SalesTechStar Interview with Stuart Lazarus, Vice President at Infutor Consumer Identity Management Experts
For sales and marketing teams, technologies that deliver instant insights will continue to be in high demand while other parameters like intent data, key changes in an account’s behavior and related insights that can help sales be in the right place at the right time during their prospects’ buyer’s journey will also grow in popularity and capabilities. Stuart Lazarus, Vice President at Infutor Consumer Identity Management Experts joins is in this SalesTechStar interview to discuss these trends while sharing a few thoughts and tips for the changing buying and selling environment businesses are adjusting to, as part of the Covid-19 new normal.
Can you tell us a little about yourself Stuart?
The personal story goes – after meeting my college sweetheart at the University of Kansas, I followed her back to her hometown of Chicago where we have enjoyed a wonderful life and are blessed with our two children, ages 14 and 11. As a University of Kansas alum, I am a die-hard basketball fan and happy to say my son has now taken an interest.
Professionally, I have worked for more than two decades in the data and analytics space helping to build sales teams and most importantly, helping sales reps achieve their goals and build their career paths. I’ve worked for amazing companies like Nielsen, IBM SPSS Statistics, and even a start-up of Allstate called Arity. For the past three years, my passion has been split between spending time with my family and working hard to scale the Infutor business – most recently as Vice President of Sales.
We’d love your thoughts on how you’ve seen the need for better data-driven sales and marketing technologies evolve over the last few years; what according to you are sales and marketing teams going to demand more of in terms of new features from their sales tech and martech in the near-future?
Just as Infutor customers and prospects are looking for critical data and insights into their customers, sales and marketing teams require transparency and data-driven insights from technologies that can illuminate each phase of the sales process. While SalesForce is our source of truth, newer solutions like Gong.IO have been a game-changer in terms of identifying and linking trends as well as gaps in our prospect outreach. Gong IO allows us to focus on selling rather than notetaking and gives reps and marketing teams the ability to hone-in on key selling points. Going forward, technologies that deliver sales teams with instant insights will continue to be in high demand. Things like intent data, key changes in an account and other insights that can help sales be in the right place at the right time during their prospects’ buyer’s journey(Infutor).
There are a slew of technologies today and methods to help sales and marketing target, identify and score their inbound leads: when it comes to this part of the process in their cycle, what are some top words of advice you’d like to share?
Transparency still reigns supreme when building out a sales team, both from an individual and team perspective. Joint collaboration and communication between sales and marketing allows both departments to work together as one unit. Martech and salestech tools are a huge enabler in allowing us to dig further into the lead process and generate insights and for the collective team to determine where efforts are bearing the most fruit. I tell my sales reps that 50 percent of leads come from their outreach and the other half comes from marketing so it’s a great symbiotic relationship that needs to be constantly nurtured. An omnichannel sales and marketing approach to lead generation and nurturing is even more critical now as we navigate our way through the pandemic.
New innovations in salestech and martech have changed how companies approach their sales and marketing roles today, what should a few traditional elements in these processes still be a part of the overall plans and strategies that are largely being backed by data and tech today?
The tried-and-true sales methodology needs to be the foundation of a solid sales approach. Sales are won not by price or widgets but by the ability of the sales rep to listen to the needs of the business, the problems they face and the results they are trying to achieve. If your sales pitch can’t quantify and deliver on those business goals, the sale will inevitably go somewhere else. The “who” you are selling to is also critically important, especially right now. Are the decision-makers and influencers made-up of three people or a team of six? What roles do they play and what are their particular interests and goals? We’ve recently come across a prospect that now has a COVID-19 procurement committee that must review and approve all purchases over $100,000. This level of detail is needed both for individual sales reps and the entire sales organization as we determine sales strategies and pursue leads.
How will emerging tech help to further boost capabilities in sales and marketing in say, 10 years from now – what would sales look like then?
Every action we take moving forward needs to be done with an underpinning of data and insights. Technologies that will enable sales and marketing’s goal of maximizing the precious time we have in reaching the right people, at the right time, in the right channel and with the right message. Although I don’t dare predict the next six months given the last six, I do think we will continue to see an evolution of technologies that offer increasingly crisper, data-driven insights that will allow our sales reps to ultimately support our customers’ journeys.
While remote work is still largely in place due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic even though businesses and economies are slowly inching towards reopening, what are some of the thoughts you’d like to share?
In this time, keeping your team motivated can be much more challenging. It’s very easy to get caught in the hamster wheel of work, particularly in sales. It’s incredibly important to me as a sales leader at Infutor to ensure my team is taking breathers and making time for vacation and family to recharge and appreciate the most important things in life. Right now, it’s not a 9-5 work-life. Our sales teams are taking new business calls sometimes at 8 p.m. because that is the only time the prospect can have some quiet time. Knowing this, more flexibility is also needed for your reps’ schedules and for understanding their individual pulse.
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?
A consistent recognition and rewards program is key right now as sales can be a very high stakes game. I expect a lot from my sales team and conversely, they expect a lot from me. They certainly appreciate the spiffs when a sale or a lead is earned, but they also appreciate other forms of recognition like company-wide shout-outs and simple thank you. A big part of sales engagement and even general employee engagement is ensuring that you understand the needs and struggles of each employee and allowing them to take a deep breath so they can decompress. This is a challenging time for everyone but not everyone has the same pressures(Infutor).
Infutor is the expert in data-driven consumer identity management. The company is solely focused on enabling brands to instantly gain access to the most complete and accurate information about consumers, exactly when they need it, to make informed marketing and risk mitigation decisions. Infutor’s mission is to deliver solutions that accurately identify consumers before, during and in-between engagements, giving brands a secure, privacy compliant foundation to improve inbound engagement and outbound omnichannel marketing reach, and to minimize losses due to fraud and non-payment.
Stuart is a seasoned and successful sales management professional with over 15 years of experience in developing strategic business plans, directing high-performing sales teams, he provides sales strategy coaching to support employee development and career advancement. He also leads business development initiatives by emphasizing consistent sales process, forging key partnerships, and participating in vision planning. Proven team leader with impacting bottom-line growth and enhancing company objectives.