Jonathan Farrington interviews Daniel Chalef, CEO and Founder of KnowledgeTree
JF: How does KnowledgeTree help sales teams?
DC: Effective sales people engage prospects. They provide valuable, often challenging messages that move prospects toward a sale.
That’s where we come in. KnowledgeTree helps sales teams have winning conversations with prospects. Our software predicts which content and sales tools work best for each sales situation. The right presentations, papers, scripts, and other messages that your team uses.
That means sales people give prospects value in every conversation. Plus, sales people stop spending the 30% of their day that goes to content creation. Instead, they use best practice messages with prospects and spend more time on core selling.
Let’s take the example of an account executive selling a technical product to a bank in Germany. Which case study will speak to their needs? What white paper has helped advance similar deals? Is there a certain script that works well in competitive situations?
We use real-world sales results to predict which of your content and messages work best. That best practice content gets recommended to sales teams. So sales people always message with relevant content.
JF: What is your concept of “Sales Conversations”?
DC: Every time you engage with a prospect you’re in a conversation. It could be by email, in a presentation, on the phone. Or even when you’re not around and the decision team is reviewing material you’ve sent. All these conversations have to be effective. After all, today’s harried buyers don’t have time for low-value interactions.
So, we wanted to help sales people always have the most compelling – most winning – conversations with their prospects possible. That means predicting which sales tools, scripts, and other messages will engage their prospects. Engaging them in an effective conversation that advances a deal.
JF: Are effective sales conversations repeatable?
DC: As your sales teams get more complex – new hires, new products, and new geographies – it’s important to encourage best practices. So, understand what messages work well in certain sales situations. And then push those across your teams.
If you’re seeing that a certain case study helps advances banking leads. Or a great email helps get early stage prospects into a demo. Or a particular script closes more renewals, you’re going to want to standardize that across your team for those situations.
JF: That sounds like an analytical approach to sales messaging.
DC: Yes, that’s our position. When you can tie sales content and messaging to actual real-world results, you have a powerful weapon. You can see what messages actually lead to closed deals. And you can predict which messages will get interest in each individual prospect.
Our customers are hyper-growth companies like Xactly, Ring Central and Ping Identity. Companies that are hiring at such a pace that they want to push best practice messaging across teams.
JF: What are the results of this “Sales Conversations” approach?
DC: One customer, Software AG, wanted to engage its prospects with messages that best advanced deals. They used our technology to match sales and marketing messages to geography, industry, product, and sales stage. So the most relevant messages were always used to engage prospects.
And critically, they could track which messages led to advancing leads and won deals. That meant they could predict which messages would succeed. In fact, they doubled their win rate for a key division, adding millions in sales. They found when they could have great sales conversations with prospects they were radically more effective.
JF: What is new from KnowledgeTree?
DC: We continually enhance our content recommendation tools. That lets us predict ever more effectively what content will work. Plus, there are two major additions that help large and growing sales teams.
First, presentations are a key weapon for most sales people. But customizing slide decks is a nightmare. You have to filter through dozens or even hundreds of slides to find the right ones for your prospect. That leads a lot of sales people to just build their own. But that could be with old or ineffective slides.
What we’ve released is our PerfectPitch technology. It automatically generates slide decks that match each prospect. Simply launch PerfectPitch from Salesforce.com and it will be tailor your deck with slides that match your prospect’s persona, industry, and other key elements.
Second, we know that email is the most common way to engage prospects for many sales people. So, we made email templating easy. Our OnMessage technology connects email templates with recommended content. So, instead of puzzling over how to tell a prospect about a case study, they can share the case study using a best practice email in one step.
That saves a huge amount of time and helps sales teams stay on message when they’re sharing content.
You can also listen to the audio version of this interview here: