B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 3 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 readanue acceleration, a podcast dedicated to helping software executive stay on the cutting edgeof sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, welcome to be. To be a really new acceleration. My name isOhnim 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 drivinggrowths 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 bitmore about yourself, your role and also your company, Needle Pie? Sureso, as as tree strategy officer to Little Pie, I guess in simpleterms you can say my role really centers on helping companies do great things withmarketing 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 businessobjectives and the outcomes that they want from their investment. It's easy to getdistracted with the technology and not really think about what you're trying to do aSein sumilar. Companies really go down that path of thinking too much about technologywithout a clear definition or what doing. So my role is really to insertin a company and look around and ask a lot of questions and try tounderstand what do you got and what are you trying to do? And asfar as my background, I'm I'm very well suited at this because I havea background at crosses technology marketing, leadership and product marketing. So I cansee the big texture right on down in the wheels of being in the technologyI'm in using these technologies. I don't just just talk about it and there'sno way that I could do what I do if I didn't spend a lotof time in the products and working with them. I feel lucky to dowhat I do. I really like it. My work or some of the bestminds in the business, both on the client side and with the Foxthat 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 ofthat time and we're doing quite well. We're doing something right. We justgot 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, aspart of the topic today, we know that the the lack of salts andmarketing alignment is not a new topic in the industry and it can be attributedto many different things. But the what I really want to discuss with youtoday is around metrics and KPIS. Do you believe that sells and marketing resultsshould 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 youthink this meeting should be? It's good question, so I guess I wouldstart from the point of view that you know, sales and market alignment isan old topic and some many people who probably call out a lifetime achievement awardif you can actually pull it off and sustain it. I have seen infirsthand that the keys to the universe for alignment really are metrics, and itisn't just sales and marketing. I mean, if you think about it, anentire business is supposed to be about delivering results and if you can't measurethose results. You know, what are you doing? It's just that salesand 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 thatyou 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 keyfun so which ones? Interestingly, I would say that the best metrics arethe ones that sales and marketing executives all the way up to the CEO,actually agree on, understand and stick with. So, in other words, itmatters less like which metrics you choose, but it matters much more that everyonebelieves in them, they act on them, they they have a constructivedialog around them. So it matters most...

...that you get to that point andwhich, exactly which metrics you choose. Okay, so you get to bullyabout, do the defront of functions. Said, marketing management, one ofmy taking a response to being seen, what do we achieve? Agreeing onwhat do we achieve? But looking at the numbells of that sort of engagementat any shakes think. Okay, he's my thought of the process. That'swhat 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 movingin the traditional model of I have to go engage people, individuals, andhave to convert those individuals into, you know, dollars by way of engagingthem. And I got to go get people and I got to go makethem 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 tothe point where there have a large deal size and they realize that it's Morereabout occasion account let's. So that's a very different way of looking at theworld 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 individualsspace that sere's people don't talk to accounts, they talk to people who belong toit. And so, if you think about it, these companies haveto 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 goesfrom the executive say I want to understand attribution and the marketing team goes offand they instruct the world around attribution rather than attribution model, and then thebusiness 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 aboutthe presence in the source the same way. Absolutely, but do completely agree withyou. Actually, we what we tend to see ourself in the market. We tend to see that we kind of come as the glue between cellsand marketing. Is that maybe a little bit of a metaphor here, butthat's kind of who we are. We come and bridge that gap between cellsand marketing and often the dollars come from marketing. However, most of ourinteraction 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 theconversation or before you even start working on a specific project of whatever the typeof project or whatever the the end goal is to actually get cells and marketingin the same room and just tell them what what we are about to door 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 everybodyagrees, you almost have that sort of I would almost culle it like anSLA. Well, there is an agreement of what we are doing and youcan documented and always go back to it. But I think for us it's reallyimportant because often what we could see, or what we have seen in thepast, is we get an engagement with the marketing team, we havethe dollars and then we end up delivering something for the cells team that isnot really what they want. So you end up having difficulties in actually provingyour value because you've got, I guess, a receiver that may not between inclineor not fully happy to engage with you. So so I completely agreewith with what you're saying and I think it's extremely important to have those discussionearly on and at the outset of any programs to make sure that everybody ison 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 thatthat common goal. So that's that's makes sense to me. In your recentarticle about but marketing at analytics, you...

