In this podcast you will learn
- How to create sales and marketing alignment
- How to build trust between the sales and marketing departments
- The elements of a lead nurturing campaign
- How lead scoring works
- How marketing can help sales succeed with better lead quality
- How to run an effective ABM strategy
Bob Tripathi talks with Simon Thompson of The Growth Lever to discuss how to achieve massive growth through aligning marketing and sales capabilities. During this podcast, Bob shares some great insights on practical, common sense tips on how company leaders should align their sales and marketing efforts.
“Sales and marketing share a very unique relationship–they just need to learn how to support one another.”
Scroll down to read the transcript of the conversation
Hey and welcome to the Growth Lever Podcast, brought to you by Content Kite.
On this show, we talk to top leaders, agency owners, business experts and marketers about how to run a better agency, so if you’re a digital entrepreneur or marketer and this is a show for you.
Alright, let’s get into it
Simon: Hey what’s up? welcome to the growths lever podcast, I’m Simon Thompson and thank you for joining me here today, we’ve got a super interesting topic today, something that I think about quite a lot and that is aligning sales and marketing teams because they are so often not aligned and they so desperately need to be, so I’m really excited to speak to today’s guest about that very topic.
So today I’m speaking with Bob Tripathi and Bob has worked with numerous SMBs and larger enterprises like Discover Financial, Sears Holdings, Asure software and many others, to achieve massive growth through his marketing skills and by aligning sales and marketing alignment.
So, we’ve got a really interesting conversation on hand, like I said it is all about aligning sales teams with marketing teams because whilst they should have the same objectives and the same KPIs and be on the same page with everything, they are so often not and they really need to be
All right let’s get into the episode with Bob Tripathi, So Bob Tripathi, welcome to the growth of a podcast, how are you?
Bob:Hey good Simon, thank you for having me
Simon: Yeah, no worries. I’m excited to talk to you we’ve got a really good topic today, it’s something that comes up a lot I’ve certainly sort of spoken about and thought about this topic a lot and that is aligning sales and marketing which can seem like a real uphill battle at times, so I do want to get into all of that but before we do can you just give the listeners a bit of information about your background and what you do now.
Bob: Yeah absolutely, so yeah once again thank you for having me Simon. I’m looking forward to this topic again, something that we all dealt with from so many years but, yeah, my background. I’ve always wanted to be a marketer, so I went to school to study marketing and fortunately you know I’m living the dream, as I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do which is to be a digital marketer.
I started back the old school way which is trial and error and when it comes to digital marketing back in the day we still called it online marketing, so yes I started with search then email marketing an affiliate depth and all of that like a paid search lot of it then social came about content marketing things like that but I think the one thing I really do is acquisition marketing is customer acquisition and I think with every marketer that should be the objective is how do you create customers and that’s exactly I think what I do really.
Well, I work for some large companies like discover and ____ software and many others then I started my own thing with instant-E training which was an online digital marketing training company and now I for full-time I basically help people transform their digital marketing through my small boutique agency which is also called BobTripathi.com, so yeah that mean a nutshell
Simon: Awesome! Thank you for that so at any point like if I’m going off topic, just let me know and bring me back on course but I will try to stick to the main topic and that is aligning sales and marketing now your it seems to be more on the marketing side of this equation so if as marketers what do we want the sales department to do in order to make us more effective at our jobs and then we’ll kind of explore the other side of that equation as well
Bob: Yeah, I mean you know at the end of the day you know it’s like really right like a baton really where marketers job is to generate leads so your sales people are not going out and prospecting and hunting that is what still a marketer should do so your job as a sale as a marketer is to make sure you are generating the lead then you want the sales people to close those leads and convert them into deal, so that’s an ideal world situation right, so that’s what you want them to do
Simon: Okay, cool and so what are the sales team looking for from the marketers in general in terms of like is it a you know leads have to be ready to speak to the sales team or it’s someone downloaded a white paper, like what’s the perfect scenario for a free sales person?
