Discover how to integrate your marketing and sales processes and accelerate business growth.
In the past, sales and marketing teams have worked separately. Through smarketing, the promotion of products and services are integrated with the activities of the sales team. Through this department integration, better communication and results can be achieved. Fluid’s Digital Marketing Manager Dustin Cederholm was joined by Chuck Staib of TechX to talk all about smarketing.
What is Smarketing?
Smarketing is the 21st century marriage between the sales and marketing departments, resulting in the adoption of common thoughts, processes, and objectives. As these two departments work and come together, more can be accomplished, and the company will improve and grow. Working together, trying new things, and working in unison as a company will help a company.
Who are the Players?
To make smarketing work, you must have multiple players and participants in the process.
- Sales: Often, sales knows what works and sticks to it. This can possibly be because that’s the way it’s always has been done or because it’s been working. However, little changes and evolution as the industry changes are necessary, and smarketing is a way to bring sales into the future. Building a strong and positive relationship is key to any smarketing relationship.
- Marketing: Often, marketers like to stay on top of current trends and work harder, not smarter. Traditionally, marketing is in charge of getting leads and delivering them to sales. Tracking the path of a lead is key to a smarketing plan, and it is important that your marketing department works well with your sales team.
- C-Suite: To build a culture is a company, it must go from the top down. This is the same with getting management on board in regards to smarketing. If the top level hasn’t bought in to a culture of sales and marketing working together, then it won’t get done. Leadership has to set the example.
Why is Smarketing Important?
Sales and marketing must work together for a variety of reasons. Some of the benefits of smarketing include: uniform campaign messaging, targeted account focus, mutual department support needs, team camaraderie, business reporting, and corporate growth. These are just a few benefits that will pay off in the long term.
How to do Smarketing?
- Priority: Smarketing must be a priority for your company. The whole office must buy in.
- Facilitation: There must be a system in order to facilitate smarketing.
- Communication: The communication between the sales and marketing teams must improve.
Dustin (Host): Alright everybody, thank you again for joining us for another Fluid Webinar series event. We are very excited to have you and very excited to have our guest speaker with us today. As usual, my name is Dustin Cederholm, I will be your host. I am the Digital Marketing Director for Fluid and I have been in this role now for a little over a year and a half now and we have been doing this Webinar series for about the same amount of time and so you guys probably all know me.
I will next be introducing Phil Case. Phil, unfortunately, was unable to attend this month and so we have to catch him next time but we are very, very excited to introduced our guest speaker and I am going to let you introduce yourself but Chuck Staib, if you don’t mind, tell us a little about where you come from and a little about your background?
Chuck: Sure, thank you for having me. I am Chuck Staib. My associates and I run a program here locally called TechX and what we find is a lot of companies in the small and medium business size space, really struggle in generating revenues. They struggle with marketing, they struggle with sales and so the TechX is an accelerator to help companies to do exactly that. We love helping companies grow. My background…I have been in business, as you and I were talking earlier, I have been in business since was about eleven years old. I ran a paper route from the time I was eleven ‘til I was old enough to drive. I learned a lot about business in that setting, about keeping customers happy, about sales. We went door to door about once per quarter and as you can imagine twelve /thirteen-year-old kids all knocking on doors ‘Would you like to subscribe to the paper, mister?’ You know, it’s sounds old school and it really was old school.
Dustin (Host): Back then, they were still buying them right?
Chuck: They were still buying them. Back then we didn’t have anything that was digital in the sense that we have it today and we learned about the idea about how sales and marketing should work together. Of course, I didn’t know those terms then but understood that the newspaper then did a lot of advertising and it was much easier for us to generate new subscribers when the newspaper was successful in its marketing efforts.
My first business move as an adult after going to school was I became a stock broker with Paine Webber and I think most people knows this these days, but a stock broker is a sales person…is a sales rep for the company and they told me ‘Get on the phone and make a hundred phone calls per day’ and so …baptism by fire right? ….so, got on the phone and made a lot of phone calls and built my book of business that way and I have been involved with selling or coaching sales or teaching sales or consulting with businesses really ever since. And so, that in a nut shell really is my background and I think one of the important things that we do today in TechX is that we help businesses to grow. There are a lot of incubators and a lot of accelerators out there and they do a variety of things…and all of them do good work but we have chosen to focus in on this revenue generation and so in the TechX we really focus on sales and marketing. That’s it. Not a lot of exposure to attorneys or accountants or you know incubator space or that type of thing but really helping companies to grow. And we have worked with over a hundred companies in the last six years and really had a lot of fun doing it.
Dustin (Host): Fantastic. Well again, thank you for joining us Chuck…and again for all of you guys out there. In our previous conversations, I can’t tell how qualified Chuck is for this conversation we are going to have on Smarketing. We will get into the definition of that but it’s all about the cohesion between sales and marketing.
Before I do that just a couple of things to go over: you can always find us on Tweeter at FluidWebinarSeies. You can message either of us at GetFluid at ChuckStaib and at UtahTechX. So, if you guys want to follow along in the conversation please post any questions or comments at that as well and there will be live tweeting the event as we go.
Just ahead and jump right into it….
Chuck: Sure, sounds great.
Dustin (Host): So, did you say Smarketing? I continue to tell people this term and they think it is new enough that some people are laughing at it. It is most often confused with smartketing, but I actually made this up with the use of predictive marketing techniques which I am not sure that this has been punned or maybe it has and I just don’t know about it. But I think it is either smarketing if I can say it or it’s marketing that makes sense? I am kind of being a little bit more playful there but smarketing in the true sense is the marriage between marketing and sales department which results in the adoption of common thoughts, processes and objectives. If you were to Google smarketing, you will get a more simple definition of it which is just the combination of sales and marketing department processes but for me I think it is a lot more than that. I really think it is having common thought and, more importantly, common objectives which is the only thing that will lead the groups to coming together in a way that think they need to be. And I think that’s kind of what smarketing represents. Chuck, what do you think?
