Sales Pipeline Radio, Episode 258: Q&A Tiffani Bova @Tiffani_Bova

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By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing

If you’re not already subscribed to Sales Pipeline Radio, or listening live every Thursday at 11:30 a.m Pacific on LinkedIn (also on demand) you can find the transcription and recording here on the blog every Monday morning.  The show is less than 30 minutes, fast-paced and full of actionable advice, best practices and more for B2B sales & marketing professionals.

We cover a wide range of topics, with a focus on sales development and inside sales priorities. You can subscribe right at Sales Pipeline Radio and/or listen to full recordings of past shows everywhere you listen to podcasts! Spotify,  iTunesBlubrry, Google Play, iHeartRADIO, Stitcher and now on Amazon music.  You can even ask Alexa!

This week’s show is called “Meet the New Hybrid Salesforce: Q&A with Tiffani Bova“.  My guest is Tiffani Bova, Global Growth and Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce.

Join us as we discuss what will come back and what will be the new status quo for B2B sales and marketing moving forward, employee experience analysis during the pandemic, as well as humanizing sales and marketing and conversations while leveraging great technology.

Listen in now, read the transcript below, and/or watch the video here.

Matt:     Well, welcome everyone to another exciting episode of Sales Pipeline Radio. Thank you so much, everyone, for joining us. If you are joining live on LinkedIn, let’s see we got LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook. I think it’s all of those places right now. Thank you for joining us in the middle of your workday. Anything we say and do is in fact happening live, if you’re watching live, including if you have comments or questions on our topic today, or for our distinguished speaker. Feel free to throw those in. We can actually make you part of the show and can bring your question in. We can feature your question or comment directly onscreen. And as we go on-demand, if you’re watching this on-demand, join us live next time. But we’re glad you’re watching; glad you’re checking this out. If you’re listening to this on the podcast, thank you so much for subscribing and listening. We are doing this as a live LinkedIn with VideoNow. I’ve been doing that for most of this year. But if you’re interested in the show, in this topic, anything Sales Pipeline-related, almost 300 episodes available on-demand at salespipelineradio.com. Very excited to have our speaker today.
But first, I want to just quickly thank our sponsor. Thank you to Vidyard for being a great sponsor throughout the summer. It was great to partner with them. Very excited to introduce a new sponsor today, Sendoso. Many of you have likely heard the name Sendoso. In today’s saturated hybrid workplace, human connection makes all the difference. And brands that embrace physical, virtual, and hybrid strategies are building meaningful connections and generating revenue. It’s more than just direct mail. It’s more than just gifting. You can learn success stories of what other companies are doing to delight and engage their connections at Sendoso’ s Connected Conference in October, October 13, check it out at sendoso.com/connected. I’m very excited to be working with them. They do some pretty amazing stuff across channels.
And we’re going to be talking about the state of marketing and the many changes in sales and marketing today with our guest. Very excited to have with us Tiffani Bova, who many of you have likely heard of and read from and seen at conferences, long time analyst, spent over 10 years at Gartner, and is currently the… I want to make sure I get this right. You’re the global growth and innovation evangelist with Salesforce. So basically what I’m imagining is like, same things you were doing at Gartner, just with more scope, more ideas, maybe more budget, but it’s been exciting to watch your path the last several years. Thanks for joining us today.

Tiffani:  Thanks for having me, Matt. It’s just always a pleasure to talk about one of my favorite topics, Sales Pipeline.

Matt:     Yeah, well, I mean-

Tiffani:  Or sales in general.

Matt:     Just sales in general, pipeline. I mean, we intentionally call this Sales Pipeline Radio because we don’t… Look, it’s about pipeline, but we have a lot of marketers listening to this and you can’t buy a beer with MQLs and clicks and retweets.

Tiffani: Right.

Matt:     And so, it’s all about what we’re producing for the business that can drive revenue. This has been an interesting year-and-a-half. Unfortunately we haven’t had a chance to share a drink together in quite a while, but you’ve been watching this evolving hybrid Salesforce and hybrid sales effort. And I imagine that there’s some things you’ve seen in the last year-and-a-half, where there were hints of that beforehand, right? This isn’t necessarily changed everything, but it’s forced us into a different paradigm. Talk a little bit about what you’ve seen and what’s moved us into, and been successful, with this hybrid sales team.

