The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 10 months ago

Sales & Marketing Alignment: Focusing on the Same Goals

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Does it feel like your sales and marketing departments are out of sync?

Today’s the day you eliminate the invisible barrier between the two and put the strategies and shared goals in place to ensure that your entire company is rowing in the same direction.

In this episode, I talk with Lynne Capozzi, the CMO at Acquia, about how to drive alignment between sales and marketing.

What we talked about:

  • Misalignment between sales and marketing
  • Inviting product to the revenue kickoff
  • Investigating the impact of self-serve options and community led-growth
  • Revenue trends

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 you by outreach, the leading sales engagement platform, and they just launched outreach on outreach, the place to learn how outreach well does outreach? Learn how the team follows up with every lead in record time after virtual events and turns them into revenue. You can also see how outreachrus account based plays, manages reps and so much more using their own sales engagement platform. Everything is backed by data pulled from outreach processes and customer base. When you're done, you'll be able to do it as good as they do. Had to outreach Doo on outreach to see what they have going on. Now let's get into today's episode. Hello and welcome back everyone to the sales engagement podcast. Thank you, as always, for lending US your ear drums for the next thirty minutes. I know there's a million and one things buying for your your attention, so we don't take a lightly that you're hanging out with us. This will be a extremely interesting discussion. I've been looking forward to this one for a while. I am joined by Limbica Pose Lyn. Welcome to the show. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me very excited to have you and for the listeners. Always like to start with a little bit about your background and I used to we frame it as your superhero origin story. How did you get to where you're at today? Well, I love even the idea of thinking about being in a superhero category. Not sure about that. That's okay. So I'm a chief marketing officer at Software Company called Aqui up and how I got here was, like I'd say, kind of a combination of many years of hard work combined with a little bit of luck and being the right place at the right time. I have a lot of years of experience of being CMO and various levels of marketing positions and throughout my career I've always been in the enterprise sales category and have had for many, many years. I would rotate through various marketing roles and so every two years I moved on. That was kind of one of my objectives, was to move into a different flavor of marketing role, and then for several years as well I was in sales and sales management. So I've always had a sales and marketing background and really love, Love, love the marketing side and and being a Cmo, which I which I certainly love. So part of the Superhero means love what you do. I'm signing up for them. Uh Huh. I love that. And I had I don't know who said this, but someone we had, maybe it was Sam Jacobs on the show, said that if people don't attribute some of the success to lock, they're probably full of full of BS. You know, there's always that back and Oponent, but you certainly have to work extremely hard to put yourself in the situations that can feel like kind of luck. Interesting. So I love that you also have the sales side of it. I didn't actually know that about about your background, and that's going to make this conversation we're about to get to even more interesting. And what we want to talk about today is really around alignment and how to get the Cro and the CMO working together and then pushing that alignment down through the organization and and we may even talk a little bit about how to get products in those conversations as well. But before we get there, just a follow up question to your background. We have a lot of marketers that listen to this podcast and I think they would want to know, like, what was that moment when something clicked in your head right before your first cmo role where you're like, okay, I can get this. Like how did you make that almost mental switch that you're chief marketing officer now, kind of the jump from VP to...