Chuck: I would agree. I think that too many companies, especially smaller companies don’t really have good systems and processes in place for sales and when they attempt to smarket, to really have processes that are more in alignment, in fact overlapping nicely, that’s where we really see some struggle because the bottom line for them is they have a bunch of sales rep that are doing things the way they are accustomed to doing things instead of doing things that are in alignment with the rest of the organization in a way that helps to reinforce and promote all of the sales and marketing efforts. Even today, you will talk to some top sales people in a variety of organizations and they will tell you that they don’t really know what they do to be successful in sales. They just…
Dustin (Host): they didn’t give any thought
Chuck: …yeah, they just go by the seat of their pants. You know, I just happened to be watching the NBA playoffs last night and in the lead up to the game, one of the announcers…they are running this film on Steph Curry. Of course has won his second MVP award in a row….
Dustin (Host): Of course…
Chuck: …first time unanimous winner and one of the announcers during that film montage, said…’Brilliant has a process. You can set your watch by Steph Curry’. I think brilliance in sales and brilliance in marketing also can be characterized as having a process and when sales and marketing teams come together and they have that process overlap or even become complimentary you start to see some brilliance unfolding and that’s smarketing.
Dustin (Host): I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that comment because we sit her month after month at these Webinars and I think the thing I try to start with every time is…you start with a plan. So many times we rush into campaigns and we kind of just let stuff hit the wall and hope it’s all going to work but we don’t think through the entire process and that step being skipped is so critical and really it leads to failure in away and/or lack of success to the degree that you could really have a great idea but without the true planning that goes into it I don’t think it can ever become what it’s full …or reach its full potential. I can’t really tell you how much I appreciate you making that comment. You also kind of lead right into our next slide here which is: let’s talk about some of these players in this smarketing film. Obviously, one side of this is going to be the sales department and I have pictured here field with sales. When you appoint salesmen, the core operation for businesses for as long as I can remember. They consider themselves a revenue stream, they are a revenue stream and they do things because that’s the way they have been done. In your case, maybe because they don’t know why it is being done
Chuck: People get into habits. We all like to think that we are good enough, that we can do things on the fly. The reality is that we will do things that will work once and we think that is always going to work and so we get into those habits and it is only until much later that we find out that that habit wasn’t the most effective. There has been an enormous change in the sales world over the last fifteen years. The advent and now the wide spread use of the internet of potential buyers has radically changed the way people buy and as a result some people, as you have pictured here, who tend to be old school in their selling approaches are left behind. It doesn’t mean they are not selling but I think it means is that they are not selling as effectively as they could. And to say we will do it this way because that’s the way it has been done…that is simply not good enough. What we like to see and what I especially like to see when I am working with a company, is I want them to have a mindset that they believe they can improve all the time. Call it the Sig Sigma or a Kiesen or call it a continuous improvement mindset but we always have to evaluating what we are doing and identifying what we can improve and when we do that and make those little changes on a continuous basis that lead us to better performances. But, you are right, I run into that quite a lot ‘This is the way we sell because this is the way things always have been done.
Dustin (Host): Absolutely and I hope some of you guys looking at this slide, I did not represent sales in a negative way. I was trying to take what I often think is the misperception of them. We all know that sales is always saying that ‘marketing leads suck’ and not everybody does that but it is kind of one of the things that often starts this fight between the two departments that is causing sort of the chasm so I wanted to represent a few of those. I know you have a couple…
Chuck: Well, if I could, I am going to tell my career. I found whether I have been in the field selling or whether I have with companies helping their sales rep to perform better, that in my experience the sales people who complain most about the leads they are getting from marketing are the ones that get the most leads from marketing. In other words, they get so many leads that they become so accustomed to being fed those leads that they become very picky and they really begin to take those leads for granted. I have been in sales roles where I got zero leads and when I got one or two from time to time down the road…for instance, I told you when I started my career as a stock broker, I was young, I was in experienced I got no leads from my company. The more experience brokers got leads and when I got to the point where I was good enough or I could get some leads from my manager as I came in I was so grateful for those. I didn’t care how good they were. Now, I am not suggesting that all leads are good but again what I found was that those sales people who typically haven’t got any leads in the past when they start getting leads they really working them hard. They treat every lead as valuable as it really is. They understand the effort that went into generating that lead and they are grateful for that. It’s those sales reps, especially we will see on an inbound sales floor of some of the companies you and I know about. Those sales reps are very, very discriminating and very, very ungrateful after a time because they get so accustomed to having that free flow of leads coming in that they no longer realize the amount of time and effort and thought that go into generating highly qualified leads.
Dustin (Host): Absolutely, and I can say that in my own experience, I have run a sales force of over a hundred, basically a call center and I was the marketing manager of that and also the lead generation end of it. And what I found whenever I did get a good lead I went to the most appreciative person, regardless of if they were the most qualified. It was because they really would work it. I could guarantee that they would follow up with it and the other part that I think we’ll get into this is they give me feedback about it. It was so hard for me to adapt or change what I was doing marketing if I didn’t hear from sales reps, I just kind of when into the endless chasm of sales calls and what not and maybe other customers and clients that we got but I never went back and I couldn’t develop and ROI based off of it because the sales guy couldn’t report how it went.
