Dateline: June 11, 2017
Location: Kelly’s Energy Bar, Dubai

Kathryn: “Billy, dude!! It’s been too long, like what, two years?”

Billy: “In real-time, yeah, that sounds about right. I think last year we were both on a tele-meeting when I was still with MegaCorp, and you were with that partner team pushing the CRM for Google Glass. Whatever happened with that?”

Kathryn: “Good idea, bad execution. You know how that goes. But I’m with a really cool start-up leading EMEA sales for a similar approach, but it blows that idea away. Do you remember the whole ‘big data for sales’ thing a few years ago?”

Billy: “Yeah, it was the whole golden age of Sales Enablement, when nobody realized that ‘marketing and sales alignment’ neglected the customer service angle. We were all going to have exabytes of data boiled down to knowing which marketing respondents were most likely to buy. As if all the guesswork in B2B marketing was ever going to go away. Ha!”

Kathryn: “Exactly. With so many of these trillion-dollar acquisitions these days, the number of pure sales prospects that marketing can generate is way down, so even what we used to call ‘greenfield selling’ is more often than not, aimed at someone in an entity that has already bought from the selling enterprise.”

Billy: “Wait, are you implying that there’s no more hunting out there, just farming?”

Kathryn: “Not exactly, no. But I’m sure you’re familiar with all the Aberdeen research on The Account Maximization Coefficient?

Billy: “That geeky formula thing?”

Kathryn: “Nerdy, yes, but accurate. They say that something like 90% of year-over-year revenue growth is now sourced in known entities. In other words, these huge conglomerate customers who aren’t fully mined because they’re in the hands of a customer care function, with less re-marketing or re-selling attention paid to them.”

Billy: “OK, so what’s your product doing about it?”

Kathryn: “Keep it quiet?”

Billy: “President Snowden couldn’t get it out of me, I promise. Give.”

Kathryn: “Actually, that’s a very coincidental reference. OK, so at the first level of spend, our customers will have a better crack at the ‘big data’ thing, but with intelligence gleaned from all the enterprise data silos that contain customer data: marketing automation, sales force automation, service and help desk, back office, etc. We saw that come to fruition a few years ago, but my firm is going to clean and normalize that data with all the social content. LinkedIn is over a billion users, Twitter has almost that many active users per month…”

Billy: “Blending unstructured data with enterprise data has been done already.”

Kathryn: “…but not well, and you know it. The DFIA is about to pass Congress…”

Billy: “Remind me.”

Kathryn: “Digital Freedom of Intelligence Act, Snowden’s baby legislation. So check this out: once all the business and procurement data goes public – maybe six months from now it starts rolling out – we’re going to scrape it and start running the heck out of algorithms to triangulate the corporate data, with the user-generated content, with actual transaction histories of all publicly held companies’ technology purchases. You can thank the crazy 3D printing scandals for that. I sure do, every day!”

Billy: “A little creepy, probably not illegal, and very smart. I like it. So you mentioned multiple tiers of customer entry?”

Kathryn: “OK, hold onto your beer. Remember that even a few years ago, it was sacrosanct that tech companies had to choose a major path between applications and hardware? Until Apple and Google changed everything? Not anymore. What do you know about wearable computing, beyond the military exoskeletons and Glass 7.0?

Billy: “I saw the Sony SmartWatch in a tech museum lately.”

Kathryn: “Very funny. Think about this: forget about Glass, which is great and all, but still not so much in the rain, or when you’re physically active. They weren’t banned from the Rio Olympics for no reason, after all. I’m talking about…ECL’s.”

Billy: “Embedded Contact Lenses?”

Kathryn: “Yessir. All the biomedical applications are great – warnings for strokes, diabetic surges, etc. But picture this for business sales: you show up for a sales presentation, and for everyone you look at in the meeting, their customer history, digital marketing behavior, and social profile all pops up like a jet fighter’s heads-up display. It’s not overwhelming because you’ve pre-set your preferences beforehand, and just like the old SmartWatch concept, you can make constant adjustments in real-time with any device you’re using during your meeting.”

Billy: “So it’s like CRM for Glass, but just the visual elements?”

Kathryn: “Uh Uh. You can talk to it, and wear an earpiece for input as well.”

Billy: “And you have like 40% of the world as your territory?”

Kathryn: “Yup. And a huge quota. And $7k referral bonuses for new sellers. Interested?”

Peter Ostrow
Vice President and Group Director
Sales Effectiveness

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