...the the C suite? How did you make that? Do Your do you remember that moment? I you remember the moment. I remember when I move from from being a VP marketing at a larger company to a smaller company. Is Startup being a CMO and I felt like I was ready, but I I wasn't quite sure. But I had some great mentors. I had some great mentors that I followed. Then I listened to and a little bit a leap of faith and and yeah, it was a moment. I think of you like Oh my Gosh, I'm here right, I got this role, like how fadless is that? So I remember it, but I also remember just kind of going back to my core about, okay, I think I know what to do, implement that, you know, work on that ninety day plan, which is something that I'd always have read about and heard about and tried to work on. So and that kicked into me and and then we kind of went from there and I learned all along the way. Yeah, I like that. All right, let's dive right into it, and I think a good a good place to start is kind of what's what's broken right now in terms of alignment. This is a discussion that a lot of folks have. Why are a lot of sales and marketing teams right now not operating in the right way? What do you think are some of the root causes of this? Honestly, it's been, it seems like it's been a consistent issue since it started by my career. Yeah, I think when I see it happening, where sometimes it doesn't, there's a disconnect between marketing and sales, is one the times when we don't share the same objectives. So maybe the CMO and the crow are on a different page for whatever reason. Maybe they're not. We're not sharing enough objectives between the two or similar type of objectives, and the partnership just hasn't been formed and there seems to be a kind of a division of line in between, which is this is what marketing does, this is what sales does, as opposed to this is what we need to accomplish together. These are our sales goals. Together, our revenue goals together. So I think most of the time that's what it comes down to is for whatever reason it's not an alignment and there's a mismatch between what those objectives are and a true partnership. I've been in situations where there has been a, you know, a misalignment between marketing and sales and it's not comfortable. It's as a head of marketing. It's never comfortable to be in that position. I'm sure it's the same in the sale side, but myself I've been through that. Not Comfortable. When it does work and it does work well, and I'd say like right now at Aqui Oh, I think we're an example of it working well together, that sales and marketing and sharing the same objectives, same goals, were together at the table and we are. We have our sites set on those same goals and we work together to accomplish that. I would agree that a lot. Largely, you can look at be behavior and you can see how someone is incentivized based on that behavior. Right, a lot of our incentives drive our actions. Okay, so I would agree with you. They are. What are some of the things? Then? You know, it seems to be working really well at at Aquia. What are some of the things you instituted to drive that alignment? And let's maybe talk through the digital world we all live in now, because it's not as easy as it as it maybe was when we were in the office. We could get everyone together and do a little meeting. What are some of the things that you've done to enhance that alignment? Well, first of all, what we do is the crow and I. We share our so, as I said, we share similar objectives, but we also share the same pipeline goals. So you know, we used to have previously we would have the sales folks would have an outbound quota and it out bounded amount that they're going for and marketing marketing would have an inbound or marketing generated.

Right, so there was marketing generated, there was a stovepipe in between. It was marketing generated and then there was sales outbound generated, and we used to measure them separately. Now what we've done is completely blown that up, so they're together. So it's mark, it's inbound and it's outbound together. Now do I track my marketing programs so that I know specifically what's working and what leads are coming in? Of course because I will not need to track that at a campaign level. But we share that combined goal between sales and marketing together. So that's one thing. So then we have our sites kind of set and it what it does is it actually prevents what we call the hunger games, which is, where did that lead come from? Was it a sales lead? Was it a marketing lead? Was it a and you know what, today, in the world of digital and in the world of all the ABM activity that we're doing, the compass marketing activity, and in the world of the buying committee, it doesn't matter. Like it doesn't matter whether it was sales and marketing. It's to everybody should be working together to make that happen. There's multiple touches all along the way and as long as we can kind of measure the touches and measure the cycle, then we should be okay with that. So that's one way, is a combined target together. The other is we do some simple things like when we did, and this year we did it virtually, when we did a sales kickoff and the annual sales kickoff which we used to get together in person. Fingers Cross next year will be in person, but it's actually a combined sales and marketing kickoff. It's not just sales because it's also marketing because, especially in the regions around the world, the field marketers are working really closely with their sales counterparts. So we have the same meeting and the Ciro and I are both up on stage and we are again where a unified front and we are, you know, communicating the same message to everyone. The marketing folks go through the sales training and the same thing we run through marketing campaigns in the sales folks are exposed to what we're doing on the marketing side. The other thing that we've done in part of that is so it's although it's the sales and marketing kickoff, we also have the product people come in. So our product organizations are not coming in to hear what the Sales and marketing folks are being exposed to and what our messages for the Sales and marketing folks. So although it's the sales and marketing kickoff, we have a lot of people, you know, that join us from products. So, you know, those are a couple of things we do some, you know, some other smaller type things in terms of joint meetings and making sure that we have a weekly senior leadership, sales and marketing sync up so we know what are we focused on this week, what are we trying to accomplish? What do we get from last week? And literally we do it every week and we never miss it. So those are some some tactics that we use on a weekly basis. Those are great. I want to pack up a few of those. So I love this idea. I think every organization should be moving towards kind of this one pipeline revenue number that is shared. I think there's nothing more demotivating when you're doing your job, whether you're someone running a marketing campaign are you're an outbound btr. That's like working your tailoff and then you have to fight and scrap for this like attribution and it could be given to someone else and like I remember running beat teams and just the demoralization that would happen when that that wasn't correct. So I love this one this one number. How would you to coach people to make the case to move towards that one member because I don't think every, not all organizations, have made that jump yet. How would you coach people who are listening and they're maybe that guy. I know we need to get there, but we've always done it this way. How would you coach them to to present that to the organization? What are the proof points, maybe that that it works? I think trying to quantify and measure how much time people are spending on hunting, doing that hungry games, and if you just try to quantify how much time and effort is associated...

