Tell us about your role and how you got here. What inspired you to be part of SaleScout?
I am the chief executive officer, reporting to our board of directors. I am ultimately responsible for driving shareholder value, leading our management team, growth strategy, and corporate vision.
In 1982, after exiting a business I co-founded in Chicago, I decided to take a chance on something new and I went to work for Neodata in Boulder, Colorado. Little did I know at the time that I would be paired up with great mentors who shaped me into what I am today. That was the beginning of a long career in Data Compilation, Analytics, and Marketing Technology. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the greatest companies in the space.
What I like most about SaleScout Data Solutions is that it is a B2B play. That space isn’t nearly as saturated as the consumer market, and there are very few providers of quality data. When I was doing my due diligence, I could see right away that SaleScout is different. They built their database using their own technology and unique relationships with data contributors. They were also fanatical about accuracy and focused only on key decisionmakers at businesses with 10 or more employees. That’s the sweet spot and it’s what everyone is looking for.
How do you bring ‘super accurate’ marketing qualified leads, and real-time buying signals to B2B Sales and Marketing teams?
We drive demand and accelerate sales across all stages of the funnel using automated lead generation systems that identify and alert customers to dozens of buying signals that occur in the marketplace every day. For example, executive changes, office relocations, lease terminations, M&A or funding events. We couple that with data about on-site technology by system type and brand to enhance targeting. Then, our research teams find and verify the key decisionmakers to ensure 100 percent accuracy before the data is delivered. This data is used for fuel in Outbound Business Development, nurturing campaigns, Event Marketing and Account-Based Marketing strategies. When companies lack visibility into target accounts, they come to us to fill in the “white space,” verify accuracy and keep records up-to-date. This solves a very big problem since B2B data decays at a rate of more than 70 percent annually (source: John Coe).
We are seeing an extraordinary increase in the velocity, type and amount of digital data available. There’s a lot of duplication and the challenge is to identify what’s relevant, accurate and valuable to the customers we serve, in the verticals they sell to. The goal is to identify businesses and decisionmakers that are ready to purchase enterprise technology, office equipment or services. That’s the data our customers want – and it’s our competitive advantage. We not only provide the most accurate sales leads for our clients, but also the sales intelligence necessary to close those leads.
In 2018, how would CMOs benefit from leveraging sales acceleration tools?
Purchase decision makers at companies are bombarded continuously by marketing messages. The CMO’s challenge is to punch through the noise, identify purchase readiness and serve up the right message at the right time. To be successful, they need accurate contact data, pinpoint targeting capabilities and a clear return on investment. Our solutions help CMO’s identify the buying signals and qualified leads that work best for their business, so they can provide the most effective content, grow pipeline and generate revenue. We accelerate the process by doing the research and verification up front so the sales team can get back to the business of closing deals.
What are the major challenges for B2B marketers in effectively leveraging webinars and events for building sales pipelines?
Webinars and events can be effective lead gen and lead acceleration tools. However, the market is saturated with these, and the investment in time and money also dictates that finding responsive audiences – companies who are signaling purchase readiness – is critical to their success. Our trigger based leads and MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) help companies like CenturyLink, Iron Mountain, Mitel, WeWork and RingCentral to increase their ROI from sales and marketing outreach by 300 percent.
What startups in the martech industry are you watching/keen on right now?
Conversica is an interesting Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based sales assistant. I like tools that help accelerate sales, and the potential combination of using Conversica with our data has enabled some of our clients to improve their ROI and accelerate leads to opportunity conversions.
What tools does your marketing stack consist of?
Our data is integrated with some very sophisticated marketing stacks at large enterprise companies. Salesforce and Marketo seems to be the most common combination of CRM and Marketing Automation, but these companies use many other vendors for processing, business intelligence (BI) and AI.
Most of our systems are proprietary including our production environments, AI and search algorithms, but we leverage Google’s Compute Engine, Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit, Python, Ruby, SendGrid, Salesforce, Salesforce CPQ and SharpSpring. We are evaluating other Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs) for 2018.
Would you tell us about your standout global digital campaign at SaleScout?
We use our own sales intelligence to focus our digital and email outreach. We target companies in industries like telecom, enterprise software and office services who need our trigger-based leads and targeted marketing data to build their pipelines. Our campaigns are US-only and vertically focused, targeting CMO’s, VP/director of demand generation, and sales leadership at large enterprise companies. And yes, we use our data and we practice what we preach. We measure success on lead to opportunity, and close/won conversions, and we get very granular in our testing.
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a business leader? How do you leverage AI technologies at SaleScout?
I let the data speak for itself, but we recognize that technology can only take you so far. The magic occurs when you combine high-tech systems and AI with eyeballs and human intelligence. That’s what creates exceptional lead accuracy, and it’s where we excel.
One word that best describes how you work.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
I spend a lot of time looking at financials and production data, so I rely on Excel and BI tools like Tableau and Looker for data visualization and analytics. I take notes and I like to create lists in my planner. The process of writing reinforces the messaging and improves memory retention. It absolutely amazes me how many people walk into a meeting without a laptop or pen and paper.
What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
Knowing how to carve up your day. For example, I’m more alert in the morning so I start with the tasks that require a lot of focus and analytic skills. In the afternoon, I’ll shift to meetings, planning, and more strategic agendas.
What are you currently reading?
I decompress by reading my Bible. It’s a great counterbalance to how I spend my days, and the answers to life’s problems can be found there. As a data geek, I am also interested in fractal geometry and quantum physics. I like reading scientific papers that push the understandings of mainstream science. I highly recommend “The Fractal Geometry of Nature” by Benoit Mandelbrot. It’s fascinating.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Buy Google. No really! Always have a five-year plan and listen to your instincts. Be fearless, but have the courage to walk away from the things that aren’t working for you.
Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Thank you Chris! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Chris leads the SaleScout management team, growth strategy and corporate vision. He’s a serial entrepreneur with 35 years of experience leading startups and large database marketing divisions within public companies, including Equifax, Experian, MDC Partners and EDS/Neodata. In 1995, Chris recognized the potential of predictive analytics and developed one of the first cooperative databases in partnership with Experian.
Headquartered in the heart of Colorado’s high-tech community, SaleScout has a singular mission – to help its customers exceed plans at the top and bottom of the sales funnel. Founded in 2014, SaleScout (formerly TermScout) is a B2B data solutions company offering customers unique data sources and sales triggers, combined with machine learning and human verification. Enterprise-level accounts in telecom, unified communications, cybersecurity, IT, cloud computing, office services and commercial real estate receive exclusive data on more than 10 million companies through the company’s suite of solutions, including ScoutFeed, MQLs, WatchList, targeted lists and contact optimization. For more information, please visit www.SaleScoutData.com.
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.