Episode 18 Nov 05, 2020

B2B Reimagined: Ep 18 | Introducing Zilliant Campaign Manager™

This week marked the official launch of Zilliant’s newest product, Zilliant Campaign Manager™. An exciting evolution, this 100% cloud-native SaaS solution takes the insights generated by Sales IQ™ to the next level by unlocking self-service capability and providing the flexibility to scope, refine and execute campaigns with closed-loop reporting.

Director, Product Management Brian Hirt joins the show to discuss the out-of-the-box and custom action types that make the possibilities virtually limitless with Campaign Manager. Listen in to hear how this new Zilliant offering closes the strategy-to-execution gap!

Featuring
Brian Hirt

Brian Hirt

One of the things our customers have long asked for is, 'Hey, I've got prospects who bought nothing from me or very little from me, and I still want to match them to a profile, so I can give my seller some intelligent recommendations.' We've opened up the ability to do that based on attributes instead of the actual spend data
- Brian Hirt, Zilliant

Episode Transcript

Lindsay Duran: Welcome to B2B Reimagined. My name is Lindsay Duran, and I will be your host for this episode. Joining me today is Brian Hirt. Brian, thanks so much for being here.

Brian Hirt: Great to be here with you, Lindsay.

Lindsay Duran: Before we get started, why don't you give us a brief overview of your role at Zilliant and tell us a little bit about yourself.

Brian Hirt: I've been with Zilliant now for about eight years. My current role is director of product management, where I oversee our sales growth solution. That includes Sales IQ™, Cart IQ®, Sales PlannerTM, and then our exciting new product Campaign Manager™ we're talking about today. Before that, I spent about six and a half years in our services organization. That was a great chance for me to really get close to a lot of our existing customers, and to see how things really work in the implementation. I've been excited since then to carry that knowledge into the product world.

Lindsay Duran: Thanks, Brian. You alluded to it in your opening, but we are going to do something a little bit different on this episode of B2B Reimagined and talk about a brand new [00:01:00] product that we just launched this week. Why don't you tell us a little bit about the announcement, Brian?

Brian Hirt: Campaign manager is the new product that we're launching, and it's really an exciting evolution for us. So, we've had a product, Sales IQ, around for about eight years, and we've had a lot of traction with that in the market. Campaign manager is really the next level iteration of that product. So now, Sales IQ continues to exist in the way that it generates insights and serves as the brains and the intelligence behind the types of actions that we want to drive out the sales reps. But Campaign Manager really gives a level of self-service control that are our customers have long been asking for. For a long time, our customers that are using Sales IQ, have been generated recovery and growth actions, the primary outputs to Sales IQ and delivering those to sellers. A lot of our customers have come to us for a long time and had ideas for a third or fourth type of action. They wanted to push out and to utilize the great process that we [00:02:00] have in Sales IQ for delivering those and providing closed loop feedback. They just wanted more flexibility in that. So, Campaign Manager is really the delivery of that. The themes are self-service and ease of use. It really just opens up the door to drive a great process to continue delivering Sales IQ actions, recovering growth, but also other new types of actions that we'll talk a little bit more about today.

Lindsay Duran: Tell us a little bit about the new action types, Brian. I know this is something that I'm personally pretty excited about.