...with that, that'll tell you something, because I will tell you how much time people are spending on it and then you can say, well, we could direct all of that time away from that. They could be selling all that time, they could be either marketing or selling during all that time, and that alone for us was worth the effort. Yeah, I bet that's a scary amount of time. Once you would quantify that, I would I would say, up for people can be spending twenty, twenty five percent of their time doing that, particularly at end of quarter, trying to like map it all out. I think that's a great, great thing. I also love just naming it hunger games. As soon as you give it that name, like we don't we don't want to do you don't want to do that. We want to move away from that, exactly that. And then you mentioned something I love, this idea of having like a revenue kickoff, not a sales kickoff. We're getting product into it. Let's talk a little bit about that because as certainly for me in my career, we've been talking about sales and marketing alignment. People have been trying to figure this out for a while, but more recently I'm hearing product getting brought into the conversation more and more. Maybe it's like the product led growth movement or and it's kind of crazy that they haven't always been in in the conversation. Totally makes sense now that we're doing it. Walk me through that relationship between sales, marketing and now product and how does that sort of feedback loop work? So I always consider it, definitely consider it the triangle between sales and marketing and product, and we have various forums that the three groups at various different levels get to communicate in to get to Sharef so one of the things we do on a corely basis, as we do well, we do both territory reviews, which is, you know, a say, a traditional sales territory review, but then we also do a coarterly business review for products, and in both of those all three organizations and management from all three of those organizations are represented. So when we're looking at something from a sales territory perspective, we have the product team that's in there to hear what of the what are the product issues that are going on? What is it? You know, where are we winning? Where we losing? Why would we be losing and what kind of implications does that have on the product? And so the product folks are there to hear that directly. So they now, you know, they have that vehicle to hear about product you know, product feedback. We have things like customer advisory Boards will they'll also hear that feedback. But we also have the corely business review from the product angle, which is an update on how each individual product is doing. And in that case then we can say and we hear, once we hear kind of what the Road Map is. The sales leaders and managers are in that room and they're contributing and they're, you know, they have a say at the table and what happens next on the road map. That doesn't always happen in all organizations. Right. A lot of times sales and even marketing is totally separate from that. Product will go off and make a roadmap. They'll come back and the sales team will say, well, who wants that? Why are you building that? So this is a nice way to prevent that from happening, so that it's a continuous loop between the territory reviews, the quad corely product reviews. We verify it through the customer advisory Boards and through other customer events that we do. So it's almost, we can think of it almost like a circle, almost like a loop, you know, in terms of how that communication happen. I like it almost like a flywheel of communication. Where does success fit in that? Would you put success under kind of like sales bucket, or is that? Is that separate now? I think it's under there. It's definitely in the sales pocket for sure. Y, yeah, yeah, Yep, got it. Okay, like it. I think it's more and I'm sorry, now means reptor no nose. I also think it's more important now than ever because a product experience is so much broader now, like a product experience also includes, like what is the user experience like? What does the trial experience like?...

