Paresh Vankar, CMO at LTIMindtree talks about the rise and impact of generative AI in this quick catch up:
Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Paresh – take us through your journey in the B2B tech market and tell us about your current role as CMO at LTIMindtree…
I firmly believe in the impact of compelling content in shaping perspectives. My journey has been guided by my conviction in technology-driven and data-centric marketing. Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege of overseeing both the sales and marketing sides of businesses. With over two decades of experience, I’ve held leadership roles at various technology companies, including a significant 17-year tenure at HCL Technologies, where I led the global marketing team for Next-Gen Technologies and Financial Services.
In January 2023, I took up the prestigious and riveting role of chief marketing officer at LTIMindtree. At LTIMindtree, our focus is to harness technology to address all enterprise challenges with a holistic approach and sustainable growth. As the CMO, I see myself as a growth driver, innovation catalyst, brand storyteller and capability builder. My primary focus is to establish LTIMindtree as a strong brand with unwavering values held together by talented and dedicated people.
As a marketing leader, working closely with customer teams and sales teams and especially aligning internal processes, tools and goals is key to driving unified goals and growth: take us through your tips and learnings through the years with regards to this?
Over the years, I have learned that the most crucial element to building a healthy team and an organization is clear communication. Leaders and managers must foster open and transparent communication channels between the marketing, sales and the customer-facing teams along with sharing regular updates, insights and goals.
Along with clear communication, I believe the following factors are needed to achieve organizational goals:
- Goal setting: Involve all relevant stakeholders when setting goals. This ensures that each contributing member and their teams understand the overarching objectives and can align their efforts accordingly.
- Utilize technology: Leverage marketing automation tools, CRM systems, and analytics platforms to streamline processes, track progress, and gain actionable insights. This enables teams to work more efficiently and make data-driven decisions.
- Cross-functional training: Cross-functional trainings and knowledge-sharing sessions enhance mutual understanding and collaboration. This helps break down silos and increase visibility into each team’s roles in driving growth.
- Regular alignment meetings: Conduct meetings to review progress, address challenges and align team strategies. These meetings provide a platform for sharing best practices, discussing new ideas and ensuring that all the teams work towards the same goals.
As an early adopter of generative AI, we’d love to hear your observations and takeaways and the first five things you would tell sales and marketing teams when it comes to generative AI and its impact on these functions?
Being a CMO, I have personally experienced the power of AI tools, and I am wholeheartedly convinced of their capabilities. Intelligent technologies, such as AI, effectively blend the expertise and creativity of CMOs with data-driven insights and scholarly resources. The AI engines are adept at capturing vast amounts of data from various sources, enabling us to save time, reduce costs and make more confident and bold decisions. Who wouldn’t want to jump in and see it for themselves?!
The rise of AI, particularly generative AI, has the potential for impact in three areas of marketing and sales: customer experience (CX), growth and productivity.
- Growth: In the last five years, digital B2B marketing has been transformed, and all campaigns now contain a significant digital component. But where an imbalance exists between investments and results, AI can fill the gaps, smooth the runway and empower marketing teams to drive their business forward.
- Customer experience (CX): In the realm of customer experience (CX), hyper-personalization becomes achievable through AI-driven insights, utilizing individual customer behavior, persona and purchase history. Leveraging AI in this context can accelerate growth, empowering sales teams with the right analytics and customer insights to capture demand effectively.
- Productivity: While AI will build our content and creative marketing requirements, harnessing AI capabilities will also bring in sales effectiveness. The automation of mundane sale related tasks frees up the sales team’s valuable time to engage more with customers and prospects. This results in improved cost efficiency while effectively infusing personalization throughout these interactions.
What cautionary measures should B2B sales and marketing teams take when implementing AI tools into their everyday processes?
Artificial intelligence comes with a long list of pros and is being utilized to enhance technology solutions and offerings, as well as the operations that hold the organization together. This level of significance and large-scale influence over businesses calls for additional need for data privacy and security. To address this, it is crucial to implement robust encryption, access controls, and data governance protocols to safeguard against potential data breaches.
Validating the AI models and algorithms being used is paramount. Understanding the limitations of AI predictions and ensuring the accuracy and reliability of models are essential for making informed decisions. Once AI tools are integrated, it becomes imperative to establish a process for continuous training and refinement of AI models. This ongoing effort ensures that AI remains effective and aligned with evolving business needs.
While AI can automate various tasks, it is crucial to recognize the need for human intervention and accountability. This may involve creating new roles and capabilities to fully leverage the opportunities that AI presents while following ethical and responsible practices.
It is also important to initiate regular auditing of the AI algorithms to identify and address ethical concerns. This process can help keep potential biases from inadvertently impacting specific customer segments or discriminatory practices.
Before we wrap up, can you talk about the five pointers you’d leave anyone in B2B sales/marketing with as part of the daily must-dos they should follow?
My philosophy revolves around the 3Cs – Customer, Confidence and Collaboration. Placing the customer at the heart of your strategy is paramount. Doing so with utmost confidence ensures that all efforts are geared towards meeting their needs and preferences. Additionally, fostering a collaboration between sales and marketing teams is essential for a seamless customer experience. The alignment between these functions ensures a uniform strategic approach and maximizes the impact of customer interactions, which leads to effectiveness and long-term success.
LTIMindtree is a global technology consulting and digital solutions company that enables enterprises across industries to reimagine business models, accelerate innovation, and maximize growth by harnessing digital technologies. As a digital transformation partner to more than 700 clients, LTIMindtree brings extensive domain and technology expertise to help drive superior competitive differentiation, customer experiences, and business outcomes in a converging world. Powered by 84,000+ talented and entrepreneurial professionals across more than 30 countries, LTIMindtree — a Larsen & Toubro Group company — combines the industry-acclaimed strengths of erstwhile Larsen and Toubro Infotech and Mindtree in solving the most complex business challenges and delivering transformation at scale.
At LTIMindtree, Paresh Vankar has leveraged his extensive industry and technology experience to build a global marketing organization. He is passionate about technology and marketing. As a technology marketer, Paresh practices deeply what he preaches. He has consistently strived to integrate technology into his marketing operations and data centricity in his planning. A thought leader in the B2B marketing space, Paresh instinctively recognizes the power of brands and storytelling. His data-driven approach has guided him to build stronger, relevant and ultimately, more impactful brand stories. He often speaks about the evolving role of technology, including AI, content marketing, and more.
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