Tell us about your role and journey into Technology. What inspired you to start at Televerde?
Believe it or not, at 20-years of age, I was set on a career in fashion. I absolutely love clothes, style and the art of designing. What I didn’t know was how difficult it was to turn this passion into a lucrative career. While I was coming to terms with this reality, I was offered a great opportunity with a technology company. The job was simple: represent the company as a demonstrator at trade show events.
The job came with plenty of perks, such as a company car, high quality, fashionable clothing, and dry cleaning — all paid for. Best of all, I’d get to travel the world. There was one catch: I had to be able to talk intelligibly about this company’s technology. If I could do that with authenticity, the job was mine.
I began taking courses to understand technology: how it worked, its benefits and differentiators. In a short time, I learned I had quite a knack for it. While I was still enticed by the benefits, I couldn’t deny the technology interested me, especially in the ways it drove business.
Most satisfying was that everything I encountered in tech taught or challenged me in some way. I couldn’t get enough of it. I quickly moved up from showcasing technology to consulting on software systems and applications for various organizations. I gained invaluable insights and experience with financial systems, key business strategies, and organizational structures. In just two years, I had grown from a hopeful fashionista into a successful Product Manager (while looking good the entire time!)
I first learned of Televerde as a customer. My company then had been looking for a partner that would help us deliver a best-in-class experience to our customers and prospects across all channels. Televerde came recommended to us. While they impressed me with their remarkable business results and customer list, I was also deeply inspired by their business model.
Televerde’s U.S. engagement centers are staffed almost entirely by women incarcerated at the correctional facilities in Perryville, Arizona and Rockville, Indiana. It’s a business model that pulls you in because there’s a societal benefit and altruistic element. We feel good about ourselves by giving these women opportunities to grow and transform. But speaking as a businesswoman, the model on its own is not enough to win clients. The model is successful because it gets results. In one year, my former company experienced a 92% increase in win rates, which is directly attributed to the uniqueness and strength of the business model and the robust and intensive training it delivers to its contact center employees.
Jim Hooker had been CEO of Televerde since 1995. When he and I first met, we clicked immediately. As a marketer, I understood the value of a purpose-driven Marketing strategy so I was keen to pick Jim’s brain on how he built such a strong socially responsible company that also delivered extraordinary results for customers. He was eager to share his learnings. When he called in 2018 and asked me to help him strategize Televerde’s business plan for the next decade, I couldn’t resist. He retired later that year and I was asked to succeed him, which I was thrilled to do.
What is Televerde and how does it fit into a modern Lead Gen technology stack?
What Televerde brings is a unique combination of Technology and Human Intelligence that enables us to identify customers at a point in time when they are ready to have a conversation. We are combining best-of-breed Marketing and Sales tech to increase our number of “at-bats” and leveraging human intelligence to move prospects through the sales cycle faster, thereby increasing our batting average.
The two working in unison gives us a lot more hits. Very few companies have invested the time and resources into building a best-of-breed campaign platform that’s also combined with the human touch to create end-to-end pipeline creation and acceleration.
What is the current state of “CRM and Salesforce Automation”?
Historically, CRM has been used almost exclusively as a Sales and Marketing tool. Today, other areas in business are embracing it like customer service, HR, supply chain and partner management to eliminate the silos in the customer experience. Adoption of CRM will continue to grow as more and more companies recognize its impact on customer retention and loyalty. Salesforce Automation will continue to become more powerful with the integration of AI, which will allow companies to dramatically increase conversion rates and drive revenue.
What problems do you solve for the Marketing and Sales teams?
We bring demand Marketing and Sales together in one motion. When it comes to inside Sales and Demand gen, Marketing and Sales teams cannot be siloed. They need to be joined at the hip, working in lock-step. Our Televerde campaign teams become extensions of our clients’ Sales and Marketing teams: communicating clearly, understanding our client’s unique needs, solving problems together, speaking the same language, and sharing feedback in real-time.
