to support our sales cycles at the right times? How much time are we spending finding this that we could be spending elsewhere?

Nancy: This question is your choice. What do you want to answer that I didn’t ask?

Jim: I’d want you to ask about how marketers can make sure their content and customer references are aligned with sales opportunities and made easily available to the sales person. Research shows 70% of produced marketing materials never get used by sales.

What makes the RO system unique versus another system is the way we make content and the voice of the customer readily available for sales’ use. With our integration to major CRM’s like Salesforce, we are able to proactively push the right customer references and marketing assets directly to the opportunity record.

This does a couple of things: first, it aligns content and customer references with relevant prospect characteristics and stage of the sales cycle to move revenue forward in a proactive approach, and secondly, ensures marketing content actually gets used to validate the investment spent on producing those pieces.

Nancy: What should people do next?

Jim: B2B buyers trust the validation a peer can give them during their buying process, so it’s crucial that your sales and marketing teams cater to that in as many ways possible. I’d encourage your readers to check out our ebook 5 Ways to Empower Your Sales Team & Drive More Revenue, as it is full of ways to leverage customer references as a critical component of sales enablement to drive the revenue needle faster.