Martech Interview with CMO, Highspot – Jon Perera

An interview with Highspot’s CMO about Integrating AI and ML in sales

In today’s quickly changing business landscape, go-to-market teams need technology that tells them what’s happening and how to respond, before it’s too late.

1. Tell us about your role in Highspot?
As Highspot’s Chief Marketing Officer, I lead our marketing, community, and the partner ecosystem. From international expansion to strategic business development, my team and I are focused on driving growth and delivering incredible customer experiences as Highspot’s momentum accelerates. Highspot has been growing rapidly, doubling every key business metric from revenue to employees. And there’s no sign of slowing down – the remote reality is accelerating the pace of digital transformation, and companies are looking to enablement as a primary lever to virtually enable people and drive consistent business results regardless of the environment.

2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
Highspot has a personal resonance for me. For nearly the entirety of my marketing career at companies including Microsoft and Adobe, I’ve been working to solve the challenge of enabling sales teams. Upon interviewing at Highspot, I saw the incredible opportunity we have to help businesses everywhere make customer conversations count. Ultimately, I fell in love with the product, was blown away by the caliber of the people, and I was excited by the idea of working at a company that uniquely addressed issues I’ve personally faced as a marketer for more than 20 years.

3. How do you think technology is upgrading the marketing sector?
The B2B marketing world looks increasingly like the B2C marketing world in its ability to deliver personalized experiences that make it easy for the prospective buyer to find the information they need – and make decisions based on that information. This information is now being delivered through advanced technology, including automation on the backend, data and analytics on content engagement, and more. With hundreds of tools now at their fingertips, marketers can glean insights on what customers want, and then feed that to them through a variety of channels in order to meet buyers where they are in a way that provides ultimate value.

4. How integration of technologies like AI and ML are redefining sales?

In today’s quickly changing business landscape, go-to-market teams need technology that tells them what’s happening and how to respond, before it’s too late.

While CRM provides visibility into your pipeline and where wins and losses came from, it doesn’t serve to predict long-term trends or even short-term changes that you need to make to be successful. Enter revenue intelligence technology. Clari utilizes data across email, call logs, and more and turns it into execution insights. analyzes sales calls, so leaders can drive sales effectiveness across the entire team. And Highspot’s 360-degree analytics provide a holistic picture across companies’ initiatives, teams, and customers. There is an evolution of using tools to understand what’s working and what’s not – at the rep level, at the team level, and at the company level. And what’s becoming increasingly important is the ability to glean insights in real-time, so that businesses can adapt with agility as the world continues to change.

5. How do you prepare for an AI-Centric world?
Artificial intelligence capabilities are more powerful than ever before. But alone, AI can only go so far. The combination of human empathy informed by AI is what will drive real progress in sales and marketing. Human intelligence and intuition play a central role in making smart business decisions, which are then amplified by artificial intelligence – not the other way around. Highspot’s AI-driven platform puts the customer front and center, with capabilities designed to support customer-facing teams in delivering amazing experiences that both strengthen relationships and drive revenue. As we prepare for a world with increased AI capabilities, it’s paramount to keep real people and the customer experience in focus, using AI to amplify and improve that experience – not override it.

6. How do you define your revenue enablement platform?
Highspot is the unified revenue enablement platform that helps companies get the most from their customer-facing teams. Our platform delivers intelligent content management, guidance, training, coaching, customer engagement and 360-degree analytics. Revenue teams use Highspot to deliver a cohesive buying experience that increases revenue, customer satisfaction and retention. With customers spanning industries and geographies, we are proud to be the leader in customer satisfaction across Salesforce, AppExchange, G2, Microsoft Store, Google Play and Apple App Store.

