Groove and Seismic announced an integration partnership to “deliver relevant, approved, [and] compliant” Seismic content and LiveSend links within the Groove Sales Engagement Platform.
“Personalization is no longer a nice-to-have, but rather is an expectation from customers in today’s digital-first B2B sales environment,” said Preseetha Pettigrew, Seismic Global Vice President, Strategic Alliances. “This integration with Groove streamlines the seller workflow, allowing frontline teams to focus on nurturing relationships and deliver greater value to clients. I look forward to seeing how our joint customers benefit from this partnership.”
The integration delivers relevant content and CRM data within the Groove workflow and assists with intelligent content discovery.
“In today’s increasingly digital and remote B2B sales environment, this integrated solution bridges a critical gap between the point of engagement and Salesforce that helps companies quickly realize time-to-value, without a heavy lift from their IT or application development teams. And easing the transition to remote selling is critical. Gartner’s 2020 Future of Sales research projects that 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels.”
Groove Director of Communications Jason Klein
Speaking to their joint value proposition, Groove Director of Communications Jason Klein said the firms share a “customer-first approach” to engaging clients in a “customized, data-driven, and scalable way while maintaining high compliance standards.”
Sales Enablement vendor Seismic rolled out a set of platform enhancements last month that are “designed to help organizations capture every revenue moment and drive effective, efficient buyer engagement across all digital channels.” The release included Seismic Aura, their new AI Engine for sales content.
Seismic Aura employs AI and machine learning to surface “new business opportunities and increase seller efficacy.”
“Over the last year, we’ve witnessed an incredible shift to all-digital buyer engagements. At Seismic, we’ve anticipated this change for some time now. Our platform exists to make go-to-market teams more effective, whether their buyers are face-to-face or remote,” said Chief Product Officer Krish Mantripragada. “The next challenge for technology leaders like Seismic will be to enable businesses to thrive in this new era of digital-first selling. The innovations we’re launching at [Seismic’s virtual conference] Shift, along with the product updates we have coming later this year, bring sales and marketing teams closer together, helping them reach new customers and engage with existing customers in a compelling manner regardless of where they are.”
Continued Mantripragada, “humans can analyze only so much. Buried inside data are patterns, behavior, and insights that will hold keys to your questions and undiscovered opportunities. We are combining human intelligence and machine intelligence to harness the power of this data.”
Other Spring 2021 release features include
CRM SmartPlays employ predictive intelligence to recommend the most effective sales plays at any moment. SmartPlays are delivered within the rep’s CRM workflow.
Seismic Sidekick, a Chrome extension powered by Aura, delivers guided selling and content recommendations “based on past engagement, similar buyers, and interests specific to each contact.” Sidekick helps surface engagement opportunities and reduces time spent searching for content.
Dynamic Email Templates
Global Privacy Management supports GDPR and country-specific, multi-lingual privacy requirements and notifications.
Grooveand Seismic announced an integration partnership to “deliver relevant, approved, [and] compliant” Seismic content and LiveSend links within the Groove Sales Engagement Platform. The integration delivers relevant content and CRM data within the Groove workflow and assists with intelligent content discovery.
Along with announcing new features, Seismic boasted about its ongoing momentum. Their net retention rate stands at 111%. They have over one million users at over 700 enterprise clients, including deep penetration in the financial services sector. Seismic claims that 22 of the top 25 global asset management companies are customers, along with 7 of the top 10 US banks and 4 of the top 5 North American wealth management firms. Seismic added over 200 employees last year and opened its first Canadian office with the December Grapevine6 acquisition. They now have more than 1000 workers across fifteen offices.
Last week, Seismic announced the acquisition of social selling platform Grapevine6 and immediately launched LiveSocial. Grapevine6 targets professional and financial services companies, including wealth management, insurance, and banking. It supports four of the top five North American wealth management firms. Financial services customers include TIAA, Merrill, and Wells Fargo.
Professional Services firms use Grapevine6 to amplify their thought leadership and share “authoritative content.”
