SalesTechStar Interview With Andrew Stark, Chief Revenue Officer At PulsePoint
Better sales and revenue processes are not just based on being innovative but also on understanding future needs of customers, Andrew Stark, Chief Revenue Officer at PulsePoint shares more in this QnA with us:
We’d love to hear about your biggest sales learnings over the years, Andrew, your journey through the years in tech and of course, the PulsePoint platform!
I’ve been with PulsePoint for 9 years, currently serving as the company’s Chief Revenue Officer. In my role, I’m responsible for our revenue strategy, overseeing the sales, account management, and business development teams.
PulsePoint recognized that data and technology can solve the issues of our health system and in 2016 transformed from a generalist programmatic company into one of healthcare marketing’s most innovative data and technology solutions providers. Health data is complex, highly regulated, and enormous (generating 50GB per person, per day), and the health system needs to disrupt legacy structures and rebuild approaches from the ground up. PulsePoint has launched a series of revolutionary tools and products that transform how healthcare marketers work. For example, 3 years ago clients just needed help targeting cardiologists. Today, they want to understand all of the ways a specific cardiologist is interacting with their brand to dynamically customize messaging and media mix.
What are some of the challenges that are facing revenue leaders in tech today and what key tips do you have to share here?
The speed of change in our industry can be both good and bad for companies. There’s a lot of pressure to keep up with the changes in technology and its applications, and to keep the innovation pipeline flowing. On the positive side, if you continue to innovate and build products that address your clients’ needs today and anticipate their needs in the future, it will strengthen those relationships and help you attract new clients as well.
Differentiation is another challenge. The industry is crowded with point solutions that all do a lot of the same things with a few small differences and it can be hard to tell them apart. I think it’s important for companies to be honest about what your solution delivers and to convey your key differentiator in a way that makes sense and matters to your audience. And as mentioned, continue to innovate. It isn’t just about your features versus their features, it’s about a holistic solution that helps your clients achieve the outcomes they want and need.
With SaaS solutions, clients bear really low switching costs. This is another challenge for technology service providers, who need to work harder to protect and guard business once won.
Lastly, some common macro challenges we’re all facing are the big 4 (Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft) who can make or break smaller companies, and also the changing privacy landscape.
Seeing the key changes in today’s marketplace and how consumer behaviors are also changing in regards to how they want to be approached and the content they want delivered, what are the top factors that today’s customer-facing teams (sales / marketing leaders) need to be optimizing more of to meet these changing trends?
Self-serve platforms like Facebook and Google Ads have enabled marketers to very easily control how they target, segment, and interact with their consumers, and have trained consumers to have the expectation that companies will understand them and only serve them what they want. This trend towards easy access to more personalization and its impact has become so entrenched that marketers now want these capabilities for the rest of the Web, and companies such as ours are delivering.
Beyond personalization, we’ve also discovered that context still matters. But, and I’m generalizing here, context hasn’t changed much in the past five years. So companies that are innovating in context will have differentiated value to bring to the market.
Lastly, we’ve found that on the Web, “free” is still important to people. This means that although the advertising privacy wars are being fought around us, there’s a strong motivation to preserve advertising to safeguard the Web and all its content in the form we’ve become accustomed to.
Can you talk about some of the top solutions over the years (sales technologies) that have helped you drive better business outcomes?
To fuel our sales and marketing team functions, we use Salesforce as our CRM and Hubspot as our marketing automation software. The seamless integration between these two databases has been tremendously helpful in centralizing our data, improving business intelligence, enhancing customer relationships, and increasing efficiencies.
In addition, LinkedIn has been a great tool for our sales team to generate new leads by helping them find the right prospects, understand their unique needs, and connect with them in a meaningful way.
And of course, while Slack and Zoom have been important to our business for quite some time now, they’ve been even more so over the past year.
How according to you will the future of customer engagement in a digital buying world start evolving…to change the face of customer engagements as we see it today?
Digital has elevated the role of marketing in the sales process to such an extent that marketing and sales will continue to work closer together. It’s very much a team effort, with marketing driving pre-sales awareness and engagement and sales managing the prospect and nurturing the relationship. While this partnership has been theorized for years, we’re finally seeing it be actualized.
Customers have also become more data-driven and are using that data to help guide their decision-making. At PulsePoint, our sales team is laser focused on elevating the value of our data offerings, tying them to relevant use cases, and showcasing proof points and ROI.
Lastly, as a technology company, we live and die by innovation. New releases, features, and products are all expected at a far more rapid pace than in other industries. From a customer perspective, innovation is a critical component to the overall value prop.
A few thoughts on what you feel today’s sales leaders need to do to motivate, train and uplift their teams to optimize business and sales performance, and the sales technologies you feel sales teams should have more of (implementation / better training) to drive goals?
With our increased reliance on Zoom, Slack, and email, I’ve remained a fervent believer that people and human interaction is key to how we connect as a team and with our clients. Our team has a quick daily check-in and a wider group team meeting on a weekly basis—where our cameras are always on. While our daily and weekly meetings don’t replace us all being together and in person, they do help us maintain a connection and establish a regular cadence for us to share information with each other.
Other keys to success include starting with a clearly defined go-to-market strategy that the team understands, then empowering them to develop their own tactical plans to hit their targets. We also provide the team with the opportunity to attend weekly training sessions, where topics range from product and industry education to personal and professional growth.While we have great expectations of our sellers, we also know that they can’t do it alone in today’s market environment.
And lastly, managing KPIs and relentlessly measuring against them to drive outcomes (while always and remembering to celebrate the wins!) has made a huge difference in both performance and team morale.
PulsePoint is a leading technology company that uses real-world data in real-time to optimize campaign performance and revolutionize health decision-making. Leveraging proprietary datasets and methodology, PulsePoint targets healthcare professionals and consumers with an unprecedented level of accuracy—delivering unparalleled results to the clients we serve.
Andrew Stark is Chief Revenue Officer at PulsePoint where he is responsible for the company’s revenue generation strategy. In his role, Andrew oversees the sales, account management, and business development teams.
Prior to his appointment as CRO, Andrew served as Senior Vice President of Content Solutions at PulsePoint. In that role, he was responsible for building PulsePoint’s content marketing distribution platform from the ground up.
Before joining PulsePoint, Andrew worked as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at the San Francisco Examiner where he was responsible for all revenue and oversaw the sales, marketing, and ad production departments. He also served as Executive Sales Director and Vice President at Metro US and Vice President of Sales at 365 Media.
Andrew is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and has an MBA from the University of Miami. He lives and works in New York City.