B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 2 years ago

85. How to Align Sales & Marketing w/ Andy Culligan


Whose fault is it when sales & marketing aren’t aligned?

Not sales… not marketing…

100% of the time, it’s leadership.

In this episode, we interview Andy Culligan, CMO at Leadfeeder, about how to align sales and marketing.

We talked about: Sales & marketing don’t talk because their leaders don’t talk, the role of the CEO, CMO, CRO, and CFO in creating alignment, and 4 steps to creating the alignment you desperately need.

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

You were listening to bb revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executives stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, welcome to be to be able of a new acceleration. My name is Eli and with Ken and yet today with Andy, could again TMO at lit FIDO. How are you today? Had done well, done well, my how are you? I'm very good. Thank you, very good. And our discussion today will be about out align sales and marketing. The sensitive to pick, isn't it? Absolutely? Absolutely, and you are CMO. So we'll see if you if you get any if you take any party or if you if you you know, you should get a meet in the middle. We will discuss as in a minute. But before we go into a conversation, can you preasy introduce yourself in a little bit more details, as well as your company, Leado? Yeah, no worries. So, as you mentioned, my name is Andy Colligan. I'm an Irishman living in Vienna, because I've been living in Austria for for eleven years now. So my main focus is connecting the doctor train sales and marketing teams. That's typically what I do. That's something that I specialize in and that's why it was interesting lead fleer for me to come on board as well. So I'll be a lead feeder and air for since December of last year, so I'm coming into my eighth month. And what I typically do is is a line all the marketing efforts back into the sales efforts, which will start talking about. And a couple of minutes when we're talking about a line between sales and marketing works, my background is actually in sales. So I find in that if there's there are some marketers that to start with it with the background in sales and that those that have spoken to have really benefited when trying to align sales and marketing teams, to have understood what's happening over the other side of the fence. Yeah, and typically a lot of market is just got straight into marketing after doing a marketing degree. So my background is I did a marketing degree, I went straight into an str roll, did str work for nearly two years. Like every other str have my hopes and downs. Want to shoot myself in the face some days because it's so difficult, whereas other days you know completely on top of the world because you manage to get so many connects. It's a real total job, you know. Then I've been an account management then I've I've specialized in it. So after after being in sales and I went to specialize again in marketing, more focusing on email marketing systems and in the early days of the email so myself and a colleague actually build an email marketing system that we used in order to sell. So it was like there was always a sales sales element to it. And then I then became a champion at a company from Marquetto so then I'll really learn the ropes around marketing automation. Then digital marketing came on board, as well as offline marketing events and so on. So I started working like across a mia in a marketing role, and then after that I went into the tech industry, and in the Tech Industry I've been sort of lead generation to my generation focus now for the past seven eight years. So that's my backings. dolting your carrol sixty years ago, you're getting so fresh. If you wanted to know what I took, I've done all types of jobs. I like it remember Jim memberships on the street on commission in December in Ireland. One and GERALDS per gym membership only being paid on commission in December in the rain in Dublin. We wasn't sis. I'm interested membership, though, absolutely absolutely. But yeah, I like so I've done every time of my job at lead. feeded out, like yea said, what we do and leave you know. So I leave here. We we recognize the visitors that are coming to your side. So typically, mouse companies will only convert. When I say convert, people come to a website, fill out a form, give you their details. Only two percent of your visitors will actually do that typically, right, some companies are converting a three percent. You're doing a great job, right, but still, though, that still means out of every hundred people that are coming to your site you're only really getting the details of three of them. If we doing a fantastic job. So leave, father. What we do is we feel the gap there. So, right, we recognize the rest of the traffic as well as the traffic that's converted. With the rest of the traffic that's coming. What pages they've been looking at, how long they've been on the side for? How many people from that...