Seismic and Grapevine have a background in “meeting the needs of the financial services market with industry-leading compliance technology,” said Grapevine6 CEO Mike Orr.
LiveSocial employs Proofpoint and SafeGuard Cyber integrations “to meet the varying security, compliance, and archiving needs of each of our clients.” Every share is checked for regulatory and company policy compliance. LiveSocial also archives “contextual information, including remediation workflow and content classification, which saves you time and money during an audit.”
Grapevine6 also sells into the technology sector and “is the largest social selling program at SAP.”
“Social media has transformed the buyer’s journey. Savvy buyers now use social media to not only gather information and connect with peers but also to research the sales professionals and advisors they’re partnering with. The current sea change to digital communication is an opportunity to better serve customers by enabling salespeople to humanize relationships with personal stories — the true promise of digital selling. Partnering with Seismic over the past few years in creating a content ecosystem, we realized how aligned we are in our vision for digital selling and that an acquisition created a win-win for all Grapevine6 and Seismic customers.”
Grapevine6 CEO Mike Orr
LiveSocial is a mobile-first platform available on iOS and Android devices as well as desktops. Employees may share content on social channels, SMS, and email. Other features include “one-touch” sharing and scheduling, automatic scheduling optimization, and AI-suggested comment starters that “receive 32% more engagement.”
Grapevine6 supports leading email platforms as well as client email platforms. It integrates natively with SFDC Marketing Cloud and MS Outlook.
LiveSocial pricing details were not disclosed.
The full Grapevine6 team is joining Seismic, with Orr heading up the LiveSocial team. LinkedIn lists 97 Grapevine6 employees, with 67% headcount growth over the past year and 169% over the past two. The firm maintained steady hiring throughout the pandemic.
Sales enablement and marketing orchestration platform Seismic acquired long-standing partner Grapevine6, a Toronto-based digital and social engagement platform. Grapevine6 helps customer-facing professionals deliver “relevant content” from over 11,000 third-party publishers in six languages. The Grapevine6 service, which is being re-launched as Seismic LiveSocial, improves sales engagement with customers and prospects through “meaningful, authentic online conversations” on social media platforms. LiveSocial shifts social media communications from companies to trusted advisors, fostering social selling.
Grapevine6 will be integrated into Seismic and underpin the new Seismic LiveSocial service for sales and client-facing teams. It will continue to be available as a freemium offering.
“LiveSocial will leverage the AI engine built by Grapevine6 to help sellers become trusted advisors by authentically engaging with their clients across the social media landscape,” said Seismic. The combined service will help customer-facing professionals share “timely, reputable, and compliant content in their own voice” across LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
Users are fed a daily stream of tailored content “that best fits their interests and the needs of the markets they sell or serve.” Marketing content is included in the feed, and users can search their corporate content library.
“Each organization, and every individual seller, has a different perspective on the right balance of content,” Seismic stated in an email to GZ Consulting. “Authenticity demands that there be no single correct approach. Once the seller has connected their social profiles, Grapevine6’s AI platform intelligently serves up content that sellers can share on their social profiles based on an interest graph developed from previous activity and earned engagement. Sellers can also calibrate their interest graph from within the platform. Additionally, with the risk and compliance controls in place, sellers do not have to worry about vetting each and every post. Content is already evaluated and approved based on hundreds of risk factors.”
Grapevine6 said that most employee advocacy programs fail because social content is focused on the individual and the company but lacks a broader perspective and “fresh, relevant content” that speaks to broader topics and industry issues. Furthermore, the adoption rates are low because reps don’t know what’s in it for them. By offering a steady stream of personalized content that can be quickly shared and monitored for compliance, LiveSocial mixes in a broad set of compliant content consistent with the brand while avoiding the problem of narcissistic messaging about the individual and the company.
“People engage with and do business with, people that they know, respect, and trust. Leading firms now recognize that their brand lives at the edge of the organization. It lives in the personal brand, the reputation, and the conversations of every client-facing employee. It’s no longer enough to rely on centralized communication and advertising channels to get the word out about the great work your firm does. Modern marketing success comes from empowering every employee to show up, speak up, nurture new and existing relationships, and spark conversations on social media.”
