Perspectives: 3 Different Takes On AI for Marketing and Sales

We recently sat down with a few Mintigo team members to get their perspectives on AI for marketing and sales. In particular, we wanted to know the impact of this emerging technology in their fields as well as the promise and challenges it presents.

To begin, we started off by asking them to describe their roles at Mintigo and to provide some insight on their background prior to joining the company.

 

Nida Chughtai, Sr. Director of Customer Experience: I manage the relationship between Mintigo’s enterprise and strategic customers and support sales in educating customers and prospects on the value and benefits of Mintigo’s predictive and AI, helping them implement our solutions.

Prior to joining Mintigo, I was a customer while I managed the Marketing Operations and Analytics team at Neustar. My responsibilities included managing the lead flow process which includes lead scoring and prioritization, and measuring the success of marketing campaigns driven across various business units.

Jason Mraz, Enterprise Sales Director: I handle new business development and existing customers. I’m responsible for finding accounts and guiding them through the consideration and purchase process.

I’ve been selling solutions in a B2B environment since 1999. I previously worked at Salesforce Marketing Cloud, working with their primarily B2C solutions and their customers.

Vyoma, Director of Marketing: I run marketing, focusing on DG. This includes content marketing, digital marketing and webinars to educate prospects and drive qualified leads. I’m also responsible for sales enablement and making sure that we’re always aligned with the sales executives.

Before Mintigo, I managed industry and ABM for the enterprise segment at Marketo. My role was focused on getting in front of the right people through various different programs across the funnel.

 

We know that there’s a lot of lofty talk about AI’s potential, but how has it specifically impacted your role and how you work?

Nida: AI saves valuable time for marketers and sellers by providing real-time intelligence that would otherwise take days to gather. Whether it’s identifying a cross-sell or up-sell opportunity, or seeing who is likely to churn, using the data AI provides to predict future outcomes can really help organizations grow, fast!

Jason: The intelligence and prioritization coming out of AI is game changing. If I ever worked for a company that didn’t use AI like Mintigo’s, I would feel like I’m targeting like it’s the 1990s. Understanding what’s going on inside an account allows me to know what sorts of questions I should be asking a prospect before I ever even engage with them.

Vyoma: AI is fundamental to DG, especially when it comes to ABM. An AI platform can help you determine what are the right segments to focus on. Mintigo’s platform, for example, gives you insights on what technologies accounts are using, what their hiring patterns are and more importantly, what it all means.

 

We know that, despite the promise and potential of AI, not all organizations are using this tech yet. What do you see as the main challenges in your role and how do you overcome them?

Nida: The main challenge is driving adoption. When a marketer tells a seller they’re going to “prioritize leads” the first thing that goes through the seller’s mind is that the pool of accounts will shrink. Even for marketers, explaining that the number of records passed to sales might decrease can be hard to accept. Both teams typically have a lot of pressure to hit their numbers so the notion of higher quality/lower quantity really needs to be evangelized by senior leadership.

The most successful customers are those who have great sales and marketing alignment, with both teams working together towards a common goal. Educating key stakeholders on the value and benefit of using predictive analytics and AI helps a lot.

Jason: I’d say one of the main challenges is overcoming the status quo to help our clients understand that AI isn’t just hype—it delivers real business value in a couple of distinct areas that’ve been proven time and time again.  Whether a prospective client needs to better understand which of their numerous inbound leads are most likely to convert to a Sales Qualified Lead, or which target accounts they should prioritize for outbound efforts, we can help.  By building a conservative business case, based on our customers’ historical success rates and applying demonstrated benefits to our prospects’ business problems, we can highlight the potential return on investment.  Through an estimate of what success could look like for our prospects, we can credibly show that AI can make a really meaningful impact to their business, too.

Vyoma: While AI gives us amazing insight into what type of messaging to use and when based off of behavior and intent indicators, measurement and attribution are still a challenge. It’s easy to measure vanity metrics like web traffic and click-throughs, but metrics that really matter down the funnel are harder to track. You also need to put assumptions in place – does a click on a search ad get the same level of attribution as attending an event? If not, what is the weight you want to assign to attending an event versus clicking an ad?

We are implementing a new performance attribution tool to overcome this challenge and I can’t wait to start using it!

 

What’s next in the field?

Nida: Organizations already invest in cleansing and augmenting their existing database. AI solutions like Mintigo help marketers and sellers create customized and personalized experiences for customers and prospects in real-time. AI will become a necessity, not just a luxury, in the future.

Jason: I’m excited about AI. There’s already technology that uses AI to engage in conversations – whether it’s via website chat bots or communication with inbound leads via email, for example.  A great time-saving use case comes to mind in both of these areas for marketers: why not use AI to automate the communication with leads who are extremely unlikely to actually buy (your “D” leads)?  Instead of sending these to your sales reps, let the machines communicate with and qualify these out, saving your sellers’ time and allowing them to work the best quality leads that you send.  Hopefully the machines won’t get smart enough to speak, grow arms and legs, work a laser pointer, and replace my presence in the prospects’ board room, though!

Vyoma: There are lots of different solutions out there, and I think there will be more convergence happening in the near future, along with an increased focus on AI and predictive. As machines get smarter and more data becomes available, marketers will be able to take the guesswork out of what they’re doing, bringing greater objectivity to the field.

Gad Rosen

 

Gadi Rosen is a Sales intern at Mintigo, where he enables Sales and SDR representatives in outreach and developing sales processes and strategies. He enjoys learning about predicative analytics, evangelizing customers and long walks on the beach.