Brian Hirt: As I mentioned, it really opens up the door for what we can do with the data that we already have for our customers. So, for many of our customers we're receiving customer product, transaction data, and contractor agreement data We're able to leverage that to create new types of actions to drive value across the customer life cycle. Some of the new ones we're introducing, one's called win-back. That's where we're comparing a customer's current spend by category to what they had bought in previous peak years. In many cases, we were looking back even three or four years, identifying [00:03:00] products they're not buying at volumes they used to. I find it's a great tool, especially if you have high salesperson turnover. Maybe the current sales rep isn't aware of the products they bought from a few years ago. This is a way to keep those in front of mind. Another one is called contract compliance. This is where anytime there's a committed contract volume for our customer. We have a start date and end date. We know how much they're supposed to buy, and we can provide an alert or an action for a sales rep to follow up on that contract when a customer is not on pace to satisfy that contract. Another couple of new action types - one's called inventory and product substitution. They work similarly. The concept is, for inventory, a lot of customers across all sorts of industries and types have inventory. They need to move it. They need to find customers who can buy that product. So, you can simply import a list of the distressed or excess inventory items, and then using the data we already have in Sales IQ, we can prioritize customers who are likely to buy that. Then, get an action out for the sales rep to follow up with those customers to move that product. Then with [00:04:00] product substitution, the idea would be that given a mapping of current set of products and some ideal substitute products that you want your customers to buy. Whether it's moving them to a private label, higher margin or preferred supplier, Sales IQ would identify the customers that are already buying the current product, and then create an action to suggest a substitution for the sales rep. One more is called white space or prospecting. We've long had the concept of profiling customers that many of you listeners might be aware of in our growth actions or profile accounts based on similar customers with similar buying patterns. We've always then matched accounts to those profiles based on what they actually buy. One of the things our customers have long asked for is, "Hey, I've got prospects who bought nothing from me or very little from me, and I still want to match them to a profile, so I can give my seller some intelligent recommendations."

We've opened up the ability to do that based on attributes instead of the actual spend data where they haven't bought anything before. We can have a [00:05:00] profile or a map of the products that a customer's likely to buy, even for a new account. Then lastly, tying in with our pricing solutions, we have pricing actions we call last price or agreement price. So, these are really two flavors where you're creating an action for sales reps to follow up on a current price. Whether it's just a transaction price where we're identifying, "Hey, the average price for this product is not up to the goal target price that you have," or if there's an agreement price out there that needs to be updated based on a target price, we can create an action for that. So, really that's the suite of the out of the box action types. One of the key parts of Campaign Manager is the ability to introduce a custom action type. We're already talking to customers about ways that they're going to use this. Pretty much everyone we've talked to has come back, and said can I do this? Or can I do that? Can I get quote data where I've identified customers who we want to follow up with on some quotes that they haven't bought? The idea is you could feed those through Campaign Manager the same way you can with action types and provide the same level of tracking [00:06:00] and management of those. It's limitless and where it goes. What I've listed are these are the standard out of the box action types that we have with Sale IQ.

Lindsay Duran: That's quite a bit of new functionality, Brian. What strikes me about all of the new action types that you mentioned in Sales IQ and the Campaign Manager functionality is that it really is helping companies close what I often refer to as this strategy to execution gap. There's always a need to feed salespeople with the flavor of the month initiative. It's really hard to make that systematic and to actually measure if they're taking the actions that you want them to be taking and driving those programs forward. How do you see that impacting not only sales productivity, but also just helping companies more effectively execute in the market.

Brian Hirt: I think it's going to be huge. If I could share from my own [00:07:00] experience a little bit, even before I was with at Zilliant, I actually worked with a customer of ours who's an electrical distributor. I was the marketing manager for them. This is the tool I wish I had. I was constantly, like you said, I had a flavor of the month. I had a supplier I was trying to promote with the sales team. We had a margin initiative. We were trying to review agreements that were below some margin threshold. I was talking with supply chain. They have the inventory that they wanted to move. Sometimes we were scrapping the inventory because we didn't have a good plan for how to move it. We talked about substituting products based on we always had preferred suppliers that we wanted to work with, and we wanted to move product to them as much as we could. All these action types are largely coming out of some of my experience in that. I simply think the ability for both someone in marketing or sales operations, or whoever's tasked with driving the initiative to give them a consistent method to communicate I think will pay great dividends. Then the ability to track it and understand it's essentially my method. Before it was, I'm going to send out this spreadsheet, or I've got a PDF and I'm going to email it out to [00:08:00] 82 people and cross my fingers that they read it. I had no real method of being able to track who's using it or who was taking action on a recommendation. All that changes with Campaign Manager. It's all about sending out actions that are tied to the campaign and ensuring the sales reps are responding to that. We'll track the actual behavior in the sales data underlying that, and then for the sales teams, if I were a salesperson receiving my 18 emails every month, it would've felt unproductive for me as well, right? There's a lot of noise coming in my way. How do I relate this to my account? The experience of the salesperson when you're using Campaign Manager would be that they log into our Sales Planner product, where they'd be able to see, on every account page, the actions for that account. They'd be able to action cards that would drive them to certain types of actions. It just produces a seamless experience for them as well. All the things they need to do should it be right in front of them within the CRM.

