Michael McGowan, Senior Vice President of Sales and Account Services at Aidentified chats with SalesTechStar on what it takes to optimize sales processes and salestech practices in a typical B2B environment in this quick catch-up:
Hi Michael, welcome to this SalesTechStar chat. Tell us more about your journey through the years and more about your role at Aidentified…what’s your journey been like since you started?
Thanks for having me! Before joining Aidentified, I spent nine years serving in the Marines, then went on to spend 14 years at various companies in financial services. I found myself getting involved on the technical side of things; whether it was part of an advisory committee, presenting at company meetings or sharing information on a company’s intranet, I was demonstrating how technology could be deployed and the business benefits these solutions provided.
About five years ago, I moved into the tech space and spent time at two real estate technology companies, running the channel program at one, and then all sales and marketing initiatives at the other. These experiences helped me prepare for my role at Aidentified, which users can think of as a social network for companies. The platform aggregates personal and professional data, liquidity events and company news to give sales teams the most robust, real-time insight into high-quality prospects. It also shows possible connection paths to prospects based on Aidentified’s relationship mapping technology. Since joining the team earlier this year, I’ve been inspired by my colleagues—everyone is always thinking creatively about pushing the envelope when it comes to our product and the types of organizations and institutions with whom we want to partner.
When it comes to B2B sales, what are some of the biggest challenges you see teams face when it comes to keeping healthy lead pipelines and maintaining lead quality?
The key part is keeping a healthy pipeline, but as any salesperson knows, lead generation—in any industry—can be overwhelming. For example, Zillow sells 32 million leads per year, but there’s only about six million home sales; there’s just an abundance of leads. This results in sales teams’ biggest challenge: engagement and follow up. Crafting a personalized follow up message is hard, and salespeople don’t want to pester prospects. Follow up is made more challenging when sales teams are using bad data that has outdated information and impedes salespeople from making the right connections, creating more frustration. It’s crucial that sales teams are leveraging data that combines personal and professional information so follow up processes are more streamlined and lead to connection, conversation and, hopefully, a sale.
In your view, what kind of sales technologies and platforms are crucial to sales teams and B2B sales structures today? How can sales leaders help their teams drive more sales success with better use of salestech?
Sales tech needs to be intuitive and provide sales teams with accurate data that makes it easy for salespeople to make connections and schedule conversations that will lead to business. Technology that is intuitive and shows who a connection is, their lead preferences and any mutual connections between a salesperson and a prospect will take hold.
For sales teams to be successful, sales leaders must set the example. It’s great if a salesperson loves technology and wants to leverage it, but if leadership isn’t adopting the tech itself to be a ringleader and coach their staff on how to best leverage the tech, it’s a huge miss. Sales leaders may be hesitant to adopt technology, but if they’re able to embrace these solutions and show how powerful connections can be, productivity among the team will skyrocket. And, since sales leaders have been in the business longer than recent hires, they have more contacts to begin with. Coupling technology solutions with connections can help sales leaders empower their teams to be more successful, leading to better rapport between leaders and team members.
To a team looking to revamp their salestech stack in 2022: what tips would you share?
As the old saying goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. For teams looking to revamp their salestech stack in the coming year, it’s important to look for solutions that enable and enhance relationships and, ideally, shave time off the prospect research phase. From AI-powered prospect finding and relationship mapping to a CRM that works on nurturing leads and prospects, those solutions will be key to success. Salespeople know that for every lead they have in their database, only a certain percentage will convert. The right technology will give salespeople the right information at the right time to build relationships with prospects, so that teams can increase the percentage of leads that become deals.
As B2B sales trends evolve, what are some top thoughts and predictions that you have in mind for 2022 and beyond?
In 2022 and the years beyond, artificial intelligence (AI) is going to drive B2B sales. The technology that provides relationship intelligence and relationship mapping is driven by AI and machine learning, so that salespeople can leverage the data to make smarter prospecting decisions. AI will make it simpler to connect and predict prospects’ activity (like wealth events, job roles changes, etc.), so sales teams know when it’s best to engage.
Even when a lead comes through, AI technology can help salespeople decide which leads to prioritize. For example, if a salesperson is on a call and a lead comes through, AI can qualify the lead to determine the priority level and a clear path for engagement, so the salesperson doesn’t have to spend hours figuring out who to contact or with whom to follow up. And, as the technology evolves, it will continue to learn what factors make up a high-quality lead and empower teams to make the right connections at the right time with the right information.
And of course, also thoughts and predictions on the future of salestech?
The future of salestech will be built on integration. Currently, companies have lots of information about their users, but most of that information is surface level. With deep integration that allows tech to work together, salespeople will be able to make connections that go beyond the surface to build relationships with their prospects and customers. And AI will continue to be a big part of the future of salestech, helping companies and sales teams be more intuitive.
Some last thoughts and takeaways before we wrap up?
What I’m most excited about as I continue growing with Aidentified is teaching our sales team about how our own platform is our best prospecting tool for new business. By leveraging our technology, we can find our own leads and prospects, and show them how we were able to find and engage them—seeing prospects’ “aha!” moment when they see our platform in action will be key to growing our customer base. If you’re interested in being a part of our team, we’re hiring!
Aidentified is the leader in AI-powered relationship-based prospecting, uniquely combining professional and household data to offer brands a 360º view of business prospects and the best path for engagement. With its proprietary algorithms – fed by 210 million consumer and 100 million professional U.S. profiles and powered by the latest AI and machine learning techniques – Aidentified provides organizations with unparalleled insights into prospect behavior, real-time wealth events and nuanced relationship intelligence mapping. Brands across industries, including financial services, real estate, insurance, enterprise, non-profit, education and luxury, rely on Aidentified to connect with hyper-targeted, qualified prospects faster. Aidentified was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in Boston.
Mike has a proven leadership track record with over 25 years spent between the United States Marine Corps, financial services companies, PropTech and board membership. After eight plus years in the Marines in the Intelligence field, Mike built sales organizations from the ground up at financial giants Northwestern Mutual Life and Transamerica. Mike moved into the Real Estate Tech world and spent five years growing strategic partner and channel growth, ultimately taking over the sales and marketing teams of Chime that grew six times over a two-and-a-half-year period.
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