Chuck: Exactly, and I think most sales people, if you are listening, must understand that a lead that is generated by your company on average is a least twice as likely to close as a cold call and in many cases many, many times more likely to close. And so, the biggest mistake you can make as a sales rep is simply if you don’t follow up on that lead. When that lead is generated, you got to follow up on it quickly. They have a very, very brief shelf life before they lose their interest and they simply move on to the next company that does follow up with them quickly.
Dustin (Host): Exactly, there are many stats that it needs to be within one to two minutes that you follow up to have the absolute best success.
Dustin (Host): We will talk about some of the systems later on and how you can make that happen. So, the last thing here is that sale guys are normal, they are concerned with self-qualified leads and are often judged on self-qualified leads as well. So, the metric they care about most move more into our next player which is the marketing department and maybe the hipster of the business world. They are always trying to do something funky, you are not sure what they are doing. I have heard it can be creepy, I hear it can be weird…whatever it is it’s not sales. You are not the one in the trenches doing the work but I think marketing has a great role to play and so just a few of the things where marketing might tell you work smarter not harder. Marketers can send a hundred thousand emails in a matter of minutes whereas the sales guy can only make so many calls and so quickly. They kind of see the sales as a quantity play, a branding play, a reach play and while that might be possible, the balance between sales and the relationship and that direct communication which I think we are seeing consumers desire more now than in the past two decades or so. And lastly, marketing is not a revenue stream and now for somebody like myself it just cuts me to my core. I feel like I am definitely bringing money into the organization. That might be one of the things we look at next as we talk about the team can get involved in how the whole organization counts.
Chuck: And you are right, typically in an old school framework the sales guys say ‘we are the ones who generate the revenue, you guys do something else.’ I think if we are really clear in a smarketing context, in terms of attribution, understanding where that lead was generated, what path it followed before it did get to the sales rep then…we don’t necessarily say to the sales rep ‘you didn’t do much in closing this’ but we can say that marketing had this much role in generating that lead, nurturing that lead and then getting that lead to the point where the sales person got it, it was that much more ready to buy.
Dustin (Host): And you mention attribution, I wonder if you can go a little deeper into that because I know a lot of people will be listening to this Webinar already marketing and probably hurts them the way that it hurts me. How would you advise marketers to respond to that or not get discouraged by it?
Chuck: Well, first of all, you have to know your numbers. You have measure and measure and measure some more whether you are in sales or marketing, you have to know for example, to the extent possible, where was this prospect and how was this prospect first contacted or whether they first contacted us? Were they an inbound on the website or were they opted in in that they downloaded a white paper? In other words, they were kicking tires to that point. Were they an inbound lead that was more sales qualified? They were raising their hand and saying ‘Please contact me right away. I have a need.’ All those things become important in identifying the path that that lead took before it reached that sales person’s desk or their CRM, and as sales people, we also have to be very honest. Well, is this a cold call that I made and I had no help from anybody else in the organization or is this something that had some touches from our marketing team? Again, were they thrown over the wall because they had come to the website and said ‘Talk to me right away’ and I was immediately pinged and therefore I made the call back. Again, attribution is knowing where it was generated and how it was generated and the path it took before it got to me as a sales rep and then really being honest across the sales department and marketing about what was the path that lead took before it got to where it was. It doesn’t diminish the role of the sales person to admit that he got a really well qualified lead.
Dustin(Host): Yeah, yeah and maybe it’s a lunch or something?
Chuck: Maybe it is.
Dustin (Host): How do you get more of them? And so the thing you know that marketing is going to say about sales is that sales never follows up on leads and I think we briefly addressed that
Chuck: In fact, I think it true. Some studies done indicate that between 43 and 57% of leads are never contacted and so this is an area where sales people can make some significant improvement.
Dustin(Host): Absolutely, and I can tell you right know that we are running campaigns for a number of clients based on leads that they were not able to follow up with and before we just went into the campaign we talked a little bit higher level strategy of how you are actually going to fix that prior to just going back and asking them for another demo request…
Chuck: So, what were the numbers you saw in terms of ‘not followed up’?
Dustin (Host): It was higher than that.
Chuck: Higher than fifty percent?
Dustin (Host): Higher than that. Well higher…we were higher than over seventy-five percent.
Chuck: Well that is unfortunate
Dustin (Host): And you know, it is unfortunate. In some cases, it is also based on the business model and in some times you are successful and you don’t have the infra structure to go after all of that and so success can also be a hindrance in a way if you rush too quickly to market and in some cases somebody plugs you the right way and all of a sudden you get more than you were set up to handle. I think that there are more than one reason why people are not following up with leads but you need to figure out what that is for you guys and then plug the hole. Lastly marketing’s, obviously, goal is to be generating marketing qualified leads that they can then send over to sales and kind of one of the metrics that they are quite often compared against.
And the last player in this that doesn’t fall into the smarketing acronym is the C suite and in my opinion Chuck, this is the most important group because these are the ones that can influence sales and marketing. This Dad, Mom and Dad to me, if the kids aren’t getting along you need somebody to sit on top of it and say ‘You guys need to figure out how to get along’ and this for me is the group that is not playing in this field as much as I wish they were in a lot of cases. They often say how things will be done which means you can make sales and marketing get along based on an edict in away. You know one of the misconceptions is the thoughts of sales and marketing that I hear a lot is that C suite doesn’t really know what is going on. I would think that they know better than we do but that’s kind of how we justify some of things we want to do and we gotta know then it justifies you just don’t want to know what’s going on but also C Suite is also known to come down hardest on sales guys. Those are the one that will get the ax and also seem to be the most stressed in the office most times when things are not going quite as well. On the other hand, the marketing budget is often the first to go…I don’t know. What is your experience with C Suite and how does it play into the smarketing world?
