Let’s Get Real.     3/17/2016

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 Yaron Zakai-Or, CEO of SalesPredict.

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?

Yaron: You know how marketing and sales teams have a problem agreeing about what makes a prospect qualified and how that leads to time wasted squabbling about whom to target and whether marketing is delivering enough good leads?

Well, the problem is that typically, the teams are taking an ad hoc approach to defining personas and identifying what makes a lead truly qualified. They usually make some guesses by assigning points to people in particular industries with particular titles taking certain actions on their web site, or they rely on incomplete lead scoring from their marketing automation systems…which is also based on guesses about which actions were the tipping point for a prospect being “qualified.”

What’s more, people tend to have recency bias, meaning that whatever big deal they closed last tends to stick in their mind as the ideal prospect, which leads to a lack of focus and mis-alignment between marketing and sales. We solve these problems with our predictive marketing and sales platform, SalesPredict.

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?

Yaron: If marketing and sales don’t operate together as a “smarketing” team, with a clear understanding of who their ideal target is and why, there’s no foundation for any of their inbound and outbound efforts and the company’s revenue and market position will suffer significantly as a result.

Think of a crew team where each rower rows at any pace they choose in any direction they want. The boat can’t move forward efficiently and will probably just spin in place. Aligning marketing and sales around a common, data-driven definition for their ideal buyer persona, ideal account profile, and what defines a qualified lead allows the team to glide forward as efficiently as possible, increasing conversions and driving more revenue.

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Nancy: What types of questions should sales & marketing leaders ask to decide whether solving this problem should be a high priority?

Yaron: Marketers and their sales counterparts should ask themselves:

  • Is sales satisfied with the quality of leads being delivered and do they need more?
  • Are our inbound & outbound efforts targeting the people and accounts most likely to convert to a sale? How do we know for sure?
  • Is sales overwhelmed with leads, having trouble prioritizing follow-up, (and are we losing deals as a result?)
  • Why are our conversion ratios so low? What would it mean for the business if they were 2x-4x higher?
  • Is sales confident in the lead scores we’re using today or do they ignore them?
  • Do we know why some leads and accounts are better than others, i.e., is our lead scoring a black box, and what would it mean for the business if we had hard data on what makes an “A” lead an A?
  • Are we ready to stop guessing at what makes a lead or account qualified and take a more scientific approach?
  • Companies moving to ABM need to ask themselves: how will we determine the ideal accounts to target? What’s the business impact of getting this wrong?

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

Yaron: I’d want you to ask what kind of results companies are seeing when they decide to take a predictive-centric, data-driven approach to marketing and sales.

The stories are very compelling. For example, MarcomCentral used predictive demand gen to determine their ideal customer profile and then we delivered them net new targeted accounts. They have seen 3x-4x opportunity conversions.

InsideView has said that using predictive lead scoring has helped them double their qualified pipeline and reduce lead qualification time by 9x. Another customer has called our predictive technology, “a lifesaver at filling the gap between sales and marketing.”

Nancy: What should people do next?

Yaron: Download “The No-Nonsense Guide to Predictive Lead Scoring” to learn more about the data science behind predictive scoring and how it differs from traditional methods. The free guide also provides a list of questions to ask vendors when researching predictive solutions.