Right, and so it's not just like building product. Now it's building an experience, and so sales and marketing are part of that experience that you're building for someone and more, and that's why it's more and more important that we get the product, you know, viewpoint on it, because a lot of times product is building that experience and you want, you know, you want that full three hundred and sixty feedback loop. Yeah, absolutely. How are you thinking about? Are you embracing product led growth at Aquiat like? Are you doing more of this kind of assisted self serve motion where low barrier to entry, kind of any sort of trial? Are you experimenting with anything like that, artist at not really work in the model? Yeah, no, we are. We're experimenting with everything from kind of, you know, how do you do a self how do you provide like a self serve demo experience? Yes, to a to a full fledged trial experience on a product. So we're looking at all of that. We're looking at trying all of those to kind of see what works and and to see, because what we know is that it's especially really during the past world of, you know, everything going digital. We know that more and more people are researching on their own right kind of you're doing more research, they're doing more trials, they're doing more investigation before any any of us even get to talk to them. And yes, you can measure some of that through intent tools and you can track that, but the more you can provide self service options or the more you can meet their needs for self researching, the better off of course you're going to be. Yeah, turn away. Here's another question in the similar vein, just because I have a great perspective on these things. There's two kind of buzzwords are here in a lot of product life growth and then community life growth. How are you thinking about kind of community led growth? Is that something on on your your radar, like building educational communities for your prospects and that's not so much kind of product or service focused. Well, at Aquio we have a nice advantage where we have this huge open source community that feels truple right, which is some products. So you know, when you get like a million and a half people worldwide, they're using and contributing to the product. I know, imagine and that's what happens with trouple. So you know this. Like these one point five. I don't know what the latest numbers maybe is now it's up to one point six but million people that are using and contributing to the code on the product. It's you. You have a built in community. So are the droople community is very, very strong. It's very global and, you know, enhancements just are, you know, fast coming and and it's a way to really to have, you know, quick innovation and make the product extremely extensible and thorough. So we have the droople communities, we also have occupacqui of communities, and we are building more and more upon you know, like helping to do, you know, connect peer to peer, do things like birds of a feather type, you know, networkings, getting together. We do that at our at our user conference every year at Aquia engage, and then we have four online forms that were building to help people communicate with their peers or other organizations that are also kind of using using the products. So that's awesome. So, yeah, you are. How long has that community been around you? You are like almost the perfect case study of like, Hey, we were doing community led growth before community led growth was cool. You know, yeah, exactly. I mean credit to the troople community. You know, we are and the troople association, Droople Community, who has been building that community for about twelve years I think now. So that definitely is a great example of just a global community that has kind of come together for the good of the community and you know, and really has kind of equated to great innovations. So...

