VP, Marketing, SaleScout
In this interview, Jean Chen, VP, Marketing at SaleScout, talks about the state of Content Marketing technologies, the rise in user-generated content and influencers, and more about sales automation for B2B prospecting.
Tell us about your role at SaleScout and the team/technology you handle.
I am the vice president of marketing, which at SaleScout includes demand gen activities as well as brand building, PR and digital marketing. Our team is growing! We recently added four new roles. Like a lot of companies these days, our digital marketing and demand gen folks work closely with our SDRs and AEs to ensure we meet our goals.
What is the state of Content Marketing in 2018?
Content Marketing remains core to B2B lead generation. In fact, its importance is growing as the B2B customer journey becomes more and more self-service. Most decision makers and influencers independently navigate the research and discovery stages, and helpful, relevant content is often the factor that persuades them to reach out to a company or take their calls.
How much of this state is influenced by the rise in User-generated Content and influencers?
As always, peer reviews from other B2B stakeholders hold a lot of sway. UGC and influencers give these stakeholders another platform to share their experiences. It’s important that sales and marketing teams take these trends and platforms seriously, and learn how to leverage them and learn from them. Decisions at enterprises tend to be made in committees across cross-functional groups. Stakeholders and influencers from all levels of the business play a key role in tech buying decisions.
Which sales automation and Pipeline management tools do you recommend for better B2B prospecting and deal conversion?
We use SalesLoft and Pardot as our pipeline management tools, along with Salesforce as our CRM. We really like SalesLoft, as it allows our team to prioritize their lead gen and sales activities on a daily basis. It’s easy to personalize communications and track which tactics work best to share among peers.
Do you anticipate content-creation on sales technologies and B2B lead-gen to slow down or grow?
I anticipate this area to grow. There is so much information and so many technologies to keep up with that it’s a real challenge for most companies, especially start-ups. I am always seeking new ways to optimize my resources to create more content that is relevant and valuable. I believe good content is a differentiator and it’s important for us to help educate people on the changes and insights related to data, lead generation, sales intelligence and so forth.
How should CMOs better plan their tech-adoption strategy to enhance audience reach? Which tools remain ubiquitous for modern marketing teams when it comes to growing customers?
Marketing Automation and CRM will continue to be the core of a modern marketer’s arsenal. A CMO’s tech adoption strategy relies on the size and maturity of their company. As a start-up, we were starting from scratch – so we focused on the basic building blocks of our tech stack and marrying our tech stack deployment with influencer outreach.
What are the common mistakes made by content marketers in building B2B content for sales teams?
I think all marketers need to talk more with their sales teams. We often make assumptions about the customer journey, sales process and Ideal Customer Profiles that we need to revisit over and over again with input from real world experiences. Sales provides that critical feedback. As marketers, we need to better understand customer pain points and their objections, as well as times when the sales process breaks down, so we can create content that addresses these issues and gaps.
With GDPR incoming and disrupting data management practices, what change to your marketing strategy have you made?
I am more cautious about my outreach. We have the typical conditional statements inserted in our marketing, but I am designing strategies with more of an eye to privacy. The B2B world is small and we need to take care not to violate our customers’ or our prospects’ trust.
How do you work with Data Science and AI/ML for marketing and sales?
We have tested using AI for SDR outreach through Conversica. It’s a great tool that helps leverage the business development team without adding headcount. We also use AI and ML to discover and refine the data that fuels our core product – Buyer Signals. With this tech, we can provide our customers with the “signals” that show buyer intent and readiness to buy.
Thanks for chatting with us, Jean.
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