I had a lively conversation with Lauren Vaccarello, CMO at Salesloft, a company whose sales engagement platform provides revenue teams with a suite of products designed to increase sales (also make their lives a lot easier). Salesloft appears to have real momentum in the market right now; it recently was named one of the Top 10 fastest-growing digital technology & services companies in the UK by SimilarWeb.
I had a bunch of questions for Lauren, who is both extremely knowledgeable about sales and clearly passionate about B2B sales best practices. I wanted to quiz her on how B2Bs can better align sales and marketing KPIs and improve lead scoring practices. I also wanted to get her POV on the classic “whales vs. tuna” dilemma facing many B2B sales teams (whether to focus efforts exclusively on large accounts or whether to widen the scope to include smaller prospects). Lauren notes that one of her platform’s strong points is the degree to which it can save sales teams time (sales teams only spend 30 percent of their time selling; the remainder is spent on administration).
Lauren and I agree that 2023 may bring with it a slowdown in the sales cycle and discuss how sales teams need to deal with this reality. We converse about the fact that important sales decisions are often made by committee today, not single decision-makers, and why it’s important for sales teams to perform deep research to identify committee members, decision influencers, and possible disrupters (possibly including the CFO). We then turn to channels that B2B marketers may be ignoring or underutilizing today, discuss the role of influencers in the B2B sales process, and touch on the importance of testimonials as a component of brand storytelling.
Looking towards 2023 and beyond, Lauren regards herself as an optimist but also a realist when it comes to the macroeconomic outlook. “Things are going harder. 2022 was harder than 2021. 2023 — especially if we go into a recession — is going to get harder. No one wants the hard times, but we all grow faster, we all get better, faster, we get more creative, we forge tighter bonds in the hard times, and I am not looking forward to hard times; I am looking forward to seeing innovation and the growth of this industry of marketers, of myself, going ‘OK, what worked yesterday won’t work today — now what are we going to do to get better. That excites me.”