...specific company of Com and what you can do with that information as a company is really see those high intent leads. So companies which are coming to your side, which are interacting with a lot of content, which maybe haven't been filling out form so you haven't recognized too they are which you still see. Hey, this company has been looking at my pricing page, they've been looking at XYZ product pages. I can I can then drill into where that company or where that that visitor is from, so you can really understand, okay, the specific location and then you drill into the user personas from that specific oak is that you typically sell to, and then do your average is the sales person to them. So we really show that first party data, high intent data, so data the two on which I was intent purchase from you, and that's what we do. So really a tool of prioritization for the SDL. So yourself starting from Abcdini, or is you just going to go into people have looked at your website? That maybe the better position to buy you at least of an interest or Yourster for sure. Yeah, exactly. Perfect. Well, thanks for that. In this so marketing and cells alignment. Right. So all was an interesting to pick. As we mentioned, everybody speaks about it. Sounds like a cant base marketing and all that, but only if you organization get it right. Okay, and I think it depends on lots of things. Personally, Abe, you know, personalities can get involved, flash of personality, size of the organization, but also the leadership. I think the leadership can also bridge the gaps and times between cells and marketing, which it many times you are keeps or just simply not aligned with each other. So it makes things very difficult. But in your in your opinion, why is it so important to to other alignment between certain marketing and where are people failing in making it walk? Okay, so they need to start with the why. So the why as US just mentioned. So the most important reason why is because if you don't have a line of between Partos, ors are going to go off and do two different things. So it's inefficient. Actually it's an efficient to be nonaligned between sales and marketing, to have mess alignment. And so what will what will typically happen is, and this is a this is the thing which I see quite a bit across organizations, is that sales will say, I'm just going to ignore the leads that are coming in from marketing, because the shit anyway. You know, you hear that. You hear that. Also, adults market leads of Shit. They're not qualified, they're not coll company. I'm not that interested. Last week anywhere, the good for the rest of us be bad, exactly, exactly. So I think there needs to be like this says so simple, like simple rule set between marketing and says is like just a communication allowing on that. So, yes, I understand it from a sales perspective, where they say, Hey, the leads that I'm getting in are and aren't good quality. Right. My typical response to this is as a marketer, I said, well, what's the percentage of leads that I'm giving to you out of all the leasers you're getting from a marketing team? Whilst the percentage which are bad, and that typical, like what I've had in the past, is I'll hear, like, you know, like all, probably like thirty five, forty percent of the leaves that I get are just crap, and I say that is fantastic news, because I expect sixty percent of the leads so you get that you should be getting should be crap. So, like typically like. It's like it's known across like a benchmarks you should be focusing on. is like sixty percent of stuff you're probably going to end up in sales cues aren't stuff that you're going to be able to use. My fit into a right industry in might fight injury is ISP but it may not be like or ICP, it may not be ready to buy, there might be many reasons, may not be the right person, whatever it might be, and sixty percent of those we will never convert, whereas forty percent it's stuff that the sales team can probably move forward with. But you're always going to remember as a sales person or as a person generally. Human beings will always remember the crap that you've gone you always remember, Hey, you know this level. I got this in last week, can ID. That was terrible, but I also but I also got three other ones in up a brilliant I'm not gonna remember the billion once. Im going to remember the crappy because that's a human traits. That's just how it is. You know happen. So and what's the expectations in them of qualification? Because that's the as a thing. I mean sometimes we and need and I appreciate there is a...

