B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 3 years ago

31: 6 Lessons One Expert Learned From B2B Marketing w/ Jeremy Langley

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

“Success is not a terribly good teacher.”

At least that’s what Jeremy Langley says.

We don’t often sit back and reflect on our successes.

But do we take the chance to look at our mistakes and learn from them.

That’s why Jeremy recently wrote an article sharing the six biggest lessons he’s learned as a B2B marketer. He recently came on the B2B Revenue Acceleration podcast to talk about those mistakes, and how to avoid some of them.

Jeremy is currently the Portfolio Chief Marketing Officer at The Marketing Centre, where he works with small-mid size tech business, to help accelerate their growth through strategy development and marketing. He has 20 years of experience in SaaS technology, mainly in commercial leadership roles, ranging from Managing Director to Chief Commercial Officer to CMO.

Here’s what he had to say about common mistakes we make as B2B Marketers.

You were listening to bb revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated to helping software executives stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. lets get into the show. Hi, welcome to be to be a revenue acceleration. My name is of any in with you and I'm here today with Jeremy Longley, bought for your chief marketing off yourself or the marketing center. How are you, Jeremy? I'm excellent. Thank you. Good. So today we will be talking about the six lessons you've learned in Bob Marketing, which is an ultiqual that you published recently. But before we go into details, can you please tell us a little bit more about yourself, as well as the marketing center and your rule within the organization? Sure so. My background. I've spent the last twenty years in Sass technology, mainly in commercial we leadership roles, and those are ranged from managing director roles chief commercial officer to CMO roles. So I don't come to marketing through a kind of classic marketing background, although that's where I now focus my portfolio career, certainly where I spent the majority of the last ten years. What I do now is I work with a number of small, midsize, usually tech businesses to help them accelerate their growth really through two things, which is sort of strategy development and then the Classic Marketing Mas so my experiences mainly in scale ups. Okay, so that's a time working to we help build a business from start up to rene of a hundred million in Europe, mostly private equity focused. And what all that means is that I see marketing from both sides. I've seen marketing from both sides as a customer running a hundry sales organization and also as a supplier of marketing services within an organization and having worked so closely with private equity for a long time, or more so, used to the demands of a guess, of a data hungry audience. Yes, yes, and I think you've been a I guess your article is transpiring that that experience and end the failure you've you owned the storms. What marketings mean from a see your perspectives here for perspective Ed of Selves, Perspective which is which make it interesting and a ...

...good Riad. And so through Your Marketing Journey I'm sure you've had mini lessons, mini successes, mini mistings that you've made. And obviously the article that you you wrought was about the six lessons that you've learned in BTP marketing, as I'm sure that had some of our audience. So they have not read that at de call. Would you mind sharing wizards? What other six lessons that you've learned in Bat of the marketing? Sure, and I won't go through them in any detail, but I'll give you the kind of headlines of each of them. And I think for me I've always leaded a success is not a terribly good teacher, right, so you don't tend to take the time to reflect on your success, where certainly I know I will take time to reflect some mistakes, and absolutely so. That's that's why I kind of think I have a wealth of them and I also think it's important marketing particular is a process of making mistakes and learning from when analyst, it's perspective. So the six lessons are mistake number one I've articulated as being asking your non barketing marketing boss, typically your chief exect, to define your role. And it's made. been there. Yeah, we do it. Were so grateful for the job sometimes that when somebody says, this is what I expected you. We we just ask how high, and that's I think that's where the problem starts. The state number two is taking every penny of budget you can get. So typically, as a marketing director, you feel happier when you've got a huge budget that when you have a medium or small budget. I'm not sure that's always the right approach. The state number three is not bringing your chief financial officer on board or your finance director, whoever you kind of your financial peer is, and somehow seeing them as being the enemy. The state number four, which I think we're going to talk about, which is nobody cares about your q hours. But state number five is the kind of handing off to sales mentality that you see a lot in markets who orient themselves primarily around them. Our Gem numbers six is marketing for the organization you think you should have, and that's really one that's consistent for me, which is you know you have a great marketing ideas, you're doing some amazing things, you're so pleased with yourself about the quality of what you do that actually you...

