This year at the Kentico
404 Conference I was invited to participate in the live recording of the CMS-Connected Show
is the premier source for all industry news on the content management industry. The panel discussion was recorded live from the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.
I was joined by my peers, well-known experts, and fellow Kentico Partners: Bruce Williams
of thunder::tech Keith Durrant
and Michael Kinkaid
. Tyler Pyburn
hosted the panel discussion on how to best bridge the gap between the sales and marketing teams so that all campaigns can succeed.
Two of us, myself and Bruce represented the perspective of sales, and Keith and Micheal represented the perspective of Marketing. Tyler was hoping for sparks and possibly brawl on stage, but what transpired was civil and very professional. We discover that Marketing and Sales, despite their varying perspectives have more in common and alignment than differences.
The entire show is 60 minutes long. You can watch it below. Or you can consume it in bite size chunks with my short recap of each segment.
Our consensus is that a lead is anybody who has a pulse - just kidding! The marketing team is looking for anyone who has an interest in what they are offering. However, what defines a qualified marketing lead is going to be different depending on the product or services offered. In professional services, sales teams want to have conversations. Customers often need education, and they need time to develop a relationship with whoever they choose to do business. From a pure sales methodology, a sales lead is someone with BANT – Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing or in the modern sales methodologies CHAMP – Challenges, Authority, Money, and Prioritization. But when sales have the opportunity to have a conversation, you never know where things will go and what opportunities will come to light.
Ultimately should be strategic alignment between marketing and sales. They need to understand the buyer’s journey but realize they cannot control that journey in the new digital economy. Marketing and sales often have the illusion that they can control the customer journey/buying process, but the reality is that the customer controls the journey. Interjecting sales into the buyer’s journey before the buyer initiates or is ready can kill the deal. Sales and marketing need to work to define where that ideal inflection point is in the buyer’s journey, so they are ready to when the customer is ready to make a purchase. Marketing Automation can help identify and be the friend to the sales team. Sales and marketing must work together to define and implement marketing automation.
How can Marketing explain how content marketing and marketing automation will help sales? Rest assured that SkyNet is not coming to take your job. In the end marketing automation gives you the ability to stay connected with potential clients throughout the sales cycle and to remain in touch with customers you have currently. Marketing automation can allow sales people to use automation tools to nurture and engage customers passively. In the end, marketing and sales have to understand the greater mission that binds them together. Alignment is critical to overcoming the human factor of marketing automation. Marketing automation will never take the human element out of the marketing and sales process. The tools augment the process and do not take away the human element.
The voice of the customer is everything. Everything and everyone who touches them can provide insights on how campaigns should be formed. Everyone from your receptionist to service delivery and everything from your website to your automated tools can give you great information. Sales are typically the people who talk to the customers. The insight from sales on the mind of the customer and how they nurture them to close the deal is critical. Marketing and sales must work together to form a strategy. Sales understands the value of marketing content. Marketing understands the need to develop a strategy through insights from a variety of sources. Everyone seems to understand the concept one mission one team.
What are the "right metrics"? Marketing and sales each have their own set of metrics. It varies based on industries and what you are trying to sell as well as what marketing and sales actives you are doing. So marketing and sales need to define metrics that make sense to their business. In the end, it is hard to connect the dots between marketing attribution and the sale. As a pilot who flies planes, I am always evaluating my instruments and making micro adjustments. Ultimately, did I fly and land the plane safely which is my ultimate metric. When it comes to business, revenue is the ultimate story teller! Bring it in! After that, I am concerned with Customer Lifetime Value and Cost of Acquisition. These are key metrics. Lastly, I think the most important thing is a continuous feedback loop of information and that you over communicate to everyone involved in the process.
One of the biggest issues in today’s work environment is that we quit seeing each other as people. This problem, in my opinion, is because of electronic communication. We are communicating in 160 characters or less. This type of communication leaves many things open to interpretation, and it dehumanizes people. It silos people and builds barriers. To it fix this we need to favor face to face communication instead of electronic means. People are nicer when they have to look someone in the eye. It humanizes both sides of the conversation. It allows people to build relationships, which in turn, makes them more likely to work together.
One of the questions from our panel audience was how much do you spend on sales and marketing? There are a few universal rules of thumb for marketing: 5% of total revenue for companies looking to maintain their current market position, and 10% of total revenue for companies looking grow their market share. The total for marketing AND sales should be between 21%-22%, however, really depends on the industry and the product or service. For example, SalesForce.com in 2009 while trying to gain market share spent 50% of revenue on marketing and sales, with a major going to sales compensation. One thing you can do is look to compare like companies. Some data companies collect data like this and contrast it with IRS Tax Returns. So you might be able to get a rule of thumb for your business. For Bit-Wizards, we spend about 8.5% on marketing and about 22% on sales.
Summing It Up
Marketing and Sales are made up of people. Getting everyone in alignment, working together as a team is critical. Remember: One Team, One Mission. It is people who are disconnected if there is a problem, not the tool or the technology. Marketing Automation is not a silver bullet. You have to keep in mind that technology is an enabler. Marketing Automation is there to enhance and facilitate the sales and marketing process. Align the people, use the tool.
This panel discussion what a lot of fun to do, and I attribute that to a wonderful host and some very dynamic and talented panelist. My sincerest thanks to CMS-Connected, Kentico Software, The Kentico 404 Conference, and my fellow panelist. If you are interested in a recap of the Kentico 404 Conference, check out Candie Mitchell’s Blog: Avoid Technology Project Failure with This Advice