Personalized marketing, done right, is extremely powerful for B2B marketers. Personalized email messages are 26% more likely to be opened, personalized content is more likely to lead to a sale, and companies that do this well are more profitable.
Yet marketing and sales teams still struggle with personalization. 83% of marketers say creating personalized content is their biggest challenge, and they also face difficulties with gaining insights and securing internal resources. And when personalized marketing goes wrong, it can do more harm than good.
For B2B companies, the ideal personalization technology would be effective at moving sales forward and support alignment between marketing and sales. It would enable sales pros to personalize messaging while marketers protect brand consistency. And it would be easy to use.
Those were among the objectives Josh Fedie had in mind when he launched SalesReach, a system that helps sales pros deliver the right (marketing-approved) content to prospects at the right time in the sales cycle. Josh shares his insights here.
SalesReach is a process based sales acceleration and “Smarketing” sales enablement tool for business development teams. Sales has changed dramatically over the recent years creating interesting problems that needed to be solved for.
The primary challenges our SaaS based product solves for are relationship building in a digital B2B sale, better content distribution during the sales cycle, the need for a repeatable process for sales teams, marketing and sales alignment, and a simplified review process for prospects.
We have effectively created a visual CRM, more commonly referred to as a “Buyer Portal,” which is a growing segment of the sales enablement landscape.
Our primary difference is the intentional simplicity of our solution. This is a sales tool built by a sales professional for sales professionals. It’s all the functionality you need and none of the fluff you don’t. The onboarding time can be as short as 30 minutes and most companies are able to fully utilize the product within 48 hours.
Year founded: 2018
Funding rounds: We have raised $275,000 pre-product, pre-revenue in our pre-seed and are currently raising our Seed round to accelerate development efforts for feature enhancements requested by large corporations involved in our Beta test.
Current size: Employees: one (myself); Team makeup: two developers and one UX designer (equity based); pre-revenue (Beta test) stage; currently 40 companies Beta testing the solution with sales teams as small as 1 and as large as 20.
Webbiquity: What inspired you to work on a solution to this particular problem?
Josh Fedie: I originally created this product out of dissatisfaction with my personal sales process and the available alternatives I could find on the market. I created the original prototype 10 years ago and used it myself when I owned my own marketing agency, for my own business development efforts.
The need for this kind of tool was still very early and the opportunity to productize it wasn’t fully realized until the increase and popularity of inbound marketing efforts at corporations revealed a true gap in the sales process.
The way companies are currently leveraging digital content in their marketing mix to inform and delight customers online made the challenge of the modern sales rep more apparent, and illuminated for me a clear problem that needed to be solved for, at an enterprise level.
Why should marketing teams be the only groups that can truly engage online? Those same tools modified only slightly can really make the difference for client communications, engagement during the sales cycle, and empowering your sales teams to quickly respond with relevant, stage appropriate communications in the same digital space prospects are begging to engage in.
SalesReach is featured in:
Webbiquity: What have been the most effective channels or methods for you to get the word out to prospective customers to this point?
Josh Fedie: LinkedIn has been my primary method of promoting SalesReach. I am a big fan of telling stories and creating engaging organic content that supports our mission of helping salespeople better personalize and simplify the sales process.
I’ve also found success in speaking engagements, and will be appearing on stage as much as possible for the foreseeable future. In the sales tools landscape, my product is only one of hundreds of solutions. The pool of systems solving for the same challenges if far less, though they do exist.
My message has been the same from day one. This is a challenge that needs a solution in your organization and you can solve it in a handful of ways. I hope you use our product, but regardless we want to have the conversation and help your company find success with whatever the mix of solutions you choose.
At the end of the day, the best way to increase revenue is to make your prospect’s life simpler, to make the sales process easier and more repeatable, and to bring your marketing and sales teams closer together. Those were the first goals we established when we began building the product.
But sales enablement is more than just enabling your sales team; it’s enabling the individual to become seen as a thought leader and a credible resource to your prospects. This directive and permission has to come from the top level of the organization. The best sales enablement tool in my mind will always be building your own personal brand. Companies that embrace this philosophy and encourage their employees in this space can see significant increases in revenue by creating an environment of brand ambassadors.
Beyond that, it’s understanding and embracing tools that make it easier for you the individual to properly position yourself and your company’s capabilities and/or products to your prospects.
Webbiquity: Finish this sentence: “Knowing what I know now, if I were starting over today, what I would do differently is…”
Josh Fedie: While I was building my company, I maintained a full-time position to support my family. This was out of necessity to a point, but I wish I had made the jump into full-time business owner earlier. What I learned was even though I felt like I was hitting milestones needed to grow this business, I could have dramatically sped up customer acquisition and revenue generation had I gone all-in earlier.
The mind only has so much space that can be occupied at any given time and at a certain point, regardless of hours you put-in any given day, you reach your maximum level of output achievable.
If you truly believe in your business; if you honestly believe you have a solution that will benefit enough companies to grow your revenue, holding off will only delay reaching your goals. What I found was that one-month of part-time effort results in three to four months of lost opportunities.
The other thing I would tell myself is to not be so demanding of how the first product looks and performs. I delayed launching the product for three months while waiting for elements that I deemed critical to launch, only to find that early users would have been thrilled either way. Additionally, the best feature enhancements have come from actual user requests.
And at the day, aren’t your customers’ opinions the only ones you should care about? I learned that getting your solution into actual users’ hands early on, even if you feel it’s not quite ready, leads to invaluable feedback that will help you bring a product to market faster and more dialed-in for your actual user than waiting until you think you’ve perfected your application in a vacuum.
Webbiquity: What’s the most important advice you could offer to an entrepreneur starting out today?
Josh Fedie: Don’t try to wear all the hats, and don’t let your ego cripple your chances of success. Self-awareness is one of the greatest skills for any entrepreneur. Knowing and acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses honestly will allow you to find the experts you need in your court.
Be intentional in surrounding yourself with people that have the skills you lack. Building your group of trusted advisors and capable partners is without a doubt the best decision I ever made.
But more important, and an earlier consideration is the impact this will have on your family. Involve your family in your decision. You will need their support more than ever. If they don’t see the vision or believe in your plan for success, wait until you have earned the trust to chase your vision.
One thing I tell many founders is to not expect trust from your spouse or partner. Trust is not a given, it is earned and maintained. The road you are about to go on is long, winding and sometimes lonely. Without a soft place to land, your chances of success are reduced greatly.
Remember that you are making choices that will impact many more people than yourself, and those people deserve a chance to voice their questions and concerns. If they are unable to be there in the beginning, it’s likely they won’t know how to be there during and even more likely that they won’t be there in the end.
You’re going to want them there in the end. That’s why you’re doing this.