...forget that your channel to market is often through an organization who might not be your proaching at the same level you do, and so your marketing efforts will fall flat, and quite often we like to blame our ears and our colleagues for that, but the reality is that's always your fault. So those are the six mistakes. Okay it. That's quite interesting the way you look at it again, you know, coming back to the point of formulated, the earlier you speak about the CEO, the expectation, the CFO, which are probably the people at tend to an interesting relationship with marketing because we tend to see marketing professional as or did then, to see professional in marketing as a cust and making to spend money. So, but if we were to look at the six lessons that you've learned, on the six Miss Things that you've made and that you you you probably believe people are easily making at the moment or we're making the future, which one, for you, is the most common one? I think it's probably the stake number one, which is why I put it there, which is letting your non marketing buster to find your role. I'm not sure it's the worst one, but I think that we I don't think. I believe quite strongly that this perhaps is the difference re marketing leadership and marketing management. Marketing leaders role is extremely wide, but most marketing leaders are working for the chief EXECTU are really driven only by one thing, which is right. So you find yourself being pushed into defining a role just in terms of the stuff that can be strictly measured, which is the more generation. I think once you find yourself in that that's your job and we can argue that ultimately that is the job of boxing marketing direction, and ultimately is an important word. But once you find yourself in that bucket of being solely focused on the more generation, then it's very, very hard to get out of that. So the number one advice I give when I'm mentoring people who moving into market directors well is spend time at the beginning of your role, spend time when you meet in you to achieve executive telling them what you would talk what you believe. Your job is be fullish, as you as you know, as you absolutely yeah, I do like it. I do like it because it's it's almost like challenging the management and some of the the advice that you you put in the article about looking at Apis, are...

...looking at objectives, in a different way, speaking about system or retention, speaking about increasing average dual value, speaking about increasing convulsion rate, for people probably look at through like you are some sort of an alien, because that I won't Wagh, is that marketing gating and that they can request to increase convulsion rate from selves, and I think I think that's a good way to go about it, because when you challenge, usually that's when people start to listen to you and that's why you can stop to drive you on destined. So it's definitely insightful. So coming back to lessen number four, and you are right, this is the one that caught my attention when you mentioned that no one cares about you. I'm Q and that's a bit of a ball statement, but it would be great if you can just deliberate a little bit more on that point for audience. Yeah, I think we intuitively know this as market as we know that nobody cares, but I think there's a couple of challenges that make us overly focused on it. So, first of all, most senior marketers know that for most of their customers, whether that be an investor to if exact marketing is something of a dark art, and for that reason. It's the same reason that most chief exective you look at satisfaction surveys of marketing leaders. HMM, marketing leaders often are at the bottom of chief exact satisfaction ratings. Yeah, so chief exects have a fairly dim view of their marketing organization and their leader. And we know that there are some differences. There are some really awesome tooth execs and some fantastic marketers who are locked together, but for most marketing is a sort of necessary evil. Now, if you add to that background the fact that new marketing tools and channels have opened up the possibility of really in depth, detailed analytics and a great, far greater level of transparency around marketing, does and for me, those two things to go come together to form what what you could call a desperate geek and what I mean by that is that we are so desperate to prove our value and there are so many different analytics that we think, we hope help us to prove that value, that we basically throw it all on the...

