MarTech Interview with Doug Winter, CEO and Co-founder, Seismic
What is the driving force behind your latest tech funding? How did you plan to pull this feat in the middle of a pandemic?
Simply put, we’re experiencing a period of high growth and momentum right now. We’ve built a reputation as a best-in-class sales enablement and marketing orchestration platform. That said, we still have much more room to penetrate, and Permira is an experienced firm to help us realize the significant opportunity ahead.
While we were already having a strong start to the year, once the pandemic hit, it only made our tools and solutions even more essential for sales and marketing teams in an all-digital environment.
How do you plan to extend the benefits of this newly raised fund to your customers and partners?
This funding will 100% benefit our customers’ experience with the Seismic platform. Without our customers, we wouldn’t be the market leader we are today.
Along with looking into opportunities to expand internationally, we will continue to look at opportunities to enhance and expand our platform through strategic, targeted acquisitions. A good example is our acquisition of Percolate in November 2019 to expand the Seismic Storytelling Platform and our marketing orchestration capabilities. We also expanded our Partner Program and surpassed 100 tech integrations not too long ago – enhancements like these will only continue with this new growth capital.
It has become an extremely difficult situation for Business Operations teams when it comes to delivering relevant digital experiences. How do you overcome these challenges at Seismic?
We just launched Interactive Content capabilities in late August to help businesses deliver more relevant, engaging and personalized digital experiences. We use it in our own presentations at Seismic – it’s far and away a better experience than static slides or a PDF for your audience to scroll through. Using interactive storytelling tools can help businesses overcome the challenges of this all-virtual environment.
Sales intelligence and analytics have undergone a massive evolution in recent months. Which technologies and human-centric actions are driving the trends in salestech?
To understand sales effectiveness and efficiency, it is critical to boil it down to the human and non-human interactions that take place with buyers. In the past, observation and understanding of in-person interactions has been limited. During the pandemic, B2B sales has migrated to almost completely online and within the view of technology that can monitor, transcribe, track and provide insight. It is not that this technology did not exist prior- it did. However, it was unable or less likely to see all interactions and gain insight into what works on a large scale for all selling motions.
For examples, within Seismic, this played out in the massive increase in the number of LiveSends conducted which allow users to track how and when buyers interact with content that is sent to them via the platform.
Tell us a little more about your Work from Home technology stack for marketing, sales and employee communications. How do these tools / platforms help you stay on top of your business?
We use a little bit of everything at Seismic – Zoom, Slack, Microsoft 365 are staples, along with the tech of our partners like Salesforce and G Suite. But we also use a lot of our own technology. For example, an all-company email may also be found on the Seismic NewsCenter, and can be referenced back to at any time. We can update the NewsCenter page to add more resources or change information, instead of sending another all-company email every time, for a single source of truth.
Hear it from the pro: Which technologies are disrupting the global Marketing and Sales Technology market? Where does Seismic fit into this mix of disrupted Martech and sales tech automation platforms?
Typically, we see marketing and sales technology disrupters changing the way adopters go to market (i.e. the impact of the tech) but of course, it can have an overall impact on the tech providers and ecosystem as well. The largest disrupting force right now is the race to really understand buyers: their engagement with people and content based on the questions they need to answer as they navigate their specific buying journey. This requires truly understanding the interactions with supplier content and people, plus developing more interactive engagements with content and conversations. Any sales and marketing tech that is deepening this understanding and using AI to bring insight has the potential to disrupt the market further.
Seismic plays into this mix by helping organizations dive into the details on how buyers, teams and content are working together. Organizations can see what’s being used, what’s being engaged with, and what’s generating the most revenue so creators can refine and develop better assets. In addition, LiveContent allows sellers to take buyers on personalized journeys that go beyond a linear presentation, but are as easy to use as your everyday presentation software.
Please tell us about the future of online lead generation and how it impacts customer intelligence for B2B firms.
The future of the online lead generation is not in some elaborate tech stack, but in going back to the basics: a data-driven approach to personalization. Marketing teams that can provide their customers with a white glove treatment will stand out in the digital clutter. This can be done by strategically using intent data to create engagement at the right time in the buying cycle, while also communicating to customers the most relevant story in a voice and tone that resonates with them at their specific stage of the buyer journey.
It sounds simple, but to get to this stage, it requires a foundation of sales and marketing teams in proper alignment. Together, they can capture of customer voice across the buyer journey, which in turn best informs what marketing should be producing to allow teams to scale what works.
What kind of podcasts are you currently subscribed to?
I’m a fan of Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast.
Thank you, Doug! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Doug Winter, also known as Doug, co-founded Seismic Software, Inc. and has been its Chief Executive Officer since June 2010. Douglas Winter served as Chief Financial Officer of Objectiva Software Solutions, Inc. He served as the Chief Operating Officer at EMC Document Sciences Corp. Douglas Winter served as the General Manager of Technical Operations at EMC Document Sciences Corp. Prior to joining EMC Document Sciences Corp., Douglas Winter co-founded Objectiva Software Solutions, Inc. and served as its Chief Executive Officer.
Previously, he served as General Manager of ONEWORLD Software Solutions California client service centers, establishing their west coast operations and also served as part of their global operations committee, responsible for formulating and executing strategic operations. Douglas Winter also served as Program Manager for Qualcomms 3500 series of CDMA base stations and later was responsible for the product certification and testing of the QUALCOMM Thin Phone (QCP 860/1960). He served as Chairman of the Board of Objectiva Software Solutions, Inc. He serves as a Director of EMC Document Sciences Corp. and Objectiva Software Solutions, Inc. Following his undergraduate work, he worked for three years for Westinghouse where he was an instructor for the US Navys nuclear training program. Douglas Winter holds an MSEE and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BSEE from Virginia Technological University.
Seismic is the industry-leading marketing and sales enablement solution, aligning go-to-market teams while empowering them to deliver engaging buyer experiences that drive growth. Seismic’s Storytelling PlatformTM delivers innovative capabilities for marketers to orchestrate content delivery across all channels, and for sellers to engage with prospective buyers in a compelling, resonant manner at every step of the buyer journey. More than 600 enterprises including IBM and American Express have made Seismic their sales enablement platform of choice. The Seismic Storytelling PlatformTM integrates with business-critical platforms including Microsoft, Salesforce, Google and Adobe. Seismic is headquartered in San Diego, with offices across North America, Europe, and Australia.