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 Suresh Balasubramanian, CEO of LiveHive.
Nancy: What does LiveHive do? What problem/s are you solving for sales and/or marketing organizations?
Suresh: LiveHive delivers a sales acceleration platform that combines deep, real-time engagement analytics and advanced automation capabilities. Sales acceleration technologies helps businesses better understand buyers’ interests to adapt and personalize engagement according to their needs.
With automated processes, such as email templates, group email, and email sequencing, sales acceleration tools help sales organizations gain more time in the day, so they can focus on core selling activities rather than routine tasks.
By combining real-time analytics with automation, sales acceleration tools also give managers new insights into sales rep performance and activities, so best practices can be repeated across the entire organization.
Nancy: How does your solution uniquely address the problem (or in what way do other solutions fall short from solving the problem)?
Suresh: LiveHive delivers a complete buyer picture possible to personalize customer engagement and bring more value to the sales process. Personalization has become a critical requirement in today’s selling environment. With real-time analytics, LiveHive gives sales reps increased understanding about customer interests and, by doing so, lets reps engage with buyers earlier in the purchasing cycle and speed the sales process.
By looking at engagement and performance data, sales leaders can also quickly see what sales reps are most successful – and what processes they are using.This lets them learn from and repeat the best processes across the entire organization.
In today’s selling landscape, insights are key. With deep and comprehensive real-time engagement insights, sales acceleration tools empower sales organizations to make data-based decisions for planning their customer engagement and refining sales processes.
Nancy: What’s the most important thing that today’s business decision-makers should look for (or ask, or consider, or solve)?
Suresh: At this stage of the game, most businesses understand that the buyer journey has undergone a fundamental shift. The biggest need now is for businesses to quickly figure out how they will respond to this disruption. We’re seeing that the organizations that are early adopters of sales analytics are gaining the biggest advantage.
With greater buyer-side insights, these companies can establish relationships with customers at an earlier point in the sales journey.
This is giving them a competitive edge across multiple sales metrics, according to new research from Aberdeen Group. Aberdeen’s findings reveal that best-in-class companies that use sales analytics and automated engagement tracking software have up to a 50% higher lead conversion rate; up to 14% higher customer retention rate; and up to an 18% shorter sales cycle.
Nancy: What are you most excited about for the next 12 months?
Suresh: While at Adobe Software, I led the sales organization across 15 countries. During that time and up to today, the need for greater marketing and sales alignment has been a hot discussion point within the industry. I believe that with the advent of new sales analytics tools, that long-awaited alignment is finally becoming a reality.
Aberdeen Group found that the best-in-class companies are already aggressively aligning their marketing and sales activities around content development, management, and deployment for greater personalization. As a result, these organizations are achieving up to a 21% stronger lead acceptance rate, and a 36% higher conversion average.
It’s exciting to be at the forefront of a technology trend that is going to have a great impact on how businesses sell in the future, and I believe a closer partnership between marketing and sales will be a big part of that future.
Nancy: What do you think is the biggest underlying theme or trend for sellers and/or marketers in the next 12 months?
Suresh: Hands down the evolution of automation to build a more personalized experience. Similar to how marketing automation has helped marketing drive more pipeline based on behavior, we’re at the forefront with sales automation. Sales organizations can better improve customer engagement based on how their prospects are engaging with their sales content.
Imagine having the rep know what content they should provide to the client based on their interests – no more gut instinct, but real data. These types of innovation will help the rep focus on what they do best which is building relationships to sell.
Nancy: What would you challenge sellers and/or marketers to think about for the near term?
Suresh: I would challenge them to build strategies that continue to align them better. Marketing should no longer lose insight on a prospect once it’s handed over to sales. Sales organizations need the support of marketing to deliver on-point messaging and collateral that address the client’s needs.
Both organizations need the insights of the buyer behavior throughout the sales cycle. Sales acceleration fools that provide automation and analytics can help deliver those insights.
note: to learn more about LiveHive go to www.LiveHive.com