Founder and CCO, WorkSpan
Most businesses continue to struggle with unlocking the true potential of their strategic partnerships. Any successful go-to-market initiative requires a reliable partner engagement across the journey that helps the company better orchestrate their networks. According to WorkSpan, a leading marketing network catalyst, 60% of alliance Go-To-Market relationships fail, mostly due to the lack of coordination to make deal progress, unreliable data, and poor distribution of sales and marketing assets. In 2018, there is a serious need to understand the ‘state of Joint Marketing and Joint Sales’, and how companies can better leverage automation and collaboration tools. We spoke to Amit Sinha, Chief Customer Officer and Founder of WorkSpan as part of our TechBytes series.
Tell us about your role at WorkSpan and the team and technologies that you handle?
As the Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer at WorkSpan, I lead multiple efforts—spanning user experience, marketing, and customer success. At its core, I help facilitate a culture of curiosity to build persona-driven solutions for alliance professionals. The problem today is that alliances have been neglected when it comes to function-specific tools. This includes difficulty reporting, managing programs, and getting their regional teams/partners’ regional teams to participate effectively in these programs. But we see them, we hear them, and we have the solution for them.
Together with my team, we’ve created The Go-To-Market Network for Alliances, where businesses can engage, manage, and measure their joint solutions, joint marketing, and joint selling in a shared, secure, cloud environment.
What are the core tenets of your Go-To-Market network? How do you provide a competitive playing field for all your partners?
The core tenet of The Go-To-Market Network for Alliances is that it isn’t any one company’s network; it’s an ecosystem for all companies to discover and create new joint solutions. The network allows for cross-pollination of ideas and the ability to initiate new partnerships.
Once on the network, alliances can effectively coordinate, contribute, review, approve, and release their joint solutions to the market. This includes setting goals and raising funds, creating and sharing solution assets, tracking marketing activities and sales opportunities in real-time, and measuring results through customized reports that seamlessly integrate with their and their partners’ CRM/marketing systems.
The competitive playing field for all partners is built into the network itself. Remember: it’s not mine, his, or hers—it’s ours. Everyone has access to the same features, and the ability to discover and initiate new joint solutions. That’s the power of the network. With the acceleration of innovation in tech, companies need to rapidly build new joint go-to-market solutions to keep up with consumer demand and expectations. The Go-To-Market Network for Alliances allows them to do this—and at scale.
What aspects of Joint Marketing and Joint Sales do you see converging in 2018? What tech tools would you recommend for truly unified marketing and sales campaigns?
I see joint marketing and joint sales converging as it relates to joint solutions. In order for alliances to engage, manage, and measure effectively, marketing and sales teams need to be unified under their alliance counterparts. After all, their initiatives exist because of the larger, overarching joint solution. This requires a shared platform where each partner can integrate their own CRM/marketing systems, so that all activities and results are properly sourced and reported as they relate to one another—not in silos. That’s why we created WorkSpan, because there is no tech tool that does this.
How can collaboration technologies remove inefficiencies in marketing and sales processes? Which collaboration tools would deliver the best ROI for the modern global marketing teams?
In order for collaboration technologies to remove inefficiencies, they need to offer more than just messaging and file sharing features. Instead, they need to cover the end-to-end process a team or organization encounters when planning, managing and measuring an initiative. This includes setting goals, raising and allocating funds, assigning roles to activity owners, monitoring performance in real-time, and generating reports that feed in and out of each company’s CRM/marketing systems. Basic questions to ask of your collaboration technologies:
- Is it providing visibility across all activities?
- Is it driving accountability?
- Are results being measured, and are they properly sourced?
The best collaboration tool to deliver ROI for modern global teams is one that redefines what it means to collaborate. Ask yourself: Am I enabling my teams to work smarter and more effectively with this tool, or are we just using it as a substitute for email? If the answer is the latter, you’re using the wrong tool.
According to your latest report, nearly 27% use at least 10 marketing tools for collaboration. Do you see the number growing by 2020?
I see this number going up if collaboration stays restricted to mostly messaging and file sharing. The problem with most—if not all—collaboration tools, is that they try to be a “one size fits all” solution. Unless there’s an actionable, problem-specific solution that integrates across each company’s CRM and marketing systems, entrepreneurs will continue filling this void with more and more collaboration tools.
What are your predictions for demand-gen platforms and campaign performance tools in 2018?
I predict that better reporting will be the focus of these tools in 2018. Unless “drill-down” reporting is a staple, ROI will remain a vague measurement; lacking insight into specifics such as bottlenecks. Executives want to drill down and see which teams in which regions are performing best, where a campaign or program stalled, and how they can reallocate resources and funds to better-performing initiatives. It isn’t enough to know how good or bad something performed, you need to know why.
Also, I think a lot of demand-gen platforms and campaign performance tools have been focused on customer engagement, but few have focused on how the go-to-market coordination works so that the customer experience isn’t broken. We are that solution.
Thanks for chatting with us, Amit.
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