On Oct. 18, hundreds of marketers will flocked to Hiller Aviation Museum just outside of San Francisco for the Marketing Loves Sales conference. The conference revolves around aligning Marketing with Sales to focus on one common goal: revenue.
Chris Souza, Senior Marketing Manager at PagerDuty, was a featured speaker along with other big names including Stacey Levy (Google), Jon Miller (Engagio), Heidi Bullock (Marketo) and Kevin Bobowski (Act-On Software).
Souza shared with attendees his first-hand experience on the challenges and opportunities facing marketing and sales teams as they both strive to focus on revenue in every endeavor.
Here's some of the content that he shared:
Why do you feel Sales and Marketing alignment is so important?
With Marketing becoming more and more responsible to align their metrics and decisions around revenue, it is important that there is a tight relationship between the two functions. A conscious focus on revenue helps to drive coordination of sales and marketing efforts. This has be addressed at every turn and remain an open dialogue.
What approach did you take to align the Sales and Marketing teams at PagerDuty? How did the teams respond?
Aligning Sales and Marketing at PagerDuty is an ongoing process based primarily in education, communication and metrics. It all starts with metrics. Being able to directly correlate marketing efforts with sales results using revenue as a primary common metric, you are able to demonstrate the value Marketing can provide through all stages of the sales cycle (including post sale).
Once you are able to confidently share revenue metrics across your marketing programs, channels, and segments, it is time to work with the sales team. It is important to speak in their language, and talk about how marketing efforts can positively impact their specific accounts and daily lives, and how with their collaboration, exponentially increase the effectiveness of marketing and in turn their pipeline.
Finally, there is communication. This is a tricky piece of the puzzle because you are competing against a lot of factors. Sales quotas, sales team priorities, alternative company functions asking for sales time, and the stigma that “Marketing doesn’t help me sell today.” At PagerDuty, we try to start small, by focusing on quick wins that help sales.
Think along the lines of a simple campaign where they play a part in the cadence of touchpoints or providing some personalized insight into one of their target accounts. By highlighting small victories of alignment and gradually building rapport, it becomes easier to have deeper conversations with sales and introduce more complex changes/initiatives that eventually will have a greater impact on the way Sales and Marketing interacts.
How has that alignment benefitted ABM efforts?
Alignment helps complete the other half of the our ABM efforts. Marketing works hard to create awareness and generate engagement with target accounts, educating them on the value of our SaaS offerings and the pains that we solve. Having Sales ready to proactively work these accounts at the same time helps open better opportunities faster.
How has rallying around revenue impacted your marketing team?
Rallying around revenue helps act as a challenge to think differently. Just like in a lot of organizations, marketing has been done a certain way for a long time. Not that it was wrong, but it was only part of the mix. By challenging the marketing team to dig deeper into the sales cycle and be more accountable for revenue, we are getting to see an increase in creativity around marketing channels, content, more empathy for the sales process, and tighter alignment with the business as a whole.
Do you have any metrics you can share (increase in ROI, close rates etc.) as a result of the new collaborative environment?
Just scratching the surface of how rallying around revenue and focusing on strategies like ABM, we are seeing some great initial results:
- 47% increase in average opportunity size
- 27% increase in ACV for closed/won opportunities
- 15% decrease in sales cycle length