Chuck: Well, I believe it is critically important. We won’t even work with a company where the ownership or the highest level leadership isn’t really bought in because as you indicate here…First of all, very few things will get done if people below that level of decision making know that the top level of decision makers aren’t bought in. The second thing is this idea when someone says they don’t really know what going on. That’s a lack of accountability and that’s simply poor leadership. Working with a company in the North East in the Boston area, I was on a trip back there about a year a year and a half ago and one of the questions I asked their leadership was ‘How frequently do you interact with the sales team?’ and I heard crickets for just a moment and the response… the kind of hesitant response was ‘we kind of leave those guys alone’. I am sure this leadership team would also have said that about their marketing department. ‘We kind of leave those guys alone’. These are leaders that are not engaged. These are leaders who are not holding themselves accountable for performance in those department and they are not holding those departments accountable and as a result they were getting some really big disconnects so again, whenever I hear someone say they don’t really know what’s going on…they don’t communicate with their sales or their marketing teams, that’s poor leadership. They are got to be bought into the idea that it is part of responsibility of leaders is to have regular accountability with those teams so they do know what is going on. Those teams they will perform really well when they know that the people they report to care enough to hold them accountable whether it is a simple little booking that we might do day in day out or whether it is a monthly marketing meeting or sales meeting- whatever it might be, that leadership needs to get in there and roll up their sleeves and know enough about those functions that they can know and ask the right questions.
Dustin (Host): I completely agree about knowing about it and I think we will talk more about it a little later on. Just having a working knowledge of what’s going on has been…the best leaders I have had to work for. Lastly, C Suite’s most generally concerned about the revenue. You always hear about the bottom line and so we wanted to point to some of those metrics that we are held to because they are different. Most departments, you know, have all three of them…they really do but are they really being held accountable to all of them and just the fact that they are by definition different, almost to me, presents this gap.
Chuck: I agree and I think one of the big mistakes that a lot of the companies will make is that they only use that one metric revenue. They don’t take a look at all of the activities, all of the successes, all of the things that go into revenue. Revenue, unfortunately, can be…it’s a lagging indicator, it tells you what happened in the past. But if we…certainly we do want to measure revenue, that’s what we tell the winners and losers in business but at the same time we want to measure all the things that go into measuring that revenue, whether it is on the marketing side we know that great campaigns yield super results, a lot of conversions etc., they generate the leads a lot of our sales teams can close at a higher rate. We can measure all those things and then on the sales team. Again, the number of closes and the revenue generated…it is a lagging indicator and there are a lot of other things that precede that we can measure and great leadership in the C Suite understands those things and asks their marketing and sales departments to measure those things as well so even if we see a little of a down turn temporarily we can understand why that happens and what we can be doing to prevent that from happening in the future and so this idea of marketing budget being the first to go. I think some of that also rests on the marketing department. When they are not measuring, and they are not showing top level leadership exactly the value they bring…
Dustin (Host): Absolutely…
Chuck: …and the role they are playing in the sales success, then we see some disconnects there and that’s when leadership who don’t know will say ‘Let’s cut the marketing budget’. It’s a little bit like saying let’s cut off one of our arms when we have a heavy load to lift
Dustin (Host): And again Chuck…loved having you. You made me happy in a lot of the things you say because it’s really…you make such good points where the marketing group and I have been and the marketing manager and the marketing director for many companies and I have found when I was unsuccessful it really actually came back to me and I wanted to say ‘Oh, they really don’t understand. They don’t know what is going on’ but it was for me to show the small gains and to be the one informing the group. So, I don’t really think you can just say ‘Oh they don’t get marketing’. It is your job to tell them and you will be happier and less stressed in your role if you do a good job of that. This isn’t teaching to get certified and analytic s, it is the very basic important things. I can think of the executive summary that you need to provide them. One of the very important things that is going to resonate and then you explain how the activities that you do are actually being trafficked and how they integrate with the larger corporate philosophies.
Chuck: And in the context of smarketing, the better job that we do in the marketing and the sales areas of demonstrating for the top level leadership the activities that lead to results and outcomes because that’s what they want. The want results. If we demonstrate the activities that lead to that then we get more clarity and better buy in.
Dustin (Host): Absolutely. I totally agree. I want to go, so, for everybody who listens to this we wanted to preface the players and we took so much time within that because we always want to be showing value with these Webinars and actually show you how to do it. Why to do it? Why is smarketing important? Why it exists and why we are even talking about this today? But without understanding who is involved and getting those players involved, to me, the rest of this conversation falls apart fairly quickly. You will continue to do what’s been happening, you know, for so many years already that sales and marketing must come together. That’s why think that you have to work on the buy in first. With that said, I want to kind of talk about…. We talked about who the buyers are but why, Chuck, is smarketing even important?
Chuck: Well, I love this shot that you have on the screen now… a little like siblings that can’t get along and it just doesn’t just make things tough on the brother and sister involved but it makes things tough on everyone in the family. And when sales and marketing don’t get along it makes things tough on the entire company.
Dustin (Host): Absolutely, I couldn’t agree more. It’s kind of like the bad egg, you know, and it just kind of infiltrate the entire system. When those two work together it just seems like everything comes together. And that in my opinion is bridging the gap. You need to bridge the gap between these two departments. You know, I think there are so many other departments within a corporation that are absolutely critical but at the same time, sales and marketing seem to be the one screaming and it is kind of what I was trying to represent in the previous lines as well. They are the ones yelling, sales being one of the louder departments, if not the loudest department you are going to have. And so you are really hearing it and marketing is the one who is actually…in a way, I hope not necessarily doing this, but are the ones going out to the market and putting out the message to the market so these are the ones with the voice so if you don’t bridge that communication gap and the relationship gap between the two of them, I think you are going to have issues further down for as long as you can’t solve that issue.
