In a recent article, our editorial team had the opportunity to connect with Dave Liloia, Associate Director of Global Marketing Operations at PerkinElmer, a global technology leader focused on human and environmental health. Dave was able to discuss how his firm uses Eloqua to support sales and marketing efforts, what he’s looking forward to most at this year’s Eloqua Experience Conference, along with advice for Eloqua’s popular Topliners community.
Next up is a Q&A featuring Tom Disantis, Senior Director at CEB, the leading member-based advisory firm providing insight and actionable solutions to senior leaders and their teams.
Tom is featured as one of the speakers to check out at the upcoming Eloqua Experience 2012 event in November. He will be discussing the Challenger Selling Model and its impact on helping sales and marketing leaders succeed in this dynamic and changing selling environment.
In our conversation below, Tom provides a little background on his role at CEB, insights on what to expect from his presentation and what he would like attendees to walk away with from the Experience event.
Can you provide us with a little background on your role at CEB?
I’ve been with CEB for eight years and I lead a team of executive advisors for the Sales and Service Practice helping our members build more effective organizations. Our team provides valuable counsel to our members based from CEB research and insights.
I also work with senior executives to overcome pressing challenges that hinder corporate performance. Many of these challenges are addressed by putting into place proven industry practices. Examples of such practices include assessing key performance trends and risks, organizing and managing critical talent, and benchmarking performance and plans.
Can you enlighten us a little on your presentation at Eloqua Experience 2012 which focuses on The Challenger Sale?
Let me first mention that we’re dealing with a radically different dynamic with B2B buyers than in years past. The volume of information that is now available online has enabled customers to be much further along in the buying process before they even reach out to a vendor.
As a result of this dramatic shift, customers have likely made a decision on what they’re looking for by the time they first speak with a vendor to fulfill their need. Ultimately, this creates a challenge for sales and marketing as customers only want to discuss one thing – price.
So how do we solve this issue for sales and marketing executives?
First, we need to understand what actually motivates a customer to do business with us. When CEB analyzed nearly 5,000 B2B customers, the biggest determining factor we saw was improving the quality of the sales experience. In other words, of all the levers we can pull to influence our customers, the biggest one is improving the quality of interaction our sales and marketing teams are having with prospects and customers on a daily basis.
This raises another question. If the sales experience matters so much, then what defines a successful sales experience? This is where the Challenger Selling Model comes into play to create and capitalize on a quality sales experience with the customer. During my presentation, I will share three critical capabilities sales and marketing leaders must develop as well as specific ways sales and marketing can partner together to replicate the Challenger approach across their organization.
What do you want attendees to walk away with at the upcoming user conference?
Ultimately, the message I want to get across during my presentation is that sales and marketing leaders must understand that customers are buying from us very differently and that we need to evolve our approach. Being a “customer-focused” organization is longer enough. This is a very difficult position, especially for the account managers and sales reps out there meeting with customers and prospects. I will show how sales and marketing leaders can effectively engage with customers by delivering the one thing they actually want from a supplier in this complex buying environment.