Lindsay Duran: I think this is becoming even more important to be able [00:09:00] to enable sales in this manner. Just given the environment that we find ourselves in today where there's much less face-to-face interaction between sales managers and sales reps and between sales reps and customers. Really being able to measure and track that adoption, and whether or not they're taking action is really key. Brian, you talked about the impact on the sales rep specifically in helping them prioritize their time on the most important or most impactful actions. How can these actions be translated into direct channels or direct communication with customers?

Brian Hirt: Great question. So, we already have some customers who've been able to use Sales IQ to get actions directly in front of their customers via an eCommerce portal, for example. You can imagine a customer logged into an eCommerce portal. So, they immediately identified who they are. If we know that there are actions to recover [00:10:00] sales on the product, you could promote that product to them in that eCommerce portal in a way that's no touch, right? It's completely digital.

My expectation is, with Campaign Manager, this could become the source of the intelligence that feeds into a marketing automation system or another eCommerce system. Where that direct communication, that direct digital interaction, is occurring, and Campaign Manager's providing the context of which products am I going to promote with which customers. What actions am I going to push? What's the call to action in my marketing drip campaign? I think Campaign Manager and the actions that are coming out of that can be the source of that. So, I'm really excited about the ways we can feed those existing systems as well.

Lindsay Duran: As a marketer myself, that's certainly one of the aspects that I'm most excited about. We do have some customers already using this capability. Can you talk about some of the customers and which action types they're finding the most value from right now?

Brian Hirt: Great question, Lindsay. That's absolutely right. [00:11:00] We already have customers that are utilizing some of the new action types. So, one example is an auto parts distributor that's utilizing our win-back actions. This is where, on top of the recovery and growth actions they got through Sales IQ, they had promoted these win-back actions, and it's been really a great success for them. They have a very large customer base. In auto parts distribution you're dealing with a lot of small mom and pop repair shops and garages. Every salesperson is responsible for a huge account base, and this was a way they were able to win back and bring back the business they had with some of the accounts they had simply lost sight of. They've had a lot of success with that.

Another example is some of the pricing actions that I mentioned. We have a food distributor who is utilizing price actions, and, they long had a process of, "I've got a spreadsheet of current pricing and target pricing. I'm going to send it out to the sales rep." The pricing actions for them are driving that consistent process they've been hungry for. To take the same sort of intelligence and still have [00:12:00] the flexibility to do offline Excel analysis and things, but then still push it through in the campaign in a controlled manner is useful for them.

Lindsay Duran: Sounds really powerful. I can dream up all sorts of use cases for these new action types, and what's feasible with Campaign Manager. We talked about some of that just at our recent MindShare event. We will be talking about that more in an upcoming webinar that we'll share more details about at the end of the episode. Well, thanks Brian, for joining us today. Is there anything else that you'd like to add for our listeners?

Brian Hirt: I'm just really excited to be announcing Campaign Manager and to get it out to our customer base. I really feel like it's answering a lot of the questions and challenges we've had in the past with our current Sales IQ customer base. I think it's really going to expand the user base and make it more applicable across industry. I'm really excited for the ways that it's going to change how people work.

Lindsay Duran: Excellent. Thank you [00:13:00] all for joining us for this episode. To learn more and see Campaign Manager in action, you can actually check out an upcoming webinar with Brian and I on November 19th. The link to register will be in the show notes, or you can visit us at Zilliant.com/events to sign up for that particular webinar or view any of our other on-demand webinars. We hope that you will join us again for the next episode of B2B Reimagined.

To learn more about Zilliant you can visit us at Zilliant.com. I'd also encourage our listeners to check out Benchmark.Zilliant.com for an interactive experience where you can plot yourself against our recently released 2020 global benchmark report data. That URL has benchmarked on Zilliant.com, and we will also add that to the show notes. Thank you so much for joining us for this episode, and we hope to see you on the next [00:24:00] episode of B2B Reimagined.

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