TechBytes with Tim Royston-Webb, Executive VP of Strategy at HG Insights
You have an extensive commercial background, tell us about your journey in Technology Intelligence. How did it begin?
While I have always been involved in technology, first as a Developer, then a Consultant, and later a CIO for a medium-sized enterprise, I was fortunate in the 90s to work for Gideon Gartner when he left Gartner Group to start GiGa, a competitor to Gartner Group that went from $0 – $65m in Sales in just 4 years.
Gideon saw an opportunity to disrupt a traditional market that had an outdated model, and this taught me the power of disruption and transforming legacy processes to help clients make better-informed business decisions.
Tell us how your experience as EVP EMEA at Forrester shaped your understanding of the end-user technology market?
Forrester was one of the first advisory companies to call out the importance of business technology. While others focussed on technologies and markets, Forrester chose to focus on the alignment of technology and business. This business technology focus surfaced rich insights into end-user organizational challenges and how technology could enable business process agility and support positive business outcomes.
I was fortunate to spend much of my time with the CIOs of large, well-known enterprises, and line of business leaders understanding their challenges and formulating best practice solutions together. It’s rare in your career to get a chance to discuss real processes, challenges, and solutions with senior leaders representing such a wide range of end-user markets.
How is the North American market for Martech and Salestech different from EMEA and APAC? What unique challenges do you face in EMEA and APAC?
While I operate globally, I am fortunate to touch every market, spending my time evenly in the US and Europe. Aside from the obvious differences in macroeconomic and regulatory environments, for example, GDPR in Europe, I see little difference. Client challenges, processes, and needs are the same.
The business fundamentals remain unchanged in that every company needs to grow revenues while optimizing their cost structures. The differences appear more between the scale and maturity of companies rather than geographic differences. What this means for HG Insights is making sure our intelligence is flexible enough to support every size of the company, while placing real fact-based, data-driven intelligence at the heart of a company’s Sales and Marketing decision-making process.
As a Chief Strategist for HG Insights, what approach did you take to transform your Marketing and Sales objectives quarter-after-quarter? What cue did you pick from other companies selling in the same space?
HG Insights is leading in many areas of technology intelligence, providing data and solutions to help companies solve their process challenges, so they can optimize their Sales and Marketing activities. This allows me to engage with, educate and also learn from the brightest customer minds who are engaged in trying to better plan, target and engage with their markets. This symbiotic relationship with our customers allows me to see and deploy best practice approaches to drive revenue outcomes. Naturally, we have deployed the best of these in our own business, putting our own data at the heart of our activities, from market planning and sizing, to territory optimization and account planning, and, of course, engagement.
Using our own tech intelligence has helped us drive over 50% growth across our markets. Experiencing these kinds of results in our own business and seeing similar results in our clients is what keeps us committed to using our insights and processes to drive change and consistently achieve aggressive goals for revenue growth.
Why do company leaders need Technology Intelligence?
In the 90s and 2000s, client environments, in comparison to today, were much simpler, CIO tenures were brief and IT change was constant. The world today is very different. Organizations are going through major transformations, such as moving from On-premise to Cloud, digitally transforming legacy systems and outdated processes. Efficiency and agility is the focus. Such change means identifying opportunities has become much harder, and engaging with customers has become more difficult due to increased competition.
But what if I told you that we could provide you with such granular intelligence on your customers and prospects that you could see what technologies they are actually using, what their infrastructure stack looks like, and how much your customer spends on specific types of technologies. And what if we tracked this all over time so you could see all the changes and get insights into what shaped a prospect’s decisions. That is pretty powerful information that we provide our clients today.
However, we don’t just stop there, we are also able to provide this information at a company, territory and market level so that our customers have unprecedented, fact-based insights that help them build better go to market plans, deploy resources more efficiently, prioritize the right territories and accounts, and craft a relevant message that resonates with their audience. That’s the HG Insights definition of real technology intelligence.
How does Tech Intelligence help Sales Managers, Account Executives, and SDRs?
Knowing where best to focus, where the opportunity is greatest, where competitors are weak and where you have the best chance of winning are some of the key challenges for Sales and Marketing alike. Technology intelligence provides your Sales teams with the answers to these questions, ensuring their time and impact are optimized.
What makes your Tech Intelligence different?
HG Insights produces intelligence on a global scale without bias, using a scalable process based on advanced Data Science. Our ability to profile the IT and communications infrastructure decisions of end-user companies is without equal. For companies looking to optimize their Sales and Marketing activities, whether, on a global or local scale, deep and insightful technology intelligence that analyzes companies based on a consistent set of facts is key.
While having the right data is one thing, technology intelligence is only useful if it can deliver insights into the heart of a customer’s process. At HG Insights, we have developed tools that enable rapid assimilation of intelligence into existing client processes, as operationalizing the insights is what drives transformational benefits.
How does Tech Intelligence help companies make better business decisions?
By integrating our technology intelligence into a client’s process, we provide business leaders with an effective way to make informed, timely and fact-based decisions. Just as important, we provide decision-makers with a line of sight through the data from planning decision to execution. The ability to analyze markets, and build territories and engagement strategies on a single trusted, verifiable data source is critical to transforming Sales and Marketing effectiveness.
At HG Insights, we deliver tech intelligence that’s easy to integrate into a company’s processes and applications, so it can be used throughout an organization for anything from strategic planning to tactical campaign execution.
In today’s challenging times, tech intelligence is actually helping companies fill in their demand gen gaps. This is because tech Intelligence allows companies to shift their outreach toward digital campaigns, and quickly re-prioritize their virtual selling efforts on accounts with the highest likelihood to buy. The detailed insight into a company’s tech stack also enables Sales and Marketing teams to use much more specific and relevant messaging that helps generate opportunities. Here’s a blog post on the subject which we hope is helpful for readers.
What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?
My focus is more on industry and client developments. There is currently an insatiable desire for more and more timely and granular data in the industry to try and gain a competitive advantage and to make sense of changing end-user environments. As more data sources appear to try and fill this need, data platforms are evolving with the promise of joining these many sources of unstructured data to make sense of it all.
The problem with this is the Martech stack is just getting bigger and more complex with some clients hoping technology can sort out the inevitable data hairballs that come from having multiple data sources. HG Insights has taken a process-led approach, bringing intelligence together in a structured form through process-aligned tools to enable very specific Sales and Marketing use cases. After all, intelligence in itself does not bring benefits.
Operationalizing it within client processes is where the benefits really happen. The problem for many data providers is that they either don’t understand this need or do not have a broad enough offer to be able to apply themselves through a process-based solution.
Over his 20+ year career, Tim has served as a leader overseeing the go-to-market, strategy and global revenue areas for several business intelligence organizations including Forrester, Ovum, GlobalData, Datamonitor and Informa Business Information. Tim was most recently the founder and CEO of Pivotal iQ which was acquired by HG Insights in 2018.
Tim is a big data thinker with an analytical mindset. He is a thought leader on IT Spend and propensity modeling, and his current focus is on redefining the traditional thinking of sales and marketing professionals, working for IT and communications vendors and service providers, and educating them on how data can transform traditional sales and marketing processes to drive improved business outcomes.
HG Insights is the global leader in technology intelligence. Every day, HG Insights uses advanced data science methodologies to process billions of unstructured digital documents to produce the world’s best technology installation information, IT spend and contract intelligence. The world’s largest technology firms and fastest-growing companies achieve a tremendous advantage by using HG Insights to accelerate their sales, marketing, and strategy efforts. This is powerful information you can use to out-market, out-sell, and out-grow your competition.