...so it certainly does work. You know, it doesn't up over the that's awesome. If there any other before we kind of tried this all together, is there any other revenue trends that are on your mind right now that are maybe exciting to you that you have your your eyes off? Well, I think any other revenue trends? Let's see. I think we're seeing really exciting movement happening in just the purchasing patterns moving forward, right. So we know this is what I say. So we know more and more that, you know, purchasing, particularly and impress offer, is done through a buying committee, right, and a group of people. And so the tools that we all have as sales and marketers to access kind of group buying behavior and targeting with it, that be accompass marketing, whether that be tools that help us identify measuring intent kind of you know, who are the seekers? Who's looking for what we have to offer, or WHO's looking for our competitors. I think all the tools that we have in that category or super interesting that match with kind of what we can, you know, get out of AI and massure machine learning or like, incredible for us in terms of knowing where do we focus for sales and marketing. So so I think there's great growth opportunity in things like making sure you're targeting accounts, making sure that you're using ABM techniques, making sure that you're looking at intense signals and making sure that that you also support the people that are researching right. So I think this is the whole researcher journey is huge, and I don't mean job title researcher, right, I don't mean that. I mean people potential with in a buying committee, that are doing research, that are doing research on their own before they get to you. And you know what? What we do know, especially now, is that all the research tells us that millennials, Generation Gen Z's, that they're going forward. What they're telling us, because they're going to be there either buyers now will be future buyers. They don't want to talk to people, they want to do it on their own and by the time they get to someone. Then they're ready to raise their hand. They will raise their hand, but at that point you better have good value, you better know what your story is and you better know what you're offering and what they're going to get, you know, in return for that. So more and more we're going to see that. I think we're going to see it's a generational thing and we'll see more and more that they're researching on their own and we better be supporting them somehow through that journey, even if it's not a direct oneonone yet communication. Yeah, that's a great a great call that. We actually did a survey not not too long ago, talking to to men, millennials and what was informing their they're buying decisions, and it was really interesting. People over over forty, when they cited what they use to basically research and inform their decisions, it was ebooks and white papers were for the top, and that's like, okay, yeah, that's what people we've been living in that world for a while. And then those are at the bottom. When we when we did under the S, so kind of like millennial and the top two were they're actually researching in a different way to the top two were review sites and then they were looking at what peers and thought leaders thought about things. So that that was a really interesting shift. That's happening is, yes, they're they're researching more, but they're also researching in that a different way. They might not trust your branded case study anymore as as much. Right, exactly exactly the period us is big. That's that's very big. Also, the other thing that we found is that they want to look for organizations that are doing some kind of good in the world in some way, shape or form, even if it's small, even if it's a carbon footprint, right, and so that's that's important on their list. Did that come up in yours as well, it did, and something I personally spend a lot of time thinking about. I think. I think be to be, we have a ways to catch up. In, you...

...know, B Toc. This kind of idea of conscious capitalism is is everywhere because the market decided like we're only going to spend money with brands that are arguing in the right way, and I think be to B is like a little slower to catch up to this, but it's coming and it's a change I'm I'm very excited. Order that could probably be another, a whole other episode that we could we could do that idea. I think we got off on a t engine there, but yeah, interesting, I think. Really, I totally all right. Well, the thirty minutes always absolutely flies by and there was a lot of great, great nuggets in there. kind of to wrap it up, I always like to ask this question because people are are busy. They're probably listening to this while they're working out, cooking dinner on a zoom call WHU knows, a lot of multitask and going on. If people only remember three things from this conversation, what would you want those three things to be? Let's see three things. I think, especially now, there's there's not a better time to have there's no better time than now to have a great relationship between sales and marketing, between the CMO and the crow and all levels below right, everything from looking at the same target accounts to ABM to having the same strategy, sharing the same goals and pipeline goals. I think that's number one, is that there hasn't been a better time to make sure that you have the great relationship, strong relationship between marketing and sales. I'd say the second is think about as you go to do your sales and marketing. Think about what we said about people moving to being researchers and that's changing the purchasing patterns going forward. So make sure what you're doing, either in your product you're messaging, your sales pitches, your ear outreach emails, that you are making sure that you're you're providing value to that researcher, because otherwise people are not going to pay attention. And the third is probably more of a just a general tip I always give to our marketers and sellers, which is don't just have happy years, whether you're in marketing or sales. Be Thorough, be paranoid right, and don't always just have those happy ears on. That is excellent advice. I got that drilled into my head from a salesmanager very, very early on, because I had a had some happy years earlier my career. For sure, mappy guy had the happy years, but I learned that lesson earlier on. It's good to good to have a level of paranoia, for sure. Well, Lynn, thank you so much. That's has been a lot of fun. I enjoyed this discussion and to all our listeners, have you found that as a valuable as I did and we'll see you next time. This was another episode of the sales engagement podcast. To help this get in front of more eyes and ears, please leave us a shining five star review. Join US at sales engagementcom for new episodes. Resources in the book on sales engagement. To get the most out of your sales engagement strategy, make sure to check out outreached ioh, the leading sales engagement platform. See you on the next episode.

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