SalesTechStar Interview with Dana Attar, Vice President of Products at Tikal Center
In order for sales teams to function seamlessly during this social distancing phase, the right outbound strategies and technologies will have to complement each other to support business goals. In this interview, Dana Attar, Vice President of Products at Tikal Center discusses a few tech and B2B sales tips while talking about the changing technology needs of sales teams today.
Can you tell us a little about yourself Dana? What’s a day at work like for you at Tikal Center?
My current position here at Tikal Center is Vice President of Products. In this role, I am responsible for the company’s product development strategy and management. At present, I am leading the development of our next-generation call center offering. This product is a Cloud-based, self-service call center for SMEs and SOHOs that is expanding the boundaries of the traditional call center solutions. This is a very exciting breakthrough in the world of call centers as there is strong market need in these two customer segments and our sales channel partners are very eager to begin promoting it.
Like many professionals today, it is difficult to describe a typical workday. In recent weeks, I have been working from home most days and just going into the office once or twice a week for necessary, in-person team meetings.
How did the inspiration and idea behind Tikal Center come about?
Just over two years ago, Tikal Center was spun off from our parent company to support international expansion. Tikal Center is currently focusing on two main market opportunities for our call center solutions. The first market opportunity is replacing legacy, on premise systems with our existing, Cloud-based call center product, which we call the Tikal Call Center. The second market opportunity is connected to launching this Cloud-based, self-service call center offering targeted at SME and SOHO users. To support our growth in new markets, we are promoting our technologies and solutions exclusively through channel partners.
When it comes to implementing call center software for sales and marketing teams, especially now, at a time when remote work and remote sales is the norm because of the global pandemic, what would your top tips be?
Independent of the current situation, our recommendation is to always, whenever possible, to run call center software and overall call center operations from the Cloud. Cloud-based call center operations give both sales and service centers the flexibility to operate from any device, anywhere, anytime and still be part of the call center management and reporting.
In today’s environment, running a call center operation from the Cloud also allows a sales or service center to maintain business continuity while mandates are in place requiring that workers to work from home. With this in mind, call center agents should have full remote access to a virtual working environment and all the call center system tools as if they were in the office. At the same time, managers must also have remote access to all monitoring and control tools to ensure that all KPIs continue to be met.
The fact that our Tikal Call Center runs from the Cloud and fully supports distributed agents has attracted a lot of attention recently since the outbreak of the Coronavirus. However, it is important to highlight that these two capabilities have been built into our Tikal Call Center system since its inception and are not features that we have added recently in response to COVID-19.
What according to you are some of the must-have sales technologies, besides the above, that everyone in technology sales should integrate into their overall tech stack and learn to get more comfortable with?
It is clear that for the foreseeable future, sales professionals will need to adapt technologies that will allow them to build and maintain connections with clients and potential customers while adhering to social distancing requirements. Video conferencing, virtual shared working spaces and similar technologies that support remote collaboration are examples of such technologies that are important that sales managers understand how to use effectively to maintain personal contact with clients as well as with distributed teams.
In the call center space, we have seen an increased demand overtime from sales centers for both click-to-call and automatic dialer capabilities. These two call center capabilities are increasingly being used to improve the performance of outbound sales and marketing campaigns.
As a technology professional in a challenging environment due to the Covid19 pandemic; what are some of the ways in which you are enabling a balanced remote work culture while maintaining motivation levels?!
Yes, this is certainly an issue that many companies and technology professionals are facing today. Most of our staff are now working from home and we are relying on video conferencing, online project management tools, Cloud-based CRM and other remote collaboration tools to communicate with our team members and with our partners and customers around the world.
This, of course, is rather common and something most companies and professionals are experiencing. Clearly, the separation between work and family have become increasingly blurred, although since most everyone around the world is in the same situation, most professionals have become increasingly understanding.
Despite these challenges, this is a very exciting time at Tikal Center, especially for me, with the upcoming launch of our new self-service call center offering. Of course, nothing replaces meeting partners and customers in person, although given the realities of today, we are tremendously pleased with the responses we are getting through our network of channel partners.
How according to you will the typical role of tomorrow’s B2B technology sales manager evolve, given the dynamics and innovations in SalesTech and other call and prospecting technologies?
Now, more than ever, consumption at all levels is an online activity not limited to the younger generation. Today, people all over the world are using mobile platforms, messaging applications and social media to connect. This is not limited to personal consumption and covers business purchasing decisions.
As a result, sales managers must evolve their approaches and use tools that monitor, coordinate and analyze these new no-boundaries communication and collaboration. At the same time, competition will drive technologies to bring real-time dashboards and split screens information with accurate information collected from many sources of information.
This is one of the main drivers behind our new self-service call center. It will fill the communication needs of SMEs and SOHOs, including their sales and marketing staff, with to be connected – anywhere and anytime and with any device – over a mobile platform running the Cloud.
Who would you say are some top technology leaders that you look up to today as motivators? What about their stories inspires you?
Here in Israel, we are often referred to as the Startup Nation. We have received this designation for the vision and ingenuity of the leaders of our high tech industry. The motivation to constantly develop innovative new technologies is an inspiration for me and many of my colleagues and I am very proud to be a part of it. These leaders that are bringing technological changes to the world in a range of spaces from cybersecurity to communications to medical technologies and more are important role models and motivators.
Your favorite sales leadership books that you could suggest everyone in technology sales reads?
I highly recommend Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek. I finished reading the book recently. I believe that it was published over ten years ago and it certainly has meaning today, especially to anyone involved in technology sales and management.
In the book, the author explains that high achievers are often more inspired by asking questions about Why a company is successful rather than How a product works.
What do sales and marketing teams need to do more of to drive business goals during the Covid-19 pandemic? Catch these tips from our latest episodes of the SalesStar podcast!
Tikal Center and its innovative business communications technologies are powering intelligent call center operations and services of all customer types and sizes around the world. The company’s Tikal Call Center is a single, unified platform that includes a full feature set for inbound, outbound and blended operations with advanced AI-driven features, reporting and management controls. The modern architecture of the Tikal Call Center allows for flexible integration with external applications and facilitates rapid deployment in any Cloud environment or on premise scenario. The Tikal Call Center serves as a technology platform for the company’s go-to-market partners to add value and deliver call center solutions and services to their customers.
Dana Attar is the Vice President of Products at Tikal Center. She is responsible for the company’s product development strategy and management. Dana is currently leading the development of Tikal Center’s next generation Cloud-based, self-service call center targeted at the SME and SOHO customer segments.