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Marketing and Sales: A Lesson in Marriage Counseling
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Marketing and Sales: A Lesson in Marriage Counseling

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Appirio Business Architect Ashley Brucker presents why a Marketing and Sales alignment strategy is the healthiest thing you can do for your company.

Appirio Business Architect Ashley Brucker presents why a Marketing and Sales alignment strategy is the healthiest thing you can do for your company.

Published in: Technology, Business

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  • More often than not, Marketing & Sales are operating in complete silos. As part of my job, I go in and evaluate marketing and sales processes and how they align or help each other. But most of the time, I spend mediating between the two groups. There’s a lot of “He said, she said” between the orgs and they actually begin to look a lot like a married couple.

    There’s an extreme “Us and Them” mentality between the two groups when in reality, both groups do in fact have the same ultimate goals- making your company successful, driving revenue, and staying at the forefront of your customer’ minds. With that in mind, in order for both groups to be successful at the SAME goals- they need to be working together.
  • Marketing and Sales Alignment is one of those buzz terms that gets thrown around but rest assured it’s real. And when it’s woven into your company’s culture, you are remarkably more successful and actually happier. Over the course of my consulting on Marketing Automation and Operations, there’s a distinct difference in the happiness, the willingness, and the attitude of the companies who have truly adopted Marketing & Sales Alignment- or ONE TEAM. Happier employees mean better employee retention, better output, and an all around happier environment. So it’s not just revenue that should be driving your Marketing & Sales Alignment initiatives, it should be your culture and the well—being of your employees as well.
  • Here are some staggering statistics that show how common it is for a wedge to be driven between marketing and sales.

    Bottom line is marketing owns more of the sales cycle than every before. This means sales needs to know what marketing is up to, what they’re promoting, what the messaging is and marketing needs the support from sales to make sure they’re selling the right message and that they’re positioning sales for success with pre-qualified and well-informed leads.
  • And now we get to the marriage counseling- I literally hear these arguments and REGULARLY from marketing and sales executives.

    You Don’t Understand my Needs- there’s a statistic out there from Sirius Decisions that only 10% of sales reps think their marketing counter parts are sales saavy. What this really means is that 90% of sales reps thinks their marketing counter parts actually have no idea what goes on in the sales cycle, they don’t provide sales with useful content in the sales cycle, and that sales ends up actually doing marketing’s job by recreating a lot of the resources they need.

    You don’t appreciate all that I do- marketers tend to feel that they’re looked at the arts & crafts center. That no one actually knows what they’re doing and how much work goes into a lot of their activities. And that sad truth is it’s true- but it’s simply because sales has no consistent visibility into the marketing activities that are going on. It may be that a marketing member sends an email summarizing all of the month’s activities & accomplishments and that’s a start but email is a very risky way to rely on your sales reps getting information. You need a more consistent communication structure.

    I’m Tried of cleaning up after you- if I had a dollar for every time I heard a marketing executive complain about how sales abuses their CRM, they have no respect for data, or they don’t even bother entering things into the CRM- well let’s just say that I wouldn’t be giving this webinar. In my experience, very few organizations are using their CRM as optimally and as efficiently as they could be- most times it’s a glorified rolodex and your reps are dragging their heals with interacting with it at all. The result is marketing is left with incomplete and unreliable data. That costs money… because marketing will have to find a way to either re-capture that lead, subsidize the missing data of that lead, or worst case scenario, marketing captures an existing lead but they’ll embarrass the company by treating the lead as a new lead when in reality, sales may have been working off their business cards with that lead for the last 3 months. Visibility.

    You’re spending too much money- this goes back to the visibility issue. Sales sees marketing’s budget and doesn’t understand where the money could possibly be going. Again, it’s critical that sales gets a line of sight into marketing activities for them to really appreciate the marketing contribution.
  • Terminology simply means you’re speaking the same language which is why it’s the first place to start. What you see here are the fundamental building blocks of the lifecycle and a great place to start when it comes to agreeing on terminology.
  • Once you’re speaking the same language, now you have to lay down the ground rules on how the groups will interact and work together.
  • With terminology and rules of engagement established, now you can get into architecting the lead lifecycle stages. At the most basic level, your lifecycle should look like this one. Get yourself a whiteboard and begin asking the following questions:

    Start basically, ask your teams “Where do leads come from?” And “where do they feed into?” “What happens to them once they’re in the system?” These are the keys to get that conversation started and I guarantee you you will begin to identify gaps, bottlenecks, and blackholes.

