This post is part of a series of Executive Interviews of top sales and marketing solutions company. We ask the same questions of every executive so readers can learn about their unique positioning  and their vision for the industry. Full disclosure, Nancy Nardin, CEO of Smart Selling Tools is also a Co-Founder of Hushly.

Smart Selling Visions

This week I interview Geoff Rego, CEO and Co-Founder of Hushly.

Nancy: What does Hushly do? What problem/s are you solving for sales and/or marketing organizations?

Geoff: Hushly is a software tool that helps B2B marketers to amplify content reach by up to 5,000% and increase close rates by up to 1,000%. We do this by uniquely enabling B2B marketers to bi-directionally communicate with their anonymous website visitors which represent a whopping 98% of all visitors. Anonymous visitors tend to be early in the purchase process—the due diligence stage—which is when vendors have the greatest opportunity to influence their buying decision.

The problem we’re solving is this… by the time buyers contact vendor sales, they are as much as 70% through the purchase process. B2B Marketers are desperate to connect with buyers earlier in the sales cycle because it’s much more difficult to influence the decision if they don’t.  Today, vendors collectively spend $44 billion on content marketing[1] each year, the end goal of which is to entice buyers to disclose their identity as a condition of viewing content. This approach fails greater than 90% of the time. That’s the percentage of visitors that abandon a page when presented with a web-form because of their desire to remain anonymous while they conduct their research.

Nancy: How does your solution uniquely address the problem (or in what way do other solutions fall short from solving the problem)?

Geoff: B2B marketers have gone to using shorter forms in the hopes of decreasing webform abandonment yet form abandonment is >90%.  The reason for this, is that shorter forms don’t address the core concern buyers have namely, they don’t want to disclose their identity until they’re ready for fear of being hounded by sales or spammed by marketing.

Hushly solution is surgically focused on buyer’s core concern. Rather than trying to force buyers to disclose their contact information on webforms Hushly empowers B2B Marketers to engage with buyers who abandon webforms.

B2B Marketers associate an invisible Hushly widget with each webform. It’s a simple process of cutting & pasting a piece of Javascript onto the webpage.  When the visitor shows intent to abandon the webform, Hushly activates a download anonymously dialog allowing the visitor to download the content anonymously via Hushly. Vendor responds to buyer’s inbound messages, answers their questions, shares documents and tracks activities of buying team members all while respecting buyers need to remain partially anonymous – vendors don’t see the buyer’s contact info but they get to see the buyer’s profile: title, industry, location, company size—information that Vendors attempt to collect today on a webform. This bi-directional communication gives vendors the opportunity to earn the right to communicate ‘live’.

Nancy: What’s the most important thing that today’s business decision-makers should look for (or ask, or consider, or solve)?

Geoff:  For B2B Marketers it’s the production of “stale MQLs.”  MQLs fuel the lead generation engine and if the fuel is bad you are not going to get far.

Allow me to explain, we live in the world of the hidden sales cycle where buyers are 70% complete with their buying process prior to first contact with sales.  So by the time buyers identify themselves to be scored as MQLs (right buyer profile + relevant buyer digital activity) it just might be too late. Today’s MQLs are mostly dead on arrival.

Hushly is an ingenious way for B2B Marketers to more effectively produce MQLs earlier in the buying process.

Nancy: What are you most excited about for the next 12 months?

Geoff: Being a serial LeadGen Pioneer I am most excited about helping to shape the future of B2B Lead Generation.

Like all Pioneers this off-road expedition is going to be super exciting:  forging new trails, finding early adopters, persevering  and winning over naysayers.

Nancy: What do you think is the biggest underlying theme or trend for sellers and/or marketers in 2014?

Geoff:  Generating more higher-quality leads effectively and efficiently has been the holy-grail for B2B marketers for quite some time now.  Leveraging big data technology to more accurately predict propensity to buy, revenue attribution to marketing analytics, sales enablement that can make a dramatic impact to a sales team’s overall success are top marketing initiatives of best-in-class companies.

Nancy: What would you challenge sellers and/or marketers to think about for 2014? 

Geoff: Research shows that today 98% of website visitors are anonymous and 70% of their buying decision  is complete prior to first touch with sales.

If your website requires buyers to disclose their contact information in order to bi-directionally communicate with your company, you are missing out on the “Anonymous-98%.” Your MQLs will mostly be buyers at the end of their sales cycle leaving your sales folks to compete on price like car-salespeople.

Research shows that the vendor who is first-in wins 74% of the time and does not have to compete on price. Find ways to engage with the buyers while buyers are still anonymous and when there is the greatest opportunity to influence their buying decision.

Note: To learn more about Hushly, watch a 60 second video or visit www.hushly.com.

[1] Content Marketing Council