A primary cause of sales and marketing misalignment is the fact that many sales and marketing team leaders don’t actually talk to each other. Sure, they say hello in passing, or when they encounter each other in meetings. But they often don’t make the time to sit down and get on the same page.
At our recent San Francisco Sales & Marketing Alignment Meetup, we asked our panelists to share their perspectives on the topics the two teams need to align on. Here’s what they said.
What’s Marketing’s Impact on the Full Funnel?
“We look at a lot of the stuff that’s difficult for everyone,” said Michael Raab, Head of SMB, Lyft. “We’re looking at the full funnel, which is important, as much as possible, tying back actual revenue and conversions. And also the amount of work that goes into it too, which is a little trickier to quantify.”
What’s in an MQL?
“The area that we really always have trouble, and probably a lot of you can relate to, is the definition of the MQL,” said Raab. “How do we define an MQL? This is a really, really good question, and almost impossible to answer. It’s varying, for sure. So, I’d say MQLs are probably the toughest. Where do you define that process where it’s a hand-off to the team?”
The goal, Raab said, is to define a set of criteria both marketing and sales feel is reasonable. That way marketing can reasonably get to that point, but they aren’t passing over more leads than the sales team can reasonably handle.
Are We Generating Leads? Opportunities? Or What?
“What is the definition of what we’re even generating in the first place?” asked Susan Zuzic, SVP of Global Sales, Wayin. “What I consider to be an inquiry, you consider a lead, right? So, we figured we needed to just go and figure out what the definitions were in the first place, and then where we could gather the information.
For Zuzic, sitting down with her counterpart and reviewing Salesforce data and various baseline metrics showed their prior inbound-driven approach brought in a number of companies well outside of their Fortune 500 company lead targets.
Who’s on First?
When a company is first implementing an account-based sales approach, there can be confusion around which accounts belong to a salesperson and which ones marketing is allowed to touch. Zuzic shared how those conversations have gone in her organization.
“If the data’s not right, how do we work together and not step on each other’s toes?” asked Zuzic. “How does the marketing team know what accounts are on the focus list, and if it changes, and how do we keep that up to date. We’re having a lot of those types of conversations.”
Zuzic went on to add that the next step is to identify what other campaigns they need on top of the ones already in progress to drive the right activities.
“Those are the types of questions and things that we’re discussing and debating and going through,” she said. “It takes a lot of work. It doesn’t happen overnight.”
What is the Right Mix of Activities for an Account-Based Marketing Approach?
For an account-based marketing approach to work, Kristin Alexander, VP Marketing, Certain said the first step is making sure that you’re agreeing on every step you go through.
“We’ve agreed to our target account list,” said Alexander. “The AEs signed up for their accounts. The head of sales signed up for those accounts. And I signed up for those accounts in terms of making sure that all of our target activity is after those accounts. If other things come inbound and other accounts pop in, that’s fine. But most of your dollars are going to the accounts you believe should be customers.”
Certain’s sales and marketing teams try to meet weekly and go through the approach for some of those accounts. They pick out five or ten and talk through what the AE’s approach is to actually win those accounts, where they’re struggling, and where they need help.
“Maybe we need to have a sales dinner or a field event, or maybe we know a partner is really well aligned with these accounts,” said Alexander. “How can we work with them?” This collaborative, “we’re in this together” approach has been the key to keeping the two teams aligned.
To find out how People AI can help your sales and marketing teams get their own data-driven conversations started, sign-up for a demo.