    What most folks miss here is closing the loop. You cannot just have a funnel- it does not account for leads flowing back into the process but a lifecycle allows leads to recycle back through.
  • This is where the ball gets dropped most often- the hand off.

    There are some key pieces to think about when designing the hand-off. First, what is the mechanism they prefer? What are the SLAs that are reasonable but also in line with best practices? Once you’ve connected with a lead how will I as marketing know that?

    Remember that no lead should sit in any stage for too long so you need to have mechanisms to move them through, or prompts to remind sales people to stay active. You should run reports regularly to see how long leads/contacts are staying in certain stages and work to see if you have a bottle neck there. I have worked with certain companies who did this very exercise and actually justified hiring more inside sales reps because of it, they then saw their lifecycles shortening and they saw their conversions and revenue numbers go up. Bottlenecks are deadly but silent so look for them.

    If you do not nail this hand-off process or the feedback loop- you will spend more money recapturing leads or at least leads’ attention that are already in your system.
  • Reporting- somehow my favorite and lead favorite topic. It’s a necessary evil but it’s also a means to an end.

    You need to be able to measure your marketing & sales alignment effectiveness. These numbers will tell you where you’re being successful or where there’s room for improvement.

    It’s not secret that unless you have someone on staff where this is your full time job, you may need to consider an MA or BI tool for this type of in-depth reporting. But the reports are worthless without process and compliance from all of the players so that keep that in mind.
  • CRM is historically a sales platform. Well the marketing world answered that with a huge up tick in the marketing automation market. There are plenty on the market and they can be insanely powerful if implemented correctly.

    The marketing automation tool is the marketing platform that integrates with the CRM to make sense of everything. Here you can see how they each platform manages/collaborates on different parts of the lifecycle. You can see an increase/decrease arrow to represent where bulk of the responsibility should lie.

    And make sure you’re using the platforms for what they’re best at. MA kills it at… while CRM is the master of….

  • Thank you and there are a lot of ways to find out more
    Please visit our website
    Be sure to follow our blog and our Twitter handle – our cloud experts are always posting interesting and useful information
  • Transcript