...spectrum here. Okay, so I think I believe that you know, based on on knowing you guys at leat feeder and all that, I would expect yourself cycles to be already least swift, smooth and shot. People is I want it or don't want it. You are not really intrusive. You can get plug a plug and play. You don't cut tens of thousand amounts of maintenance of whatever, custophernership and all that. So you you must have a pretty straightforward, pretty quick, pretty cell cycle with lots of velocity basically, and people, maybe you know, qualifying in or qualifying out. But then you've got the use of spectrum of people will sal multimillion dollar deals and stuff like that. Well, obviously it's probably butch even more difficult to produce leads in the sense of the leads and the opportunity. So I'll do that walk in them of qualification. From your perspective, you think there is a sliding scale? Do you think the expectation of selves should change based on, you know, if they are my count manager always twenty accounts of will sister Sen spells, so that he's managing a batch of five cells and the accounts for me? Yeah, for sure, for sure. So, like I come from both worlds. Prior to my time at lead feed or I've been in that space of enterprise or or Perrid market to enterprise sales. So when we first met or anything like, I would be working at a company. Yeah, I working at a company College Bonia and a Exponia. We were focused on on working with like the biggest retailers across across the globe and sell them in the marketing up exactly really top sales, long sale cycles. So you could be anywhere nine to twelve month sale cycles. With the bigger retailers you'd be talking about eighteen to twenty four month sale cycles. Average deal size you're probably like with the smaller, like let's say mid market size retailers, you're talking about a minimum of like a hundred k a year. And then I did did the larger size, you're looking up to sort of million dollar per year contracts. So for the enterprise size retailers. So like the there will be variations. They're like what I tried to do, or what we tried to do during that time was just try to simplify it as much as possible. So, like you asked me if there was some form of lead qualification that we like. That that like. That change is based on if it's enterprise or not. Like you're always going to have some level of automated qualification, okay, which is going to help you, like, sift through immediate warning signs that quality is poor. Okay. So you can use various tools for that. You can do you can use the data ending tools such as built with or e data source or a number of different tools which will basically tell you, hey, things like are people that have just down something from us or interacted with us, are they using a competitor technology to what we offer? So, during my days back at Exponia, what we would look at, Hey, are they using a Marsis? So, they using sales force marketing clouded? They using Adobe Marketing Cloud? Are they using something that's a competitor technology tools? If they were, then that will be a first sign to say this is interesting. Second sign would be would have to beat down a human torch, and that's where an SDR comes in. You're going to have to have some level of human interaction on leads from an str and. If you, if you try to automate everything, you will for sure start having like really leaky final and I'll end up not fight, not being able to follow up on leads account because of leads to fall true gaps basic. So you need to probably have the way that we did. It was that we had like the SDRs reported into marketing, which first of all we're talking about marketing and sales alignment. That works really well for me. It took up a huge amount of my time managing an str team, because the str team are super difficult to manage and they're all very young and they all don't want to be strs. But with that, though, it allowed me to make sure that anything that my marketing guys were bringing in was immediately getting looked up by the SDRs because I could control that fire process. Make sense now the strs they were like because when I first started that they weren't getting...

...that many leads and then my focus is truly generation, I started pumpany leads at them, too many leads to them to handle almost right and then we started to have to bring in further qualification. But the one thing, if you ask about qualification, is if you're selling an enterprise sales. You need to make sure there's one level of automated qualification. My opinion on lead scoring is it's fine, but don't depend on your lead scoring model because typically, let's say, for example, let's say for that's say, for example, somebody's going into an RFP and they're doing the research and you happen to be one of the smaller vendors in the market and they end up falling onto your website and they end up looking at a couple of things down Ala a couple of ebooks during the research, but they haven't been doing much stuff up until then and they're rushing to get everything in place for an RP. You may miss out if you put them into a lead scoring things to say that they'll only get contacted when they get over at threshold so many points, for example, righty, things like that. So, like, I wouldn't be bead scoring is fine. I had a boss in the past, though, at a marcist that told me if I ever mentioned lead scoring to mcguinny, fire me. Who didn't use we didn't use lead scoring. So I I think, like my advice would be if you're selling to that to that upper or sort of enterprise level sales, you need to have a couple of layers, so automatic layer in any human layer. Qualification str's then to be almost like hungry dogs and and and like to be given a couple of bonds in terms of good qualities, but they're still going to have to sift through some level of, you know, unqualified storere but that's always going to be part of the job. Always. Sure, yeah, that makes sense. That makes sense. So coming back to the alignment. So if there is no alignment between sales and marketing, what would you say? is to blame leadership on percent, one hundred percent of a time, marketing and sale don't talk to one another because marketing and sales leaders, I'll talk to one other. Oh, you mean, so he suddenly lead a sheep? A buon didn't. So you do it, says, we be a CFO or CEO. It would be. You would yet really do the CMO and this cro technically nut. I'm giving with it. They're they're not on the same page. So it starts. So my experience would be it starts off with a with a mutual agreement. It starts on going to meet you in the GRAEM between marketing and sales with the very top. So what would happen is you sit in the board room and you'd look at your you look at your targets for the corresponding year and sales and marketing should say whoever's running the sales or, let's say this, the chief revenue officer, and then whoever's are in the marketing or the SEMOL would sit down together and say, okay, we're creating the targets together for next year and this is how much I'm going to help your guys populate the pipeline with. And that for me in the past has been, you know, Journey Exponi. At times it was like I sat down with you, who was the VP sales, and I was a PPM marketing, and we would decide on a number and based on you know, this is the number that we need to grow by next year, which means we need to open up this amount of pipeline. Marketing can help contribute towards a pipeline, whether or not it's this much or this which depends on whether or not I take on the the STR team. Then we came up with a very simple attribution model, very very simple to say whether or not we would say something has been created by marketing ourselves, when by an opportunity. So what we would do is, every week we'd go and look at every single new business opportunity which was created, understand the lead up to that opportunity actually being created and then understand if it was actually sales self generated or if it was something to do with marketing or the str group on that from an inbent perspective or an outland perspective, and then, based on that, we had some very top level percentage. For example, when I was use it, when I had the SDR team, I would promise back to you say I'm going to deliver seventy percent of your pipeline. Yeah, because the SDR team should be booking meetings with those target accounts and we, from a marketing respective, should also be doing our marketing campaigns towards those accounts. So we did an account past marketing initiative as well. So what we would do is then we'd make sure that betwitch points in each of those accounts. Then we'd have...

