The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Master the Schedule, Maximize the Revenue w/ Liz Sophia


Look, we’re all busy. Everybody is doing far more now than they’ve ever had to do before. We’re all wearing hats that we likely never intended to wear.

But the truth is, the work still has to get done. Your company still has to bring in revenue, and “I’m not used to doing this thing” isn’t an excuse. Maybe you’ve found yourself with more teams reporting to you. Maybe you’re not quite sure how to integrate all those teams to achieve the most success.

On this episode of the Sales Engagement podcast, we sit down with Liz Sophia. Liz is the VP of Field Marketing at Manhattan Associates, and was kind enough to come on the show and talk all about the schedule.

How does her team organize their week to fire on all cylinders? How do they set up meetings, who is invited to those meetings, and what was the driving force behind including product in their weekly meetings?

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast.This podcast is brought to you by outreach, the leading sales engagement platform helping companies, sellers and customer success engage with buyers and customers in the modern salesera. Check out sales engagementcom for new episodes, resources and the book onsales engagement, available on Amazon and Barnes and noble or wherever books are sold. Now let's get into today's episode. Hello and welcome everyone to the salesengagement podcast. Thank you for hanging out with us today. I appreciate youletting us your ear drums for the next thirty minutes. We have an excellentdiscussion lined up for you. And before we do these, we always havea bit of a Pre podcast call and I remember leaving this one quite energizedwith some of the the ideas that we talked about, so very excited forthis one. I am joined by my guest, Liz Sapphia. Liz,welcome to the show. Hey Scott, thanks so much for having me excitedto have you and so let's Sifia is actually the VP of field marketing atManhattan associates and list. I always like to start there, so you're nowpart of this incredible organization. You hold this incredible title. What's the Superheroorigin story? How did you get there? Well, it Scott. It's aninteresting background. I actually started out in broadcast news. So when Iwas in college I studied communication and worked at several different TV stations and absolutelyloved it. When I was just starting out trying to get a job inbroadcast news, you know it's tough to make money as a young news reporters. So I was a temph for the vice president of marketing at a technologycompany and she brought me in on a trial basis and I think she toldme I was the worst assistant she'd ever had, but she had a jobin media and marketing that she thought it would be a perfect fit for.So I stumbled into marketing and from the early days just had a true,true passion for trying to come up with meaningful, memorable messages to connect withpeople and resonate with our audience. So, unbeknown to me, that was thebeginning of my career pivot and I've been in technology marketing for a longtime. Yeah, that's so funny. When you know it's almost like thatthe universe pushes us in this sort of certain direction based on our specific skillset, and then it kind of opened it. I could you imagine ifshe never pushed you in that direction, you could be living a totally differentlife right now. Absolutely, and thank God she saw something in me atthat early age to say you've got a you know, skill set around mediaand marketing and she took a chance on me and you know, while thatwas a long time ago, I still...

...remember a lot of those fundamentals thatI apply each and every day. Yeah, that's incredible and now it must beinteresting as a as a leader, kind of coming full circle and you'vehad the via ability, I'm sure, for hundreds of folks to point themin a direction and maybe set them on a career path similar to how shedid for you. Absolutely, I think that's such a good point to coverbecause I've had amazing ment for throughout my entire career and people who took achance on me or had a lot of faith in me and giving me opportunitiesthat maybe I wasn't quite ready for it at the time, but I tryto employ that with the folks that I mentor and Coach and work with,because I just think that you have to give back and invest in others,because I think it also helps your own personal growth. Couldn't agree more.Couldn't agree more. All Right, so you've had this this incredible journey,you know, all through technology companies. Now you're at Manhattan and Associates,and I think what struck me when we first talked, and this is goingto be more of a attack, quite a tactical episode, it kind ofstruck me we somehow got onto this idea of what a weekly schedule looks likein what I would call a modern revenue machine. Right, this is justfiring on all cylinders and using ITO's a best practices of today and maybe evenpushing the boundaries of what what the best practice is mean, maybe leading theway on some of those. So sure, let's, if you'll kind of humorme, let's go through what that that looks like and maybe start bydefining kind of the the structure of your team. It will start there withwith the structure, and then let's go through like literally Monday, Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and and what you you cover and how you getit all done to Be Operating Like a Well oiled sure I'm really excited totalk about this topic because it's near and dear to my heart. I LoveLegion to man engine and and fostering and growing a revenue marketing team. Sothe way we're structured, we actually have three teams under me. Global Operations, which does all the text AC and analytics for everything that we do andthey're the backbone of how we support the organization and, quite honestly, howwe refine what we do and pivot and do things smarter and better. Wealso have an inside sales team and a programs marketing team. So three teams, the teams that all highlight today are really around our inside sales team andour programs marketing team. So the way we kick off our week we havea Monday morning pipeline call where sales and marketing get on the phone together firstmeeting of the day, and we talked about what the sales team has intheir que what meetings are already set, what meetings would we like to set? How are things moving through the funnel?...

