SalesTechStar Interview with David Leichner, Chief Marketing Officer at SQream
Back in the day, traditional marketing relied more on face to face interactions…over time, metrics, data and sophisticated tools and technologies took over how Marketing and Sales started being measured and that has changed how both teams function today. David Leichner dips into this observation while also sharing his thoughts from his time being in enterprise technology sales and marketing.
Catch the complete story:
Can you tell us a little about yourself David? Could you tell us about some of your biggest marketing (and sales) moments from your extensive career in tech so far?
I’m married with 5 children. I emigrated from the US to Israel in 1988 and I’ve been living the startup nation dream ever since. I have a degree in Computer Information Systems and an MBA in International Business and Marketing. This has proven to be a great combination as I’ve spent the last 30 years marketing enterprise software.
One of the highlights of my career was when I opened the first Linux World event in San Jose in August 1999 with two live penguins. At that event my booth in the shape of an igloo was visited by the one and only Linus Torvalds, the original developer of Linux. We did a press conference with almost 40 reporters and this event directly led to us embarking on a $106m secondary offering. During the roadshow for raising the funds, I was in for a surprise. The person who was taking us to the meetings told me she wanted to introduce me to her boyfriend’s roommate from Stanford. It was none other than the CEO of Google!
How have you seen Marketing and Sales evolve in the B2B/Tech marketplace over the years? What are some of the most crucial skills that today’s marketer or salesperson needs more of than that of yesteryear according to you?
I grew up in what I’d call the traditional marketing world of F2F interactions and with a strong emphasis on branding and awareness building. I evolved into the digital marketing world, which is much more focused on metrics and measurements. So when I ask potential employees about their most creative campaign, I hear about an email campaign which had a 40% open rate and 3% conversion. The focus being more on the metrics and less on the creativity today…
What are some of the ways in which you’ve driven better alignment between Marketing and Sales in your journey so far? We’ve all written and spoken about the constant friction between the two! How have you used salestech/martech to help with this?
That’s very simple. I managed sales for a portion of my career. Once you have been a quota carrying sales person, your understanding of what’s important in marketing changes and your relationship with sales becomes much closer and much more effective. I recommend that every marketer do a stint in sales.
What according to you are the top 5 common mistakes every tech marketing strategy still has that they shouldn’t?
1 – promoting what you want versus what the customer needs;
2 – seeing marketing and sales as separate entities as opposed to one unified team;
3 – focusing more on the metrics and less on the messaging and creativity;
4 – executing tactical activities without a clear strategy;
5 – taking event participation decisions based on “everyone” being there.
What would you say or do in your capacity to turn Marketing/Sales/Technology sales into the most exciting job of the decade?!
I give the individuals on my team the freedom to be creative and to have fun within their positions. I believe that the most important part of every position is the interpersonal relationships that you build. Over the years, I have built up relationships with colleagues, partners, and customers around the globe who today I call my friends and with whom I meet up when I am in a particular country. This for me is exciting.
What are some of the key insights you’d like to share when it comes choosing/adopting a martech/salestech stack to drive better business outcomes? How are you seeing leading marketing teams capitalize on their martech stack to achieve goals?
There needs to be a clear strategy of what you want to achieve backed by a solid tactical execution plan that spans the marketing mix of communication, product and promotion. It should be a mix of inbound and outbound, onsite and online, with the underlying goal of building relationships.
Tag (mention/write about) the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read!
I am a big fan of Guy Kawasaki.
Your favorite Sales/SalesTech quote and sales leadership books you’d suggest everyone in Sales and Marketing reads.
My favorite quote is by Guy Kawasaki – “So what” – keep asking that question until you understand the benefit that your product or service really brings to a company. His book “How to drive your competition crazy” is one of my favorites.
Tell us about some of the top sales/salestech/martech/fintech/ other events that you’ll be participating in (as a speaker or guest!) in 2020!
Well until Coronavirus hit, I had already spoken at two Chief Data Officer events, one in NYC and one in London. For now, I will be limited to speaking at online events, both homegrown and some industry sponsored ones.
We’d love to know a little about your future plans!
In addition to my day job as CMO of SQream, I am also the Chairman and Board Member of the Jerusalem College of Technology and a Member of the Board of Governors of Shalem College, Israel’s first liberal arts college. I believe it is very important to give back to the community and in addition to my first love of marketing and sales in the hi-tech industry, I will continue to dedicate a portion of my time to non-profit organizations whose goals are in line with my own beliefs.
SQream has broken the data analytics size and speed barriers, enabling enterprises to make use of and benefit from their rapidly growing data stores. While many organizations struggle with analyzing their large volumes of data, SQream DB, a SQL data analytics platform that harnesses the power of GPU, enables the fast, flexible, and cost-efficient analysis of data, from terabytes to petabytes.
David has over 25 years of marketing and sales executive management experience garnered from leading software vendors including Information Builders, Magic Software and BluePhoenix Solutions. At SQream, David is responsible for creating and executing its marketing strategy and managing the global marketing team that forms the foundation for SQream’s product and market penetration.