...a discussion myself and you like we're not talking about a tails and opportunities a week, we're talking about maybe forty. Look into each those opportunities say, okay, that came in because it was an x xyzd e book download plus an str follow up, plus SD arbitruity, retaate a, not a camp for x. Why xyzed amount of time, and you could say, okay, what we're doing from the marketing and and SDR S it is working. Therefore, this is populating into your sales team's pipelines. Yeah, makes sense. So, speaking about the is Theyah, would you believe is the rule in the Indus Citizen Marketing Alignment? And also, would you think this should a report? Two sells a market team? So that's that's a good question. So in terms of how important their role is, I think they're role generally is like it's a really important role within any organization because they are the next line of attack when it comes to lead generation. So, like marketing will do their job and bring it in the league. Then the SDR is the one that's really you know, it's up to them to really get it up to the next level in terms of getting into a meeting book. Without ask our teams, you're going to have a lot of account executive sitting on their hands when not a know times booked in their Colendar to speaker prospects. So I think from that perspective they're the ASDR team is really important. From there, from the alignment perspective, how do SDRs fuel that alignment? Well, they're the ones that they're sort of like the middleman between the the marketing team and the account executives. So if you have that, typically in the business that you just mentioned, in enterprise sales, you'd have an SDR team whichould be populated the calendars of the of the of the account exacutims. Me If we know. We don't quite have that. Like we we just have one layer. Do just you know, marketing stuff goes directly to sales, then sales to direct outreach. That's it. Because it's quicker velocity, as you mentioned, and another longer sales cycles. You're going to have to have str's there in the middle. Asdrs will take the stuff that the marketing team are bringing in. They'll work is created up to the next level, next level being a meeting books for example, and then that will then go across over to account executives. Okay, so something's not working there in the middle of the SDR team. The stuff that the marketing team are bringing in isn't going to necessarily work right. Or from the AE's perspective, the account executive perspective, they're looking at stuff that's coming in from marketing. It's be hall over the SCR team. It's not converting into meetings. So the AE's are thinking, what the hell of the marketing team doing? They're not. They're not populating my cup, my pipeline, you know. So like in terms of in terms of how important the str role is in the line a piece, massively important. In there's of who they should report into. It depends on who has, you know, did the patients and time to get them up to that level. Like I think if you look at it from that perspective, what I the way that I just mentioned. But I'm also biased. I think it's a good idea to have them report into marketing because the say, if somebody is on top of the sales or chief revenue officer, they're not going to have a good overview of the stuff that's coming in from the INBENT perspective and they don't really care. They just want to see the stuff turn into pipe and and turn into revenue. That's what they should be concerned about. That's why chief marketing officers there to make sure that Lee Jen is work and the man Jin's working, all their outbound stuff is working, etc. Etc. So you like you've got that piece to know, hey, if I'm bringing it leads that they getting the follow up right, I've got an overview of that as a CMO. If they're not getting followed up, but I see it right. On top of that, you also want to control the message. So typically, like one of the one of the pain points that I've had in the past is if you don't have good alignment between marketing and sales, what happens in sales that create their own message, which doesn't necessary arely fit inline with what marketers want to say about the company right now. There's many reasons why that could be, like why that's happening, but one of the reasons that I've seen in the past is because they think, okay, I don't agree with the marketing message and therefore I'm going to go off my own tangent and therefore I'm going to sell a different product to what I think what what the actual product is right. What happens then is you have this like chain of events. Further than the line that you may be not able to deliver what's being promised and that it causes issues across a number of different teams from from customer success to consultants to exact or etc.

