CRO to CMO: “We ♥ Marketing”
- by Elay Cohen
- September 27, 2014
SalesHood - Sales Enablement Platform
There is much talk about sales productivity today by CROs and CMOs. The conversation is shifting to be about better marketing and sales alignment.
Given my experience at Salesforce and now the work we’re doing at SalesHood, it is even more clear to me that the universal sales productivity challenges can’t be solved without marketing and sales being fully aligned and working together. Marketing executives are paramount in defining and executing strategies to exceed sales productivity goals. They’re important because they have content that needs to get in the hands of reps, when the reps need it most.
I believe sales teams should be sharing the mantra “we ♥ marketing” and marketing teams should carry the banner “we ♥ sales.”
The rise of the CRO is causing us to think about revenue metrics across both sales and marketing. The analytical CMO is looking to assess the effectiveness of its sales tools and sales content. Many CEOs are holding their CMOs accountable for sales productivity results.
The role of marketing in sales productivity comes up all the time in go to market conversations. What is the role of marketing in sales productivity? What is the division of labor between marketing and sales operations and sales productivity teams? What is the role of the sales manager? What is the role of the product marketer? What should we expect from marketing? Who creates content? Who maintains content? Who does what?
Getting organizational clarity is key to making sales teams super productive.
Here are some important deliverables and templates that I’d argue should be owned by Marketing and crowdsourced from sales teams:
1. Pitch Decks
Sales reps need presentation aids to use in the sales process. Marketing creates branded prensentation tools to be tailored to each customer scenario. Use powerpoint, prezi, white-boarding and other tools. Some call these first call decks, first/second meeting pitches, or executive presentations. The master template should be updated regularly based on how reps adapt the pitch to their customers.
Marketing delivers to sales teams a consistent way to think about mapping products and services to customer challenges. Include the elevator pitch, target customer profiles, discovery questions, customer stories, solution overviews, ROI calculators and sales aids. Winning plays should be informed by real deal activity and reps sharing their winning deal stories.
3. Competitive Kill Sheets
Knowing competitive strengths and weaknesses is key to winning. Marketing gives structure to sales teams to think about how to handle objections and how to strategically plant traps, without bashing the competition. Don’t forget the secret here is to use crowdsouring to capture what’s going on in the field.
Have an up to date list of customer stories by industry, by product and by customer challenges searchable by reps. They should be able to find these important assets anytime, especially when they are in front of customers. The collection and curation of these stories is a marketing function too.
Helping sales teams understand the ideal profile of a buyer is a great tool to empower sales teams to use in territory planning and prospecting. A winning buyer profile, by buyer types, should have examples of how to uncover and engage in conversations about critical business issues, key performance metrics, buyer issues and priorioties, and top initiatives.
The key word is template. Marketing should be distributing best practice templates by role and by industry. Saleas professionals should use the content and personalize to meet every prospecting scenario and buyer role.
As you can see I’m a big advocate for better marketing and sales alignment. If you want to learn more about how you can easily publish these tools for sales teams, sign up for our SalesHood today. We help marketers publish engaging content, for sales managers to coach and reinforce, and for reps to use when they need it most.
Elay Cohen is the author of SalesHood: How Winning Sales Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed and the co-founder of SalesHood, a SaaS sales enablement platform and community for sales professionals. Elay is the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Recognized as the company's "2011 Top Executive", and credited for creating and executing all of Salesforce's sales productivity programs that accelerated its growth from $300M to $3B+ in revenue. The sales training and sales support innovations delivered over these years by Elay and his team to thousands of sales reps resulted in unprecedented hypergrowth. He also created the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) category.
Based on my experience leading Sales Productivity at Salesforce, accelerating revenue from $300M to $3B, we’ve packaged our proven methodology into SalesHood, helping client after client achieve record breaking revenue growth.
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