Bob: Yeah, so for most people if you ask them the perfect scenario is where they can have a lead and they can close their tomorrow and have the agreement signed right away, so that’s the perfect scenario but we don’t live in a perfect world right, so typically what happens is you know it’s a classic struggle right between marketing and sales where you know marketing thin sales is not closing enough from the leads that marketing is giving them and salespeople think marketers are not generating enough quality leads then they all overpaid you know.
So yeah, the idle ideal way is…. you know marketers when we generate leads they’re not all sales ready so you know what we call it is a nurturing so once we take them through a nurturing funnel to, a nurturing process that’s when you give it to sales after a few cash points to make it law warming up and make it sales accepted leading and then sales has to do their own diligence and the whole art that comes with sales you know
Simon: Okay, cool, I do want to get into that topic around like what we do in any ring sequence but before we do can we just take a step back and sort of look into like how can we just get the two departments trusting each other better and sort of being on the same page
Bob: Yeah, so you know before the Baton relay you know that the biggest problem is there is a marketing and sales not getting along is, you know like the olden old days you would have manufacturing production right, people not getting along together so I think the first thing is marketers should do is these up it’s very interesting dynamic, so I use a love-hate relationship, you can’t be with each other and you cannot be without each other, so what that means is you have to find a way where you’re going to thing and basically helping your organization’s win and there are many successful organizations that do that where marketers because they know their role is to generate good quality leads and send it to the field people and then field people have to take it from there and start closing or at least working through those leads and if those leads are not closing according to them then you give it back to marketers but that doesn’t happen right.
So, the as I mentioned earlier while you ask me the first question is what this feels like to do right? The sales you don’t want them to go out and prospect them hunt, so there is always a sort of distrust right where I mentioned right, sales people think marketers are overpaid and marketers all this thing that sales are not doing enough and I think the issue really is how do you make sure that the sale team has your trust you know or that they’re trusting the marketers and one way to gain trust is of course generating lot of leads and generating lot of quality leads
The other thing that I’ve seen that goes a long way is to keep them which is the sales team part of your process part of your marketing process, go proactively and you know we told her and do it myself is to proactively an active people how can we help more on a bi-weekly weekly monthly basis, the first step in breaking the size of your will is you know cell sales you always looking for some kind of a sales collaterals right, something if you’re going on a face-to-face something to leave behind or if you had a phone demo then you want something that you could give it to the customer.
So, this is the first area where marketers can create impact and gain trust of the salespeople is by creating these marketing collaterals are so beautiful and which drives the point home so that is one way to gain trust early on in the process and once you see your ones of sale people see that you know the marketers are actually helping them to close the deals better then slowly the trust bills and define you take the relationship forward right, it’s just like any classic dating leading up to code and code marriage kind of relationship you know yeah right
Simon: And so how often is that happening where marketing sales are in constant communication, is that fairly common or is that quite rare, what do you usually say?
Bob: It is not rare it just depends on the on the leadership right on how do you do it but yeah typically they should be talking with each other it’s not like every weekly, you should have a weekly alignment meeting if you will for lack of better words you know but yeah there should be a process it builds into it right then these days, you know the marketers have their own automation system the sales of the CRM system, so they both have too much visibility into each other’s work you know
Right okay and I guess like one problem I can foresee coming up is that perhaps they’re they have different KPIs or as a marketing might be KPI Don on the number of leads and so they’re incentivized to just give sales as many leads as possible whereas sales is like you know any good leads because bad leads like don’t close and then so there’s sort of like this misalignment there, so I guess if you can get like the KPI is in alignment that can be incredibly helpful as, would you agree with that?
