I was recently invited to attend the Sirius Decisions 2019 Summit in Austin, TX. As a sales and marketing alignment thought-leader this was not only an honor but I was also ecstatic to network with other B2B professionals focused on how we can align these two teams to transform them into high-performing Revenue Engines. And oh what a week of learning it was.
I was especially happy with the chosen them of "Together". I, of course, thought it was perfect as my own tagline is "create togetherness". Whether it be working with a client or speaking at a keynote, part of my work is helping leaders understand that we must create an environment where sales people and marketers understand that achieving revenue growth in B2B is becoming harder and we need each other more than ever before to be successful. The customer experience that the modern B2B buyer is demanding can not be accomplished by either team alone. Full stop.
During my awesome, hot, and rainy week in Austin, there was way too much great content and conversation about sales and marketing alignment to sum up all in one post. So, after reflecting on the week and looking at my copious notes, I'm sharing some of the key strategic highlights that I think are most important for leaders to understand in order to begin transforming their business.
First, I will share a quick video that I took inside one of the “customer experience rooms” about the importance of sales and marketing coming together to develop an accurate buyer's journey. There are things Sales knows about the customer that Marketing doesn’t know and vice versa. The only way to get the complete picture of what’s happening behind the curtain of the buyer’s internal buying process is to come together and share each other experience the buyer.
The buyer's journey is not about how you want "leads" to flow through your revenue generation process rather it's about the internal process that they go though to make a decision about purchasing a product or service such as yours.
Key Strategic Takeaways from the Conference
Most B2B companies struggle with three major business issues (via Alan Gonsenhauser)
product-centric focus (instead of customer-centric)
B2B leaders must focus on Five Foundational Principles to most effectively drive growth
Who are you selling to?
What are selling?
How do you manage leads?
Who's involved in the buying process?
How do companies buy? (the buyer's journey)
There are 3 major phases of the buyer's journey that companies need to be prepared to address
Education - Why they should change?
Solution - How will they achieve the change they seek?
Who - Who has the best product/service to meet their specific company needs?
Both sales and marketing leaders should start with the overall business strategy (if it exist) and work backwards together to ensure they are aligned on their strategic approach to achieving revenue targets
In order to develop an accurate buyer’s journey, sales and marketing must come together and share their wisdom about the buyer (via Alexa McCloughan)
The time and energy you spend on work will lead to better business results when you are aligned and together (via Tony Jaros)
Company leaders must have clarity about two things concerning the way work is done in the modern B2B organization
The Origin of Work - The type of work that needs to be done due to the strategic vision of the company (must come from leadership)
The Form of Work - how the work actually gets done
Strategy and tactics may change, but a deep relationship and understanding of each other will remain and help you continue to be successful - together (via Common keynote address)
Ai is helping us understand what messaging and focus will be best for certain prospects so we can sell and market to them more effectively (via Mary Shea)
AI should be seen as an augmentation tool to push down mundane tasks so that we can concentrate on the activities that require a higher-level of thinking (via Steve Silver)
We must strive for digital adeptness, not just add on more tech
ABM will eventually go away and become the norm in B2B (via Steve Casey)
We've been condition to not pay attention to brands we don't know, thus we need to develop a relationships with our target customers so they "know" us before they buy from us
If your organization is struggling with poor quality leads from Marketing, an inability to consistently hit revenue goals, and/or having a dysfunctional relationship between Sales and Marketing you are probably operating within a misaligned organization. And, this is costing your business more than you think because of lost sales and marketing productivity.
If you are ready to start the process of transforming your sales and marketing team into a high-performing Revenue Engine, I encourage your to follow my work, subscribe to TheAlignmentPodcast.com and schedule a meeting directly with me to discuss how we can work together to get your teams on the same track to drive revenue growth for the organization.
As always - create togetherness.