November 29, 2021

How Leea Huffine at Atlas Copco enables the sales team | Building Modern Sellers Blog Series

Technology Leea uses: Showpad, Outreach, and ZoomInfo

Meet Leea Huffine, Creative Marketing and Communications Manager at Atlas Copco. In this interview, Leea shares with us how she’s implemented marketing automation, digital deal rooms, and digital media content to support the sales team in a hybrid sales environment. 

“We had to adapt in a very short period of time to our new normal,” Leea said. But the quick shift led to a positive outcome: “We came up with some new ways to reach our customers.”

What’s your role and how has it changed over the last year?

I am the creative marketing and communications manager for the Atlas Copco tools and assembly systems division. The biggest change was working from home—and our sales team has been most impacted by the shift. Since they can’t get face-to-face time with our customers, they’ve had to change how they’re reaching out, communicating, and sharing content with them. 

What kinds of techniques did you implement to adjust to this new way of selling to customers?

Our sales team was doing really great before COVID. We had a roadshow, where a semi truck would travel North America and make stops with customers. It was pretty much just bringing our product portfolio to their facility, and worked as an effective sales tool for the team. But then we had to put everything on hold.

Now, the sales team is doing whatever they can to make it work in this crazy world. Sales (as they do) have gotten creative; some sellers have even hosted product demos on the tailgate of a truck in a customer’s parking lot. 

We’ve also implemented a couple of different digital activities like marketing automation, customer specific campaigns, Shared Spaces, and our digital deal room within Showpad.

How is your team thinking about shifting focus to support the sales team in this hybrid sales environment? 

Instead of getting everything physically in the hands of sales for face-to-face meetings, we as a marketing team have pivoted to providing them with digital spaces where they can get connected. We’ve looked into quite a few different digital tools so far to support this; we’re now ready to implement Outreach along with ZoomInfo. 

We’re going to pilot this new, digital-first approach with a small group of sales teams to see how well it works. 

To be honest, it’s kind of scary to put a new tool into their hands and say, okay go ahead and type whatever you want. So we put some boundaries on our Outreach templates and supply sales with basic written emails, assets, and talking points. Our digital marketing team is responsible for writing all the email copy; we have a whole bunch of templates based on where prospects are in the buying process. This means the sales team gets to use appropriate content based on the list of emails they need to send out. 

On top of sales enablement, we’re also doing targeted marketing and boosting our budget to do more digital ads on the websites.

How has Showpad played a role in this transition for your sales and marketing teams? 

The challenge of sales and marketing alignment isn’t new; but I think, in this new world, we’re going to have to be on the same page. It’s a must, these days. 

Our sales team at Atlas Copco feel that Showpad is the best way to accomplish that alignment. I can’t imagine if I took Showpad away from them today. I wouldn’t like to get those phone calls from sales because they absolutely love the tool.

Let’s talk more about Shared Spaces. How do you use them?

Our sales team partners with our largest customers (those with global end users and multiple decision makers) to support their customer acquisition process. Shared Spaces allows us to provide a set of materials that can be shared with their contacts, accessible from any location. 

I’m the admin for our Showpad instance, responsible for all the content creation and distribution to the sales team. Let me tell you: we have quite a few instances across Atlas Copco business areas using Showpad. (For example, our Compressors Division set up Showpad to push content from SharePoint.) 

Atlas Copco Customer Quote

How do you go about planning, prioritizing and creating content?

We are in the early phases of a three-year project to create content that meets the needs of our customers. We’ve established a basic foundation with the customer personas we want to target, and then we’ll start creating content for each one before we expand into industry-specific content. 

It’s important that our customers can see themselves in the product content we create. 

We’ve talked a lot about how you’ve enabled the sales team to support their customers digitally. Has your way of working with the sales teams, like onboarding, enablement and communication tools, changed?

While our teams have always been remote, we’ve noticed a difference in the speed of adoption for the new digital practices. 

Some colleagues are more “hip” to how things work digitally, but some are still wrapping their heads around what digital marketing can do for them. It’s our job to help them understand. 

Sure, it’s been a bit of a roller coaster, but overall they’re really enjoying it and are happy with what we’ve done. What’s key is that we learn from our experiences. If something’s not working, we have the data now to go back and say, well, you know what? This didn’t work, but let’s modify and change this to hopefully make it into something that will work.

How did you decide Showpad was going to be part of your technology stack? 

Let me give you an example of life before Showpad:

Sales: “Where do I find this brochure? Do I have the latest version?”  

Marketing: “Well, you can maybe find it here, or here, possibly here, but really I’m not sure. When you do find it, download it off the site and email it, but hopefully the file size isn’t too big.” 

There was never an easy way for our sales team to get the material they needed and send it to their customer or prospect.

Our own sales team was having to call our service hotline to get firmware updates. It just wasn’t working. I knew there had to be something out there that could solve our issues, get us in front of customers quickly and give the sales team content at their fingertips.

A counterpart of mine in a different division was using Showpad, so I asked her to give me a tour of their instance. As soon as I saw it, it was a no-brainer. I developed a business case, presented it to upper management and that’s how I was able to get Showpad. 

Even though we’re just using it here locally in the US for now, next year it could possibly become a global solution for my division (which I’ll be spearheading). 

What advice or key tips for success would you give to someone just starting out in a Creative Marketing and Communications role?

If we’re talking B2B, take time to understand what your sales team really needs—and get perspective from their customers. Because it’s ultimately the customers that you want to reach, you need to grasp their pain points. With that in hand, you’ll be able to get the engagement you’re looking for. 

From there, you can develop new content around the problems they have and have a solution for those problems.