SalesTech Star

SalesTechStar Interview with Deirdre Leone, VP of Sales, North America at ContractPodAi

Too much noise, the wrong messaging or a mismanaged contact strategy comes across as disorganized to the prospect and customer and during these challenging times, clear communication is important to building better business relationships. Catch more tips on how sales and marketing can achieve this from this interview with Deirdre Leone, VP of Sales, North America at ContractPodAi.

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Can you tell us a little about yourself Deirdre? And what inspired you to venture into Technology sales / sales as a profession?

I am based out of our New York office and I was the first ContractPodAi employee in North America.  I joined ContractPodAi with over 15 years of experience and a background in sales in the legal tech sector. I have a JD degree from the Widener University School of Law.

Working in the legal sector, I was frustrated by how many manual processes there were. I didn’t want to practice law because I found the industry so archaic. Completing simple tasks was unnecessarily time consuming and difficult due to the lack of automation and other types of tech. When legal tech started to emerge as a true sector around 2010, I wanted to be at the forefront of driving change in this industry. My inspiration to venture into legal tech sales is a true passion play to revolutionize this vertical, which has been slow to adopt technology.

Given the events of the last few weeks and the effects of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic- in what ways would you suggest sales people add more value in their process and while speaking with prospects / customers?

Empathy is very important – making sure you are empathetic in your conversations with customers. While there may be budget freezes across different enterprises, the pandemic crisis has positioned software automation very well. Software as a whole is in a good position right now in comparison to other industries. However, if you are in a situation where this is not the case, make sure that you are nurturing your relationships. By doing so, you will continue to generate pipeline and position yourself as top of mind what the buyer is ready to engage in a purchasing conversation. Despite the pandemic, you can’t take your foot off the gas – it’s just not an option in sales.

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Given your time in the B2B/tech marketplace, we’d love to know about some of your biggest sales and marketing learnings, maybe a little about your best highlights from your time so far?

One of my biggest learnings is to constantly re-evaluate process and continue to make improvements. My team is doing that right now – I am constantly pulling and analysing data to ensure we can adjust and align ourselves to the market. Documentation is critical because it is the data that’s going to drive change and allow your organization to be nimble in order to achieve success.

We’d love your thoughts when it comes to best practices on creating the ideal salestech-martech stack? What according to you should teams keep foremost in mind when defining what to automate and where to draw the line here?

I enjoy evaluating sales and marketing technology.  I’m a huge proponent of automating as much as possible because that frees up a salesperson’s time so they can engage authentically in conversations and build relationships. I believe in getting out of email and picking up the phone to have conversations with customers as much as possible. The authenticity that comes across in conversations cannot be automated. Do not automate your personal communications once you’ve established the relationship! That’s where I draw the line. Be authentic.

When it comes to marketing operations and automating routine tasks, what are some of the biggest challenges you still see team / B2B teams struggle with- would you be able to share a few ways in which you’ve used salestech to amplify your strategies?

One of the biggest challenges is making sure that sales and marketing is aligned. Too much noise, disjointed messaging or disjoined contact strategy comes across as disorganized to the customer. I’ve used salestech to leverage intent data on both the sales and marketing side for prospecting and moving opportunities through the funnel. It’s the communication between sales & marketing that is the key strategy – not a particular technology.

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When it comes to enhancing revenue generation efforts as economies and business reopen after the Covid-19 lockdowns slowly lift, what top tips would you share?

Don’t go after industries that have been severely impacted. Don’t assume that because an industry is tied to a phase 1 or 2 re-opening that they are ready to do business. An example is retail, which is has been greatly impacted by the pandemic. Assuming that an industry involved in a particular re-opening phase doesn’t mean that they’re ready to spend on your product.

If you are a software company which is solely built on selling to retail, for example, then you need to adjust your go to market offering to align with that particular vertical and that can be in terms of commercials or product, or it can be in terms of rollout. Companies are pivoting their entire business – for example companies that were once selling footwear are now selling face masks. That is the mindset and the nimble response that businesses need right now. Companies need to accommodate the buyer while maintaining a profit.

Any last few thoughts to share before wrapping up (on leadership / a favorite quote / top sales books to read, etc)

“Good things come to those who wait, but only things left by those who hustle.”

ContractPodAi® is one of the world’s fastest growing AI based contract management solution providers, empowering global corporations across the world.

Deirdre Leone joined ContractPodAi® as VP Sales, North America to lead its commercial growth throughout North America. She is responsible for client acquisitions and builds relationships with key stakeholders of global corporations. ContractPodAi® is one of the world’s fastest growing contract management solutions which has already digitally transformed the processes of organizations such as EY, Total Petroleum, Bosch Siemens and Pennon Group. Their service offer blends market leading AI technology with machine-learning, legal engineering and cloud infrastructure – all at no extra cost.

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