B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 4 years ago

16: Driving Growth by Aligning Sales and Marketing Metrics w/ Tom Grubb


When’s the last time your marketing and sales teams sat in the same room?

Do they know each other’s objectives?  Are they contributing directly to the other side’s success?

Tom Grubb is the Chief Strategy Officer at Digital Pi where his role centers helping companies do great things with marketing technologies. He specializes in getting decision makers to think about the outcomes and objectives of their marketing investments.

Executives can often get distracted with shiny pieces of new marketing technology, and Tom has seen countless examples of companies focused on the “best” technology rather than the actual end goals they are looking to accomplish.

While working with clients, Tom asks a lot of questions.  His background makes him well suited for his job because he has a long history of working in the technology, marketing leadership, and product marketing spaces.  He can see the big picture, the little details and he understands the overall technology landscape.

As a veteran marketer, Tom understands just how important it is to have aligned metrics for sales and marketing.  It’s more important than the metrics themselves! In this episode of B2B Revenue Acceleration, we spoke to Tom about how to align key metrics, viewing marketing in a different light, and choosing the right tech stack.

You're listening to be to be read anue acceleration, a podcast dedicated to helping software executive stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, welcome to be. To be a really new acceleration. My name is Ohnim with you and I'm here today with Tom. Grew up from gitl Pie. Are You doing today themb? I'm doing great. Thanks for having me, no problem at all. So I'll discussion today. Thumb is about driving growths by aligning cells and marketing metrics. Before we get into the conversation, before we get into the detail, can you please stell us a little bit more about yourself, your role and also your company, Needle Pie? Sure so, as as tree strategy officer to Little Pie, I guess in simple terms you can say my role really centers on helping companies do great things with marketing technologies. I mean, that's really the end game. In practice, with that means is it's really getting decision makers to think first about the business objectives and the outcomes that they want from their investment. It's easy to get distracted with the technology and not really think about what you're trying to do a Sein sumilar. Companies really go down that path of thinking too much about technology without a clear definition or what doing. So my role is really to insert in a company and look around and ask a lot of questions and try to understand what do you got and what are you trying to do? And as far as my background, I'm I'm very well suited at this because I have a background at crosses technology marketing, leadership and product marketing. So I can see the big texture right on down in the wheels of being in the technology I'm in using these technologies. I don't just just talk about it and there's no way that I could do what I do if I didn't spend a lot of time in the products and working with them. I feel lucky to do what I do. I really like it. My work or some of the best minds in the business, both on the client side and with the Fox that are in our company. And the last words our company, Usital Pie. We've been around for about six years. I've been on board for most of that time and we're doing quite well. We're doing something right. We just got named to the in Fivezero tact is growing private companies list. Well, thanks for the introduction to and that's that's very useful. So, as part of the topic today, we know that the the lack of salts and marketing alignment is not a new topic in the industry and it can be attributed to many different things. But the what I really want to discuss with you today is around metrics and KPIS. Do you believe that sells and marketing results should be should be measured by the same metrics from courage alignment between the teams? Oh, if yes, what would be useful to one of stone is, what do you think the metric that should be used or what do you think this meeting should be? It's good question, so I guess I would start from the point of view that you know, sales and market alignment is an old topic and some many people who probably call out a lifetime achievement award if you can actually pull it off and sustain it. I have seen in firsthand that the keys to the universe for alignment really are metrics, and it isn't just sales and marketing. I mean, if you think about it, an entire business is supposed to be about delivering results and if you can't measure those results. You know, what are you doing? It's just that sales and marketing are really, you know, one of the Lynch pins, right, that's the engine of growth, and so to me it's absolutely fundamental that you get these analytics right and into their rightful place for this to occur. Yeah, I absolutely know for a fact that these analytics are are the key fun so which ones? Interestingly, I would say that the best metrics are the ones that sales and marketing executives all the way up to the CEO, actually agree on, understand and stick with. So, in other words, it matters less like which metrics you choose, but it matters much more that everyone believes in them, they act on them, they they have a constructive dialog around them. So it matters most...