Tiffani:  Sure. You nailed it. I remember I did one of the very first Salesforce LinkedIn Lives about this very topic of hybrid selling, sort of April of 2020, talking about sort of what we thought was going to happen. Having no idea, some 16 months later we’d still be having this conversation. But having covered sales transformation for a decade, and having been a sales leader for Fortune 500 companies and startups prior to that, this is the first time I felt like the sales profession has been rocked to its core. And a lot of that had to do with…many selling organizations were very successful, selling either inside only, or outside only, or a hybrid of the two. And then overnight, globally, regardless of industry, regardless of sector, that was shut down. And so many outside sellers, that were very proud of being outside sellers. Some even graduated from inside to outside, right? It was like a promotion in some way. We’re forced now to figure out how do we continue creating these engaging and sort of personalized experiences we did face-to-face in a virtual world. And there was no shortage of conversations with chief revenue and chief sales officers in the decade before with their field sellers where they’d say, there’s no way we’re going to start to use technology and automate what we do. It’s all about the handshake and the golf tournament and the event and the dinner and the lunch. And the first people I thought of was them. Sort of how overnight the decisions that they had made in the 1, 2, 3 years prior were no longer going to satisfy the demand of bringing business in the door.
So that was kind of at its core what I thought was so impactful, but what’s been inspiring is to see how people have rallied and responded and continued to serve customers and bring business in the door, even in light of the challenges that we’re all facing.

Matt:     Yeah, I think that it’s been, it’s sort of forced our hand, right? I remember a little over a year and a half ago, or maybe a little less than that. I don’t know. I think in September, I’m not really sure. As marketers had to sort of rethink their 2020 Q2 plans, we went from, well, should we do something simple, something different with the booth this year? Or what should we do for a customer happy hour to what field events went away entirely? And it kind of ripped the band aid off for everybody. But I think what we’re going to go back to, is going to be very different than what we had before, because we were moving that direction anyway.
What do you think will come back and what do you think will become the new status quo for sales and marketing and B2B moving forward?

Tiffani:  We had done some state of sales research towards the end of last year that showed that it was somewhere close to 60% of sellers that believe their role was permanently changed, and whatever that means. So whatever they used to be doing was not going to go back to the way that it was. And there’s a lot of positive behind that statement. Look, at its most basic level, businesses do two things; they make stuff, and they sell stuff. So, you got to keep selling if you’re going to continue to make. So, optimizing the way that you sell and figuring out, okay, now that we’re in this different environment where customers actually have different expectations of that engagement.
There was some great research that Mackenzie put out that started sort of the April, May timeframe of 2020 in what B2B buyers thought about the relationship with sellers, and if they thought they would be able to maintain that engagement level remotely. In that first survey, it was no, they didn’t. And then as time went on, by the time we got to September, October of last year, it actually exceeded the expectation, meaning that sales had done a really good job making that pivot. And so now the question is, it’s not about does the seller want to go back, it’s does the buyer want them to go back? And so that 15 minute bursts of a quick zoom teams, WebEx, Skype, whatever call. Ultimately do you say, all right, 15 minutes is good enough. I don’t want to have to take my client out for 90 minutes, take them out of the office for two hours, or is it really an event? Or can I get them for an hour webinar where they can just go back to their day? And so I think the hybrid aspect of it is going to be where we land. It’s just going to be in what industry, in what segment, in what situation, in sort of being able to be much more agile and responsive, if you will, in real time that’s going to be the key.

Matt:     I think that when you say no to something, you say yes to something else, right? And if you’re going to say, no, we’re not going to make some of those trips, we’re not going to make some of those BizDev, we’re not going to do some of those conferences. You get to say yes to sort of not having that distraction on your schedule to not taking two days, to do something you might be able to do in 45 to 90 minutes.
Then you also get to do it in the early afternoon and still take your kid to karate class in the afternoon. So, there’s all these different things that were sort of hypothetical before, and you might’ve been scared to try it, but then you have had a year and a half to try it. And you’re like this isn’t bad. I kind of like taking my kid to karate and being able to sleep in my own bed. Which leads me to the research you guys just did. You just published some stuff in Forbes around the employee experience and obviously salespeople, whether they were field or inside or not, are employees as well. What did you learn around the employee experience? What they’re looking for and how that aligns with the way we might treat that selling, buying experience moving forward?