Do they need a nudge from marketing? Do they need a nudge from product? How can we assist thisteam and being successful? So Monday's is really our opportunity first thing in themorning to set our course for the week and make sure that everyone is alignedfrom the start. I think this is a really great way for us tomake sure that we get off fast and efficiently and start our week that way. And we do our North America pipeline meetings in the morning and then ourSouth America pipeline meetings in the afternoon, just to align with schedules throughout theweek. We also have something called a Swat meeting. It's not meant tobe strengths, weaknesses, opportunities threats. It's meant to be Swat in thatit's a very tactical approach where we bring sales, marketing and then product togetherto make sure that we are reviewing the messaging, reviewing the campaigns and we'regetting feedback from sales. Is What we're doing, resonating with the audience thatyou're talking to. Are you getting the quality of leaves that we are generatingand are they moving through the funnel at the rate we would want and expect? And, additionally, are there things going on in the industry where weshould think about marketing differently? are their current environmental changes happenings with our competitors, and so it gives us this opportunity to lay everything out on the tableand be super transparent about how we're going to market. Is it the rightapproach and is there anything we should consider doing differently? So that I wantto hone in on on that one, because I think part of that waswhat kind of light bulb started going off, because I'm extremely lucky. It's Tuckto all sorts of interesting people at interesting organizations and and something that reallystands up there is this idea of bringing product into these these conversations. Youknow, I think a lot of companies have sales and marketing, you know, a stay, a weekly stand up get people sort of aligned. Thisidea of getting getting product in and then also introducing the idea of like macrotrends that are happening in the economy with your competitors is so unbelievably important toyou know, especially now in the age of Covid and and I'll everything thatis happening, it's becoming increasingly more more important. When did you start bringingin product to the mix? was there kind of a an inflection point wherewere like, Hey, we need to get product into the mix. Haveyou always done this in your career? Is had a strong relationship with theproduct team? And then my follow up question to that is, if I'ma leader and I'm listening to this, how do I go and get productto buy into these meetings to get more aligned? What are like the firststeps? They're perfect. So you ask two questions. One, have wealways brought in products? So I'll address...

