How many times in the last month have you heard the sentiments, “Well, we’ve always done it this way”?
Hopefully zero, but the reality is that all too often we get sucked into the rinse-and-repeat tactics that we’ve used forever.
Even if you’re a creature of habit, it’s no excuse to become inflexible in the way you approach sales and marketing, especially when there’s so much technology available.
I was fortunate to attend an interview that our Group Vice President of Strategy and General Manager of Engagement Apps, TK Kader, did with theCUBE. During the interview, TK spoke about tech’s advantages and how to convince die-hard traditionalists to embrace new tools.
Technology Can Be Paralyzing…But It’s Essential
TK is the founder of ToutApp, a leading sales engagement solution that Marketo acquired earlier this year. For this reason, he’s acutely aware of the needs of salespeople and their ever-evolving partnership with marketing. TK’s used to hearing sales and marketing resist technology, despite the fact that it provides revenue teams the ability to do more efficiently. As he put it, “There are over 5,000 pieces of technology out there just for sales and marketing alone…The thing that people don’t realize is the game has changed, and it almost requires you to use the technology to stay relevant.”
And why is this key? “Salespeople have a tough job, and today they have to do even more and break through the noise,” explains TK. This includes the right call or email to nail the proper follow-up at the right time.
Today, to do this at scale, the only solution has the right technology at your side.
How to Make the Case for New Tools
To make a case for why technology is essential to staying relevant, it’s important to set the stage. Take a page out of TK’s book in how he paints a picture to the changing sales and marketing landscape: If you were a marketer, say, 20 or 30 years ago, you had two or three channels on television. As an advertiser, you would put down your dollars, and people would see whatever you wanted. Today, not only are there thousands of TV channels, there’s YouTube, which has even more channels within its platform, there’s still radio, there’s social…the ways to get attention are endless! What that means is there’s been a shift in the landscape in not only advertising but in how people engage with content that’s out there.
Revenue teams must pay attention to how people engage to do their job efficiently. As TK said, “If you’re not making decisions based on software-driven data-based action, your competitors are.”
You’re Striving for the “Oh, They Get Me” Moment
So what’s the goal?
TK gave a great anecdote of a time when he really felt understood by a seller. It happened in a small town at a neighborhood store where he used to grab a quick bite to eat. Even when he hadn’t been to the store in two weeks, the employees still remembered his name, his preference, and greeted him with “Hey, do you want the usual again?”
TK’s natural reaction was to think “They get me. I’m going to come back here all the time.” It wasn’t about the end product; in fact, he admitted that they may not have even had the best food on the menu. The key was the great experience.
A neighborhood store is a very different environment than, say, a financial services company. But whether your business is B2B, B2C, or B2-really-just-about-anything, a goal of an incredible customer experience that keeps people coming back should be your North Star. And, it’s technology that allows you to do this at scale.
You’re Not Alone!
I’ll leave you with this thought: no matter how daunting the path to adopting new tools and the right tools seems, every other marketer is going through the same thing! TK recently spent several months in Marketo’s EMEA headquarters, speaking with customers from across the region. If there’s one thing that consistent, it’s that marketing leaders all over the world are all striving for the same thing: to engage in a more authentic way. No matter what the geography or culture, everyone is grappling with more connections, more technology, and more data than ever before. And just like the sentiments of the Marketing Nation, we’re all in this together!
Want to Learn More?
Here’s the full video, and be sure to come back for more insights from the next video in our Engagement Economy video series with theCUBE. After you watch, I’d love to hear about what else you learned. Be sure to tell me in the comments!