On Monday, Oct. 19, we sat down for a fireside chat with Matt Heinz during our first Pipeline Marketing Playbooks event in Seattle. Around 65 marketers joined us to listen to the CEO and Founder of Heinz Marketing discuss his strategies for success, primarily sales and marketing alignment.
Read on to uncover the quotes from Matt that stood out, and what they mean as a strategy for successful marketing.
“It’s more than creating leads and throwing them over the fence.”
Once you’ve figured out the recipe for driving leads to your site, it’s time to qualify those leads and nurture them until they are ready to be passed along to sales. Just because a prospect read an article on your website, doesn’t mean they are ready to buy, or have the power to make the purchasing decision, or are researching to buy, or even know what your company sells. Having your sales team reach out to unqualified leads is a waste of everyone’s time.
Successfully qualifying leads comes down to sales and marketing alignment. Both departments need to be on the same page to determine at what stage in the funnel a prospect is sales ready. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula, the most important part is just that your sales and marketing teams have mutually agreed about what qualifies the lead.
“You can’t ask your prospect to sleep with you on the first date.”
This comment received many laughs around the room, but there is actually a profound message here. In more PG terms, you don’t go on a first date and propose marriage to the person sitting across from you. I mean, you can, but you’ll probably scare them away. On that same note, you can’t jump from a white paper download to a demo request. You have to get to know your prospect first, figure out their wants and needs, then get to work being a good provider.
If you couldn’t talk about sales or your product, what would you talk about?
This, again, is where sales and marketing need to be aligned. It’s the marketing team’s responsibility to enable sales and provide them with knowledge and content that tells a story. The goal is to become an advocate for your customer’s outcome, not an advocate for the sale. Focus first on the story you want to tell, then use the markets and channels you have available to present your story.
“When I started I didn’t have any money or budget so content was huge.”
Paid search takes money, advertising takes money, but it doesn’t cost a thing to write content and share it with the world. Whether you’re a three-person organization with limited funds or a giant corporation with millions in spending money, content is an avenue that is important and can drive tons of leads through your funnel.
The more educated a prospect is, the more ready they are to make a purchase. Plus, the more YOU educate them, the more likely they are to trust your brand. Producing compelling, consistent content shows that you are knowledgeable about the industry and gets your name out there. You may have prospects who don’t even know they have a problem that needs solving. Through the content you produce, they’re able to gain valuable insights and they begin to think about things differently. Prospects don't care about what you've sold, they care about why they need it. Reinforce the why.
Once they’ve realized there is a problem or shortcoming, then they’ll be ready for you to provide them with the solution.
“This is hard stuff that we’re doing, it’s important to recognize that.”
Sales and marketing take consistent, hard work. They are never ending and constantly evolving industries.
The selling environment alone is complex. With other companies just like you trying to sell to your prospects, and the too-busy-to-talk-read-think feeling plaguing business professionals across the globe, it’s difficult to get your message through.
And if it’s easy, you’re not trying hard enough.
In other words, if you know how to hit all of your goals, then you need to stretch them and make them bigger. Even if you don’t know exactly how to execute the plan, it’s important to push and set yourself up to achieve something you haven’t done before. Achieving those goals is easiest if sales and marketing give each other latitude. When times get tough, you fall back on common objectives and work together to move upward.
I’ll end with one last quote from Matt, “I don’t care if you call it something fancy, if it doesn’t align with what the sales team needs then you’re in trouble.”
Sales teams have revenue responsibility. Marketers need to have revenue responsibility. There is one funnel and it all tracks back to revenue-- It’s called pipeline marketing.