...mentioned that the view from the topof the organization, I believe you mentioned CEO, ball of directors, etc. Is often that cells, and I'm putting you here, cells, drivesrevenue and marketing drives up costs. Okay, so that's quite able statements and Iwill 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 itmakes me. makes me smile because I think you kind of get its puton in term of interm what people think. But what I would like to understandbetter is your point of view on what do you believe marketing professional shouldor can do to change that scenario and avoid being seen as a concent butwell being seen as an investment. Yeah, that's a really good question. SoI'm only kind of reflect for a moment on the both statement that Imade in that article. You know, it really is about it's really speakingto the spirit of the relationship that I've seen, I mean as a VPmarketingsm for many years. You know, I've been in the room and I'vebeen 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 whatam I getting for it? Fair question. So that statement is really a reflectionto reality for marketers that they are on the hook to explain and reallydefend, 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 ofcoming to the table is in the defensive position really sets everything off onan unhealthy dialog that really centers on marketers. They end up thinking first about howI going to defend myself, you know, and instead of thinking howam I going to go and when market share today, and I see thisall the time and I don't I don't blame the marketers for getting into thisposition. It happens. So every day is a new day to figure outhow 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 energyand effort that a person or team spend on solving that problem. Insteadof 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 isreally the center on this problem. Face it, there is no bigger roomin the world than room for improvement when it comes marketing, which is aninteresting statement when you get down to it. Going back to how does this conversationget off on the wrong footing? The SMART CEOS, they want toknow that their marketing team is the people and the process and the technology toalways understand what works and what doesn't so they can always do better. Inother words, instead of demanding that the marketing team coming to the table andshow 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 methat you have a method and a process that I understand and believe in toconstantly be testing intoing better, because if they do have the end resolve willtake care of itself because they'll use the data and the information to just alwaysdo better. So to me it's still comes down to it's a mindshift atthe top. It really at some point the executives need to sit down andI 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 thepoint where some of those people go on to become revenant. It's really afundamental, basic conversation about marketings role, how to talk about marketing and howwe're going to how we understand marketing to always be doing better. And whatdoes that look like? Yeah, do you feel that there is a problemof perception? Is Coming from impatients? Because, from my perspective, andanother said to you, you know, sells drive a new marketing drive driveup cost we is something that may have, may have come out of my moutha couple of time or something that was comes through my mind a fewtimes 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 resultsor impatience of seeing those engagement and I'm glad that I've been working with witha marketing team that has been dealing with me, managing me in managing thatin 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 arespeaking about us now when we're engaging. We know we we went to anevent. So that's that's probably one of the best example that I can giveyou about the results of marketing from my perspective. We went to an eventin May this year, so a few months back, and we sat downand I was with my with my marketing manager at the time. We satdown with three prospects. Two of them were CEOS of their companies and obviouslywe 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 somany people talking to us in a positive way about you that we don't reallywe don't really have an issue about what you do as a business and thequality 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 waslike, wow, okay, that's two out of three. That's, youknow, sixty six percent run right this morning, of people who are basicallytalking about a brand and we never really had that before, or never reallyfelt that way before. That's why you just and you know those. That'sone examples, but there is much more of those things that have happened tome 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 inin patience? So is it? Is it the fine that you've got ceusthat are a bit more of a financial view on things, or why wouldyou attribute that, that sort of mindset to? Yeah, so it's areally point in patience is you know what's the root of patience? Is alack of clearing, understanding or expectations are said, and so you know themore than marketing and talk about and help to see you out. Executives reallystart to understand the stuff, kind of dancing in an area that there isa point of which these are it is have to understand at a deeper levelwhat marketing is, what it's about. The marketing people do marketing because that'sa 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 helpthe 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'smissed 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 commitmentto get people the table stand what should they expect coming out the back ofit? Sure, guess. On the stem to Bikeab you see things progressingfrom market tells. You say he's getting better, he's getting wealth, Iguess. To my point is the question that I'm trying to twist, becausedo you see at see you all over time, evolving towards embracing more ofthe investment that they're making into marketing, or do you think it's a regressionof all time? I mean the answer is it course, a lot ofthese 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 arehappening that have to be raised here on this point. One is just thesheer massive technologies, but it are available right in the conversation in this turningmore 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 theconversation has gotten much heavier, and so that's changed things. On the otherhand, the other pieces committed picture is is attribution. A few years agopeople didn't really talk about attribution and now it's something that's pretty well understood andtalked about it in a lot of different ways, and so these things havecrept into the conversation. where it used to be how many new names doyou get? Did you get? Today it's more about they're more open andmore capable at the exact level of talking about technologies and talking about engagement andtalking about attribution. So that is something that's changed. What isn't changing fastenough 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 tobe, and what is the plan to get to Roli from these things andwhat is our I look like? So it depends. I see some CEOSand 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 disthat. So it really depends. The other most the almost fitted the SASseven faithful or Demockt Doelles. That the listening twist today is something that youshould be mindful during the interview process. Make sure that you you meet withthe top and make sure as you cannot discuss what would be the what whatsuccess 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 doyou measure marketing? And was in the answer and then see how open theyare 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 marketingautomation tools. There are many tools in the market that are great to WELPmarketing 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 earlyon in the conversation, to fall under the spell of vendors showing beautiful chartsgraph 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 thatthey are making if everything sings, tends, etc. Etc. What do youbelieve is key for companies to look at when they are choosing that toolsto measure the performance? Yeah, even the way that that question is phrasemakes me think a lot of that. So that kind of puts the toolsat the center of the conversation and really what you want is people be thinkingabout 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 wouldserve they get many, many of them. And what you realize that today isthat the affordability and breath of the technology available to the marketer is juststaggering, the staggering, and even small to meetum size company can get thesetools that are so sophisticated, and they can, if they're good and they'resmart, they can engage market the global scale, even a small company andthey can outrun a big company they're more agile. So the affordability and availabilityand sophistication these tools is has changed the game framatically. What, as hesaid, there's a lot of them. So here's here's what happens. Companiesof any size, big or small, can literally gorge on this stuff toan access to the point where they're almost choking on it. Mart I canreally dazzle, but it can also overwhelm. So what's underneath this is and Ilive 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 thatcovers resources, requirements, timeline, benefits...