...that. One's first. So Iwas fortunate to be part of several large marketing organizations were product was actually apart of the marketing organization. So I inherently was close to product, butI also had a big part of my career in product marketing, for thevalue between what marketing, traditional marketing, has to offer and wigh in,you know, product Road Map, customer feedback and translating what goes into theproduct into what's meaningful for our customers and prospects always sound a ton of valuethere. To be perfectly honest, it was not a smooth process asking productto come into some of these meetings initially, and it wasn't a smooth process becauseone product wasn't used to being asked to come into these meetings. Buthonestly, marketing had an obligation to provide the value of the meeting back tothe product organization, and what I mean by that is, okay, whereis your every week asking you for help, we're asking for input on our campaigns, our programs are message. We have to share back with you theresults of all of our campaigns and programs. So every quarter we host a quarterlybusiness review around all of our programs. What's working, what's not? We, you know, to use a Cliche, we open up the Kimonoand we really look at all of the offerings that we've done throughout that timeframe and we talked about where we want to reinvest or double down going forward. So while we do review weektoweek results in our meetings, the quarterly businessreviews are an opportunity for us to speak back to the larger organization. Weinvite almost thirty people to those reviews and they're actually open to anyone who wantsto come in our overall organization, because we feel like if we're transparent andthe results that were collectively producing, then that makes people feel like they're moreconnected to the process. By involving product in the creation and the the implementationof some of what we do. They're more likely to have a vested interestin the outcome or the success of it. Yeah, but we so we haveto prove it. I will, I will die. You know,there were times where they would say, Oh, I don't have time thisweek, but over time we really fostered those relationships and I think owning theresults and just being really honest about, you know, challenges, struggles andcurious with questions really brought our groups closer. M Yeah, I mean when youwhen you hear it back and the way you're putting it makes so muchsense and it's funny that more organizations aren't, aren't doing it this way. ButI can also I can hear product teams being pulled it. I don'twant another meeting. We don't want to sit in your marketing meeting where you'rejust, you know, given some presentations, but your idea of kind of gettingthem vested and and part of it,...

I think one of the things yousaid, is this feedback loop of success. Right. It's like,okay, you this products change feature. Whatever happened? We then did thiscampaign around it and then we saw x amount of success and then the that'sthat's cool. That makes our work more meaningful. We want to know that, we want to hear. That is huge and it's funny. Reminds meof this kind of situation I'm going through right now where I'm working with someof our R VC's at outreach and trying to wrangle different relationships and things,and the biggest feedback I got from them was we're happy to do this allday long, but I want to hear the end result. I want toknow what happened with the Intros I made, I want to hear what happened withthe relationships. So that, seemingly, is kind of what we all wantand that's how you can mobilize people in a pretty big way as givingfinding those ways to provide that feedback, success feedback, I guess. Yeah, and I think just to add on to that, you know, youokethat we speak in numbers, right, so we don't go and feed meetingsand talk about the pretty creative or you know, what we talked about ispipeline contribution to pipeline attribution towards our goal, the impact of, you know,a marketing qualified lead and it's conversion towards what we all want in ourorganization, which is a sales accepted leader, internally referred to as our essays.So when we speak in numbers there's a lot more credibility. That kindof emulates throughout the room. Yeah, hundred present, hundred percent agree.And Yeah, it's about knowing, knowing your audience. To you and I'mlet's doing you know that. What's the disc profile of your typical product person? It might be difficult from your you different from your different your your marketingteam, and make sure you're speaking their language. The numbers are our hugepart of that. Okay, that's amazing. So even to make this even moretactical, people are like, okay, we could, we could mirror someof this stuff. Who is actually in the room, like right downto like titles on the pipeline call and then to the the swap meetings.Is it truly like the whole org on some of these things? So inthe Monday pipeline call I have my inside sales team plus one of the vicepresidents or North America sales leaders from our SPP sales org, plus I havethe entire marketing programs team. So we not only have buy in from theRep who are frontline doing the calls, but we also have input from someonewho's been with the Organization for a think twenty years, so he knows thisindustry. He's there kind of as our guard rail, you know, asleads come in. He knows all of the history and you know large enterpriseaccounts and he can also help us if...