Tiffani:  Yeah. Great question. And while the research was not specifically around sales, I’ll give you the sales lens of it. The average seller spends about 66% of their time on non-selling activities. And that was from some Salesforce research. From some CSO research, which is Miller Heiman, now Korn Ferry, was 52 or 54% of sellers are going to miss quota. Like day one, week one, month one, quarter one, they’re going to miss quota. So, part of why the seller, i.e., the employee, is spending so much time on non-selling activities is because a lot of things were still manual. So think about all the automation we now can have and I often use, should sellers be calling 100 people every day? And then 10 people call you back and two people schedule a demo, and one person buys, and so it’s a constant numbers game. Or should you call the 10 that are more likely to buy because the system is using its intelligence to say, these are the ones that are more likely to do the next action you want them to do. And so here’s what we want you to do. So now I can free up the time from the other 90 calls you might’ve made and allow you to service those 10 better in the selling motion and or servicing your existing customers better.
So, one example I’d use here is the average enterprise has about 900 applications or so, across the entire organization. And some of those will never be integrated, obviously like HR and maybe security and IT systems and things like that. But when you talk about the business side, let’s just talk sales for a moment, only about 27% of them are integrated, which means as a seller, I’m having to jump from application to application. Now I know it’s not lost on me. I work at Salesforce. So obviously it’s like, yeah, sure, use our technology, but it’s not just us. It’s everything that you put in front of a seller to do their job and why even today, we still have resistance from sellers using technology. Because it’s either too cumbersome, it’s not intelligent, they’re having to replicate activities in multiple systems. And, or worse than all of what I just said, is management doesn’t actually use the technology to its capability, and so they still manage their sellers the same way. Which then leads employees to feel like, look, I’m doing all this work, I’m inputting all this, then you’re asking me the same question. So why am I inputting this data? Oh yeah. Because if it’s not in Salesforce, it doesn’t count. That’s the reason I’m doing it instead of doing it because the system is actually going to make me a smarter seller. So if you have happy sellers, which right now, there’s this huge Exodus and people leaving organizations and saying, look I want to find ways in which I can find more balance to the examples you were just giving. Technology is at the core of it. And so sellers have to not be afraid of AI replacing them, but the power couple of human and tech. And so happy sellers leads to happier customers. And those two things leads to greater growth.

Matt:     I love the way you characterized that. We’re speaking today on Sales Pipeline Radio with Tiffani Bova, she’s the global growth and innovation evangelist at Salesforce. I think the things you’re talking about here, are really important because as we move into a more digitally oriented world, if we’re not going to be in person and more of those interactions…  we could argue that the way we’re talking today is face to face. But I’m sitting in Seattle, you’re sitting in LA, you could be in Hawaii or Koalalumpur for all I know. Right? And so there’s still technology involved in here. And I think you mentioned AI and intent signals and everything that is going to make us more precise and more effective.
Brent Adamson was at an event last week and was talking about digital. And he says what’s going to be successful is human in digital. The idea that we can’t just let the bits decide what to do and just assume it’s all going to work for us. We still have to humanize that effort. So what are some examples or ways you think we can continue to humanize sales and marketing and conversations while leveraging the great technology that is now available to us?

Tiffani:

Yeah. I’m just going to give an example that marketing is driving leads, right? So much effort has been put around things like lead scoring. Then the lead is passed over to the seller, and you have five sellers, and for easy example A, B, and C leads. ‘A’ being better leads, ‘B’ being okay leads, ‘C’ being not so great leads, right? You have five sellers. All of them get A leads from marketing, but all five of them do very different things. Seller one calls the customer. Seller two emails the customer. Seller three connects with them on LinkedIn. Seller four sends them a Tik Tok video. Seller five drop something off of their office. Whatever happens. And that doesn’t necessarily lend itself to telling marketing what’s working, what’s not working. It’s also not allowing sales to know what’s working and what’s not working.
So even though technology in its intelligence, right, we’re saying here’s the lead, here’s the score. Let’s just pass it over in an automated way and let sales go be free with how they do it. Versus saying, hold on a second, what’s the play we can put behind that lead? So all five do the same thing. So the first thing I want you to do is I want you to send an email. Then I want you to follow up with a call, or I want you to connect with them on LinkedIn. And then I want you to send them an email. Then I want you to call. And you start to learn which activities are actually more successful. And in that collaboration between sales and marketing, right, that human side and the tech side, you get smarter and smarter and smarter. Now, once you realize that when you pass an A lead, that the first thing to do is connect with them on LinkedIn or something like that. It doesn’t mean forever. That’s the case. It now means you need to watch that and see if it changes again.
But if humans are resistant and go, yeah, marketing told me to do this, I’m going to do that. It doesn’t serve the business well. And it also doesn’t serve you as a seller well. The intelligence that’s coming out of technology will help you spend more time selling and we’ll help you be a smarter seller. You know, I often joke, I sold for 15 years, I sold tech for 15 years, I started out as an individual contributor and worked my way up. And if I had the power, because back then I was using Excel spreadsheets, a single user version of Act, a single user version of Goldmine. I would spin my Rolodex, wherever it stopped, that’s who I’d call. Like it wasn’t that technically savvy. And when I hear about the capabilities today, I go, imagine if I was hitting and blowing up my numbers, then without technology, what could I do today? So that’s the kind of attitude we have to have. And if humans don’t engage with tech and embrace it and allow them to maybe have them go, maybe let me try. Instead of just with the fixed mindset of saying, I’ve always done it this way, it’s worked. I’m not going to do it that way. So, at its core, I think even with Brent, what Brent was saying you have to think about, humans have to accept the ability and the opportunity by which tech is going to give them greater insights to make them once again, smarter sellers.