So, here’s a few other quick bullets on why we believe that smarketing is important. The first one is marketing campaign messaging. You know, sales can inform the marketing message in the fact that they are the ones talking to the client or the customer or the prospect. It’s something that marketing sit in a room and they come up with a campaign and they deliver that and often times they don’t ever ask sales and I know so many companies that you roll your eyes ‘Ah, yeah we do’ but do you really though? And how often do you?
Chuck: No, sales people often don’t and they need to do a better job of that.
Dustin (Host): Yeah, I think we need to pull them in. And the other part is the target account focus. Right now, account based marketing is a really big thing and we spoke about that in our previous Webinar but sales is not saying who they really want to go after and marketing is not providing the data on the other side to say who they really could be going after. We are not coming up with a true target account focus. It is just sales ‘This is who I like going after’ and it’s marketing ‘This is who I think I can go after’. There is no real cohesion between that and to do a custom audience and an account based marketing program, you guys need to be well aligned with that and so another reason why I think smarketing is so important.
Chuck: Agreed…. you know, marketing could probably do a better job of listening to the feedback that sales is getting and sales could do a better job of relaying that feedback in a really efficient way.
Dustin (Host): Absolutely…I think meeting mutual departmental support needs…we need to have support from the top down, we need team camaraderie. I think…again, what I was saying earlier, if I got a lead I sent to the person who was nicest to me, who I knew would do what I needed and we close most of those leads because we have this camaraderie between us and we knew what each of our goals were and so we were really able to really capitalize on that. And I think that smarketing as a definition is really to achieve on a whole.
Customer service is one other thing and I hope Chuck has some thoughts here but I also always try to pull customer service in as sort of the third leg of the chair, I guess, or stool but customer service has the real information. They are the ones the customers are calling when they have a grievance, when they really need to know how a product work they are the ones getting the true questions, in my opinion. Almost like PPC, is any of you guys out there are advert experts but the key word that you actually bid on and then there is the search trailer that actually fires that key word and it is those search terms that are the real people and that’s what customer service represents to me. At the same time, I think marketing has a role in customer service as does sales and I think being aligned in their messaging and setting of goals will deliver a better customer experience across the entire sales portfolio.
Chuck: Agreed…and from the marketing perspective, things like the net promoter score become an important metric. From a sales perspective, the number of referrals that are generated become a really important metric. Now there are a number of things that we can talk about but if we want to keep the conversation simple, how willing and able are customers to go ahead and promote us…and that’s of course, net promoter score. If I am a sales rep and my responsibility is critical to great sales experience, in other words, I don’t have a sales process where I have a lot of people to develop and then a closer and then customer service takes it from there but if I am really carrying a portfolio like many sales reps do today, then it is my ability to generate those referrals from my customer base that is a really significant indicator of how satisfied customers are and it gives me feedback on how well we are doing in our marketing and sales functions because if marketing is done aligned with our selling or vice versa, people are not going to be satisfied with how well we are fulfilling their customer experience.
Dustin (Host): Absolutely, and the last one for me is the most important which is the business reporting. I think that budget analysis is skewed if the two departments aren’t working together. If sales are not following up on leads, are you taking away marketing budget because they didn’t close anything? They didn’t do their job. There is just a lot of misalignment that is skewing your reports that the C level is making decisions based off of…you spoke about marketing attribution, again if the entire funnel from marketing to sales isn’t well aligned and isn’t well defined then you are not understanding what part in the funnel is dropping off and so the attribution cannot be done properly if these two groups aren’t working together.
Chuck: Agreed…and we see this happen a lot when a company doesn’t use the CRM effectively, efficiently and consistently because then we get a lot of anecdotal evidence of what is happening and where instead of real data that tells us ‘This is where that lead fell out’ or ‘This is where that sales hit a stall and didn’t go to close.
Dustin (Host): And just what is the fear of making decisions without that data. You will continue to do it over and over. I mean…for me, it’s like you don’t work to build the companies I am involved with. That’s the thing…I also dive into the data to make sure that it’s good data and I think if these two departments aren’t working well together it’s most likely not.
Let’s move a little bit into how to actually do smarketing. And so, I think there just a number of really easy things… I guess easy is a relative term but I think they are simplistic in concept and probably more difficult in execution. Quickly, I want to just go over some of the things we think are most important
First is just prioritization. If smarketing is not a priority for your company that probably where we stop, in my opinion.
Chuck: I would agree and I love what you say here. It has got to start at the top that regardless of how involved, day to day, C Suite is in marketing that the top level decision maker in that business unit or in that company has to say that this is what we are doing.
Dustin (Host): Absolutely. To show the value of marketing I think that you can do this in two ways and I think the C Suite is where you need to start. I have also seen where people don’t have access to their C Suite and want to promote this and part of that, for me, is that working within a small sector within your own company to prove a smaller model, to do a small pilot of how it works and what executive and what sells….VP sells, their CMO out there is going to be mad when a marketing or sales guy walks into their office and say ‘Hey look, this is what we did together and this is how it is working and look how better we are performing than our peers…probably going to love that and want to roll it out so there ways to start in smaller groups as well as try to influence from the top down from the very beginning. So, don’t be discouraged if your C Suite is not available to you.