7. Can you explain how your revenue enablement platform helps marketers?
Every year, marketers waste precious time, resources, and budget on content that is never used by sales. Highspot’s unified revenue enablement platform empowers marketers to arm customer-facing teams with what they need, when they need it. All content is organized, managed, and shared in a single source of truth that’s powered by AI, making it easy to access up-to-date assets for every scenario. And alongside every piece of content, you can provide just-in-time guidance on how to use that content, ensuring your revenue teams make every customer conversation count. What’s more, end-to-end analytics show how content is influencing revenue and what’s effective. You can get a crystal clear picture of how your sellers are engaging with content internally, and how it’s landing with customers externally. A revenue enablement platform is an indispensable tool in every marketers’ tech stack.

8. What are the major developments you are planning, in recent time?
Highspot recently launched the industry’s only natively built, end-to-end revenue enablement platform. As part of the Fall ‘20 release, we introduced new training and coaching capabilities, along with Scorecards that provide left-to-right analytics on business impact. Looking ahead, we’ll continue to deliver on our mission to empower companies to get the most from their customer-facing teams – enabling sales teams to drive consistent performance, marketing to land go-to-market strategies, and services to increase customer satisfaction.

9. What features of your revenue enablement platform differentiates it in the market?
Highspot’s mission is to transform the way millions of people work by delivering beautifully-designed software with a spark of magic. We remain focused on building capabilities natively with our extensible platform, allowing us to provide a user experience that is seamless, intuitive, and easily integrated into everyday workflows. Our extensible platform also allows us to innovate much faster – designed to be ruthlessly simple in the core information architecture, Highspot can swiftly evolve to proactively address customer needs in a rapidly changing business landscape. From Spots to Guidance, SmartPages to Scorecards, Highspot’s best-in-class features and capabilities come together in a unified, end-to-end platform. You can provide your teams with content paired with guidance on how to use that content, train them on it, measure how it’s working in the field, and then iterate to improve. By having all of these capabilities in a single platform, you also have all the data on the impact of your go-to-market strategy in one place. Highspot offers deeper, richer, easily visualized analytics to help revenue leaders drive business outcomes.

10. We have heard that you have a vibrant work culture. Can you share with us some of the fun pictures of your workplace?
From the beginning, Highspot’s leadership team has relentlessly worked to establish and maintain a company culture that puts people first. This value comes to life in our Guiding Principles, common threads woven throughout our culture that guide how we relate and get work done. As we’ve adjusted to remote work, our solid foundation has enabled us to collaborate across boundaries, celebrate our wins together, and continue running with our momentum.

11. What advice would you like to give to the technology start ups?
Be tenacious when it comes to your talent. At Highspot, what we call our People Engine is the driving force behind our business. Everything from product innovation to customer service begins with our employees. This is one of the many reasons why we strive to create a workplace where people can be their true selves and do their best work. Whether you work at a startup or an enterprise business, success starts with hiring and retaining top talent.

12. What work-related hack do you follow to enjoy maximum productivity?
While meetings can lead to great productivity, people still require dedicated focus time to crank through personal deliverables. On my calendar, I block out time every week for uninterrupted work. This not only allows me to make consistent progress, but it also enhances the time I spend collaborating with my colleagues. I am able to stay present and focused in conversations, knowing that I have time carved out for my own projects.

13. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
If you were to open my phone, you’d find a handful of apps like NPR and The New York Times that help me stay current. You’d also see business related apps, from our own Highspot application to Slack. I use Microsoft OneNote to jot down ideas or bookmark articles I want to return to later – it’s almost like a working design board. Finally, I love The New York Times Cooking app. It lets me keep my recipes in one place, and it’s a great tool to keep in touch with friends and family. We love cooking together, and during this remote time when that’s not an option, we can at the very least share our favorite recipes to stay connected.

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    Jon is a proven B2B marketing leader with a passion for building inclusive, high-performing organizations. He has spent 6+ years focused on K-12 education. Their programs helped to empower teachers with technology in under-served schools from Egypt and South Africa to the US. His personal passions include fly fishing, the environment, family, and cooking with friends.

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