Last Thursday, April 6th, Fusemachines featured New Tech Tools – Accelerating Sales and Demand Generation, as a part of the SalesTech community at Work-Bench. With the help from the Enterprise Sales Forum, we invited Dennis Mortensen, CEO of x.ai, Ruth Stevens, President of eMarketing Strategy, and Sameer Maskey, CEO of Fusemachines to share their insight on how technology can assist sales and demand generation.
To kick off the event, moderator Noah Goldman, prompted the panel on how demand generation has evolved in new businesses that are at the forefront of new technology.
How are new tools in technology changing the lives of sales people?
Dennis Mortensen, x.ai–There is this predictable change where what we used to employ humans to do might be something we employ agents to do for us. Whether it be the initial qualification, setting up a meeting, or any number of things that you have put into your process. I am personally quite excited to see how this paradigm shift happens between now and the future.
Dennis Mortensen, along with his team at x.ai, has spent the past three years trying to bring one agent to negotiate and schedule meetings. It is now Amy’s job to have a human-like conversation back and forth to schedule meetings, getting rid of yet another chore that is in a sales person’s inbox. We can expect to see more agents like Amy becoming involved in our day to day sales processes.
Ruth Stevens, eMarketing Strategy – There are some wonderful new tools that have emerged to help populate accounts with richer contact information along with buying signals. I have seen services that allow you to add the consumer record of your contact to your business record that you already have. If we had a more consumer-oriented insight, it could add a lot of richness to the business conversation, which has been done through Twitter handles or Geocoding.
Ruth Stevens assists start-ups and established companies in building their customer acquisition and retention strategies by identifying the best target market segments, developing the right marketing programs, and attracting and retaining profitable customers.
Sameer Maskey, Fusemachines – What I have seen is more of a focus on buying intent signals. With buying intent signals there is a focus on account based marketing and being able to target particular people who are ready to buy, instead of reaching out to hundreds of thousands of people. This comes with a lot of data sources, which is where I see things moving ahead. In addition, there is one product that we have been working on that has yet to be released, which is trying to automate one task – sending follow-up reminders.
Fusemachines mine-logs different data sources across various domains by using a lot of exhaust data.Fusemachines figures out which people are ready to buy and what they are wanting to buy.
How can we see technology helping us on the demand generation side to negotiate information and make sense of it for salespeople?
SM – For example, if a company is hiring a lot of customer service reps, machines can track and see when there is an upward trend and create a buying intent signal.
RS – Lookalike modeling is widely available now. The strategy is that a business can upload its current or top customers and statistically model the characteristics of those accounts. Then, they can find lookalikes in the general population of businesses in whichever region or territory that you are targeting along with individual contact information. This is a database marketing application that is applied in complex B2B marketing.
DM – We do a lot of things everyday that we have to do just to do the things that we are actually hired to do. The key word is jobs, I need to offload and hire someone to do those jobs. What are those 11 chores that needs to be moved off my plate? We should care about what what we have been tasked to do, not whether or not it is a human or machine.
Will These Tools Replace the Salesperson? How can salespeople stay ahead and stay relevant?
RS – Buyers still want to have a voice-to-voice personal relationship. Although that type of relationship can be enabled, I doubt that a robot can satisfy that type of relationship. Maybe Watson will be able to replicate it in a way, but ultimately we are not going to be out of a job.
SM – By the virtue of doing a particular task such as scheduling a meeting or finding a lead. Meaning that you will only need 8 SDRs instead of 10, and that also means some people will be out of a job. Machines are going to take over some level of jobs. Forward thinking companies will try their best to try to find other roles. However, they could be very large companies that would easily let go of 100 SDRs.
DM – There might be a set of people who might be displaced, but I also believe so much in human imagination. That if I was willing to pay for 20 SDRs and if I could east cost cut them away, I could just as easily imagine “what if employ them on onboarding and retention?” rather than letting them go. Instead of letting them walk out the door, I would reemploy them in different settings.