George Donovan, Chief Revenue Officer at Allego chats about a few top sales and marketing predictions he has in mind for 2021 while taking us through the core benefits of the Allego platform in this chat:
Tell us a little about yourself George…we’d love to hear about your role as CRO at Allego?
I’ve been in sales and marketing for over 20 years now and at Allego for almost six of those as the Chief Revenue Officer. I’m what you’d call a sales enablement enthusiast — I love working with new technology and innovative approaches to make sales teams more successful. I spend a lot of my time on team-building and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
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As CRO, the end goal is to increase revenue streams from new and existing customers. But our paradigm of sales success has shifted to where it’s not necessarily specific to the individual, or about “who” sells the most anymore. At Allego, we try to take a more holistic approach and create an environment where the success of the team — rather than the individual — is the indicator for a successful business. Similarly, I’m also focused on keeping our sales and marketing teams aligned to maximize output and business results.
Take us through some of the top marketing / sales technologies and tools that you use (or have used) to drive more impact through the years?
Without sounding too self-serving, the Allego platform has been instrumental in keeping our sales and marketing teams informed, connected and productive, especially while everyone is working remotely. Our learning and enablement platform does this by giving teams easy access to relevant content and collaboration in the flow of their daily work. Reps can access bite-sized videos – everything from insights and best practices from top sales reps to strategies on how to use new content from the marketing team, PDFs, sales collateral, podcasts, etc. through their mobile device or laptop. The Allego platform acts as a central repository for all things sales enablement, allowing reps to find the most relevant content when it’s needed most.
Where we use our own platform for meatier, long-form communication, Allego utilizes Slack for quick and simple communication, including updates and questions, or as a secondary alert to new, fresh content on the Allego platform. It may seem counterintuitive, and we receive this question from prospective clients often, but we see the value in the collaborative impact of both Slack and Allego when they work in tandem.
We’d love to dive into your team process and structure at Allego: how has it been since the pandemic hit and what were some of the key changes that helped enable better business output and balance during this time?
Our team, like many around the world, has felt the impact of social distancing. We’re fortunate to have our own platform to keep the team connected. While we can’t share insights on the sales floor these days, the team uses Allego to share short videos highlighting win stories and best practices.
Our team has also added one-on-one coaching to help employees get the support they need to remain successful and connected. Since March 2020, I have continued to meet with and coach ADRs and AEs on a rotating basis.
In addition to utilizing our platform for company-wide communication, we’ve added daily and weekly “huddles” for our rookie, intermediate and veteran sellers. These 15-minute team calls enable us to create plans of attack, resulting in overall comradery and work-life balance. Furthermore, “huddles” encourage routine, including getting up, dressed and prepared for the day.
The Allego culture prioritizes our employees’ mental and physical wellbeing. Our executive team, starting with our CEO, has clearly emphasized that employees should schedule time during their day to attend to child care or other family needs to ensure balance. We’re also continually looking at ways to reduce unnecessary meetings and make others more effective.
Finally, we want to make sure the team stays engaged and connected to one another. We’ve enjoyed several virtual events including wine tasting, paint night, an escape room, chocolate tasting and meditation that allows us to have some fun and see Allego coworkers that we may not work with every day. We’ve also hosted a few in-person events that allowed social distancing, including blueberry picking and a lunch in our company parking lot with a food truck and oysters.
What are some of the top marketing or sales predictions that you’d like to highlight for 2021?
Remote work is, for the most part, staying around, and if companies haven’t found ways to grow and adapt to it, they may not last much longer. Asynchronous video will play a key role in virtual coaching, communicating product and company updates, sharing best practices among teams, and communicating with prospects and customers. With Zoom fatigue setting in, bite-sized videos shared through asynchronous video allow sales and marketing professionals to view videos on their own schedule and leave comments in the timeline.
Another big trend for 2021 is AI for virtual coaching and sales enablement. The latest AI technology can analyze role plays and practice talk tracks and make coaching recommendations to sales managers. Managers can utilize AI for specific sales enablement initiatives to ensure reps are using consistent product messaging and differentiation and identify reps who may need more coaching. It isn’t possible for managers to review hundreds of practice videos and give feedback. Particularly in this virtual world, where managers struggle to provide
coaching to reps when they can’t be together in-person, these AI capabilities help ease some of the burden.
Take us through some of your most successful revenue plans and campaigns and learnings that came from it?
The months of January, February and March are widely known as “sales kickoff season” — most teams have meetings and/or kick-off events to rally their sales team and educate them on what’s ahead for the new year. In Q4 of 2020, we led campaigns to help our customers better understand and prepare for their virtual kick off events with Allego. Our platform allowed executive teams to provide employees with content before and after the live, virtual event that they could watch on their own time, becoming the content repository for all things related to the event. We learned that done correctly, some of our customers actually preferred elements of a virtual sales kickoff and told us they’ll continue to offer prework, reinforcement after the meeting, and some asynchronous content during the main event when we’re able to return to in-person meetings.
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