Chuck: Agreed…you know, we always like to sell from the top down where possible but I have some businesses that I work with. They identify groups that want apply and by demonstrating that success they are able to get into more of the organization. It is the same principle. You may believe that smarketing is going to work in your business unit or in your smaller division and if that’s the case make it happen. Demonstrate to the larger organization that this is a valued and effective way of doing things.
Dustin (Host): Yeah absolutely…and then, last is that if you are going to prioritize, in my opinion, prioritization means that you are investing in the tools that it takes to do this. It doesn’t mean just say it and don’t give the team the resources they need to get some of those tools. Facilitation is kind of where I am leaning with that as well. You don’t need to facilitate the tools. You need to facilitate the teams to have the time to meet. You need to facilitate the open room and communication and you need to facilitate it through understanding that if they gotta make a hundred phone calls maybe they need ninety but they used that time with those ten to have better communication and understanding that within that process flow so as a company you need to facilitate this type of a program.
Chuck: Agreed…communication is such an important word and I know that we talk about it a lot when I talk to the companies I work with. I can’t emphasize it enough. When 9/11 occurred in 2001, part of the reason so many people perished that day was because there was a failure of communication. For example, there were first responders who ran into buildings that were burning when their commanders were telling them leave those buildings and that’s an extreme example but the reality is we can always work to improve communications between sales and marketing. If we do that at a distance at a removed… it is not going to be effective. There are times when we have to get people in the room and communicate one to one, face to face and if we do that, that’s a major move in the right direction.
Dustin (Host): Absolutely and I think there is a bullet here that I really like as well and that’s the cross training departments in each other processes. Actually we touched on this a little earlier, but I think it sells to actually understand what marketing is doing and for marketing to understand what sales is doing. There is a little bit of empathy created there. It’s not I do my thing, you do your thing but hey this guy is really trying and look how much effort it took to get that one lead. You will probably take care of that lead a little bit more and vice versa. Some guys being held to hitting their numbers and how important that is. To know what it really takes to get them there. Marketing can really understand why their roles is also so important in passing them over.
Chuck: You talk about them understanding what the other is doing, I would add to that. They need to understand why. Why are you doing it this way in the sales team? Why do you guys do it this way when you are marketing? Help us understand that? A lot of people even if they succeed have a different point of view or opinion, they will come together and rally once they understand why. Why is it that we do it this way? Start with why.
Dustin (Host): On occasion…we can probably harp on this the whole time; this is smarketing. Chuck, I know you have a lot to say on this.
Chuck: Wow, communication…well I have already said some of it…but communication up and down the chain of command and across teams become so important. We have to understand why teams do what they do when they do what they do. What is it they are trying to accomplish? How effective are they in accomplishing that? We also need to understand within our teams, especially our sales team, I need to understand the type of communication I need to send back to the marketing team. What’s most helpful to them in tweaking campaigns, generating leads that are a little more qualified or we need to communicate across those two teams in the context of what is exactly our target buyer? What do they look like? Who are they? I think sometimes we get into our little silos and convince ourselves…for example if I am a sales person I will convince myself that we should be selling to this type of buyer and this type of market and it maybe for no other reason that that’s the only person I have ever really sold to. Marketing could perhaps help me to understand that there are a lot of other people I really could be selling to. They really do me a huge favor in opening my eyes to some of the other groups of people that I could be successfully selling into by communicating across those teams. I really can’t emphasize it enough.
Dustin (Host): I just completely agree as well and you talk a lot about the professional communication and I want to bring in personal communication. And the last bullet on this is to provide ongoing team building opportunities. How many times have you had a Christmas party and the marketing people sit at the marketing table and sales department sits at the sales table and not co-mingling and they are not getting to know each other as people? And so I think you know, in this game where all things being the same, sales and marketing are continuing to fail, this may be an interesting tactic for you to look at. How do you actually pair teams together and co-marketing themselves so they are actually developing relationships? Now, they are going golfing together. You know as a marketer, I know I loved to golf but it was always the sales guys who were always out there. Sad for me.
Chuck: Exactly. You know, in studies of people, we know we like to associate with people who are most like us. That’s human nature. And so when we are in sales and marketing we sometimes think ‘Well, these are the guys who are most like us’ and so we don’t want to associate with people who are outside that group. The reality is that we are all a lot more alike than we are different and so we got to make this personal whether these are in office events or they are things that we do outside of the office. Making it personal…we get to know each other and like each other batter because we associate with each we going to work with each other more effectively.
Dustin(Host): Absolutely…agreed, and that’s maybe the recruiting process, even, is understanding that? I think the last slide here and then we run up on time and we are actually going to be going live on Face Book now so if you have that you can watch Chuck and I finish this conversation together here.
Maybe one of the most important parts is execution. I just threw up a big question mark. I think we have a lot to say about execution but my thought was who is doing it and how is it being done? And that’s why I love having Chuck Here. Can you talk to us about some of your experience and how it …maybe what people failed to do and how to make it work?
Chuck: One of the first things when we see is that companies make a commitment by having both teams or the leaders of both teams in the same room and the same time total about how they integrate and work together. I am not sure that I have a formula that we could use here. I will give you some principles that I have seen work really well. First of all, getting the leaders in the room at the same time so that we could communicate effectively. Having follow through and follow up. In other words, there is a level of accountability that has to happen. If I am the head of a marketing department I have to make my team responsible for doing the things we agree will make the marketing team function better. If I am head of a sales, I have to make my team and myself accountable for doing the things that make the sales function better and then we gotta hold our teams and ourselves accountable for communicating across those two teams in that way we agree will be most effective. The reality is that your first few steps in this direction maybe counter cyclical starts but you got to stick with it. You simply can’t afford to give up.
