SalesTechStar Interview with Joe Harris, Chief Revenue Officer at Whereoware

What can help eCommerce players drive better buying experiences for end users? Joe Harris, Chief Revenue Officer at Whereoware has a few thoughts:

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Hi Joe, welcome to this SalesTechStar chat, tell us more about your journey through the years and your role as CRO at Whereoware? 

I have been the CRO at Whereoware for over 2 years now and held many different roles previously that shaped my career.

When I first joined Whereoware, I was the only salesman in the company, other than the President. After an influx of new customers, I took on several Project Management responsibilities, including leading large web development builds. After obtaining my PMP and continuing my passion for ecommerce, I started leading our development practice and serving as the Vice President of Web Development, before once again returning to the revenue side of the business.

The time I spent managing development projects and being responsible for their successful implementation made me a much better salesperson and greatly shaped how I approach my current role.

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What are some of the biggest concerns surrounding B2B CROs of today in your view and what processes/salestech or revtech can help here? 

The pandemic has certainly boosted B2B growth, and the move to digital is increasing at a rapid pace. As a result, one of my main responsibilities is to assess the availability of new tools, technologies, and processes, and understanding how, what, and when to introduce them to help our teams achieve their goals. Determining the right tech stack is quite difficult for every CRO.

The necessity to move to AI and automation has landed front and center in the CRO purview. Though Whereoware has used AI and automation to be more proactive and efficient for years, today’s technology is a different beast than a decade ago, or even two years ago, in some instances. We’re always considering new tool adoptions to expedite our go to market strategy. We preach to our own clients that adapting to new technologies to stay ahead of the curve is critical, so we are drinking our own Koolaid in terms of implementing new programs and tactics.

At the same time, we are always evaluating and eliminating redundant tools and processes to streamline operations and ensure our sales and client service team members are providing strong value to new and current customers.

As the digital buying and selling marketplace becomes more complex and competitive, in what ways can sales and revenue leaders align better to boost the overall end user and customer experience? 

As 2021 becomes more complex and competitive, a strong sales team must employ a consultative sales approach – not just “take an order”.

Gone are the days when a salesperson just shows up or makes a phone call with an order form in-hand to process the deal. Today’s customers expect personalized experiences.

It’s much more important to have a strong business discussion with your prospective customer, understand their customers’ needs and challenges, and ensure you are personalizing the sales experience. You must effectively guide them as you sell by demonstrating how your services or products meet their needs.

By relentlessly identifying ways clients can use technology to improve their customers’ experience, sales teams are selling value, which boosts overall sales and customer lifetime value.

Last, as solutions become more complex and competitive, an effective salesperson must be a good storyteller to help paint a picture of what the end solution will be. They must help customers visualize the value they’re selling and how it impacts the future bottom line or end goal.

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As the holiday season approaches, what can sellers do to build stronger relationships and drive better ROI? 

Supply chain issues continue to cause tremendous delays and customers fear the unknown. They don’t want to buy something or commit to something that might not arrive in time for the holidays.

Sellers can and should be transparent with the end buyer about stock and product availability. Sellers can also use the supply shortage to their advantage by building stronger relationships with their customers by recommending complimentary solutions, item alternatives, or even work together to solve the myriad of problems that business owners have.

Hiding bad news from your customer base is never a good idea. By helping customers navigate the complicated landscape, sales reps prove their value yet again and form a true partnership with their customers.

Thinking beyond the holiday season and towards the future, transparency today will hone a stronger customer relationship in the long run.

A few best practices that come to mind specifically for eCommerce providers looking to enhance their buying experience? 

Reiterating the above point: product availability, inventory, and shipment status are important to keep in mind for this holiday season. Building customer service tools onto your ecommerce site, where customers can check orders, cancel orders, and make adjustments to orders is a great strategy.

Make sure your website is easy to use and simple to navigate. Offer strong personalized product recommendations and keep in mind, that a strong overall user experience is critical.

Don’t be afraid of experimenting! Today’s technology makes running experiments simple and fast, and the lessons learned from every experiment boosts your confidence and accelerates your strategy.

Don’t be afraid of experimenting with different calls-to-action, color schemes, landing page designs, whatever it might be. By constantly running experiments, you ensure your overall buying experience is best suited towards your customers.

Last, create a plan and seek out guidance from subject matter experts and consultants. There are thousands and thousands of solutions available to ecommerce providers today – the MarTech landscape has grown 5233% over the last decade! Knowing and understanding which technology to buy and implement is challenging and bringing in new, experienced perspectives can only help you make a smart decision.

Some last thoughts and sales tech predictions or takeaways before we wrap up?

 Sales tech will continue to grow: more and more companies are moving to cloud-based systems, buying online versus offline, and needing to evolve to meet changing customer needs. Personalization and experimentation are two areas that will take off, as artificial intelligence tools become more standardized.

How can you help with prediction and pipeline management? How can you equip your sales team with new tools, new products, and new services to help them do better and interact in real-time with customers? It needs to go beyond the Zoom meetings or Teams calls.

The reality is people only want to buy value. To maximize Q4/Holiday sales opportunities, Sales reps must focus on using every tool they can to build personal and valuable relationships with their customers.

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For 18+ years, Joe Harris has led Whereoware in selling, managing, and delivering award-winning B2B + B2C websites, data-enriched marketing programs, and mobile solutions. As Partner and Chief Revenue Officer of Whereoware, Harris propels revenue driving strategies to create long-term client and business value. Through his strong specialization in sales, project management, and technology, Harris is dedicated to bringing together effective sales and marketing initiatives to define opportunities for achieving Whereoware’s growth objectives and holistically guiding on-going client success.

Joe Harris is the Chief Revenue Officer at Whereoware

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