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Growth Leader, Chris Petko, Brings All-In Attitude to New Role at Sureshot

Despite the pandemic’s attempt to put the kibosh on business expansion plans, Sureshot continues to experience 250 percent year-over-year (YOY) growth. Included in the company’s latest growth spurt is the addition of Chris Petko as the new Vice President of Revenue, and he has big plans to continue the speed of Sureshot’s upward trajectory. 

Sureshot has enjoyed steady growth during a tumultuous era of economic uncertainty, why?

Chris:  It’s a combination of things. First, Sureshot has a straightforward approach when it comes to solving the marketing problems every B2B marketer experiences. They genuinely listen to customers and solve problems by utilizing a combination of products, services and integrations resulting in business outcomes. Also, Sureshot’s Founder, David York, has done an amazing job of hiring some of the smartest people in martech to serve our customers, and that makes a huge difference in how quickly we implement effective solutions.

But Sureshot does sell software…

Chris: Yes, we sell products that manage data, automate communications, hyper-personalize campaigns and integrate existing technologies together. But we’re not about adding more tools to the marketing stack; we’re about providing a decentralized workflow engine designed to allow you to better use your tech and ensure business outcomes.

What are the issues you see in B2B Marketing that are holding people back?

Chris:  I’ve been in the marketing technology industry for decades and while there’s been tremendous growth in a fairly short amount of time, sometimes that growth creates problems. Ten years ago there were less than 150 marketing SaaS solutions, and now there are over 8,000. That’s 8,000 data-producing tools that should integrate and work together—but often don’t. As a result, many marketing departments have stacks full of point solutions where data is siloed, or data is poorly integrated, resulting in lackluster performance with their Demand Gen efforts. Add to that, the average tenure of a Marketing leader, and some businesses are left with a mess of technologies. Typically, these problems have been too complex and cumbersome for their ops [marketing operations] team.

Sounds like a job for IT…

Chris:  Unfortunately, it has been, but it shouldn’t be. Sales and Marketing need the autonomy and agility to create workflows and integrate tools without having to use excel spreadsheets and get on IT’s waitlist. These days, every marketer is charged with using their data to improve campaign performance, but it is becoming increasingly harder to do so. That’s a big part of the reason Sureshot has grown so quickly. Our clients rely on our decentralized platform to deliver data-driven and fully personalized campaigns to their audiences, regardless of which technologies are powering their Marketing and Sales org.

Earlier you said the martech industry’s fast-paced growth created problems; do you think rapid growth could cause problems for Sureshot?

Chris: Yes, it’s a challenge for many fast-growing start-ups — and why I’m here. Part of my mission is to ensure that we provide great customer experiences while keeping up with our triple-digit growth. As the new VP of Revenue, I’m responsible for our sales and customer service operations and I am hiring the best people for both of those departments right now.

What constitutes a good hire for you?

Chris: I immediately look for natural curiosity and ambition. It also helps to understand the customer, which comes from either direct experience in the customer’s world, or a deep and genuine interest. Our product is continually evolving and although some of that is customer-driven, it’s also a function of empowering our teams to pursue innovations and find better ways to solve problems. The next level, for us, will become more role-specific, and of course, I have a candidate scoring program for that. 

What do you foresee in Sureshot’s near future, say the next five years?

Chris:  I see us continuing to generate outcomes for high-performance companies like Dell, Pepsico, JLL, Cisco, Informa and Corteva, and steadily adding more to our roster. I also see Sureshot continuing its blistering pace of growth. Our products are the direct result of listening and reacting to our customers. That is a crucial differentiator, and one that generally leads to continued and substantial growth.

What are your goals for your new role?

Chris:  Beyond building high-performance teams that take a holistic approach to customer experience, I also want to help our customers see technology as a positive disruption. I want to help businesses get the maximum ROI from their entire marketing and sales tech investment. I want Sureshot to be known as the company that has delivered on the promise of leveraging technologies to achieve measurable business outcomes.