Dustin (Host): That’s a great way. You have to stick with this. So many companies probably have gone down this for maybe a year, maybe even two years and just never found success. Where would they really be had they stuck with it, though? Would they be one of the few companies that did bridge this gap and at one point a study says those who can bridge the sales and marketing gap actually have twenty percent higher revenue. What does that number mean for your business?
Chuck: Absolutely. We work with companies for example, for TechX who have reiterated and have reiterated multiple times and have pivoted in their businesses, and it wasn’t until the second and third pivot that it finally hit on the right formula. There is no reason that within a marketing team or in a sales team while continuing to make progress.
Dustin (Host): Absolutely. We want to quickly give you guys a few the tools that are required to do smarketing successfully. What we really touched on is communications, is having meetings, is co joining meetings in my opinion, it’s the feedback loop you need to have customer surveys, departmental surveys. I mean, have sales do a survey on marketing. Have marketing do a survey on sales and then put them in the same room and let them ash it out, you know, have a big boy discussion
and say ‘If you are going to talk like that about me say it to my face and then realize how we really want to work through together and how we really can. And I think that’s something a lot of companies are not doing and would be a great tool.
Chuck: Agreed…and one thing that I mentioned early on…I love to work with companies that have a continuous improvement mindset and once you develop that mindset throughout your organization and have these kinds of conversations and they are not offensive. Now, we are all working in the same direction and looking for little ways that we might improve today.
Dustin (Host): Great…a couple of physical tools or digital tools I should say are business and Google analytic s and I bring these up because the Google analytic s will actually give you so much insight that even marketers and sales really don’t understand. You can layer so much third party data into it, it is doing a fantastic job of giving you a picture of how your sales department is working and you can integrate that all the way down to the revenue contribution within analytics. You actually get to see the model and put that upon the board and has a C Suite understand how is this really working. And so I know so many companies that haven’t been into analytic s and so long that they don’t know the password and cannot get into it. They don’t know how many people are coming into the site. They don’t know what pages they are bouncing off and I think as high as the C level should know what analytic s is and what it is doing for them. I think those are tools we should all be considering and the last is CRM and marketing automation. Chuck, you mentioned the importance of using CRM, using it often and using it correctly. I cannot second that enough. It is bad data in, bad data out. CRM is the basis for marketing automation. Marketing automation is kind of the bridge between sales and marketing meaning that marketing automation can actually send that trigger to sales to make that call which reduces the time to follow up and actually shows sales a lot of the email that it took to get them there and actually gives them locations in CRM to show them this person was on this day, this person down loaded this white paper. So, when the sales person is making that call, it is no longer a cold call. They are talking to the individual s if they know that person based on the amount of information that marketing automation has been able to pull into the site.
Chuck: And as sales people we love to see that. The responsibility that we have as sales people is the use the CRM to log into information that is essential. So, whether this turns into a close won or close lost then we can go back and evaluate and start to see where the process starts to breakdown and where the sale stalled out and what led to success and the data, as business owners and decision makers we got to rely more and more on making decisions by the numbers and we get those numbers by using marketing analytics, CRMs, etc.
Dustin (Host): Absolutely and the concept that automation can send, you know, a sales guy can get that call it doesn’t close right then and there. He can put it right back into the marketing automation funnel and have automation warm that lead back up until he really is ready for a call but you don’t move them into the right processes in CRM they are in the wrong marketing automation funnel and that is affecting the percentages…the marketing is reporting on and it is affecting the way that sales is having their lead warmed and so it is really important to make sure that those systems are actually working.
Here are the most important tools that we think smarketers should be working with today and we think that there is something that each and every one of you guys listening should look into to solve this marketing dilemma.
Quickly, just in summary.,.as marketing results in the adaption of common thoughts, processes and objectives, it goes far beyond just processes. It is a mutual understanding and it’s a mutual goal the people want to reach The key departments are sales marketing and of course the C Suite. Communications is the basic pillar and in order to have a successful smarketing plan sales and marketing must be given the tools and the investment from a corporate level to be successful. And lastly, and Chuck can speak to this event, if you are not smarketing you might be dying because right now you talk about how the climate within sales and marketing is changing. Chuck you have any quick thoughts?
Chuck: Well just a summary to that. There has been a convergence over the past ten to fifteen years and marketing is taking on more of a sales function and what we know from a lot of study is that in many businesses before a prospect talks with a sales rep 70% of the time they have already interacted with that company through digital, marketing or some other type of mechanism and what we have to recognize from the sales function is that this is happening. It is not a blip on the radar screen. It is the result of the internet and misinformation and so we have to be prepared for that on the sales side of this thing and we need to work with marketing so we can do a better job of making sure that for those70% that are out there that are interacting with our company before they talk to me as a salesman it is a great experience of leading them to want to buy from me.
Dustin (Host): That’s good. I mean, the advent of mobile and the incredible use of that and the ability of that for you to put any type of content out there to the consumer. If the marketing team themselves are not aligned, we talked about this on our last webinar as well…that is what an omni-channel marketing experience is. Is when the message follows through from…whether it is traditional marketing, digital marketing, to sales, to phones, to customer service and all the calls. That’s truly what omni-marketing is and that’s what all the big companies right now are really going after.
So we will quickly jump into a few questions. Realize we are truly short on time. Are you OK to stay for ten minutes or so?
Chuck: I will stay you need me to.
