Dreamforce Interview with Peter Gillett, CEO, Zuant

Peter Gillett
Peter Gillett

“CRM products and related systems have become so complex that most specialists focus  only on their respective areas to the exclusion of the customer experience.”

What’s the biggest attraction for you at Dreamforce 2018?

Where do I start?

  • The chance to see the vision and product direction of Salesforce’s platform in the product keynotes enables me, as a Partner, to plan our product strategy. Also to hear the partner keynote ensures we are fully leveraging the power of our partner relationship.
  • Reconnecting with the Salesforce Ohaha – partners and customers – face to face, many of whom I have only met on web conferences, on the Trailblazer community and on Twitter. Nothing cements a relationship like an in-person meet-up at an event like Dreamforce.
  • San Francisco is a fantastic city, which I adore visiting.
  • Experiencing world class musical entertainment like Metallica and the other bands.

Who are you keen to meet and huddle at the event? Which sessions are you excited about attending?

Do you think the lack of innovation in CRMs is hurting the martech ecosystem?

I actually think that there is plenty of innovation at the moment, but the problem is that the technology is very much siloed with specialists just looking after their respective solutions. This myopic approach offers no holistic perspective from the customer’s POV –  The customer focus has been lost.

CRM products and related systems such as Marketing Automation and Content Management systems have become so complex that most specialists focus  only on their respective areas to the exclusion of the customer experience. It is rare to have these teams working together with an overarching formula to apply the latest innovations in unison. This approach retards the potential effectiveness of an integrated system to synthesize marketing and sales and generate revenue.

Do you think it’s largely because of the Buy versus Build delusion?

It’s fascinating how the market has changed over the last 20 years – at the start of that period there was a push to large, expensive centralized systems such as Siebel – in reality, this meant that innovation was stifled to a large extent, and the really long roll out periods, often measured in years, increased the cost and decreased effectiveness to shorten sales pipelines and increase profits.

Back to the present, we have exactly the opposite situation: a whole myriad of different systems and apps that do what they do really well in a narrowly defined brief. Now the challenge is to link them together, and, in a large organization, it is really difficult to find the right person with the vision to use these as the building blocks of a really powerful, overall system, with the end goal of creating a fabulous customer experience.

What is Sales Myopia with regards to data platforms? How does it impact productivity and revenue?

I think that more to the point is the view that marketing has nothing to do with sales in the field! The classic Sales Funnel should be a straight line from marketing generated sales inquiries all the way through to Inside Sales and Account Executives. All three must be connected and work well together to deliver an undiluted, integrated process running on the same system and working towards a common goal – to earn business and great the best customer experience possible to create customers for life.

How do Salesforce trends and technology impact your business? Which other sales and marketing technology companies have a similar impact on how you consume information about the industry?

Salesforce now has such a large footprint, particularly in the US market. This means our developments at Zuant are largely focused in this direction, with closer and easier data integrations; a development that will continue over many years to come.

What are your predictions on the way SDRs and AEs help customers make an unbiased decision while buying enterprise software?

The main thing is to recognize that complexity exists for both sides. If you educate while you go through the buying cycle, and help shape solutions that create real lasting value, this will help clients earn business, generate revenue and create positive customer experiences and customer advocates.

How do you plan to improve the adoption of newer technologies for ABM, Customer Experience and Content management?

On our own platform, we’re doing two things. First, to ensure that the latest Salesforce contact data is visible on the Zuant mobile app even when offline for salespeople at events and on the road. Once talking with customers or prospects, they will know exactly their profile and background and be able to deliver a much better customer experience.

Further, presentation of attractive content is another focus. We’ve done a lot of work to improve this in an exciting custom branded way – The next stage will be the ability to track customer interactions with content to provide feedback to the sales team involved.

As a serial tech entrepreneur, how do you see modern data companies coping with the imminent GDPR-induced disruptions?

Actually very well; and about time too!

Would you provide us your take on turning AI-driven and enabled by 2020?

That’s a tall order in the B2B world – there just isn’t the expertise in-house usually. I believe that there will be some good examples to create a ‘halo’ effect, but they’ll be in the minority.  I recently interviewed Dr. Merlin Stone on the topic of AI in the real world for my column in Around the World.

An inspiring quote from past editions of Dreamforce that you have ever heard?

I came for education, but left inspired and with new BFFs!

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

Peter is a pioneer in Database Marketing since late 70s with innovations across industries mixing business with sport. He founded Personal Public Address Ltd., which set-up Radio Wimbledon, Radio SIlverstone, and Radio Le Mans, all of which continue today. He has won the British Plastic Federation’s Award for Design and Innovation. Petere was a finalist in BBC Tomorrow’s World’s Prince of Wales Competition for Industrial Design & Production. He launched World’s first web-based CRM system for Lucent Technologies in 1997 and the 1st CRM applications for iPad in 2010

ZuantZuant is a mobile lead capture app exclusively designed for the iPad and iPhone. It’s an elegant and responsive native iOS app that can run with or without an internet connection. It supports fully customizable lead forms, with many different question formats. Zuant can attach photos to leads via the iPad or iPhone’s camera and scan bar codes for quick data-entry. It has a digital showroom mode allowing marketing collateral to be displayed on and emailed straight from the iPad.

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.

Share
Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *