SalesTechStar Interview with Krish Mantripragada, Chief Product Officer at Seismic
Seismic recently introduced a GPT integration and AI-powered sentiment analysis to streamline enablement: Krish Mantripragada, Chief Product Officer at Seismic highlights more on the latest innovation:
Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Krish, tell us about yourself and more about your role at Seismic…
Thank you for having me. I joined Seismic, the global leader in enablement, as the Chief Product Officer back in 2020. For over two decades, I’ve helped create new product categories, scaled businesses, built global teams, and driven innovation in executive roles at both Fortune 500 and early-stage startup companies, including Medallia, First Data, and SAP. As Seismic’s Chief Product Officer, my team and I are responsible for the company’s overall product innovation, strategy, development, support, and operations so Seismic can continue to deliver industry-leading products that enable customers to drive growth and deliver meaningful business outcomes.
Take us through some of Seismic’s latest innovations and especially how they enable sales and ops teams?
Seismic recently launched new enhancements and capabilities to its award-winning platform, The Seismic Enablement Cloud, that drives greater enablement and operational efficiency. We are further deepening our AI capabilities across the platform to drive a wide range of innovations that will fundamentally change buyer and seller experiences.
Firstly, we announced that Seismic Knowledge, a just-in-time enablement solution providing teams with quicker access to answers and content right in their flow of work, is now driven by the latest large language model technologies (LLM), including OpenAI’s ChatGPT. With this integration, Knowledge is able to extract relevant entities, keywords, and intent from customer questions and provide customer-facing teams with real-time, accurate answers – leading to improved customer satisfaction and business outcomes.
Since we launched this integration, we’ve seen a monumental 3.5X increase in click-through rates on content, answers, or training delivered by Seismic Knowledge. All in all, our latest AI integration makes Seismic Knowledge even better at ensuring that client-facing teams are enabled to support deals and serve customers.
Our Winter 2023 product release also includes enhancements to our AI-powered coaching solutions. Lessonly by Seismic can now help prepare customer-facing representatives by analyzing their practice presentations and providing automated scoring and feedback on sentiment, confidence, pace, and filler word usage. With this capability, reps can improve their skills and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome in their customer interactions and managers can replicate winning behaviors across their teams.
And, Seismic Enablement Planner – a first-of-its-kind strategic hub for enablement teams – now includes a requests capability that enables teams to easily collect, track, and process incoming requests from field teams. With this feature, field teams can request new content, lessons, updates to existing content, and more, providing enablement teams with better visibility into the organization’s needs.
These are just some of the notable highlights among a long list of enhancements across the platform.
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What can B2B sales teams do in 2023 to improve their operational efficiencies and end-to-end sales processes?
B2B sales teams can take several steps to improve their operational efficiencies and end-to-end sales processes. One of the most critical steps is to adopt (or reevaluate your current) sales automation technology. Tools like enablement can streamline workflows, eliminate manual processes, and provide real-time insights into performance and training for the entire go-to-market engine.
In fact, investments in enablement technology are up. According to new global research, 61% of go-to-market leaders say testing new enablement tools is a priority for their company this year and 62% say actually implementing enablement tools is a priority. And the data continues to show that investments in enablement technology are rarely wasted.
Users save 13 hours per week on average thanks to their enablement tech stack, which frees up time for revenue-generating activities including selling to prospects, meeting with existing customers, and closing deals.
For leaner sales teams still at the cusp of evaluating sales enablement and sales tech tools and processes to improve their cycles, what are the five tips you’d share with them?
1) Evaluate your current sales processes & priorities: Take a step back and evaluate your existing sales processes to identify areas of improvement. Look for bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and areas where sales reps could use more support, training, or resources. Once you have a clear understanding of your sales processes, prioritize the areas that can have the most significant impact on sales productivity and revenue growth.
2) Invest in the right tools: As I mentioned earlier, not all sales enablement and sales tech tools are the same. Identify and vet the tools that align with your specific goals, and invest in those that will grow with you through your enablement journey. Invest in a future-proof end-to-end enablement platform that can help you reduce tool fatigue; have the end-to-end data, analytics, and intelligence to drive real transformation; and will grow with you as your needs expand.
3) Develop a culture of continuous learning and improvement: Implementing new tools and solutions doesn’t mean success will happen overnight. Sales teams must constantly evolve their skills and knowledge to stay ahead of the competition. Enablement and sales leadership teams should be analyzing how their programs, content, and training efforts are driving outcomes like improving win rates and reducing time to ramp so they can double down on what’s working and stop doing what isn’t. Invest in ongoing training and coaching programs to help your sales reps hone their skills, stay up-to-date on industry trends, and develop a deeper understanding of your customers’ needs.
4) Continue to focus on strong customer relationships: While tech solutions are providing significant improvements to the sales industry, the human touch will never go out of style for our ecosystem. The best sales tools are the ones that don’t solely benefit you and your team, but also your customers. Strong customer relationships are essential for long-term business success, so when you’re choosing and implementing new tech tools and processes, always maintain a focus on listening to your customers’ needs, providing personalized solutions, and offering exceptional service.
5) Support and retain your top talent: In the current economic landscape, businesses are prioritizing operational efficiency and cost reduction. Despite frequent reports of layoffs, the job market shows a sustained level of employment, highlighting how critical it is to support and retain your skilled employees. Investing in enablement is investing in your talent. The two go hand-in-hand.
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A few thoughts on the future of salestech and what type of tech will become more crucial to a typical salestech stack and why?
This space is evolving quite rapidly and the introduction of new technologies like GPT is exciting. However, salestech should continue to focus on improving the experience of the seller and the buyer. It’s well documented that the buyer experience has changed over the last few years – B2B buyers are now 70% to 80% of the way through their purchasing journey before ever speaking to a seller. When a buyer is finally ready to meet with a salesperson, it’s even more critical that the seller nails that first interaction – or risk losing the deal altogether.
The analysts at Aragon Research said it best in the 2023 Aragon Research Globe™ for Sales Enablement Platforms: “What enterprises need is a robust set of sophisticated tools in an all-in-one platform in order to engage with savvy customers, and to enable sharing of content and better communications.” From preparing the seller with training and coaching solutions to recommending the best customer-facing content with sales content management and automation solutions, intelligent tech needs to enable the seller to knock the client experience out of the park every single time. And we believe that all of these solutions will be the most powerful when they’re connected on the same enterprise-grade platform.
Can you highlight more about the future of the B2B tech market and in what ways you expect to see it grow?
B2B businesses are looking more closely at their cost structure given the economic and market fluctuations over the past year. As organizations face difficult budgetary decisions, technology is often first on the chopping block. In fact, Forrester has predicted that growth in US tech spending will fall from 7.4% in 2022 to 5.4% in 2023. Many companies will likely reevaluate their investments in technology as a result.
The unfortunate irony here is that a large proportion of these companies have accumulated substantial technical debt, meaning that for too long they’ve opted for a string of incongruous and often incompatible short-term tech solutions that are suboptimal and have added too much friction to realizing value. . This technical debt hinders the agility businesses now need to remain competitive in today’s turbulent and unpredictable market.
As organizations look to consolidate their solutions and optimize what they already have, identifying which technologies create efficiencies and drive ROI will be mission-critical.
Seismic is the global leader in enablement, helping organizations engage customers, enable teams, and ignite revenue growth. The Seismic Enablement CloudTM is the most powerful, unified enablement platform that equips customer-facing teams with the right skills, content, tools, and insights to grow and win. From the world’s largest enterprises to startups and small businesses, more than 2,000 organizations around the globe trust Seismic for their enablement needs. Seismic is headquartered in San Diego with offices across North America, Europe, and Australia.
Krish Mantripragada is Chief Product Officer at Seismic.
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