LiveSocial metrics include the ROI of a company’s social engagement strategy. Other user and administrator metrics include activity, engagement, impact, top-performing assets, and top-performing topic areas.
“In today’s dynamic sales landscape, buyers increasingly want to hear from and connect with trusted individuals, not companies, on social media,” said Seismic CEO Doug Winter. “Grapevine6 will be instrumental to providing additional customer value by combining Seismic’s industry-leading sales enablement platform and Grapevine6’s digital engagement platform, further empowering sales teams to educate and engage with buyers online — while simultaneously helping to build their personal brands in an authentic way.”
“Social media has cemented itself as a critical front line between organisations and their customers with IDC reporting that 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level executives use social media to make purchasing decisions,” said Seismic Asia Pacific and Japan VP Richard Kulkarni. “With the global pandemic as a catalyst, social selling skills, and digital eminence have become vital competencies for workforces. Seismic LiveSocial not only empowers sales teams to engage clients more effectively on social media channels but also helps turn every employee into a brand ambassador, delivering a strong advantage in this new business reality.”
Sales Enablement Platform vendor Seismic included a set of new reports, dashboards, and alerts in its fall release. Seismic users may deploy pre-built dashboards or build custom reports and visualizations specific to their business requirements. Other new tools include report auto-sharing and data change alerting. [Part I covered Seismic’s approach to bottom of the funnel metrics.]
Seismic offers multiple levels of reporting:
Out-of-the-box reports and dashboards
Bespoke reports built from out-of-the-box reports
Business Intelligence (BI) integrations for Tableau, Domo, and other BI services
Snowflake Secure Data Sharing.
Bespoke dashboards are available by persona and role. Reporting supports KPI filters and widgets that let users drill down to answer specific questions.
Five role-based dashboards support content owners, CROs, CMOs, sales managers, and platform admins. Seismic’s Content Analytics “now includes actionable, curated, out-of-the-box reports, and visualizations tailored to the distinct challenges of specific roles,” blogged Seismic Product Marketing Manager Elaine Stone. There are no “superfluous metrics to distract you or slow you down; just the relevant reports and visualizations you need to understand what’s happening and take informed action, leverage your discipline’s best practices, and create your own custom reports to go deeper.”
“By merging your bottom-of-the-funnel data with other cross-functional data sets such as CRM, HR, and customer success, your go-to-market team will have a holistic, yet singular, source of truth to answer its most challenging business questions. Armed with shared answers, you’ll be equipped to build executive alignment, boost confidence in the teams’ ability to hit numbers, and scale best practices that truly move the needle…Proof of their team’s impact on revenue becomes the Holy Grail—the key to justifying headcount and budget.”
Seismic Product Marketing Manager Elaine Stone
“With Seismic, we’ve been able to gain visibility into ‘dark data’ — all the data you usually can’t access and can’t analyze. There’s no greater repository of dark data than around the use of content in sales and marketing. We use Seismic to shine light on that data,” said Eric Duerr, Domo VP of Marketing. “When we create content, we can look in Seismic to determine what’s being used by sales, and what’s working and what’s not with prospects and customers. And we can ensure sellers are using the most effective content as possible to support the customer journey.”
Snowflake Secure Data Sharing is supported out-of-the-box, delivering “an extra layer of insights” and reducing the time spent on data prep tasks such as merging and loading data. Snowflake improves “time to insights” with “ready-to-query” content data.
“Snowflake Secure Data Sharing enables frictionless, secure sharing of live data within an organization and between organizations, so users can unveil insights to help transform their sales process and deliver meaningful business value,” said Snowflake VP of Customer Product Strategy, Matt Glickman. “We’re excited for Seismic and their customers to leverage Snowflake for fast, easy, and secure access to their content analytics.”
Seismic also enhanced the integration with Percolate, its enterprise content marketing platform, allowing marketers to measure content performance across their sales and marketing channels. Marketers can determine how sales reps are consuming and using Percolate content published in Seismic.