...and kind of back to the questionyou asked earlier, it's like, well, what are why are people in ahurry to get the results? You know, these technologies aren't necessarily easyto build a mind. Yeah, so, yeah, as you said, welive 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 themare. Are unbelievably good. And so what does that mean? It meansthat now more than ever, you need smart people and a plan to getto the value and the challenges that you know, companies race off to Buyotechnology 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 thesame old problems around forever are still here. Technologies don't stand themselves up and youdon't figure themselves and they don't deliver our I. Without people doing somethingand having a plan. But worst thing you could do is go buy thesetools 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 morebecoming a collection of applications where they're kind of at the center. And thenwhen you do that, you have all these applications and all these data thatare passing across between one another, and that means there's Apis that are beingcalled and back and forth and on goes. You better be smart about how you'reconsuming apis with all these applications being looked up, because the minute somethinggoes down, everything can go down, and so I'm the big point onthis is Eyes Wide Open. If you think that these technologies are a simpleand so orsonable. A lot of it's are on, you know, supposedto be complicated. Have Plan, know what you're getting and know why you'regetting it, and tellinement on that. Absolutely, absolutely. I mean quick, quick story that I would share with you from my side experience. Recentlyand based on the response you just you just you just provided here, Iwent to a meeting. It was actually not too far away from where youleave I was. I was in Redwood City and I met with with acompany of Great Company and our client now, but I was sure, prize thatprobably they are so gone. Question to me. So we know welike to question people first. So I went through my question to understand wherethey are and what they do, Exetra, etc. And Open up to theirquestion 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 astack that we use for every single clients. Now, based on what you do, based on what you need, based on the type of prospect youwant to go after, based on the type of marketing you are doing wasbased on the type of activity you want to do and based on what youwant to achieve. We can suggest the technology style that will again, andas you mentioned, the APA thing is is very important. So if youI can move almost click within what you've got already, someone that will justfit, 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 thatI buy is inside and it just spitting prospects or opportunities or deals. Youyou have to as you said rightly, and a really, really a bigadvocate of that, you need to have people behind the machine. You stillneed to be able to qualify that that individual, and I guess to mypoint 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 needat some point to touch Hu meantors at the end to do the first stepin the qualification and bring that to the next steps. But I agree withyou in the sense that, and as part of what you are you've beenwriting 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 oftechnology, and having technology means that is...

...better. I think technlogy means thatyou are doing a good stuff and yes, they are great technologies, but technologiesshould be there to improve the efficiency of individual they should be there toprovide more intelligence. From all perspective, they should be used wisely. SoI definitely shall your thoughts on the topic. Now we always ask a question atthe end of each of the podcast and it's about how can we getold 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, orthey may want to discuss with you directly, pick your brain up around some specifictopic. 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'sPi all one word and the same domain as my email. It's just myfirst name, so tom at disittle Piecom, and I'm welcome any feedback or anyquestions to engage on. This topic is near and dear to my heartand I've really enjoyed speaking with you on this topic today. Well, itwas great having you today and thank you very much for sharing old, oldthe stories, your swords you'll experience with us. I also had a greattime, so thank you very much for all time them. Absolutely operatics hasredefined the meaning of revenue generation for technology companies worldwide. While the traditional conceptsof building and managing inside sales teams inhouse has existed for many years, companiesare struggling with a lack of focus, agility and scale required in today's fastand complex world of enterprise technology sales. See How operatics can help your companyaccelerate 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 favoritepodcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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