SalesTechStar Interview With Casey Gannon, VP of Growth at Bold Commerce
Casey Gannon, VP of Growth at Bold Commerce shares a few processes and tips that can enable stronger marketing-sales alignment in this short chat:
Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Casey, tell us about yourself and your role at Bold Commerce, as someone who has just taken over as VP of Growth, what would your immediate focus areas be?
Thank you for having me! At Bold Commerce, we’re powering tailored checkout and subscription experiences for more than 90,000 brands and retailers. As the company’s VP of Growth, my focus is to create a seamless strategy and experience between demand generation, partner marketing and inside sales. Our partners are equally as important, if not more, than our direct demand generation programs, both of which flow into our sales department. Often in many organizations, these strategies aren’t well aligned–resulting in a vast list of missed opportunities and a lot of teams working on different priorities.
We want brands and partners to have a cohesive, compelling experience from our first conversation with them to the launch of their new checkout–and beyond. My goal is to have all of these groups think and execute as a single unit.
We’d love to hear more about Bold Commerce’s recent innovations and offerings.
We recently launched our one-click solution, Bold Checkout: Buy Now, to offer shoppers an Amazon-like shortened path to purchase, without sacrificing shopper relationships or checkout customizations.
Current one-click checkout solutions, such as third-party digital wallets and quick pay-now options, address brands’ desires to let shoppers checkout faster. But they also require brands to send their shoppers outside of brand immersive shopping experience to an external checkout–at the most critical moment in their shopping journey. Brands that opt for these existing solutions also have to sacrifice important functionality that they want to offer at checkout – such as the option to buy online but pick up in store or accrue loyalty points with purchases.
Buy Now is an alternative to these current options–a one-click solution that makes it possible for brands to customize their checkout based on the specific experience they want their shoppers to have, while preserving the shopper relationship and increasing conversion.
In the B2B market today, what are some of the basic fundamentals that sales/marketing teams need to be following more of to drive business goals?
This varies based on the complexity of the products and sales process, so I’ll focus on the needs of an enterprise solution sale.
The first, is complete alignment on their Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs) and buyer personas. If sales and marketing are not aligned on exactly who they are targeting and why, sales will never be happy with the inbounds and marketing will never be happy with the close rates. This is also key to deploying any outbounding or account-based marketing (ABM) programs since they require sales and marketing to be aligned. At Bold Commerce, one of the first things we did was hold workshops between marketing, sales and product to develop ICPs and map out our customer journey.
Second, consider a ‘land and expand’ strategy. This approach is often overlooked because teams want to lock in the big deals, but sometimes it’s more beneficial to land an account with a smaller portion of a product. With something that’s easier to deploy, companies can prove their value and then expand into their full solution set. This can even mean landing a smaller brand within a multi-brand company, proving value and then expanding into their larger brands from there.
Third, marketing and sales goals have to be aligned. It sounds obvious, but if these two groups don’t share the same goals it’s likely they won’t share the same strategy. For example, while we have marketing-specific goals at Bold Commerce, we always make sure at least one of our objectives and key results (OKR) is shared by marketing and sales.
We’d love to hear more about some of the core strategies you focus on to achieve better ROI from marketing/sales plans?
Bigger isn’t always better, especially in this noisy post-pandemic world where sales strategies have had to adapt. The most important strategy I am focused on at Bold Commerce is to build very specific and targeted ICPs and buyer personas to develop ABM campaigns around, for both brands and partners. With a complex solution sale, it’s important for me to be able to define the use cases and identify existing customer stories that will resonate with our prospects. The more clearly we are able to identify with customers’ pain and show (not tell) how we solve that pain for them through real-life results, the more velocity we have through our pipeline.
Over the years in growth related/marketing/sales roles; what were some of the most interesting processes, experiences you came across that made you rethink your basic practices?
The most obvious experience that comes to mind is how siloed marketing and sales operate. In every one of my roles, the biggest impact I’ve had is on bringing cohesion to these departments. We often hear of marketing throwing leads over the fence and sales being frustrated with the quality of these leads. This goes back to sharing the same goals and developing and working towards the same strategy, which begins with agreeing on the type of buyer you are working together to target.
The second is the focus on revenue operations. RevOps is often built as an afterthought rather than a foundation, especially in a startup or small organization. Although this has improved over the years, an organization’s sales and marketing tech stack can impact how fast teams are able to operate, affect collaboration and determine if the company can scale at the rate their investors expect.
Can you share a few highlights on the type of salestech features and martech capabilities that you feel will become core to a sales-marketing team’s functioning in the near future?
Transparency is the one of the most important function companies are focusing on right now. Teams utilize so many different types of software–especially as they continue to expand their tech architecture with best-in-breed solutions instead of all-in-one tools–that not everyone can see the most important information they need–at the time they need it. For example, a sales rep may not always be able to see the last marketing email or landing page visit from one of their top prospects. Teams will increasingly look for solutions that seamlessly integrate with others, so they can easily have a big picture view of what’s going on at any given moment.
Real-time connection will continue to grow as a priority for teams. Large organizations (think Salesforce) have become really great at this, but it’s still a challenge for many. All organizations need to be able to create real-time, personalized triggers for their sales reps to respond to prospects as they engage with their content, website or chat. This concept isn’t necessarily new, but it’s something that most companies have not yet perfected.
Some last thoughts, takeaways, digital sales/customer communication tips and best practices before we wrap up!
Sales and marketing need to think of themselves as one team. If a prospect experiences inconsistency between the marketing materials they read and what they’re hearing from sales, this will create hesitancy and could even remove a product from their consideration set altogether–even if it’s the best on the market. This is because prospects aren’t just buying products, but partnerships and support. Sales and marketing need to support this by offering a cohesive message.
It’s also crucial that organizations tailor their communications to their specific audience. They can do this by understanding their pain points and showing them how they solve for it with use cases and case studies, from the first time they see an ad through to the discovery and solutions conversations they have with sales.
Bold Commerce is powering anywhere commerce for brands by delivering high-converting, customizable checkout experiences. The company works with leading omnichannel retailers like Vera Bradley, Harry Rosen, and Staples Canada, and emerging DTC brands, such as Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Game Fuel, and Mars to reimagine commerce. Its proprietary suite of modular checkout, subscriptions and price rules solutions is compatible with multiple ecommerce platforms and headless architectures.
Casey Gannon is the VP of Growth at Bold Commerce.
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