...that you get to that point and which, exactly which metrics you choose. Okay, so you get to bully about, do the defront of functions. Said, marketing management, one of my taking a response to being seen, what do we achieve? Agreeing on what do we achieve? But looking at the numbells of that sort of engagement at any shakes think. Okay, he's my thought of the process. That's what you are saying it is, and I can give you an example. This fresh on my mind. Take a company that has been growing and moving in the traditional model of I have to go engage people, individuals, and have to convert those individuals into, you know, dollars by way of engaging them. And I got to go get people and I got to go make them do things and moving further through the funnel. That's the traditional model. But then a company, thinking of a couple in particular, they come to the point where there have a large deal size and they realize that it's Morere about occasion account let's. So that's a very different way of looking at the world and you can't just throw away the old view start with a new one. You in that case, you have to both continue to engage people's individuals space that sere's people don't talk to accounts, they talk to people who belong to it. And so, if you think about it, these companies have to stop and recognize that they need to recalibrate how they talk about marketing. And I've seen this play out, this exact scenario where the company suddenly goes from the executive say I want to understand attribution and the marketing team goes off and they instruct the world around attribution rather than attribution model, and then the business moves forward and they come back and it's well, that was good, but now you need to tell us how you're engaging account so, regardless, they have to move together down that path and to be able to talk about the presence in the source the same way. Absolutely, but do completely agree with you. Actually, we what we tend to see ourself in the market. We tend to see that we kind of come as the glue between cells and marketing. Is that maybe a little bit of a metaphor here, but that's kind of who we are. We come and bridge that gap between cells and marketing and often the dollars come from marketing. However, most of our interaction on a daily basis will be with the cells team and what we've realized. We realize that it's really important at the at the early stage of the conversation or before you even start working on a specific project of whatever the type of project or whatever the the end goal is to actually get cells and marketing in the same room and just tell them what what we are about to do or the ideas that we've got the responsibility that we will take in the process, the responsibility that marketing will tell that cells will take, and if everybody agrees, you almost have that sort of I would almost culle it like an SLA. Well, there is an agreement of what we are doing and you can documented and always go back to it. But I think for us it's really important because often what we could see, or what we have seen in the past, is we get an engagement with the marketing team, we have the dollars and then we end up delivering something for the cells team that is not really what they want. So you end up having difficulties in actually proving your value because you've got, I guess, a receiver that may not between incline or not fully happy to engage with you. So so I completely agree with with what you're saying and I think it's extremely important to have those discussion early on and at the outset of any programs to make sure that everybody is on the same way of Lens and everybody's is trying to achieve the same goals, as well as understand very clearly what their role responsibilities are in achieving that that common goal. So that's that's makes sense to me. In your recent article about but marketing at analytics, you...

...mentioned that the view from the top of the organization, I believe you mentioned CEO, ball of directors, etc. Is often that cells, and I'm putting you here, cells, drives revenue and marketing drives up costs. Okay, so that's quite able statements and I will be honest with you, a statement of use myself in the past. Maybe not in that but that's you know, that's the reason why it makes me. makes me smile because I think you kind of get its put on in term of interm what people think. But what I would like to understand better is your point of view on what do you believe marketing professional should or can do to change that scenario and avoid being seen as a concent but well being seen as an investment. Yeah, that's a really good question. So I'm only kind of reflect for a moment on the both statement that I made in that article. You know, it really is about it's really speaking to the spirit of the relationship that I've seen, I mean as a VP marketingsm for many years. You know, I've been in the room and I've been in that position of what you done for me lately and it's coming. It's coming from a place. So I'm giving you all this money and what am I getting for it? Fair question. So that statement is really a reflection to reality for marketers that they are on the hook to explain and really defend, and I took that word defend on purpose, their marketing results. And this is the word of the problem. The reality is that that position of coming to the table is in the defensive position really sets everything off on an unhealthy dialog that really centers on marketers. They end up thinking first about how I going to defend myself, you know, and instead of thinking how am I going to go and when market share today, and I see this all the time and I don't I don't blame the marketers for getting into this position. It happens. So every day is a new day to figure out how to how to keep your job and present data that it makes that case. But it comes at a huge cost, because think of the time and energy and effort that a person or team spend on solving that problem. Instead of solving the problem, I'm going to go just keep blood in the market. And so what do you do? You know, this whole conversation is really the center on this problem. Face it, there is no bigger room in the world than room for improvement when it comes marketing, which is an interesting statement when you get down to it. Going back to how does this conversation get off on the wrong footing? The SMART CEOS, they want to know that their marketing team is the people and the process and the technology to always understand what works and what doesn't so they can always do better. In other words, instead of demanding that the marketing team coming to the table and show me what you've done and defend your position every day in every way, that that will happen naturally if they come at it and say just show me that you have a method and a process that I understand and believe in to constantly be testing intoing better, because if they do have the end resolve will take care of itself because they'll use the data and the information to just always do better. So to me it's still comes down to it's a mindshift at the top. It really at some point the executives need to sit down and I have a pretty direct conversation about what do you really want from marketing? Right marketing generally doesn't create revenue. Marketing gets people, engages them to the point where some of those people go on to become revenant. It's really a fundamental, basic conversation about marketings role, how to talk about marketing and how we're going to how we understand marketing to always be doing better. And what does that look like? Yeah, do you feel that there is a problem of perception? Is Coming from impatients? Because, from my perspective, and another said to you, you know, sells drive a new marketing drive drive up cost we is something that may have, may have come out of my mouth a couple of time or something that was comes through my mind a few times in the past and account I'm guilty...

