MarTech Interview with Jon Perera, CMO at Highspot

MarTech Interview with Jon Perera, CMO at Highspot
MarTech Interview with Jon Perera, CMO at Highspot

“AI and Machine Learning are boosting sellers’ productivity and effectiveness – and show no sign of slowing down.”

Tell us about your role and the team/technology you handle at the Company.

I’m Highspot’s CMO, and I lead our Marketing, Community, and Business Development. My work encompasses everything from our rapid global expansion and brand evolution, to partnering with leaders across our company in delighting customers with an unparalleled experience.

Which Sales titles would most benefit from SmartPage Technology?

SmartPage technology benefits all go-to-market teams by giving them context alongside content so they can have the most effective customer conversations.

Specifically, Sales leaders’ investment in SmartPage technology will give their teams guidance across the content, data, and web apps that close deals. Sales leaders can also optimize the performance of their teams through insights into their team’s use of content and Sales plays. Salespeople can become experts on any topic and win customer loyalty by adding personalized value in each conversation.

Sales Enablement professionals can improve Sales performance through guided experiences for training, communication, and more. Marketers can ensure their content is used to its potential and prove real ROI. Even our customers’ partners benefit – SmartPages can be delivered to channel partners, extending guidance to every participant in the go-to-market motion.

Recommended: Highspot Swings Sales Strategy into Action with AI-powered SmartPage Technology

Which Sales Tech platforms would it connect with – CRM, ABM, etc.

SmartPage technology has the potential to cover a vast number of use cases and integrations. While many tools use separate features and technologies cobbled together, Highspot is a single, extensible platform, which means it can integrate natively with a wide variety of go-to-market tools, including Salesforce and Dynamics, Gong and Outreach, Outlook and Gmail, HubSpot and Marketo. Our Highspot Everywhere technology ecosystem features more than 70 integrations, which give our customers a rich, best-in-class selection of technologies that work seamlessly with Smartpages.

How much has Sales Technology evolved in the last 12-18 months? 

Significantly. There is, of course, the increasing use of Artificial Intelligence in everything from content analytics to pipeline analysis. We also see the potential for AI to impact one of the Sales leaders’ most frustrating challenges – no-decision. However, AI is also well-covered ground, so I’ll focus my comments on the increasing heat around Sales Enablement. Gartner reports it is one of the fastest-growing segments of the Sales Technology market, and for good reason. Competition for finite buyer attention is fierce. Buyers expect much more. Sales and Marketing must be deeply aligned to succeed at scale. Sales Enablement helps companies deliver a better buyer experience, create alignment between sales and marketing teams, and empower their reps to be more efficient and productive, ultimately resulting in increased revenue and loyal customers. We’re increasingly seeing sales and marketing leaders recognize Sales Enablement as an urgent priority.

Our customers have discovered that content management – findability and performance – is only half of the problem. Content without context means little. What teams really need is sales tech that delivers the guidance to know how to use content to provide the most value in every unique situation, with every individual customer.

What kind of Sales data, analytics, and lead gen tactic does Highspot deliver?

Our Sales Enablement platform delivers comprehensive analytics on content use, engagement, and genomics. We can tell you how much your team uses content, how much prospects and customers engage with content, and how different versions of content collectively impact revenue.

Highspot also integrates with a range of CRM and Sales pipeline management platforms, like Clari, giving sales leaders clear visibility into the correlation between content and revenue.

How can Sales and B2B Marketing teams better find and convert accounts into loyal paying customers?

First, reimagine account-based selling. Technology and data are now available that enable teams to develop much more comprehensive, cohesive, and personalized approaches that appeal to end-users.

Despite the plethora of tech designed to help sellers be both productive and personal, the market is noisier than ever before as billions of cookie-cutter emails flood the inboxes of a few decision-makers. It’s no wonder 40% of reps say getting a response from a prospect is more difficult.

Companies must radically change their approach to account-based selling by building trusted relationships over time from the first-touch onward. This means that your entire Sales force – from your account development representatives to your Head of Sales – needs to be adding tangible, tailored customer value at every stage of the journey.

Second, you must empower Salespeople with the knowledge and training necessary to elevate customer conversations – prospecting needs to be treated as its own discipline and account development of its own function. Empowering reps to become trusted advisors turns account development into a strategic driver of business growth, as customer experience increasingly defines business success.

Are you using AI ML in your products? What do you think about AI in Marketing and Sales as a primary need to grow revenue?

Machine Learning is a core component of our platform, and we were actually the first company in our industry to patent Artificial Intelligence for Sales Enablement. We focus our machine learning on three primary areas:

  • Semantic search – We’re basically Google for all your content in Highspot, making finding what you need when you need a fast and easy experience.
  • Content recommendations – Our machine learning correlates content usage and engagement data with other intelligence to recommend the best content for each customer conversation.
  • Content Genomics – We have the ability to infer revenue impact and other outcomes of content that has many different versions. For example, think about your primary pitch deck. It will be altered countless times by reps. With other tools, each version is treated as a separate document, so you can’t determine the overall impact on sales. With Highspot, we’re able to correlate all the various versions back to the original source, offering a clear view of consumption and impact.

AI and Machine Learning are boosting sellers’ productivity and effectiveness — and show no sign of slowing down. This technology is increasingly important to modern Sales and Marketing. However, the question is not, “Do you have AI?” but instead, “What problem are you solving with AI?” The key is to apply AI to real business challenges where its impact can be measured. This is what separates hype from tangible business outcomes.

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

Jon Perera is the Chief Marketing Officer at Highspot, the sales enablement platform that reps love. As Highspot’s Chief Marketing Officer, Jon runs Product Marketing, Brand, Advertising, Communications, Strategy, and Partner ecosystem. Across more than 25 years in the software industry, Jon has held a variety of Marketing, Technical, and Field positions. He joined Highspot from Adobe, where he was vice president of the Adobe Document Cloud.

Previously, he spent 18 years with Microsoft, where he led strategy and go to market across Developer, Enterprise, Active Directory, and industry vertical teams as a General Manager. He also served as the General Manager of business operations for Microsoft’s international headquarters in Paris, France.

highspot logo

Highspot is the sales enablement platform that reps love. We empower companies to elevate customer conversations that drive strategic growth.

Our intuitive platform combines intelligent content management, training, contextual guidance, customer engagement, and actionable analytics. Go-to-market teams use Highspot to deliver a unified buying experience that increases revenue, customer satisfaction, and retention.

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.

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