Sales and marketing must work together cohesively to produce optimal results. But aligning the strategy is easier said than done. Vidya Peters, the CMO at Marqeta, has worked on both sides of the proverbial divide. Marqeta Board Member Amy Chang interviews Peters about her extensive experience in revenue and marketing and how to align the two strategies.
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The Job is No Longer About the Leads
According to Peters’ research, 61% of marketers say that generating traffic and leads is their top challenge. Seems obvious, right? Well, not so fast. Marketing targets should expand far beyond lead gen. Says Peters, “Leads today mean almost nothing. The question is, how many of those actually qualify as opportunities? How many of those opportunities actually progress?”
To improve alignment with your revenue team, marketers should shift their mindset: Don’t simply look at your leads as a baton you pass to sales; rather, think of it as part of a game of soccer in which the ball is being passed back and forth as the lead moves through the pipeline. Marketing and revenue teams should work together to keep the leads moving toward conversion.
Strategy is a Living Conversation
Strategy can become a stumbling block if it stays rigid. Traditionally, marketing teams sit down at the beginning of the year, hammer out targets and strategic initiatives and spend the entire year narrowed in on that plan, never wavering despite changing circumstances.
However, this approach is on its way out. It pays to embrace a more fluid approach: “The market is a lot more dynamic now. Changes are happening a lot faster. And so, [strategy] is not an annual process anymore. You set it at the beginning of the year, but we meet with the revenue organization on a bi-weekly basis, we sit down, and we look at our target list of accounts, and we keep it as a living document,” Peters says.
Examine strategic performance, tactic effectiveness, lead and opportunities response, and more. This process must involve both revenue and marketing in order to see the most accurate picture. Then, align your marketing targets with what sales teams are seeing on the ground. Finally, continue to pivot and iterate to ensure optimal results.
Intent is the New Lead
Technology has reached such a level that now marketers have insight into buyer’s intent. Potential customers don’t search for your company specifically. Instead, they are likely to search for the answer to a problem that your product can solve.
Since marketers have valuable intel around intent, they should collaborate with the revenue department and let them know what’s trending and figure out how to reach those target accounts.
Closing the Deal is Not the Finish Line
So you’ve moved the lead all the way through the pipeline, and sales closed the deal. So now you’re done, right?
Actually, no. The marketer’s work is still not complete. You need to make sure your customers can generate positive results using the platform: “Once the ink is dry on the contract, the job of marketing is to get in there and help the customer succeed in partnership with the revenue organization.”
You must also raise awareness about additional products or services that can be of use to the customer so that sales can cross-sell or upsell. The customer should experience an abundance of positive outcomes from using your product that they evangelize to others. And so, the flywheel continues to spin.
- Marketing should be involved in every step of the customer’s life, beyond the sale close.
- Strategy is a living conversation that requires constant iteration and cooperation between revenue and marketing.
- Helping customers find success with the product is inextricably linked to a successful business.