Improved analytics and reporting associate work to outcomes, optimize content and go-to-market strategies, drive data-driven decisions, identify what is and isn’t working, and quantify and communicate platform adoption and ROI.
Seismic grew 537% between 2016 and 2019 and placed 234th on the 2020 Deloitte Fast 500 Technology list. With the Grapevine6 acquisition (covered tomorrow), the firm now has over 1000 employees across fourteen offices. Its 600 enterprise clients include American Express, ADP, SunTrust, T-Mobile, and IBM.
Sales Enablement and Account Orchestration vendor Seismic announced General Availability of its Q3 release with enhanced analytics, alerting, customization, and dashboards. The release emphasizes improved recommendations and metrics for the bottom half of the funnel. The fall release aims to improve reporting, alerting, content recommendations, attribution, and context-specific messaging.
“Sales content performance data has become a critical source of buyer feedback,” said Seismic CEO Doug Winter. “Businesses are looking for ways to engage buyers through personalized, resonant messaging, but haven’t had the visibility into what content performs well and what doesn’t. Our improved analytics capabilities unite revenue teams, changing how deals are closed, how content is produced, and ultimately, how business is done.”
In an interview with GZ Consulting, VP of Product Marketing Jam Khan emphasized that sales and marketing professionals are becoming “increasingly data-driven,” but doing so across the full funnel. The historical pattern of marketing identifying and nurturing leads before handing them off to sales no longer holds. Instead, sales and marketing work in tandem, with sales taking broader ownership over email messaging and marketing looking to maintain conversations post-sale.
Top of the funnel marketing has a series of well-defined metrics, but lower down the funnel, analytics are murkier. Sales and marketing struggle to determine which content is working, what the best-sellers are doing that differentiates them from their peers, which messages are most effective, and the coachable moments. Reps also want assurances that they are using the most current and compelling content.
Sales Enablement platforms typically report on views and time spent with content but lack attribution that ties content to close. Thus, content efficacy remains cloudy. A 2019 Forrester study commissioned by Seismic found that 85% of “buyers will dismiss a seller in the first interaction if they don’t receive tailored information” but that 54% of organizations aren’t able to “effectively generate actionable insights from sales asset data.” Thus, revenue teams need to understand better what buyers want and replicate best practices across the revenue organization.
Part II discusses Seismic Fall Release reporting enhancements.
Sales Enablement vendor Seismic released Interactive Content, a set of microapps and LiveContent presentations that lets remote sales reps “come close to mimicking an in-person environment, in which they are adapting to buyer reactions and feedback in near real-time.” Interactive Content helps revenue organization deliver “immersive, engaging” digital experiences “with just a few clicks.”
A Tiled integration supports Seismic microapps that delivers “memorable evergreen content like digital brochures, pitch decks, 3D interactive visuals, and more.”
“Microapps unleash creative storytelling. Organizations that deliver their messages in conversational, self-directed ways will win. Those that don’t will be left behind,” said Tiled CEO Darrell Swain. “Linear content will ultimately go the way of print. We are moving into an experiential era that requires a new interactive content format that allows for the creation of rich, immersive experiences, without the need for code.”
Tiled microapps deliver “immersive experiences” with “evergreen content that captures buyers’ attention.” The apps are interactive and drive engagement through stories “that resonate in a way buyers will remember.”
Seismic describes microapps as “a new content type that combines the interactivity of a mini-website or an app with the ease of document delivery. Use cases include event invites, digital product brochures, buyer’s guides, and eBooks.
The microapp builder resides within Seismic’s Content Manager and supports drag n’ drop, interactive ‘tiles’ that deliver content as “scrollable image galleries and panes, in-line videos, quizzes, and more.” The builder is a no-code service that supports adaptive display across mobile, desktop, and tablets. Microapps may be reviewed and approved before publishing to targeted audiences.
