Can predictive bring sales and marketing together?

Barb Mosher Zinck’s interview with Infer’s VP of Product Marketing, Sean Zinsmeister, originally appeared on Diginomica.

fortune-teller-370x225

Knowing which prospects and customers to focus time and effort on is critical for marketing and sales success. You can’t hit everyone; you have to hit the right ones. Predictive and AI can help.

How is the technology adapting to support sales intelligence? I spoke with one predictive sales and marketing platform vendor to get a feel for how the market is evolving.

In my discussion with Sean Zinsmeister, VP of Product Marketing at Infer, he talked about three main issues sales and marketing face.

The Inbound problem

Lead generation is the implementation of strategies to capture the attention of prospective customers. The goal is to get contact information to pass on to Sales for follow up and hopefully conversion. Successful lead generation can yield a lot of contacts, but not necessarily a lot of qualified leads.

So what happens when you are getting way too many leads coming in from Marketing? How do you know which ones to focus on? Which ones are the right ones?

Zinsmeister gave the example of one company that had too many leads pouring in, and it was taking Marketing 100 calls to generate one marketing qualified lead (MQL – a lead that’s most likely to buy). This company adopted predictive scoring and profiling to help it narrow down the best-fit prospects to follow up with and reduced the number of calls to 12 per MQL.

How does predictive scoring help? Not only does Infer look at a contact in terms of their interactions with your company (by looking at your CRM and marketing automation), it also mines the Web and other third party data looking at potentially thousands of data points, each weighted specific to the company’s requirements. Put all that profile information together, and score it and you have a better idea of which prospects are engaging more with your company at the time when they are ready to take the next step.

Why Atlassian will be a $50+ billion company in 10 years

This article was originally published on VentureBeat by Vik Singh, Co-Founder and CEO at Infer.

Atlassian Valuation

 

Recently, Atlassian made a very smart move by acquiring Trello. While $425 million implies a high multiple (given Trello’s revenue run rate was around $10 million last year), I believe it positions Atlassian to become the next big enterprise software company. I project it will reach a $50 billion market cap in 10 years by taking over software for teams. Here are four reasons why:

1. Product-driven culture

I am a long-time user of both Atlassian and Trello’s solutions, and one of the first things I noticed about these companies was that each of them took an entirely product-focused path to expansion. In particular, Atlassian’s rise over the past 15 years came on the strength of products like JIRA and Confluence, which won over developers by being good enough to sell themselves. In fact, the company prides itself on not having traditional sales reps, even though pretty much every other business software company employs an army of them. That’s incredibly impressive given Atlassian’s revenues and customer count. This company lives and dies on building products that work and sell themselves.

Its leadership reflects this product-centric view and is doing a great job building a long-lasting engineering and product culture. I’ve used LinkedIn data to run some numbers about Atlassian’s engineering retention, and computed how long it would take for the company to churn through all of its current software engineers (a “wipeout” period*). It’s currently at an impressive 29 years, which makes Atlassian’s development team more sustainable than those at buzzier companies like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twilio, and Dropbox.

This is probably a big part of the reason the company’s flagship product has become the industry standard, with tens of thousands of customers. With JIRA, Atlassian built a very extensible framework not just for product development but for prioritizing any project task or ticket and for creating automation via triggers and workflows. So much so that companies now use this platform for all types of use cases – at my company, we even use it to support our human resources and recruiting processes. Atlassian repurposed the platform as the foundation for JIRA Service Desk, a newer product that specializes JIRA for customer support and IT teams and is now its fastest growing product line.

Many people don’t realize that Trello has demonstrated the same product acumen as Atlassian. At first glance, some might think of a Trello board as just a “to do” list, but it’s much bigger than that (I’ll expand on this in a moment). The company nailed the details while not bloating the product, delivering key features like checklists, dates, assignments, power-ups (where you can link cards to pull in information from other SaaS systems), progress meters, labels, attachments, and new feeds, etc. With these capabilities, Trello has delivered a near-perfect agile/kanban experience while managing to make its core collaboration tools incredibly simple and intuitive.

Justin Norris of Perkuto on the State of B2B Advertising, How ABM is Making Outbound Cool Again, and Extending Marketo [Podcast]

This week, we’re joined by Justin Norris, Solutions Architect at Perkuto to talk about how his experience with hundreds of Marketo-based sales and marketing stacks has given him a unique perspective on sales automation, lead routing, and architecting solutions that string together many technologies and systems to do awesome things. Justin also chats with the hosts about his thoughts on B2B advertising and why ABM is making outbound cool again.

Adrian Chang, Director of Customer Programs at Oracle Marketing Cloud on Trends to Watch for 2017 [Podcast]

We are so excited to bring you a new episode of Stack & Flow with our latest guest, Adrian Chang. He is the Director of Customer Programs at Oracle Eloqua, where he has worked for nearly ten years, and is a marketing automation pro. Obviously no stranger to the ever-evolving world of martech, Adrian helps the hosts break down this year’s Gartner Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising, including why companies are investing more in technologies that will help marketers deliver the best of the brand with customer data. He also shares how to get started with machine learning, and what trends will be big in 2017.

The State of B2B Software Reviews, Martech Growth and the G2 Stack [Podcast]

G2Crowd is disrupting the traditional analyst quadrants. The online B2B software review company has built an impressive community made up of over 100,000 crowdsourced reviews from real-life users, then turns those thousands of data points into trend reports, a la Gartner and Forrester. In this episode of Stack & Flow, G2’s Chief Marketing Officer, Adrienne Weissman, shares her thoughts on how consumer review sites have helped to shape the B2B software buyer’s expectations, what the relatively young company is doing to drum up demand generation, and why good project management helps align their sales and marketing team for better ideation and execution.