Dreamforce Interview with Doug Winter, CEO, Seismic

Doug Winter, CEO at Seismic

“Buyers want to be treated as individuals, to have a fully digital experience, and have seamless transitions as they move through their decision to purchase.”

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What is the most exciting aspect of being a part of a cloud tech company?

I’m thrilled that we’re seeing the marketplace realize how vital Sales Enablement technologies like ours are to their business and how much value customers are getting out of our product. For example, Guggenheim Partners and Seismic recently won a Gramercy Financial Content Marketing Award for what Guggenheim was able to do with Seismic. Guggenheim made their marketing content creation sixteen times faster with Seismic. That is incredible time savings that is being left on the table for companies not using technologies like Seismic.

As a tech leader, how does attending and following marketing technology events amplify your business reach?

So often in this business, we rely on our own technologies and on technology, in general, to connect with other people. Be it email, video-calling, online chat, or any other of a host of services, there are so many ways to digitally connect that we often eschew in-person interaction. Conferences like this one give us the opportunity to actually connect in person and make deeper connections than we sometimes get the chance to online. Personally, I came away from Dreamforce very energized on the future of our space and the incredible people working hard to make Sales Enablement the next cornerstone practice in Sales and Marketing.

How do you think Adobe-Marketo deal will influence the technology industry?

Clearly, Adobe wants to make major strides in providing a single wholesale customer experience offering in both B2C and B2B settings to better compete with the likes of Oracle, Salesforce and SAP. Also, I think this ultimately reflects the facts that large enterprise software companies have realized that the B2B buying experience can in no way be less effective, personalized, and excellent than the consumer buying experience. Buyers want to be treated as individuals, to have a fully digital experience, and have seamless transitions as they move through their decision to purchase. Adobe can now offer a fully integrated suite of technologies to help customers facilitate that.

Do you think CRM is the most neglected technology stack in MarTech when it comes to building its core capabilities for Marketing and Sales alignment?

It’s tough to call CRM neglected when it’s both the largest and fastest-growing software market in the world. CRM is ultimately a data repository of customer interactions. One of the reasons why it is so valuable is that it is often a core integration for so many other technologies that help in the customer experience. We invest very heavily in our CRM integrations and are constantly looking at what the major players in the space are doing and how it can assist us in our efforts.

How do you envision the Marketing and Sales alignment for better Customer Intelligence at Seismic?

Platforms like Seismic allow marketers to have full insight into how sellers and buyers engage. Marketers now have the ability to see what is impacting sales cycles and what is actually slowing them down. That type of Customer Intelligence gives marketing a lot of insight into what content strategies to further pursue and what to put on the back burner. Now, we can truly understand how marketing is making an impact and how they can better support sales.

Tell us more about your recent launch, Seismic HomePage?

We are really excited about what it means for sellers using Seismic. The new HomePage is situationally aware, meaning that it focuses on relevant information for each individual seller and recommends next steps based on what is most likely to help them engage their buyers. With the intelligence baked into the Seismic platform and personalized content recommendations and next steps based on the seller and the situation, each individual seller has the information they need to minimize time spent searching for content and maximize time focusing on buyers.

How do you bring together AI, Search Analytics and Content Personalization at one place for better Sales Enablement and Intelligence?

This is something we’ve been focusing on a lot, especially with our new HomePage. For one, we recently acquired Zensight, an Artificial Intelligence platform that allows our platform to better help sellers find qualified prospects and share insights on sales performance. We also significantly enhanced our search functionality to include situational awareness, personalized results based on the individual user, and integration with Microsoft and Google for video and image recognition. The best search engines get you relevant information as quickly as possible, so with all of this new functionality, sellers can focus on buyer interactions and spend less time on seeking content.

How do you consume all the information on Marketing and Sales technology?

There really is a lot to take in, so for me, it comes down to trusting people. First, I speak with customers constantly. They are on the front lines on what Marketing and Sales technologies are really working, and what else they are looking for.

Second, we, at Seismic, are lucky to have an amazing team of people with different specialties and different areas of expertise, so I trust those people to advise us all on what the best and most effective ways forward are with the various pieces of Sales and Marketing technology in the marketplace today.

Which Marketing and Sales Automation technologies are you most excited about?

What Microsoft is doing with AI and Cognitive Services is fascinating. Their Cognitive Services make it so easy — anybody can really develop intelligent apps that take advantage of the latest in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. We’ve incorporated this technology into our own search function, so now you can search images and videos. We’ve gotten a lot out of leveraging this for Seismic.

How do you utilize Marketing Attribution technologies to justify ROI on your budget?

Within Seismic, you can see what content is driving the most interest. Our LiveSend technology allows you to see exactly how long a potential buyer is engaging with marketing content that you send their way. You can also tell within the platform which content is really driving productive sales conversations, so Marketing Attribution is something that’s very important to both what we do internally and what we enable our customers to do with our platform.

Thank you, Doug! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Doug Winter, also known as Doug, co-founded Seismic Software, Inc. and has been its Chief Executive Officer since June 2010. Douglas Winter served as Chief Financial Officer of Objectiva Software Solutions, Inc. He served as the Chief Operating Officer at EMC Document Sciences Corp. Douglas Winter served as the General Manager of Technical Operations at EMC Document Sciences Corp. Prior to joining EMC Document Sciences Corp., Douglas Winter co-founded Objectiva Software Solutions, Inc. and served as its Chief Executive Officer.

Previously, he served as General Manager of ONEWORLD Software Solutions California client service centers, establishing their west coast operations and also served as part of their global operations committee, responsible for formulating and executing strategic operations. Douglas Winter also served as Program Manager for Qualcomms 3500 series of CDMA base stations and later was responsible for the product certification and testing of the QUALCOMM Thin Phone (QCP 860/1960). He served as Chairman of the Board of Objectiva Software Solutions, Inc. He serves as a Director of EMC Document Sciences Corp. and Objectiva Software Solutions, Inc. Following his undergraduate work, he worked for three years for Westinghouse where he was an instructor for the US Navys nuclear training program. Douglas Winter holds an MSEE and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BSEE from Virginia Technological University.

Seismic Logo

Seismic is the leading global sales and marketing enablement solution, improving close rates and delivering larger deals for sales while increasing marketing’s impact on the bottom line. Large enterprises use Seismic to increase sales productivity through the automatic distribution of relevant information and personalized content to reps for any buyer interaction. Powerful content controls and visibility into usage ensures brand integrity and reduces risk. Seismic’s machine learning and analytics capabilities continuously improves the entire enablement process for large enterprises, increasing the ROI of sales content and tying it directly to revenue. Headquartered in San Diego and with more than 450 employees across the globe, Seismic is privately held by its executive team and investment firms General Atlantic, JMI Equity, and Jackson Square Ventures.

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The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.