...boardroom table in an attempt to prove our a amazing we are right now. This is our contribution. So what I've seen time and time again is marketing leaders who overwhelm. You look at a typical board report with data on the entire pipeline. You know they've got website stats, landing page performance, event attendance stats, tqls, aqls, eskils and so on. Yeah, because we just want it. It's like a sort of like a little dogs asking for attention and approval and in my experience the mql sort of is the ultimate representation of that few time efforts. Now, I'm not saying that marketing qualified leads aren't important. They are incredibly important. They really represent a critical stage of pipeline, of pipeline development. We know that they're that. Look that point of all, you delivering the qualified potential opportunities. What, however, you defind the MQ are. But until you're you know, my general view is until you are able to reliably demonstrate the correlation between your mql and booked revenue so that the MP number, MP our number, means something to an invest or, a chief Exag or, they can take an mql number and work out what it's likely to mean, I think you should just shut up about it. And I would say the same about a lot of marketing metrics. So the function of an m ql is a pre as as a predictive indicator of future sales success. That's what it does. And if you aren't able to demonstrate a correlation or a causation, ideally, between an MP well and how sales, at least how part of how sales is going to do within the next three, six, nine months, depending on how long your sale cycle is, then don't more bother. Absolutely so I guess the point that you are making here that you can. You can these guys them quer or. You don't need to speak about the M Cud which we need to speak about what happened after the end training, the lay fake, all of the your bomunity. So or where. We're cooking about you. We're looking about meetings, we're cooking about pay plane that were looking about for revenew. I'll do you get the attention because as marketing person, I think it's extremely difficult to speak about review because technically the riven you should be led. They said there couldn't be an argument that to contribution to buy plane, a cut...

...in person vision of the by plane should come from marketing in or of that. But before I devel up on that point, I'd like to get your floods and come off what you think for the needs or if you had to give a device to marketing director, I'm listening to us. When you think for ISM, they do must underblock table from your experiencing. Come off, Mitch weeks to because you still have to prove that try did ever bring something from the business right you do. So I'm going to swerve the question a little bit by saying that I think that the answer to that question sits around the boardroom table. So when you take on a new look, when you take on a new role, my advice is you talk to your chief Exec and the board members, as if that's relevant, about what they think matters, as two things I would suggest you do. So first we'll talk to them about what matters. And for a lot of chief exacts it easy meetings. Yeah, because no one likes to see a sales team that is a busy so maybe it's opportunities, maybe it's pipeline growth, maybe it's meetings, but but talk to your chief Exair can find out what they think is the number that they feel most closely correlates future sales success and what marketing does and and focus on that yeah. The second thing is I think one of the things that you could do, if you are going to stay focused on mqols, is to edge educate your fellow board members, are excepting members, on what you think and expected correlation between an Mpkey well and closed one revenue is, yeah, okay, so if we are doing well all this, not much empy well will deliver this much close one revenue based on this benchmark formula. So there's a value. There's a value. Therefore, benchmark data and okay, that's what data. But I think ultimately the answer that question sits with the chief executive. You know, what number do you think most close closely correlates? How do I take my pipeline analytics and and get as close as I can to the number that matters? You also say something that I probably would challenge, which is, you know, the idea that ultimately marketing, because it goes back to sort of my handoff point, that the idea that marketing deliver m quels and whether sales succeed or not is sort of up to sales. That's as an assumption that I would challenge and because at the...

...end of the day, you can't sit in front of a chief exact and say well, I did my bit, I did my empty wells, but they didn't close. Yeah, you are. You are just giving a Golden Bridge to my next question. So thank you very much for that, Jeremy. One of the deals are listen that that I did like androidre reading about in a in the article, is about marketing kind of thinking, or potentially thinking, of the job is done when the end of lead soul MP and to our serves team. Okay, so to your point and to the challenge way, it's so important that marketing also cares about custom like experience and what happened after in the sales process. I think all these things kind of fit together right. So if you're working in an organization that sees the role of marketing in a very narrow sense, then you already have a problem, and I think for me, the handoff is probably the symptom of tenzero other things that are problematic. Firstly, that the handoff question comes down to what's the purpose of marketing? Yeah, okay. For me the purpose of marketing is to build the product the the customer wants to buy. And if we accept that the product is the combination of the good or the service itself and the experience of buying it. The Role of marketing is to ensure that the business in its entirety delivers what customers want in a way that they want to buy it. Now that means that the role of marketing is kind of systemic, right. So you need to bring all of your knowledge about the customer, the market, your product and your competitors and the customer experience to produce something that business wants. So we're had it. Let's bring that back to the handoff, so that the handoff reinforces the idea that you only do a very narrow thing, which is you generate a qualified opportunities that sells then't go and close. But that's not the purpose of marketing leadership. The park of the personal marketing leadership is to understand the entire customer experience, the entire buying process all the way through. So the first reason why I'd say it's a bad idea to hand off is because you're missing a golden opportunity to understand how your business does the customer experience. The other reason I think that it's important that...