Bob: Yeah, absolutely, so again it goes back to the leadership right, so marketers will say all the leads are good but then that’ll lead scoring comes in place all right, so when you score a lead and then you will come to know what is exactly the issue so that one part of it but then I think as a leader your goal should be what is the net say business that you’re closing right, at the end of the day and it’s not just that falls on the sales plate or marketing plate but what are the combined revenues that the business is generated because of both of your efforts and then you’re right you know some KPIs need to be aligned likely scoring a nurturing program you know how can you move them from one bucket to the other and those are the things something along the way that you can build to essentially close more business because at the end of the day, if sales is able to close more business who gets the credit is the marketing right I mean of course he’ll get the credit because you know they close it but at the end of the day when you when you really backtrack it where the lead source came although it was marketing death but right but it technically
So, yeah, that that’s very critical you know and the same way the marketers can create us earlier more trust is look at your sales goals right, like if you look at each your sales boat on what their goals are then I think you can marketing to definitely help, actually you can align better if you go that route instead of working in silos you know what you mentioned o marketers will generate X amount of leads then this is it I’m done right, here goes, sales do it work your magic and close the deal that’s creating departments in in silos and whenever there is silos, you know you’re gonna have a lot of friction and then the best on how you find a line match right
Simon: Okay, so I want to go back to something you said around nurturing leads and sort of how we can I guess improve the lead score, so what are some of those things that the marketing can do to, yeah I guess increase the score of a lead?
Bob: If you really think about it, not every I mean at the end of the day leaders are here as a lead right but not every need is the same so you know lead coming from an offline conversation say at the trade show is very different than a lead that comes from your webinar or from your white paper or your eBook right, so all somebody just coming inbound to you SEO on your site these are hand raises where people have actually raised the hand and they’re shown and intended this is what I want and this is why I’m on your site and this is why I’m filling out the form, it’s very different as opposed to a demand generation program kind of a lead, so when you see both of these lead then they need to be nurtured differently and what I mean by nurture is you create different buckets of nurturing right, let’s say bucket one bucket two bucket three and so on and you move them through one bucket to the other which is basically sending and warming them up along the way and as they progress from one bucket to the other, you assign a score to that lead you know let’s say zero two hundred and when you assign a score to a lead you can see that this lead is going from say a ten school when they started out all the way to right so that’s how you nurture it and use a do lead scoring along the way, does that make sense?
Simon: So yeah it does, yeah thank you for explaining that. So, in terms of lead scoring, is that something that marketing and sales will often talk about, like sales a bit like oh well we notice when we get you know leads that are scored at say an they’re converting really well so just give us more of them and their marketing can go back and do some things to nurture the leads more I guess
Bob: Yeah, actually that’s a great question, thanks for picking up on that but yeah whenever you set a lead scoring mechanism or your sales process charge from in our sales funnel chart you should work with sales so I didn’t be in alignment this is how we are scoring a lead this is our processes right and then based on that when you send the leads over to sales you give them leads with the lead score attached to its right and in a thing like this is this leaders this leads go this one has this lead score and whatever beats a threshold you send it to them and whatever doesn’t you don’t send it to them so that’s essentially you work in with full transparency with your sales team and the reason is even if you have two salespeople or three or four or even one but getting the transparency is really important because at the end of the day you’re creating all these nurturing and lead scoring and all that so sales can close faster you know you’re not doing just to make your marketing look very super intelligent sophisticated AI driven to thrive you’re doing it for sales can close more deals that’s the bottom line
Simon: Yeah, okay cool. So, I want to kind of change gear a little bit and talk about this word which is a bit of a buzzword at the moment but I guess it’s a yeah good manifestation of sales and marketing working together and that is account based marketing or ABM and so can you just give us a bit of an overview of what account based marketing actually is in the mall so its role into it a bit?