Dustin (Host): Fantastic. We have just a few questions that have come in and we will just get to those really quickly. Just let me log in there quick. So, [50:58]…First question is …what is the most cost effective marketing software? How about from a sales stand point, you know softwares….
Chuck: You know, I think CRM s is the right answer to that question…
Dustin (Host): Absolutely.
Chuck: …they are a variety of decent ones out there if you are a very small company you can get for no cost or low cost including Zohoe, Pitrbes and a number of others at salesforce.com. There is very low cost if you a small number of rep or time, not just the cost, the real value of the sales. More companies are using salesforce because salesforce provides the reporting, analytic and all the other things that makes it much more effective as you integrate your sales and marketing efforts.
Dustin (Host): I have to admit too. I was a late adopter to apple and I am a late adopter to a lot of the things that are like the salesforce of the world where everything is being integrated into it. And so down the road finding something like a salesforce that has so many direct integrations that I being made so easy that as you grow and have other needs it saves you money although in some cases it can be a little more expensive but it does because it has API integration and thing like that that you need to write when you get some of the smaller CRM s. It is just not as easy to do a full well rounded campaign or marketing sales type of program, so, salesforce is a great one. Acton is one that we pitch a lot because it is on the marketing automation side of things. Very little cost, very effective, very robust but I don’t that I would come at what is the most cost effective. He made the point it is about value and it’s about what’s right for you. This, as we mentioned is an investment of the C level into creating a smarketing program and are going to be the investment in the programs that are needed. This needs to be considered investment at a cost.
Chuck: I agree.
Dustin (Host): Thank you. Our next question. Should our sales and marketing teams be in the same department? Can we combine them?
Chuck: Why not? The reality is they are two sides to the same coin. As you try to increase communication and enhance that feedback both ways, I don’t see any reason other than you got a lazy sales team and a lazy marketing team that hate one another and you have to do some major re working in your department but apart from that my answer would be why not?
Dustin (Host): Absolutely. I agree. The information just cannot be side loaded so I will need to break down a silo is what I would be doing so put them at the same table.
And another question that I think Chuck you would be great at answering. How big of a sales team do we really need?
Chuck: You know, I really hate answers that start with ‘that depends’ but it really does depend. One of the things that you need to do as a leader in your company is determine exactly how much new sales can you accommodate. I should kind of stumble on my words there but how much could you accommodate? In other words, if you had ten million dollars of new business tomorrow, what would that do to your entire organization? Would it crush you? or would it be like ‘We welcome that ‘, then take a while to look at the metrics. What is your sales cycle? What is your close rates? How many leads from your marketing department do you generate? And then you say if ten million dollars of new business tomorrow theoretically were a good thing for us…in other words it wouldn’t kill our operations or manufacture ability, then how many sales rep do we need then to generate ten million dollars of new business. And so I say it depends because you have to do your homework on where you are now and what are the numbers from your marketing sales campaigns and that is how many sales people you need.
Dustin (Host): Great answer. The next question is…How do we get our sales and marketing teams to work together? They don’t like each other. So true. You are not the only one with that problem. What do you think Chuck?
Chuck: Well, personalize it first of all. Get them to know each other. To me, that’s one of the big things
Another is as we talked about before, not only tell them what they are doing but tell them why they are doing it that way. What are the sales rep doing when they prospect, when they work with an individual or company and bring it to a close and why do they do it that way? And same thing on the marketing side. And by opening up the komono and having greater understanding on both sides then they will probably have a better appreciation of each other.
Dustin (Host): I just don’t believe…you know, you made the point that we do seem to flock together…birds of a feather type of thing but I don’t believe that sales and marketing don’t like each other. I don’t believe that people are so innately against one another. I think it comes back to the ask why and how and do I actually have to talk to you. How quickly if I am forced to be in a room with you, do I engage? You are also human and we are in this together in that team mentality, to me I just don’t really know if they shouldn’t like each other and I think if the top down were putting metrics they both have to agree to then you are going to start becoming a team really quickly versus being able to fight with one another. It is a corporate chasm that it allows people to not like one another. I just don’t think that’s the true underlying issue.
Chuck: I agree. You know, I see a lot of businesses, a lot of departments that don’t get along together. It is just so happens that sales and marketing are so tied at the hips that there is more likelihood that we share about that.
Dustin (Host): Absolutely. And I think we have the last question which we will go over quickly here. Do we need a sales department? Can we just run ads? We definitely know how I feel about that but maybe in your experience you have seen different models of this nature?
Chuck: There are some businesses that can work strictly online. Amazon is a good example of that and so if you truly have tried and experimented and proven out that you can succeed and grow your company with only an online presence then go for it but we find that in most companies that we work with that the online function is very important but we still have to have a sales interface and whether that interface is an inbound person receiving a phone call or a sales person that goes out and prospects and follows up on a lead, that most businesses today we still have to have a sales interface. Test it and try it.
Dustin (Host): I think you are completely right…I have also worked for a company that was attempting to remove its sales department and it was very difficult for them but it was ultimately help the bottom line but it took a lot of sales and marketing working together to create the sales materials online to replace the sales person or some of that experience. I definitely feel it’s a model. Every company is different. Chuck said it try it and see for yourself. I think so.
I think that is all the time we have for today. I want to thank all those in the Face Book live world, thank you. Thank you Chuck Staib. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your time in coming in and sharing your wisdom.
Chuck: Thank you for inviting me. It has been a lot of fun.
Dustin (Host): And for all you guys out there that follow us on our hash tags…they are on the screen, we will be back on next month with our next guest speaker so keep an eye out for that as well and we will be coming out with a recording of [59:05]…Thank you once again from Fluid Webinar Event. We will talk to you soon.