Matt:     Love it. Well, we just got a few more minutes here with Tiffani Bova. We are going to run out of time for all the great stuff she has to share. Fortunately, she heaps, there’s a breadcrumb trail of all your great stuff across the web. Definitely check out her what’s next podcast. You go to tiffanibova.com, Tiffani with an I, B O V A.com/next to check out her podcast.
Also, if you have not read Growth IQ, I highly recommend this book, check it out, tiffanibova.com/book. It’s a great roadmap of, where I remember these 10 specific areas that we don’t have time to get into here. This really can sort of help drive success, and it’s written for any business leader in any industry. So definitely check Outgrowth IQ.
Before we run out of time, I did want to make sure we give you a chance to talk about some fairly new research on sort of the state of marketing. And this one came out I think just last month, and obviously sort of real-time insights into all these dramatic changes. What is the current state of marketing based on your research? And then what do we have to look forward to as a lot of marketing leaders now plan for 2022 and beyond?

Tiffani:  I’d say number one was sort of data. You know, data is absolutely top of mind for so many marketing leaders. As we’re not able to be face-to-face and we’re capturing first, second, third party data, what do we do with that data? The statement of data is the new oil is sort of that buzz term, but you can’t pull up to a gas, oil rig and sort of fill your car. It has to go through the refinery, which to me is analytics. And then that analytics sort of pushes out insights, which is the petrol or the gasoline that powers the business. So data for data’s sake is not that interesting, but the amount of data sources is exploding. And so how do you sort of get a handle on that so you can be smarter about the business? And getting closer to the customer, anticipating their needs, being much more responsive in an inclusive marketing way is what is really top of mind.
And overall, I’d say I’m excited to see how the connection between sales and marketing is not the top conversation anymore. I feel like we’ve done that quite a bit, but now customer service or customer success is coming into the fold and marketing really enabling the customer service and customer success organization, to be able to touch the customers in a much more orchestrated way. Whether it’s account-based marketing, whether it’s customer-based penetration rates, upsell, cross sell. It cannot just be that sales is selling, marketing is driving leads, and customer services where sort of all the complaints go. Really rounding that out across all of those customer touch points is a huge opportunity. So the research as was mentioned, just came out a couple of weeks ago. It’s robust, it’s global by segment, by size, by region and free to download. So you can check that out on Salesforce’s research site.

Matt:     Awesome. So definitely take a look at that. I mean, big difference between buying journey and customer journey. The bigger lens you look at than the better you can think about the relationship you want to have with someone as a customer, the better you can set up that successful relationship in the buying journey. It definitely has an impact. Tiffani, thank you so much for joining us today. I know you’re super busy. Where else can people learn about you other than the book and the podcast? Where else can people read your latest?

Tiffani:  Yeah. So, follow me on LinkedIn. I’m fairly active there as well as all the other social platforms, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. And please connect with me and let me know what you think of some of my work. I’m always looking for the conversation of shaping my thinking, and that comes from having people push back on something I post on LinkedIn, which happens often. And then people agreeing and somewhere it’s kind of in the middle, but I have always been very grateful for the support I’ve gotten from the selling community over the last 20 years, and I continue to day in and day out.

Matt:     Awesome. Well, thank you so much for all that you do for sales and marketing professionals. Thanks for your continued research. Thanks for joining us today on Sales Pipeline Radio, and thanks everyone for watching and listening really appreciate you all being here. I appreciate Sendoso for being our awesome sponsor this month. If you want to check out their conference again, October 13th, 2021, sendoso.com/connected. Free to sign up. They’ve got some amazing speakers, some great content coming up, check it out. All right. That’s it for today. Thanks so much for joining us. We’ll see you next time on Sales Pipeline Radio.

Tiffani:  Bye everybody.

Sales Pipeline Radio is produced by Heinz Marketing.

I interview the best and brightest minds in sales and Marketing.  If you would like to be a guest on Sales Pipeline Radio send an email to Sheena. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Cherie.

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