"The most important advice I’d give to any entrepreneur or CEO is to listen to their customers and test ideas with them. They are the best source of insight and information on how your business is doing - don’t get too internally focused." In this week’s SalesTech Spotlight, we’re talking to Doug Bewsher, CEO of B2B Customer Data Platform, Leadspace.
Firstly, thanks for speaking with us. Can you explain what Leadspace is for the uninitiated?
Leadspace is a Customer Data Platform (CDP), for B2B Marketing and Sales.
Our goal is to help companies take back control of their marketing and sales data, so they can focus on driving revenue.
Our CDP first helps businesses to “get healthy,” with advanced tools for enriching and updating their data in real-time with the most comprehensive B2B database in the industry.
Then, it helps them “get smart”, by using sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI) to unlock the insights and opportunities buried deep inside customers’ data, and generate recommendations on who to engage with, how, and when.
Finally, it helps them to “get busy”, by activating that data and intelligence directly, in real-time, across their existing sales and marketing systems. All of this enables more effective and high-performing inbound, outbound, and ABM efforts that drive revenue.
We are noticing a real shift in the ‘B2B’ space, customers are expecting a more ‘B2C’ experience. How does Leadspace help with this?
That is precisely what CDPs are built for; until recently, Customer Data Platforms were solely a B2C technology.
By bringing the CDP into the B2B space – with all of its unique challenges and types of data – we’re empowering B2B Sales and Marketing teams to personalise their engagements throughout the buying cycle just like consumer marketers have been doing for years.
Once you have the foundation of accurate, quality, relevant data about who exactly your customers and prospects are and what they’re interested in, our AI technology builds scoring models to identify which companies fit your Ideal Customer Profile. Find more just like them; create customised buyer personas to pinpoint precisely which individuals within those companies you need to engage and with what message. Then, measure buying intent to know when a prospect is in-market for a product or service just like yours.
All of this integrates directly into the Sales and Marketing platforms you already use for immediate execution.
These are capabilities B2C marketers have been using for years to serve perfectly-timed, personalised content to their target audiences. Now we’re making them available to B2B businesses.
What have you scaled to in terms of customers, and what were you doing last year?
Our customers are mostly enterprise and mid-market-sized companies. In fact, Leadspace customers include 7 of the world’s 10 largest enterprise software companies.
It’s really amazing to be working with the likes of Microsoft, Intel, HP Enterprise, SAP, RingCentral, IBM, Extreme Networks, and so many other industry leaders.
Over the past few years, we moved away from selling to SMBs, simply because adopting a B2B CDP requires a certain level of resources, capacity and expertise that smaller companies can find very difficult.
How do you see Leadspace developing further in two years time, and how are you driving that development?
In 2 years, I expect that everyone will have a CDP in B2B as a core part of their stack (like CRM today), and look forward to Leadspace driving that.
Also, AI will continue to develop, to enable systems like Leadspace to drive better insights and more informed recommendations to teams.
At Alexander & Neighbour, we are driven by objective statistics: we love them. Any fact bombs you could drop on us?
In terms of customer success, you can see the kinds of incredible results our 200 or so customers are achieving on our website. Results like 20% higher conversion rates for ABM, tripling sales opportunities, increasing marketing email open rates by 60%, increasing win rates, shortening sales cycles – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
We conducted a survey of B2B marketing leaders in 2016, and among the many interesting facts, we found that marketers’ number 1 concern was managing their data. Their second most significant was the overabundance of technologies they are forced to juggle – made worse by the fact that many of them don’t integrate with one another.
This really opened our eyes to the scope of the problem, and what we needed to do to fix it. Marketers don’t want to spend their time on endless data management tasks. But they’re also sick and tired of being told that if they just add this one more Martech all their problems will go away – when in truth it just makes it worse by adding to the confusion.
By bringing together all the data they need and harnessing AI, we can do all that boring but crucial data work for them. By integrating that data and intelligence directly into their Marketing and Sales automation systems, they can just keep using the tools they know and love.
What other software does Leadspace integrate with?
Leadspace integrates directly into the tools Sales and Marketing teams use every day.
That includes Salesforce, Marketing Automation Platforms like Marketo, Eloqua, HubSpot and Pardot, and hundreds of digital advertising channels via our partnership with LiveRamp.
In a nutshell: how does Leadspace help businesses to grow?
When Sales and Marketing are liberated from time- and labour-intensive data management tasks, and when they know their data is accurate and actionable, we see time and time again how that unleashes their full potential at every stage of the funnel.
When marketing campaigns are targeted at the right people, with the correct messaging, at the right time, engagement improves, and pipeline quality and quantity increases – and Sales are happy with the leads they’re being sent.
SDRs (Sales Development Reps) and sales reps also save time and efforts by reaching out to the right people when they’re ready to talk. That means bigger, better deals in less time.
What’s been your business’s most significant accomplishment over the last 24 months?
The past two years have really been the most exciting so far for Leadspace.
We’ve had various successes, from an amazing enterprise and other customers we’ve been working with, our recent acquisition of ReachForce, the launch of our CDP and so much more.
Perhaps the most exciting thing though is seeing our vision being recognised by leading industry analysts like Gartner and Forrester, among others. Earlier this year Forrester released their first-even Forrester Wave report on B2B Customer Data Platforms. Leadspace was one of just two companies to make the top “Leaders” category.
Lastly, any top tips to help our entrepreneurs grow their own business?
The most important advice I’d give to any entrepreneur or CEO is to listen to their customers and test ideas with them. They are the best source of insight and information on how your business is doing - don’t get too internally focused.
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