...you don't think about handoffs is because quite often what I've seen this marketing leaders who think that their job is to fill the funnel at the top of the funnel. Yeah, and that's often that's really hard. You know, the hardest leave it to drive growth is with new opportunities. One really good way of driving growth is through improving the conversion of opportunities that already in the file. Now, if you if you are focused entirely just on this idea of empty rousing and hand us, you're missing a massive opportunity for growth, which is about how are you optimizing the transit of opportunities through the entire Sun of what's the conversion rate, power, sales equipped etc. So for me the handoff is a divisive way of thinking about it and it what that leads to is that kind of conversation every marketing leader and every sales leader has ever had, which is either sales people are rubbish and there not closing my leads, or marketing is delivered unqualified opportunities that are not closable. So that that makes perfect sense. Can you share with the success stories of companies a marketing team that that have done just that? And I'll do you go about it as well, because once it goes to the self said, of the of the business to keep an eye on things. I would do you. What do the techniques are? which is good recurrent, I'll do you work with a sells team to just keep an eye on things and old things are progressing. So I think the first thing is that you need the sales to read to know that you're on their side. Yeah. Yeah, and you need to know, you need the sales directed to know that you're never going to throw them under the bus and that you part of your role is to ensure that he or she is as wealthy and successful as possible. Yeah, so my job is to make you successful. Yeah, the way that I do that is by understanding the entire sales cycle and looking for opportunities. That's called the marginal games, throughout the entire sales cycle to optimize the conversion of the opportunity. I do that by really focusing on the customer. Okay, so I think that's the first place you start. The second place you then you start his measurement. Yeah, so you have your analytics and the third place you actually do is to shock the experience yourself. Yeah, that's why you follow...

...your own leads through you you shot the experience yourself and you understand what it's like and you continue looking for all those small gains through the funnel. And I think where I seek, where have I seen that work really well? So I can't think of a particular because I don't understand this story. What's behind the scenes in every organization shown and I appreciate that. I appreciate but what I do see is that the brands that do really well are in B to be in particular, are those that understand that their job isn't just to sell a product, it's two mating customers great at what they do. Yeah, so all the way through the sale cycle you don't two things. You're making the process fast and Frich and less and you're making the process as high value for your prospects of prospects as possible. So get on all with sales, use analytics, understand the conversion from sales stage to sale stage, shop the customer experience yourself and and look for Tenzero, tiny marginal gains to optimize that customer, that customer journey. Okay, well, thanks for a Jeremy. I really appreciate to your playmen and Insad under on the question that they had for you to then and going to the details of the the at equal you wrote. So if any of fallogens would like to get in touch with you, connect with you, speak to you, meet with you, what's the best way to get to at of Jeremy Loy linked SA. I'm always happing to talk to fellow Morkss, so love to talk to that because you know, we can collaborate and aggregate all the mistakes we've made and hopefully might mess of them. So if anyone does want to talk concept me on linked in, I'd love it. Feel free to say yeah, I would encourage anyone who's listening to us to find you on Linkedin, find that that's equal age. You wrote about the six lesson that you've leving me to be marketing and read it. It's a good rate many things. Once again, Jeremy, was great to have younger show today. Thank you. Right 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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