While microapps support one-to-many interactive communications at the top of the funnel, LiveContent supports one-to-one, personalized communications at the bottom of the funnel. LiveContent is built with familiar authoring tools that “easily transform traditional presentations into personalized, memorable, dynamic stories.” Content is delivered in an “always-on” mode, as it is “intended to be.”
Seismic LiveContent converts standard presentations with embedded animations, transitions, videos, GIFs, and voiceovers “delivered remotely, exactly how a seller would deliver in person: in presentation mode.” Seismic stores the original presentation file, allowing content creators to update LiveContent presentations based on page-by-page engagement analytics quickly. The initial release supports Microsoft PowerPoint, but additional presentation formats will “follow soon.”
“Presentations are not intended to just be scrolled through,” said Seismic CEO Doug Winter. “LiveContent allows a buyer to engage with a presentation remotely in a similar way that a seller would engage a buyer in person. With our Summer 2020 release, we are bringing sales content to life.”
According to Seismic, interactive content is preferred to static material, with double the conversion rate of “passive” content. 91% of buyers prefer interactive/visual content and are twice as likely to share interactive content. 81% of marketers agree that interactive content grabs attention, and 45% believe that its effective for educating prospects (vs. 6% for static content). 88% contend that it is effective at differentiating the brand.
The CSO Insights 2019 Sales Enablement report found that 57.7% of buyers saw little difference between sellers with vendors blending together. Only 31.9% of buyers felt that at least one vendor succeeded in differentiating itself.
Interactive content supports flexible navigation allowing reps to quickly transition to relevant use cases, products, or services during sales conversations. “You can get a broad set of content—as large as any slide deck—and deep content that drills down into the details of your business solutions,” blogged Seismic Senior Content Manager Neicole Crepeau. “But it doesn’t have to feel burdensome, and it can be easy to navigate in the middle of a meeting.”
Users can embed questionnaires, videos, assessments, and calculators. They can let clients drive the discussion, “asking them to enter information or answer questions and choose what they want to know more about,” continued Crepeau. “By flipping the conversation and putting the customer in the driver’s seat during a meeting, you ensure engagement and that you’re truly talking about topics that resonate with the prospect.”
“Buyer expectations are high, and if the content brands are serving them is not relevant or engaging, they will disregard it. Today it’s not just about what you say; it’s also how you say it. Content fatigue and information overload have become particularly pronounced in our new all-digital work environment. Sellers and marketers are in need of content types that captivate their audiences and move them through the buyer journey faster.”
Seismic CEO Doug Winter
Interactive Content will be available as an add-on service. Seismic does not disclose its pricing.
Sales Enablement vendor Seismic supports over one hundred technology vendor integrations. Seismic claims to have the “sales enablement industry’s largest partner ecosystem,” with multiple CRM, MAP, and sales engagement partnerships.
“Seismic is purpose-built to work with any application to enhance customer experiences, increase platform engagement, and add value throughout a company’s sales and marketing technology stack,” stated the firm.
Seismic published the following list of significant integrations by category:
Customer Intelligence: Gong, Introhive
CRM: Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, SugarCRM, Oracle, Pegasystems
Seismic has also partnered with over twenty global consulting partners that “are helping customers drive more value from their sales enablement investment, as well as offering local language and in-country support.”
Seismic offers an enterprise-grade content management system which recommends the next-best action for content. The platform employs analytics to recommend which content is most likely to resonate with a prospect based on buying stage, vertical, etc.
Seismic recently partnered with Industry intelligence vendor Vertical IQ.
Seismic announced a partnership with Vertical IQ to deliver industry-specific insights within its Sales Enablement Platform. Vertical IQ industry overviews will be delivered through Seismic’s dynamic content automation tool, LiveDocs, allowing bankers to quickly assemble client-facing content tailored to the client. Vertical IQ covers over 325 industries with coverage of industry risks, quarterly insights, key financial benchmarks, and industry growth data. Coverage of niche industries and regional economic data are also available from within Seismic but are not part of the LiveDocs integration.
Insights can be presented in-person, in print, or via digital devices and are packaged into Seismic templates.