    • 1. Marketing & Sales: A Lesson in Marriage Counseling © 2013 Appirio, Inc.
    • 2. © 2013 Appirio, Inc. - Confidential Appirio Helps You Reimagine Your Business with the Cloud 1 =+ Your Business Reimagined 6 years, 500 enterprises, 2.5M users moved to the cloud The World’s Largest Cloud Expert Community Services Powered by Reusable Technology and 75k Crowdsourced Developers
    • 3. © 2013 Appirio, Inc. - Confidential The Appirio Path to Results: Agile Strategy to Execution 2 Strategy Infuse strategy with what’s possible • Innovation workshop • Business agility strategy • Vendor selection and business case • Transformation readiness Deploy Transform the way people work • Transformation blueprint • Cloud migration • Custom cloud and mobile development • Change enablement Extend Iterate as strategy and technology change • Strategy on-demand • Program management • Cloud management • Cloud intelligence • CloudSpokes Engaged Workforce Committed Partners Flawless Operations Happy Customers
    • 4. © 2013 Appirio, Inc. - Confidential Who am I? Ashley Brucker- Business Architect • Contact me: @Ash_Said_So abrucker@appirio.com • Expertise in marketing and sales alignment strategies and marketing operations • 6 years in the marketing operations and marketing automation • Native Californian with an addiction to heat and a fear of heights 3
    • 5. © 2013 Appirio, Inc. - Confidential Marketing and Sales: A Match Made in Heaven? 4
    • 6. © 2013 Appirio, Inc. - Confidential What is “Marketing & Sales Alignment”? 5 “When a Marketing Team and a Sales Team agree on and collaborate towards common goals, strategies, and metrics which lead to greater, more consistent, and more predictable streams of revenue.”
    • 7. © 2013 Appirio, Inc. - Confidential 6 Statistics that May Break Your Heart… 1/3 of the sales cycle has evaporated because of the ability for prospects to “Self- Serve.” Source: Sirius Decisions 97% of interactions with sales are considered unproductive by prospects & customers. Source: Forbes 8% of companies think they have tight sales & marketing alignment. Source: Forrester Research 80% of B2B purchase cycles are considered complete by the time the prospect contacts the vendor. Source: Forbes
    • 8. © 2013 Appirio, Inc. - Confidential 7 The Arguments that Come Between the Happy Couple “You don’t appreciate all that I do.” Marketing “You’re spending too much money.” Sales “I’m tired of cleaning up after you.” Marketing “You don’t understand my needs.” Sales
    • 9. © 2013 Appirio, Inc. - Confidential 8 Marketing and Sales: A Match Made in Heaven!! The 5 Keys to Success in This Marriage 1. Define terminology and rules 2. Establish the stages of the lifecycle 3. Design the hand-off process and feedback loop 4. Establish measurements of “success” that work across the orgs 5. Theirs and theirs platforms
    • 10. © 2013 Appirio, Inc. - Confidential The indicator to understand where a lead is in the cycle and how to further engage with them 9 A person with the minimum required amount of information for sales engagementLead A person who prior to sales engagement has provided all required information and has the desired traits of an ideal target Pre-Qualified Lead Lead Statuses The field where the origin of the lead is captured and frozen for tracking of ROI on the sourceLead Source A true sales or pending sales dealOpportunity 1. Define Terminology…
    • 11. © 2013 Appirio, Inc. - Confidential • Establish assignment methodology, e.g., regional, named, round-robin • Decide if you’ll use queues and if there will be “Account Teams” 10 • Abandon the “us vs. them” mentality • Go on Sales calls • Include Sales in campaign development Mutual Respect • What data is kept in the CRM or outside of the CRM? • Is there a Marketing Automation tool? • How do they integrate with one another? Systems of Responsibility Lead Assignment Rules • What happens when an existing lead/contact comes back? • What is your policy on duplicates in the system? Return Leads or Contacts • Consistent messaging across marketing an sales • Marketing comms should vary from heavy to minimal and back • Allow sales to determine how their leads/contacts participate in marketing Marketing Communications by Stage …And Define Rules
    • 12. © 2013 Appirio, Inc. - Confidential Disqualif ied Recycle Lost How to tell if you got it right… 1. Do we agree that every Lead/Contact can be accounted for in the stages? 2. What role does each organization play at the different stages? 3. What can be automated and what requires manual changes? 4. How will each organization have visibility into this pipeline? Anonymous Known Pre- Qualified Lead Engaged Opportunity Closed- Won 2. Establish the Stages of the Lifecycle 11
    • 13. © 2013 Appirio, Inc. - Confidential Hand-Off Mechanisms •Email Alerts •CRM Tasks •List Views Service Level Agreements •Pre-Qualified •Engaged/Working •Opportunity Stages Feedback Mechanisms •Lead Status Updates •Opportunity Status Updates •Add to Campaigns General SLA Rules of Thumb • 24 hour follow-up for “pre- qualified” leads • 1 hour follow-up for any “Contact Me Now” form fill- outs • Relative to length of sales cycle: • Limited amount of time in “Engaged/Working” Stages • Limited amount of time in early Opportunity stages Marketing Sales3. Design the Hand-off Process and Feedback Loop @Ash_Said_So12
    • 14. © 2013 Appirio, Inc. - Confidential Metric What it Tells You # of “leads” generated How active your lead gen programs are # of “Pre-Qualified Leads” generated How effective your lead gen programs are “Pre-Qualified Lead” Conversion Rates How accurate is your PQL definition and your initial sales alignment SLA Compliance Rates How efficient are your sales hand-off and follow-up processes # of Marketing Sourced Opportunities How effective & consistent is your messaging and targeting across organizations Marketing Sourced Revenue How strong is your marketing & sales alignment • Agree upon terminologies • Establish data-driven processes • Reporting tools like Marketing Automation or BI Tools • Benchmark these numbers today • Benchmark them again in 6 months How do you enable these metrics? 4. Measures of Success that Work Across Orgs @Ash_Said_So13
    • 15. © 2013 Appirio, Inc. - Confidential CRM Marketing Automation Marketing Automation • Email Marketing • Scoring • Pre-Qualification & SLA Mgmt. • Data Management • Ongoing Nurturing • Reporting CRM • Lead Management • Sales Activity Management • Forecasting & Reporting • Opportunity Management 5. Theirs and Theirs Platforms Disqualif ied Recycle Lost Anonymous Known Pre- Qualified Lead Engaged Opportunity Closed- Won 14
    • 16. © 2013 Appirio, Inc. - Confidential Marketing & Sales- A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN! 15
    • 17. © 2013 Appirio, Inc. - Confidential 16 So remember… The 5 Keys to Success in This Marriage 1. Define terminology and rules 2. Establish the stages of the lifecycle 3. Design the hand-off process and feedback loop 4. Establish measurements of “success” that work across the orgs 5. Theirs and theirs platforms
    • 18. Learn more about Appirio – Thank You! 17 www.appirio.com www.appirio.com/blog www.twitter.com/appirio www.facebook.com/ appirio plus.google.com/s/ appirio cloud@appirio.com