...of that and I think for me, from my perspective, it was it was maybe around impatience of seeing results or impatience of seeing those engagement and I'm glad that I've been working with with a marketing team that has been dealing with me, managing me in managing that in patience up to the point where actually I can start, you know, and almost educate myself about, okay, this is the way it's working, this is what we're getting. Okay, now I get it now people are speaking about us now when we're engaging. We know we we went to an event. So that's that's probably one of the best example that I can give you about the results of marketing from my perspective. We went to an event in May this year, so a few months back, and we sat down and I was with my with my marketing manager at the time. We sat down with three prospects. Two of them were CEOS of their companies and obviously we wanted to speak about operatics and the first statements that both of them made, and I will rephrase a little bit, but basically they told us, well, we've got so many good stuff about you, we have had so many people talking to us in a positive way about you that we don't really we don't really have an issue about what you do as a business and the quality of your services. The issue we've got is can we afford your services? HMM. For me that was the moment who are realize. I was like, wow, okay, that's two out of three. That's, you know, sixty six percent run right this morning, of people who are basically talking about a brand and we never really had that before, or never really felt that way before. That's why you just and you know those. That's one examples, but there is much more of those things that have happened to me or conversation that happened. But I guess for me was really the impatient. So would you put that in the same category? Would you put in in patience? So is it? Is it the fine that you've got ceus that are a bit more of a financial view on things, or why would you attribute that, that sort of mindset to? Yeah, so it's a really point in patience is you know what's the root of patience? Is a lack of clearing, understanding or expectations are said, and so you know the more than marketing and talk about and help to see you out. Executives really start to understand the stuff, kind of dancing in an area that there is a point of which these are it is have to understand at a deeper level what marketing is, what it's about. The marketing people do marketing because that's a skill and domain that they're good at, and we're a lot of marketers fails, are not very good. Having a plan and deliberate actions to help the executives really understand this stuff in the open and honest clear about it. So they're in patient. It means either their expectations were never sad or somebody's missed out trying to get them really see clearly what they're trying to do. So it's an event. Have you said clear goals and which your outcomes are? If people understand that before you do it, it's true of all that. So the meaning when I hear in patients it's a lack of time commitment to get people the table stand what should they expect coming out the back of it? Sure, guess. On the stem to Bikeab you see things progressing from market tells. You say he's getting better, he's getting wealth, I guess. To my point is the question that I'm trying to twist, because do you see at see you all over time, evolving towards embracing more of the investment that they're making into marketing, or do you think it's a regression of all time? I mean the answer is it course, a lot of these it depends on who you're talking about in a case by case spaces. If you try to trend it, I think a couple of things that are happening that have to be raised here on this point. One is just the sheer massive technologies, but it are available right in the conversation in this turning more and more a CEOS, especially in...

...the tech business, you know, think about these technologies and talk about them and certain expectations like to have that. So that's crept into the conversation. It's now the technology part of the conversation has gotten much heavier, and so that's changed things. On the other hand, the other pieces committed picture is is attribution. A few years ago people didn't really talk about attribution and now it's something that's pretty well understood and talked about it in a lot of different ways, and so these things have crept into the conversation. where it used to be how many new names do you get? Did you get? Today it's more about they're more open and more capable at the exact level of talking about technologies and talking about engagement and talking about attribution. So that is something that's changed. What isn't changing fast enough is a deliberate process or method, whatever you want to call it, for all parties to agree on. So what what are these things going to be, and what is the plan to get to Roli from these things and what is our I look like? So it depends. I see some CEOS and some companies where it's a healthy, productive conversation of all the right things. I see others that are far, far away and as a massive dis that. So it really depends. The other most the almost fitted the SAS seven faithful or Demockt Doelles. That the listening twist today is something that you should be mindful during the interview process. Make sure that you you meet with the top and make sure as you cannot discuss what would be the what what success means? I guess in a way, very much so, very much so. And I would add a question in my father it's like how do you measure marketing? And was in the answer and then see how open they are there. Maybe it's are of course to we think it. Yeah, absolutely so. My last point with you to day the would be around marketing automation tools. There are many tools in the market that are great to WELP marketing sells team to keep truck truck of metric to make them more productive, to drive results, but it's probably quite easy, as you mentioned actually early on in the conversation, to fall under the spell of vendors showing beautiful charts graph with the promise that you can you can achieve the same in your organization. So we speak about the technology stack and the beautiful the beautiful statement that they are making if everything sings, tends, etc. Etc. What do you believe is key for companies to look at when they are choosing that tools to measure the performance? Yeah, even the way that that question is phrase makes me think a lot of that. So that kind of puts the tools at the center of the conversation and really what you want is people be thinking about what's the business product trying to solve. So you know from where I sit, I give my hands into all these technologies because all these companies would serve they get many, many of them. And what you realize that today is that the affordability and breath of the technology available to the marketer is just staggering, the staggering, and even small to meetum size company can get these tools that are so sophisticated, and they can, if they're good and they're smart, they can engage market the global scale, even a small company and they can outrun a big company they're more agile. So the affordability and availability and sophistication these tools is has changed the game framatically. What, as he said, there's a lot of them. So here's here's what happens. Companies of any size, big or small, can literally gorge on this stuff to an access to the point where they're almost choking on it. Mart I can really dazzle, but it can also overwhelm. So what's underneath this is and I live in to it earlier on, is that the big mistake is. You know, you don't go out and shopping for technology without a plan that covers resources, requirements, timeline, benefits...

...and kind of back to the question you asked earlier, it's like, well, what are why are people in a hurry to get the results? You know, these technologies aren't necessarily easy to build a mind. Yeah, so, yeah, as you said, we live in the era of marketing stats, kind of a Mashup these techno alogies. They're supposed to all work together for a greater purpose. And, as I said, these technologies are ridiculously good. I mean most of them are. Are unbelievably good. And so what does that mean? It means that now more than ever, you need smart people and a plan to get to the value and the challenges that you know, companies race off to Buyo technology and they don't have a plan, and I will tell you this. I mean I go back to technology for a long time and some ways the same old problems around forever are still here. Technologies don't stand themselves up and you don't figure themselves and they don't deliver our I. Without people doing something and having a plan. But worst thing you could do is go buy these tools and just think that I'm just going to turn it on in an hour. I'm the results quite the opposite. Are you one good example? So, Marquetto, that's a platform that we work in, is more and more becoming a collection of applications where they're kind of at the center. And then when you do that, you have all these applications and all these data that are passing across between one another, and that means there's Apis that are being called and back and forth and on goes. You better be smart about how you're consuming apis with all these applications being looked up, because the minute something goes down, everything can go down, and so I'm the big point on this is Eyes Wide Open. If you think that these technologies are a simple and so orsonable. A lot of it's are on, you know, supposed to be complicated. Have Plan, know what you're getting and know why you're getting it, and tellinement on that. Absolutely, absolutely. I mean quick, quick story that I would share with you from my side experience. Recently and based on the response you just you just you just provided here, I went to a meeting. It was actually not too far away from where you leave I was. I was in Redwood City and I met with with a company of Great Company and our client now, but I was sure, prize that probably they are so gone. Question to me. So we know we like to question people first. So I went through my question to understand where they are and what they do, Exetra, etc. And Open up to their question and they're so gone. Question to me was what's your technology stack? And I was like, Oh, we've got to take we've got technologies, but we don't have a stuck. It's not just it's not just a stack that we use for every single clients. Now, based on what you do, based on what you need, based on the type of prospect you want to go after, based on the type of marketing you are doing was based on the type of activity you want to do and based on what you want to achieve. We can suggest the technology style that will again, and as you mentioned, the APA thing is is very important. So if you I can move almost click within what you've got already, someone that will just fit, we need to find it's like cogs. They need to work together. It's not just that we've got something fantastic running then you just put that I buy is inside and it just spitting prospects or opportunities or deals. You you have to as you said rightly, and a really, really a big advocate of that, you need to have people behind the machine. You still need to be able to qualify that that individual, and I guess to my point that I was making to them is like you could have the best technology, Stech, and you could have the best technology, you will still need at some point to touch Hu meantors at the end to do the first step in the qualification and bring that to the next steps. But I agree with you in the sense that, and as part of what you are you've been writing in your article that there is a big driving people want to consume technology. Seems that they want it's almost like bulimia. They want a lot of technology, and having technology means that is...

...better. I think technlogy means that you are doing a good stuff and yes, they are great technologies, but technologies should be there to improve the efficiency of individual they should be there to provide more intelligence. From all perspective, they should be used wisely. So I definitely shall your thoughts on the topic. Now we always ask a question at the end of each of the podcast and it's about how can we get old of you? So some of our listener may want to engage with you. is are because they want to speak to someone that digital Pi, or they may want to discuss with you directly, pick your brain up around some specific topic. And so what's the best way to get ord of few? So that's pretty easy for the company. Our website is digital piecom. That's Pi all one word and the same domain as my email. It's just my first name, so tom at disittle Piecom, and I'm welcome any feedback or any questions to engage on. This topic is near and dear to my heart and I've really enjoyed speaking with you on this topic today. Well, it was great having you today and thank you very much for sharing old, old the stories, your swords you'll experience with us. I also had a great time, so thank you very much for all time them. Absolutely operatics has redefined the meaning of revenue generation for technology companies worldwide. While the traditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams inhouse has existed for many years, companies are struggling with a lack of focus, agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprise technology sales. See How operatics can help your company accelerate pipeline at operatics dotnet. You've been listening to be tob revenue acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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