SalesTech Star

SalesTechStar Interview with James Piper, SVP of Sales and Operations at Quintesse

Marketing and sales leaders who ensure that they avoid the ‘’one size fits all’’ approach are the ones who can shorten buying cycles while creating deeper customer relationships. But what does it take to optimize your sales messaging to suit different prospect personas and purposes? James Piper, SVP of Sales and Operations at Quintesse has some tips:


Hi James, we’d love to hear about your journey through the years…tell us more about your role at Quintesse?

In the early 2000s, I was a founding member of contextual pioneer Vibrant Media in the U.S., so returning in late 2017 to help create Quintesse was an exciting opportunity. Quintesse is a new demand-side business that harnesses Vibrant’s advanced contextual pedigree to reimagine the way brands bid on open market inventory to target their audiences in a privacy-safe way.

Global privacy regulations and policy updates from the big tech titans have created a need for inherently privacy-safe advertising targeting options, like advanced contextual. During this pivotal time, it’s exciting to lead the operations and sales for Quintesse. Our team is using our deep history, knowledge and intellectual property to innovate the future of contextual.

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How are you seeing the role of senior sales and operations leaders evolve today? What are some top sales technologies and revenue technologies that you feel today’s CROs and Chief Sales Officers need to be adept with?

In many ways, the role of senior sales and operations leaders today is no different than it always has been: Identify how we can best help our clients achieve their goals and then execute as efficiently as possible.

What is different today is that digital marketers are faced with trying to navigate a privacy-safe future where one-to-one audience targeting will have serious scale issues, when it’s available at all. That’s why I spend a good amount of my time evangelizing and educating brands and agencies on how advanced contextual has to be a core part of their path forward.

We’d love to have a quick overview of some of your sales tech and sales processes at Quintesse and biggest learnings through the years?

Today, the buyer has a tremendous amount of power in their communication with salespeople.

It’s unlikely a prospect will take your call unless you’ve been introduced by one of their colleagues and it’s equally difficult to get a response from cold emails.

Lead nurturing via content marketing has to be a big part of any sales team’s pipeline building plan. Robust content marketing programs help teams easily vet qualified leads by identifying who is already interested in your general offering. This way you are following up with interested prospects versus trying to overcome the obstacles of cold outreach. At Quintesse we are especially lucky to have in-house advanced contextual targeting capabilities as contextual advertising is a way that sales organizations can amplify their content marketing initiatives. This is yet another touchpoint to connect the brand with those who are most interested in the subject matter.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on sales intelligence platforms and their impact on sales and how you predict this will grow in future?

We use MediaRadar, which gives us a wealth of information on any given brand’s advertising strategies and creative focus. This empowers us to send communications and lead calls with an informed mindset around what the marketers may care about instead of guessing or having to spend half of any given call asking about their advertising approach.

Having this understanding of the brand’s current marketing efforts, my team and I are able to bring to life the ways that Quintesse and advanced contextual can elevate and future-proof their digital marketing. Even though Google has delayed the deprecation of third-party cookies on Chrome, advertisers are still preparing for the cookieless future now rather than delaying the inevitable.

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What are some core sales technologies that you feel should form the crux of a sales tech stack?

A customer relationship management (CRM) system is a vital tool for sales leaders.

A well-maintained CRM system can be a central database to build insights on who your prospects are and what they care about, which is critical to shaping your content marketing efforts and well-tailored presentations. It can also enable automation of sequential messaging, which helps scale a sales team’s efforts and ensures uniformity of communication. This saves time instead of rewriting the same unique selling points for multiple prospects and sets up the full sales department for success with prepared messaging.

A few thoughts on what you feel today’s sales and marketing leaders need to do differently to help them stand out from the crowd?

Sales leaders shouldn’t let CRM automation make them or their team lazy. Preparation and research before a call or even your initial outreach email is irreplaceable.

A buyer can sniff out a one-size-fits all message pretty quickly. It pays off to show them that you are thinking about their business. Doing your research and tapping into your insights from content marketing programs helps you quickly understand how you might be able to help them. These steps help you bring the experience of working with you and your technology solution to life, so that they understand the benefits of a partnership.

With Quintesse, I customize the demo and potential advanced contextual targeting campaign tactics that I highlight based on my research around the brand’s needs and creative focus. It is easier to close the deal when prospects can see how our advanced solutions will help their organization execute successful branding campaigns digitally and target with scale in a cookieless world.

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Quintesse is the advanced contextual targeting platform that uses bidstream analysis to offer unprecedented scale, a deeper understanding of brand suitability and curated, custom brand marketplaces.

With 21 years of experience and 13 patents in contextual technologies, Quintesse utilizes natural language processing (NLP) and a sophisticated lemmatization method to deliver the most comprehensive and accurate understanding of content for privacy-safe targeting across 38 languages. Brands and agency customers can leverage the platform as a self-service or managed-service.

James has a great foundation of experience within both established and startup environments, including over 20 years of experience managing sales and operations teams as well as general management overseeing HR and facilities.

As a founding team member of Vibrant Media in the US, James played a leading role in expanding revenue and growing the team from a startup to global media company working with a majority of the Ad Age 100 advertisers by 2011. After his post at Millennial Media, James worked on two start up projects from 2013 to 2016 and then returned to Vibrant Media along with the founding CEO and CTO to launch its new business, Quintesse.

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