Mary Shea calls herself a sales futurist. What does that mean? Well, she’s VP Global Innovation Evangelist at Outreach, a former Principal Analyst at Forrester, and an expert on all things sales tech.
At Outreach, Shea describes her role as helping “existing and prospective clients better understand the complex sales technology landscape and the critical role key sales technologies play in enabling the modern B2B selling organization.”
In this episode of TalkingSense, Shea and 6sense CMO Latané Conant discuss how sales teams will change, whether the CMO is a doomed role, and the future of sales tech.
If you don’t have time to watch the whole episode now, here are some highlights:
On the Future of Sales Teams
Here’s what Shea sees for the future of sales:
“We are going to have a much smaller, more agile and efficient sales organization in the future,” she said. “Those sellers are going to be partnered with the most innovative technologies that use automation and AI to help them be highly, highly productive, to push away all the downstream activities, and let them engage with intelligence and insights and personalization.”
She specifically named 6sense as a revenue tool that is reshaping the way sales works for the better, by providing insights and data that power big wins, and she and Conant talked repeatedly about how data is shifting the sales landscape.
Is the CMO Role Doomed?
When are sales and marketing finally going to come together?
Shea argued that in the future, marketing is going to play a very different role — shifting from influencing buyers at the top of the funnel to being more involved deeper into the journey.
And as buyers continue to take control of the early part of the buying journey, she believes there will only be a need for a single CRO.
But Conant disagreed. “A big part of a good CMO’s job is actually aligning with product. So we do a lot with product, bringing insights, understanding the market, road mapping and positioning, and category design,” Conant explained. “And I think that if everything is just under a growth officer, that stuff falls by the wayside.”
Conant continued: “You can’t escape product market fit. You can have the most efficient growth engine and it’ll work for a little while, but if you do not fundamentally have product market fit, you’re dead.”
What Should Be in Your Sales Tech Stack?
Shea believes companies absolutely need a CRM and an execution platform. But beyond that, she thinks the future is not in a larger stack, but a more innovative one.
“Where you once needed to buy five or six solutions, now you just need one because tools have now become features,” Shea said. “You’ve got to pick your core vendors and then lean into them and push them to innovate and be part of that process and start to winnow down. And that will allow you to save money on tech spend, reduce waste of time, and have this amazing, robust data set.”
There’s more to Conant and Shea’s conversation about the future of sales tech. Get your team future-ready by catching the whole TalkingSense episode now.