It has taken years, but all the same shifts that have happened in marketing — from one-way messaging to personalized, data-driven campaigns and account-based approaches — are finally hitting sales teams, according to the CEO of Groove.co.
The San Francisco-based firm, which makes applications to assist with sales enablement within companies, recently launched an integration with Gmail that would allow sales reps to access templates and other assets without leaving the online e-mail client. It may sound like a simple thing, but it speaks to how sales teams are becoming more willing to embrace digital tools if they are offered with ease and value in mind, according to Groove.co’s Chris Rothstein.
“Just over the last two years, we’ve been seeing the difference where the conversation is going from, ‘We just want to know the basics of who we’re talking to,’ to much more scientific approaches (to sales),” he told B2B News Network. “They’re looking into A/B testing on their messaging and information and about attribution to see which calls are leading to the best outcomes. Where do the leads come from? All of these things, people are getting far more into that.”
Rothstein said the change in attitude is being driven in large part by the evolution of corporate marketers, who might now look at a specific list of the top 1,000 customers they want to acquire. That focus, along with techniques like account-based marketing (ABM), are reducing the historical conflicts between marketing and sales.
“ABM changes the strategy and gives you a common language. There is less of this ambiguity and one side blaming the other. There are more shared goals,” he said. “Everything happening in marketing in the last 10 yeas is shifting and sales is starting to do their version of it — looking at flows, cadences, multiple-touch campaigns.”
In fact, Groove.co is seeing newer sales organizations moving to what Rothstein called a “pod structure” where outbound reps are working in conjunction with their inbound counterparts along with a sales engineer and support staff to go after more challenging prospects. This deeper collaboration makes it easier to introduce new ideas, compared to the old days where a top-performing rep working on their own might not want to change their behavior, he said.
As account-based sales gains traction, Rothstein predicted a rep who handles a dozen or so clients today will be able to take on an order of magnitude more. That’s because the more data-driven way of selling involves marketing teams earlier and more directly to feed content and pursue tactics that nurture leads more effectively.
Whereas the tools Groove.co makes have often been used in strategic account sales, for instance, the company is betting on broader adoption as it builds out new features and functions. This includes add-ons to other productivity applications and CRM systems, he said.
“The more integrations, the better,” he said. “You want to create a place where everyone is seeing the same data.”