Bob: Yeah, absolutely, so I can’t based marketing as you said yeah it is buzzword part of the reason I think white has become a buzzword is because you see that back in the day a market has used to what do you call it pray and praying right, that means you are creating all these marketing campaigns a marketing programs and thinking that a small amount of those would become into leads and then you’ll pass it over. So, the focus was a lot of Legion that you spoke about earlier you know that marketers generate leads and oh my job is done over to you filled go close those pills right but you know that that is not the efficient way in most B2B environment, so what we see is if you ask any sales guy he would know right the type of customers he wants or what the type of people he wants to target he knows all that and more sales people have been doing it from a very long time there was just no name attached to it if you will right it is just like inbound marketing right now inbound marketing is something that HubSpot founders gave it a name involved but guess what you’ve been doing SEO way before that yes there was no terminology attached to it but everyone was still doing it same then you can still go back you can go back to the Chris Anderson book the long tail or as has paid search marketers I was doing long tail marketing back in 2002/2003 right but we just didn’t have a name attached to it right but that’s what this ABM comes in but so you buy into that word or not but the fact of the matter is that you know account based marketing or marketing to a specific account has always been around, you know so but with better tools now, we have perfected especially with the whole Facebook and LinkedIn and all those audience targeting, we know that we can actually target people at a very individual company level, you know so that’s what the word is, your question of end of an attention.
Simon: Yea, that was good but its terrified. So, it’s essentially trading like one particular client or a few particular clients as they’re like they’re the market right there a market of one company and then I guess within that company you’re gonna have well potentially hundreds of people you know like 10 or 20-departments that you could work with so there’s going to be sort of sub quote unquote clients within each of those is that right?
Bob: Yeah, exactly, so what I meant was earlier when you had the spray-and-pray method the marketers goal was to okay this is the industry we want to target this is the employee size this is the job title we want to target so on and so forth and then where were would fit under that bucket we would call them and call the pattern monthly which we still do right but would be ABN tactics what we do is like okay these are the companies very said if you ask any sales guys they know exactly the type of companies we wanna target right, so let’s say you take the fortune 20-companies for example and then you will know that type of something you wanna target, now instead of that company which we call it account you can target let’s say you know a three classic persona, one is the researcher, one is a an approver influencer and then a decision maker we also know that it at any project and any software decision or any buying decision at a big company there are more than six or seven stakeholders but not less right.
So, your job as a marketer is not just to generate one lead of that decision maker but basically get all of those stakeholders who will be part of the decision making process to be influenced and interested in your product there, okay so essentially what happens is; when you typically you see at a big company you know you will have about 30, 40-ish contacts, add a specific account that you want to influence with your marketing programs essentially right.
So, that’s what a contact means so to give you an example of a campaign let’s say you’re running a let’s see of a small team of you know it takes five salespeople right and then the way to start a program is you have those five people who are the five companies, you would like me to target right, then let’s say five people five field guys come back but their list of five company, so you’re looking at 25 companies which is 25 accounts between them, now at each of those accounts this is rough plus or minus there would be 30 or 40 contacts right that you wanna influence with your marketing program so you know take 30 times 5, you’re looking at so you take hundred and fifty which is the contact you would take per salespeople and what are you looking at, 150 times 5 so that’s like 750-ish, something, so you’re targeting 750 cold and cold contacts and these companies ok, somewhere in that range right?
The beauty of this the pool of 750 is you cannot customize your messaging for each of these companies all these industries in a very specific way, so you’re not doing what marketers were doing or we still do is press pray and pray kind of for marketing but here you know what challenges each of these companies have and then you’re targeting content, you’re targeting your messaging, your mailings whatever you’re doing individually at each of these companies. And yeah so you start with your company which is your accounts then you start with the contacts you start your messaging content strategy and after that essentially you are customizing for each one of them
Simon: Right ok yes am gonna ask you about that because we know what sales job in that situation, I mean then and have conversations but marketing I guess, it can vary, so content creation could be a part of that, would it would it go so far as you know say we’re working it with Netflix and so they’ll create content that is like specifically for Netflix or like what might that look like?
