This post is part of a series of Executive Interviews of top sales and marketing solutions company executives. We ask the same questions of every executive so readers can learn about their unique positioning and their vision for the industry.
This week I interview Greg Sherrill, CEO and Co-Founder of Channel Rocket.
Nancy: What does Channel Rocket do? What problem/s are you solving for sales and/or marketing organizations?
Greg: We deliver tailored sales pitches to any audience, in any vertical, at any time. Channel Rocket is a SaaS sales enablement platform that helps manufacturers grow sales through their direct and indirect sales channels. We help deliver instant, customized content to the salesperson on any device – shortening sales cycles and increasing revenue. Co-Founders Tim Hill, Tim Votaw and I started Channel Rocket because we saw opportunity in the sales enablement space. As Founders, we have a combined 70+ years running global sales and marketing teams. So we recognize firsthand the challenges of selling complex solutions through indirect channels.
Today, when manufacturers need to enable seasoned or new sales reps, they typically provide a series of training events and hope that sales reps retain the information. Then they provide access to a sales or partner portal. Usually these portals are very large, hard to navigate sites that become a dumping ground of collateral and assets not linked to buyer pain points.
And these portals are used infrequently by direct or indirect sales reps. So the challenge that marketing and sales teams face when selling through indirect channels is effectively arming reps with compelling content that positions their products correctly against competitors and in a way that is focused on buyer needs.
We believe there’s a hole in the sales process – ensuring sales representatives have a compelling sales pitch at each stage of the sales cycle – a pitch that meets buyer pain points and matches the right solutions to the right buyer. Most sales enablement solutions only target the direct sales force or channel partners – Channel Rocket is built to impact both in one platform.
Nancy: How does your solution uniquely address the problem (or in what way do other solutions fall short from solving the problem)?
Greg: Channel Rocket is the first mobile platform to distill disparate content coupled with sales ready messaging and weave it into a relevant pitch. Our solution takes all of the training materials and collateral that lives on the portal and provides only the most relevant content for a specific sales opportunity.
With a simple drill down menu, the rep clicks on who they’re selling to, what vertical, what are the customer’s needs, and what solutions fills those needs.
And just a few clicks later, the rep arrives at a custom-landing page complete with just the content they need for selling to a specific prospect. From custom value propositions, relevant collateral, custom questions, reasons why, and even specific industry news. So the rep is knowledgeable before and during the sales call.
Reseller sales reps typically sell a range of products from multiple manufacturers, making it difficult for vendors to capture mindshare and equip them with the best selling tools. Moreover, most of the sales and marketing materials that manufacturers provide their indirect channels are not “solutions oriented” and not targeted at buyer pain points. According to Sirius Decisions, the #1 reason why sales reps fail to meet quota is their “inability to effectively communicate the value of proposed solutions.” And Forrester Research’s findings show that “78% of executive buyers claim salespeople do not have relevant examples or case studies to share with them.”
Channel Rocket was purpose built to address these problems by providing expertly distilled customer-relevant content for sales reps. With Channel Rocket’s app at their fingertips, including customized sales-ready messaging, sales reps are smarter, more time efficient, and can deliver more effective pitches – reducing the time it takes to convert prospects to customers.
Finally, we provide detailed analytics allowing management to view critical data on: user login, average time on the app, number of scenarios/drill downs, user content emailed to prospects, aggregation of most popular content by view/download, most popular drill-downs, content by vertical drill down and much more..
Nancy: What’s the most important thing that today’s business decision-makers should look for (or ask, or consider, or solve)?
Greg: The age old challenge of sales and marketing alignment continues to be a major hurdle to business success. Today, a whopping 75 percent of marketing material isn’t used in sales. And even worse, 65 percent of sales leaders indicated that their salespeople “spend too much time on non-sales activities.”
From our perspective, how can sales and marketing team up to drive sales through their direct and indirect channels? Sales Enablement technology is growing because of the pain points in selling complex solutions – particularly through indirect channels. And Channel Rocket is purpose built to address this challenge.
Nancy: What are you most excited about for the next 12 months?
Greg: Growing our customer base, building new Channel Rocket features and adding complimentary product offerings.
Nancy: What do you think is the biggest underlying theme or trend for sellers and/or marketers in the next 12 months?
Greg: Leveraging new technologies – not just more dollars on the same programs or promotions. An insidesales.com, study on sales acceleration reports US companies currently employ 5.62 million non-retail sales reps, and spend $2,280 per rep each year on sales acceleration technology. Gary Morris from Successful Channels comments that Channel executives spend billions each year in Channel MDF and Co-op, yet they still have a difficult time identifying and measuring what they get from this investment. Those are significant investments on sales and marketing initiatives. Aligning sales and marketing has never been more important and leveraging sales enablement technologies can ensure these investments move the needle on sales.
Nancy: What would you challenge sellers and/or marketers to think about for the near term?
Greg: Are you providing the right sales ammunition to your direct and indirect sales reps? And are you aligned on revenue, customer acquisition and retention goals and metrics? There’s a difference between what sales reps need and what they want. Working in tandem, sales and marketing leaders need to deliver what sales reps need for success, and then monitor progress and measure the impact of their initiatives on sales. That’s a challenge – one Channel Rocket helps to solve.