The integration “helps bankers develop hyper-personalized communications with clients and prospects,” stated Vertical IQ CMO David Buffaloe. “Our industry content is available directly through their platform, allowing bankers to develop customized presentation slides based on the prospects specific industry.”
Vertical IQ content is available to customers outside of the banking space, but the initial implementation was developed with Fulton Bank. “We started with the joint focus on banking/financial services organizations; however, anyone that uses Seismic and sells to multiple industries would see value,” said Buffaloe.
Buffaloe called the integration a “big win for users” as bank leaders are looking to reduce the number of logins for conducting account research and support.
A Gartner survey found that bankers that deliver insights to their customers generate 94% higher fees.
Relationship Managers (RMs) at banks and credit unions support a broad set of customers and industries, making it difficult to develop deep expertise in individual industries. Deploying on-demand, industry-specific intelligence helps RMs quickly come up to speed on an industry, ask intelligent questions of owners and financial professionals, and assemble custom presentations for winning business. Industry-specific content also assists customers in their decision making and supports more valuable meetings between RMs and customers.
“Conversations between a banker and client should go both ways. Vertical IQ and Seismic’s solution ensures conversations are backed by real-time, tailored insights so bankers can engage in better discussions and act as a trusted advisor. This helps them bring unique value and expertise to the table to win, grow and retain more business.”
Vertical IQ CEO Bobby Martin
A recent JD Power survey of small businesses found that most were dissatisfied with their bankers’ ability to meet their needs and expectations. Only 37% of small business customers felt that banks appreciated their business, and only 32% felt that banks understood their business.
According to Bob Neuhaus, VP of Financial Services at JD Power, “Banks need to focus on better integrating high-touch resources with innovative digital tools to meet the demands of small business.”
“Business customers have come to expect hyper-personalized interactions that meet the standards that are now common-place in their personal lives,” said Bill Finnegan, Managing Director, Financial Services Marketing at Seismic. “We’re thrilled about our partnership with Vertical IQ because of the competitive advantage it will offer our banking customers. The ability to generate rich industry insights on-the-fly in a marketing-approved format will help bankers elevate client conversations from just product, to industry-specific trends, advice, and guidance. It allows bankers to be a consultative partner that demonstrates their bank truly understands their business.”
Vertical IQ has launched several integrations over the past year to deliver its industry research within sales and banking workflows. Recent partnerships include Salesforce, RelPro, and Seismic. Vertical IQ profiles are written in plain English for non-experts in financial services industries. Strategic sales reps also leverage Vertical IQ.
The Vertical IQ integration is being sold by Seismic as an add-on to their current sales enablement solution.
So congratulations to CEO Manny Medina and the team at Outreach. The Sales engagement firm has been going head-to-head with SalesLoft to become the leading vendor in its category.
Outreach is based in Seattle and reached unicorn status earlier this year, a rather impressive feat for a five-year old company that doesn’t rent scooters. It is on track to hit 450 employees by the end of the year and has doubled its revenue growth each year since 2016.
Outreach has 3,500 customers including Adobe, DocuSign and eBay.
One area of rapid growth is in its Galaxy partner ecosystem. New partners include Seismic, BombBomb, and Sendoso. The Seismic integration allows reps to insert Seismic content into emails and multi-recipient sequences via a Seismic icon. Reps are notified when prospects view content, allowing them to “transition the prospect into a high-priority, more personalized Sequence.” Sales reps can also send follow-up content after a successful demo or meeting and modify messaging based upon which Seismic content is resonating.
BombBomb supports personalized videos which are inserted into
sequences. When a recipient watches the
video, reps can trigger an urgent call task or place the viewer into a
high-touch sequence. Recorded videos and
screen captures are also supported. BombBomb is priced at $29.99 per seat per
month with volume discounts.
Sendoso supports sequences which include e-gift or direct mail steps. Reps can also setup triggers when e-gift links are activated or direct mail items received. For example, I recently attended a trade show and received a box of mini-cupcakes afterwards with an accompanying note from the Sendoso sales rep.