...we have to craft a specific narrativefor a prospect or some form of outreach. So we've got the sale one ofthe sales leaders, we have the inside sales team and the marketing programsteam and then, for fun, we have one of our analytics operations people. For Fun, we have one of the analytics folks on the phone withus because we want to make sure that as we're reviewing reporting or if wehave any issues getting to specific data, he's there to support us. Very, very interesting. And then on the swap meetings, WHO's out? WHO'son that one? So on the Swat meetings that take place later in theweek, we have product representatives, sales are inside sales team, we haveprograms and we also have someone from product marketing and also someone from our analystrelations group because as we're trying to think about our go to market approach.oftentimes the person who manages our analysts relations team will chime in and say,well, Hey, you know, have you thought about leveraging this analyst inthis way to help with this initiative? So it really provides, you know, a full view of how we can go to market in the most effectiveways and it's nice, again, by involving these different groups so that theyfeel that they've got some ownership in the process. Yeah, like that canso can you share let's let's go in a time machine and then go backin time before you had product in the mix. What are some of theand then go to today. Do you have any wins or any of thelist you've seen for people that are like this? This sounds great, butI need to go maybe make a business case internally. So we're in publiccompany, so I can't say I'm a lot, but I can tell youthat this is the most successful combination of people that and result that I've seensince I've been there, in the last two years. I think it tooksome doing. We did not have it right right out of the gate.We had to align people and products and process together and we had to saila couple of times before we got it. But I can tell you that theconversations right now. In fact, I had to call my head ofsail not too long ago and say please, don't accept this lead until the nextday, because it was month then and we had already exceeded a goalby quite a bit, and so that was a rare, rare phone conversationfor me to have to do and beg my head is sale to postpone abit. Normally it's the other way saying, Hey, can you accept this andmove it along? But yeah, at the end of the day,a what we're trying to do is build a lot of credibility and trust sothat when we ask people for their time, they are more than willing and wantto help in the success of what we do. Yeah, I likeit. I'm I'm sold on this concept.

I think that this concept the Ihate this term now, but the new normal, the normal of thefuture. I think every revenue machine will operate with this and product will getinvolved. I'll be that success. Feedback loop will be like teams. Isthere anything else in your kind of weekly schedule that you think is worth worthhighlighting? Well, it's a little bit of an outlier, but it mayresonate with your audience. We also have an internal creative department that acts likean agency. So what we do is we also share results with our creativeteam because we like for our creative folks to understand the outcome of their efforts. So will have I adiation sessions with creative and how we can, youknow, best connect with those audiences. But the sharing bath for those results, you know, speaking to a specific designer or a copywriter and saying,you know, here's what here's what happened when we put your ads out inmarket, bad and good and again. That helps us be more of anagile marketing group where we can pivot, you know, because if you're allsitting around the table looking at results of something and you know you can dobetter than everyone wants to have some day and making it better. Yeah,absolutely. I think that's one of my big big takeaways from this conversation asreally thinking through all of the different roles we have and how can we createmore of a success loop, how can we tie our winds into what whatthey're doing? And you know, we all try and try and do that, but they're so unbelievably important to do. All right, listen, this hasbeen a really enjoyable conversation and I always like to wrap up with thissame question because people are super busy and who knows where they're listening to this. That could be at the gym, they could be making dinner, theirkid could be practicing the trumpet. Who knows? Yeah, and they can'tremember everything. We can only absorb so much information. So if people justremember, you know, let's say three takeaways from this conversation we've had today. What would you like those to be? So, first and foremost, knowyour numbers. You know our marketers are gold with a comp plan thataligned to pipeline and their contribution. So one and most important, know yournumbers so that you can work towards those. Two, marketing doesn't hold the keyto all the answers, but that alignment with sales and product makes fora really intelligent marketing group and also makes for really intelligent use of fend andresources. So and we're two. Marking doesn't hold the key to all theanswers, but we do act as that glue the alignment with sales and productto make for really intelligent decisions. And three, transparency. We share numbersinternally so that folks know the outcomes of...

...their their their input with us,and I think by sharing our numbers, good, bad and different, itmakes for a much tighter organization and ultimately better results. I love it.No your numbers. Marketing can act as the glue, especially when you getsales and products involved, and transparency across the organization so people can see theirtheir efforts and what those are kind of transpiring into. List those are puregold. Thank you so much for your time. I know you got alot going on, so we really do appreciate it, and to all ourlisteners, thank you so much for hanging out with us. Hope you havea fantastic day and we'll see you next sect. This was another episode ofthe sales engagement podcast. Join US at sales engagementcom for new episodes, resourcesand the book on sales engagement, now available on Amazon, Barnes and nobleor wherever books are sold. To get the most out of your sales engagementstrategy, make sure to check out outreach, the leading sales engagement platform. Seeyou on the next episode.

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