SalesTechStar Interview with Jaime Bettencourt, SVP of Global Account Management at Mood Media
Is the future of retail set to now turn into a touchless shopping experience? In this chat with SalesTechStar, Jaime Bettencourt, SVP of Global Account Management at Mood Media discusses the core changes that retailers have had to embed into their everyday processes and systems in order to cope with the trends of the new normal. Here’s more:
Can you tell us a little about yourself Jaime? How did you pick sales as a career; in your journey so far what have been some of the biggest takeaways / learnings…
My career journey started in the marketing department of our company — Mood Media. I launched my career with traditional marketing, brand, product management and event planning and then moved into a national marketing role for the sales organization. It was there that I figured out I could make a big impact on the sales side. It felt like a natural progression as I’ve always believed that being close to the client and being a revenue driver is the best place to be within an organization. I began managing a portfolio of Fortune 100 accounts and was responsible for both retention and growth. I loved the client strategy work and was able to leverage my marketing knowledge with creative insights and ultimately, drive sales.
Over the next several years, I worked my way up through the organization in various capacities, including running teams across sales, account management, sales enablement and sales operations. Having recently restructured, Mood has reimagined our go-to-market strategy and I am currently on the executive team running the Global Account Management organization. My new global team includes portfolio managers responsible for the upsell/cross sell and retention efforts of Global, Enterprise, Mid-Market, Small/Medium Business clients and Digital Sales for the company.
Some of my biggest takeaways are to always be willing to take a risk and try something new, even if you may not be quite ready. If it makes you a little scared – that’s a good sign! I have also learned to be very agile and always have a point-of-view. If you aren’t focused on consistently growing and learning, then you are no longer relevant as a leader in the marketplace.
How have you seen the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic change the retail experience? What according to you should brands be doing more of to create a seamless digital experience during this time?
Customers used to go to stores because they wanted a memorable, enjoyable experience. That is still true in some cases, but now they also want to feel cared for, comfortable and safe. There is less room for bravado moments or high-energy atmospheres. Shoppers want softer tones and more nuanced, personalized connections.
The customer experience starts well before you ever even enter a store, so retailers should consider how to create a seamless and unified digital experience. A brands’ digital and eCommerce strategies matter more than ever, but those faring best are putting customers first, rather than focusing on channel. They are weaving convenience and safety into every offering and communication, and rolling out curbside pick-up options, virtual shopping services and free delivery to the store or residence.
Could you share a few thoughts / observations on what some global retail and ecommerce brands / businesses have been doing off late to meet changing consumer needs due to the Covid-19 pandemic?
Across the globe, we have seen a resurgence in the importance of communications in-store. It is important to communicate to customers, but also to the employees that are on the front lines every day at your business. Employees are the brand ambassadors, the enablers and protectors of the customer experience.
Retailers are using Plexiglas, one-way aisles, earlier opening hours for at-risk populations, frequent disinfection of stores, occupancy trackers, hand sanitizer stations, and contactless payment options to protect, support and entice customers and employees alike. You want your stores to be clean, but your brand voice and ambiance should not feel sterile. People are still looking to be inspired, have fun, connect with others and get a break from the chaotic world outside. So, don’t forget what makes your store a destination and your brand unique. Retailers, including stores, hotels and restaurants, should reflect this state of mind in the music they play, the lighting they choose, and the digital and voice messaging they use to communicate safety protocols, special promotions and other updates.
As customers / businesses try to adapt to the new normal: what are the top sales and marketing fundamentals you would share for a time such as this?
My number one sales and marketing fundamental is to articulate a very clear and concise value proposition for your target customer base. There is a renewed openness to ideas, but there’s also not as much time to cut through the ambiguity. So, the clearer you are in your pitch and in exemplifying how it solves a real world problem, the more response you will see. It’s also more important than ever to focus on your most loyal clients or customers and hyper service them.
How do you see the Covid-19 pandemic change the buying experience in B2B and B2C completely – in what ways would this interaction shape up to look like in the near future?
We will continue to see a blend of in-store and online buying, where the channel doesn’t matter as much as the customer. I believe we will start to see more and more emphasis on a touchless retail experience – around everything from menus, to sampling, trying on clothes, demos, and payments – as safety becomes a core pillar of a brand’s value. Customers need to know you care about them personally, and that you are prioritizing their safety. For brands, this requires outreach via personalized emails or mobile app experiences, as well as over-communicating in-store via digital signage and voice messages, even if it interrupts the usual customer experience. Some retailers have even rolled out remote queuing tools that allow shoppers to estimate in-store wait times or reserve a spot in line before they even leave their home. The messaging and delivery approach should always keep the customers’ needs top of mind.
As a tech leader, 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?
We have moved to a 100% remote work environment and have been working this way like many other companies since March, so we are now in our seventh straight month in the new environment. A majority of the time we are using Google Meet for video calls and we used a Live Stream option through Google for our last Global Town Hall for our staff in August. Modern technology has played a huge role in helping us to stay more connected. We have grown closer as a global organization, and it’s led to even more face-time with one another in many cases, especially for the team members who weren’t working in one of our global offices prior to the pandemic. During a challenging season, I believe that communication needs to be super transparent, frequent and direct in order to maintain healthy individual and team motivation levels. A simple note of praise, moment of real-time recognition, and managing with grace and humility go a long way. And social happy hours always help too!
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