Yeah, you can create like I’ve seen people doing a specific as you know somebody is in the hospital that further lead the contact, your and you’re sending them flowers that kind of person, yeah-yeah, so you know like you know that a lot of marketers out there we’ve been doing it and that’s so it’s not just targeting their digital footprint but actually keeping track through the social because think about it if you are tracking a certain executive as the Netflix for example right, then obviously you also have the social handles in your automation platform, so you know if they have been sick and in hospital they brought their fertile leg or whatever they’re the hospital you would know through the social feed that something is wrong correct and that’s the best time if you really want to influence the network executive to send it and him or her like flowers cards chocolate whatever you want you know so that kind of targeting can also be done with the AP and campaign you know just like talking customizations does that make sense
Simon: Yeah, it does, it that’s crazy I guess that’s a good segue into a next topic and that is like the technology that you can use to you know make these campaigns successful. So, let’s talk about that like what kind of technology can you should you use as an aligned marketing in sales department?
Bob: No, there are a lot of tools that a very basic level you need some sort of a marketing automation platform right, when you have automation platform essentially what you’re doing is you’re bringing all the leads together on one single platform, a lot of these automation platforms and you know there are turns out there but I think if you just look at the spectrum you got you got Margeto, you got hubspot, you got Eloqua, you got Marketo and so on and so forth right then you’ve got shop spring and few others, so that’s like your automation platform which matches both your budget and you mean so you first need to get a automation platform that matches their needs sometimes you know you don’t want to along with so many things that you end up having a great white elephant in the room right the automation platform is great, a lot of these automation platform also connect to your ad networks you know like your display your LinkedIn, Google, page search and stuff like that.
So, you can actually target an interface and get all that data and in what place you know and you know most of these automation platform also the lead scoring obviously and you can just keep adding your technology stack on top of it you know you can add more targeting options more ad options more email options in it so you can keep going at it you know.
Simon: Right okay and so this marketing automation platform can sort of act as the central hub where all of the other technologies sort of spring out from and they’re all talking to each other which is good to know
Bob: Yeah because that is the way you can manage it you know not on an excel sheet so that is the easiest, so yes you can do it on an excel sheet but that would be tedious and that is the world be left behind about seven eight years back right, that’s when the technology has been doing but yeah there’s a lot of other integrations you can do to another a lot of add platforms these days where basically you can you can manage all this and take the data from the ad platform and then add it to your automation platform too, you know so it just depends almost rissoles you have how much you’re willing to allocate and things like that
Simon: Yeah right and just to clarify the primary function of these marketing automation platforms is for what to send like the right message at the right time to the right person is that right it’s that’s usually via email?
Bob: Yeah, that’s personalization that you’re talking about but it’s also but nurturing, you know the earlier I give you the example of how do you go about lead scoring right, so how do you do the lead scoring so well you know three automation world what we did is we had excel sheets to take care of it and you had an analyst who would basically do all that but with an automated world that took away, so with automation platform you can do all that you know lead nurturing scoring, your messaging whether it be an email and things like that so
Simon: Yeah alright
Bob: And then of course our targeting and getting stuff into it but yeah that should be a base level package, that then it makes your life very-very very easier and then you can have 750-ish pool of people that you can talk it in you know otherwise this goes out of hand, it is just like your paid search you know I’m not sure if your manage paid search but you know you can you people used to do paid such a bid management on Excel sheets you know and then you migrate it over to platforms and what happens is you can scale the program up because you have platforms, you are managing the bid management you know you can do it on an excel sheet but then you cannot scale up the program right it’s just, scaling and then technology machines can give us the scale
Simon: Yeah, I think that’s the key takeaway, it just makes things a hell of a lot easier than they ever have been and that’s probably a good place to leave it.
So, thank you so much for coming on the show Bob this has been incredibly enlightening to me, where can listeners go to learn more about you?
Bob: Absolutely, I’m on LinkedIn. So, Bob Tripathi, and if you’re more inclined than my company address is www.bobtripathi.com and yeah, we helped companies do this navigate this and achieve great results with a lead saying would love to be part of that.
Simon: Well, thank you so much again Bob and will then come to all of that in the show notes, so if people would like more information, they can go to contentkite.com and the search for this episode. the Bob thanks again and have a good day
Bob: You too Simon and thank you for having me, this was great, thank you for the business of glacier, thank you for your time.
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