SalesTech Star

SalesTechStar Interview with Jon Perera, CMO at Highspot

Leveraging salestech to power core sales processes and strategies efficiently requires timely adjustments and constant analysis of sales metrics, Jon Perera, CMO at Highspot talks about a few proven best practices in this chat:

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We’d love to hear about your marketing journey in tech and the biggest learnings you’ve come away with so far!

For nearly the entirety of my marketing career at companies including Microsoft and Adobe, I’ve been working to solve the challenge of enabling sales teams. Now, as Highspot’s Chief Marketing Officer, I have the opportunity to help businesses everywhere improve the performance of their customer-facing teams with sales enablement. Over the last year, we’ve witnessed the incredible need to empower people to excel at their jobs under any circumstance. 

One of the most critical learnings during this time of remote work has been on how we can leverage advanced technology to land and execute C-suite strategies. In a rapidly changing business landscape, leaders often have to pivot approaches and make decisions – fast. A comprehensive view of your go-to-market initiatives, and how they are landing internally and performing externally, is critical to turning your strategies into action in the real world and enabling your people with everything they need to succeed in their roles. With the right technology, leaders are able to see what’s working, what’s not, and adjust accordingly. The end result is an agile business that can adapt and delight customers in every environment. 

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Tell us more about Highspot’s recent funding and a few upcoming enhancements / exciting updates that users can look forward to?

Closing our Series E round was a great milestone for Highspot. We’re committed to building an enduring company that makes a lasting impact, and we have big plans in the coming year to expand both our global reach and product capabilities. 

Our investors – including new investors Bain & Company and Tiger Global Management – are bullish on our opportunity as leading companies across industries, such as DocuSign, General Motors, John Deere, and Verizon Media, use Highspot to win and keep customers. Looking ahead, the funding will fuel our next wave of growth. As the industry’s only natively-built, unified solution, our customers can expect product innovation that enriches capabilities without sacrificing usability. 

How are you seeing the road ahead for sales enablement platforms in tech evolve, in terms of changing demand and features?

The remote reality has accelerated the pace of digital transformation, and business leaders are leaning on technology more than ever to help them drive business outcomes through uncertain times and beyond. The sales enablement category is shifting to help companies achieve revenue growth by driving consistent rep performance. This requires behavioral change at scale, and to do this, you need world-class training, coaching, enablement. 

Our team has focused on providing our customers with a seamless, comprehensive solution – complete with content, guidance, training, coaching, engagement intelligence, and 360-degree analytics. One of our high priorities right now is delivering even deeper insights into go-to-market strategy and execution with Highspot’s Scorecards. With these Scorecards, leaders can answer three fundamental questions:

  • Do our salespeople understand the strategy?
  • Are our sales teams executing the strategy? 
  • Is the strategy driving business results? 

A few best practices you feel B2B sales and marketing leaders need to be more focused on when implementing new salestech?

An alarming amount of change initiatives fail, and in today’s changing world, failure isn’t an option for businesses hoping to endure. When it comes time to implement a new technology solution, communication is key. Communicate early and often, providing complete transparency with your leaders and reps on why the change needs to happen. Listening is just as important – seek to understand how the change will impact your teams and share what’s in it for them. 

To drive adoption, ensure your new solution is seamlessly integrated with the core tech stack and existing workflows. And don’t hesitate to get creative – gamification and competitions are engaging ways to encourage your people to embrace the tool. 

A few thoughts on the future of salestech in general and what this landscape would look like in the near-future?

The vibrancy of the sales tech ecosystem is off the charts. From sales enablement to engagement intelligence, the platforms that empower companies with deep insights on what good looks like and capabilities to scale best practices across the business are taking off, with no sign of slowing down.

As artificial intelligence starts to deliver on its potential for sales and marketing, SaaS companies are marrying the power of AI and machine learning with existing technology to better understand everything from buyer sentiment to sources of friction in deals. There is tremendous opportunity in this area in the upcoming year. 

A few must-dos that every CMO in SaaS should follow through 2021?

Prioritize your people. Building a strong sense of team, focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion, and supporting employees inside and outside the virtual office should always come first. 

Now is also time for reinvention. What worked to drive demand three months ago may not be what prospects are going to engage with today – you have to have a system for creative thinking and reimagining new solutions to old problems. Keep your marketing fun, and empower your team to bring fresh, engaging ideas to life. Lastly, hone in on your pipeline generation, as this has become one of the most important metrics for today’s CMOs.

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Highspot

Highspot helps companies worldwide improve the performance of their sales teams by turning strategic initiatives into business outcomes.

Jon Perera is the CMO at Highspot

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