As I tell my team, without this kind of deep partnership, all the ground-breaking technology and innovation in the world will not be able to deliver the results our clients have come to expect. Working side-by-side is the only way to consistently accelerate pipeline and drive conversions. Moving forward, Sales and DG Marketing shouldn’t be two teams. They need to be brought together as one.
How can SDRs and BDMs benefit from leveraging Televerde’s resources?
Our SDRs and BDRs use many different technologies to build out profiles of target customers and provide seamless interaction with sales teams. We don’t use one touchpoint – it’s a whole map that leverages technologies to interact with many touchpoints. We use a combo of human intelligence and technology to drive better outcomes for prospects while allowing us to have more personalized and meaningful conversations when prospects are ready to have them.
How do you define Connected Customer Experience for B2B Marketing and Sales?
Consistent experience not connected experience. The customer or prospect needs to be able to interact with us through any channel at any time. They drive the interaction with and connection to us. It’s always on their terms. We need to have all the channels available to them and have a deep understanding of their preferences so we can personalize every interaction and touchpoint and make each one meaningful.
How can connected CX* help in bridging the gap between Marketing, Sales and Customer Service?
One motion. Eliminate silos across the organization to ensure the customer is managed in a way that feels personal to them. Bring Marketing and Sales together: SMARKETING.
Tell us about your technology integrations with other Marketing Technology platforms such as Contacts, Social Media, Automation, Contracts, Email, and Customer Service.
We have an integrated campaign management platform made up of best-of-breed Sales and Marketing technology. Three core components: CRM Salesforce, Marketo (Marketing Automation), Outreach (Sales Enablement). We use all aspects of Marketing: automated and predictive tools, intent, propensity modeling, lead scoring and nurture.
Which Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use?
Marketo, Salesforce, Outreach, DiscoverOrg, InsideView, LinkedIn Navigator, Bombora and others.
What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in CX technology for 2019 – 2020?
Customer environments will be personalized through a mix of platforms that include interactions with human, augmented reality, and AI to create an immersive, personalized experience for interacting and transacting with companies.
What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?
The Mom Project, Wiretap, Liveramp.
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a Business Leader?
We need to identify the specific ways technology, human and AI will work together within the business to help us prepare for such a future. By looking at current trends and the questions they raise, we can look at patterns where AI can create better outcomes for customers and employees. Policies need to be put in place – who is responsible for decisions made by AI, who has oversight for the development of AI in the company, what role do we want AI to play. These need to be defined prior to any company moving down the path of deploying AI into their business.
How do you inspire your people to work with technology?
I drive home how technology has become part and parcel of our everyday lives and how it can make our day-to-day work and personal lives more rewarding. Technology can free up time for us to spend in areas of our lives that provide deeper purpose or meaning. I underscore the importance of embracing technology (not fearing it) and using it to their advantage. It’s absolutely essential to grow capabilities and careers and you do both through tech. As call centers start to return to the United States, our people must continue to upskill to stay competitive and become super agents in the field. Technology eliminates the dialing for dollars model that was once prevalent in call centers.
Today, if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and do the hard work – that is mastering today’s cutting-edge tech- you can identify prospects that are ready to have conversations at the point of biggest impact, increasing conversions and driving revenue. Leveraging tech in this way frees agents up to collaborate and strategize with customers’ Marketing and Sales teams to provide creative solutions to their biggest challenges. Used in this way, technology will enable opportunities that are far more rewarding and allow people to grow into the sought-after STEM, Sales and Marketing roles.
One word that best describes how you work.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
All of them! My life is on my smartphone. I do everything online.
What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
The Internet and Dropbox. Saves me so much time and energy
What are you currently reading?
I like books and love to read. Right now, I’m preparing for a 2020 planning offsite with my leadership team. We’ve been tasked by the facilitator to read Play to Win by Larry Wilson and Hersch Wilson. Every morning I read the Wall Street Journal, London Times, Phoenix Business Journal, Seattle Times. I’m also a huge fan of BBC News online.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My mum. “The only thing that gets between you and success is you.”
Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
Being able to synthesize information quickly without analysis paralysis to get to the crux of an issue or opportunity.
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