Technically Speaking: An Interview with Sean Kester, SalesLoft’s VP of Product Marketing

SalesLoft converts targets into customers with multi-channel, multi-touch sales communications, and gives customers a single pane to help them be more effective. HG Data and SalesLoft recently partnered to integrate the HG Focus Chrome Extension within the SalesLoft platform. We sat down with Sean Kester, SalesLoft’s vice president of product marketing, to discuss the benefit of HG Data’s market intelligence and, as a result of the combined capabilities, how marketing professionals can best gauge their prospecting efforts and measure real customer engagement. Read on for the rest of the conversation.

 Market intelligence data is integral to the sales development process. Where does SalesLoft fit in, and how does your platform elevate a business’s sales communication practice?   

Sales development has grown tremendously over the past decade. SalesLoft is a sales engagement platform at heart; in broad strokes, we help businesses convert targets into accounts. We do this through the execution and analysis of multi-channel, multi-touch sales communications, including phone, email, and social media. We provide one platform through which our customers are able to execute all aspects of their sales communication strategy. We also provide insight and analytics based on those activities to make each strategy more efficient and effective. Data is critical to enriching the sales communication process, and our newly solidified relationship with HG Data enhances our customers’ ability to determine specific target accounts.

There are a number of segments to consider at the outset of the customer acquisition process. It’s unique to every business, and for us, it’s about the size of the company you’re targeting, the size of their sales team, and whether or not that team uses Salesforce. If you can determine whether or not they’re using a marketing automation tool – even better. That’s where HG Data comes in.

Talk to us about the partnership. How are your customers benefitting from the integration of HG Focus on the SalesLoft platform?

The combined power of the HG Focus Chrome extension within the SalesLoft application gives sellers and marketers instant access to HG Data’s unrivaled competitive intelligence and provides serious insight around which accounts they should be focusing on. On its own, SalesLoft makes selling more efficient, and the HG Focus integration allows us to use HG Data’s market intelligence to enrich the contact information we already have.

Being able to access HG Focus when already in the SalesLoft platform means there’s no such thing as an unqualified account. Every account a customer sees as a result of this integration is already pre-qualified.

Our customers are strategic; they’re not interested in pumping as many contacts and prospects into a database for the sake of outreach. Acquiring as many customers as possible has taken a backseat to bringing on the right customer. Our sales team is so successful because they grasped this reality early on. Long before we partnered, our sales team used HG Data (and specifically, HG Focus) to identify the type of CRM technology an account was using.

SalesLoft makes sales people more efficient. The integration of HG Data’s installed technology intelligence on top of this makes selling more effective.

Thanks to the combined power of these technologies, our customers are able to understand prospective buyers better: they see if a prospect is using an adjacent product – and if so, which solution they have installed. We integrated HG Data’s HG Focus feed within our existing customer workflow so that all sales-related information is current, top of mind, and easily accessible for the sales team. Anyone can conduct a search on LinkedIn for a certain decision maker or role (SVP, head of business development, marketing manager, for example), capture available information on that account, and reach out on a personal level. Thanks to HG Data, everything is front and center. As a result of this integration, sellers can seamlessly access a company profile or website and immediately understand what technologies the business is using.  Our customers don’t even have to open up a new tab or page: the facts (contact information and installed technology data) are already generated so that our customers are able to make smarter decisions.

What keeps you up at night? What are the marketing megatrends and opportunities for 2017?

The modernization of sales is very important to us. Just a few years ago most sales outreach was automated. Marketers sent a number of emails to various accounts and automated the entire process from content creation to measurement. In 2016, the movement was around personalization – specifically personalization at scale. In 2017, decisions will be driven through the use of competitive intelligence and market data around installed technologies. Predictive analytics is particularly interesting as well. The ability to help companies formulate their ideal customer profile rooted in historical data is incredibly advantageous. It’s important to know exactly which businesses and stakeholders you should be going after, and competitive intelligence and historical data are going to get you there.

How does the HG Data integration fuel account-based marketing?

Connecting the dots between corporate ecosystems and target accounts helps sellers identify where they need to focus their efforts. Today, we call this account-based marketing, or ABM. ABM is not a new concept, but companies finally understand that it’s not just about the accumulation of accounts. It’s the manner in which you pursue those accounts that’s most important. Sales development is really the linchpin of success within an account-based marketing model, as it’s critical for sellers on the front lines having those conversations to know the technologies a prospect is using or has used in the past. It all comes down to identifying the right accounts, determining the right personas, and using data to connect, qualify, and convert those prospect accounts into customers.

For more information on the SalesLoft and HG Data integration, click here.