Whatever. Well, how many laryers you're having your company after the sale happens? So it's like almost you know, if an SDRs is creating their own messaging and promises on that the product can't deliver, it has, you know, major side effects them. Bit Further on the forum. Yeah, and what about the rule of ceosfos in the India, alignment between selves and marketing? You think they can play? They can play. Your roared you, you know, from the recruitment to to the engagement sitting of the rules of engagement. But was supposed the responsibility team making shade. There is no break on the bridge between a between Bost function. So let's start with the CEO. Like I think from a CEO was respective. Yeah, they need to hire the right people to do it. So, like if you're looking for advice for CEOS that are hiring a Cemol because typically you'll have a chief revenue officer there already before you hire cmol or. You'll have somebody that's managing the revenue side of things before you go to the Chief Marketing Officer Direction, and a couple of things I'd look out for would be, does that person have experience in sales themselves? Do they understand the pain points from the sales ORC yeah, you know, what are their typical KPIS? Things like it's. So do they do they understand what the KPIS of the sales organization are, and how well do they aligned their efforts towards what the sales organization you're doing? So if it like it's as you would offer or you'd ask somebody in a sales interview to give you a three thousand and sixty nine to day plan, you should also ask the same of a specific marketer to do that, to do the exact same and also look out for for signs like in the early stage, is, is that person asking you about your revenue targets for the year? Is Are they are they interested in understanding how well marketing or delivering back towards those revenue targets right now? What are those numbers looking like? You know what what what's the tipic like questions that they could ask? Is What your typical sales cycle? Are we talking about sixty nine two days? What are we talking about here? Is it a sixmonth sales cycle? Like typical questions that you would be asked of within an interview from when you're hiring a sales role. Typically that would be good initial signs that that marketer has been aligning themselves to the sales organization before in the past. As well as that, you should be asking them about their relationship with the current head of sales, wherever they are. So how? So one typical question would be how often you speak put the other head of sales and what are you guys talking about? As I mentioned, it doesn't need to be rocket science, but it needs to be a pipeline review of every opened new business. This opportunity from x amount of time and having like a pipeline council almost to understand where the pipeline is coming from and how can they double down to get more of that type of pipeline in right so so things like that. You could see that that if they if they are having those conversations, like they could say. The reason why I say ask them what are the discussing on that particular cause because people can lie and say, Oh, yeah, speak with the head of sales all the time. But then okay, so what are you guys talking about? where? We're speaking about where opportunities are sourcing from and whether those opportunities can be attributed to marketing our sales and getting feedback in the sales organ tires of watts work and what isn't working ex yeah, and so like. So from a CEO's perspective, the hiring is the most important part because typically Cemil will have to report to the CEO. Just look out for those signs in terms of are they actually well aligned to to a sales or from like an ongoing perspective, management perspective, I think CEO should always make sure that amongst the troops that everything is going well right, and a CEO will see within the revenue side of things if things are moving in the right direction or not right like they like. If things are growing, then you can be pretty sure that the CRO and the Cemo were working well together. If things are not growing, then there's an issue somewhere you need to go investigate. But I don't think the CEO needs to be holding hands between the crow and the CMO. It needs to be filled within them to go and do it themselves. Yeah, the FO, see, if I was important and in the way that CFO will be, will be,...

...will and should be involved in any discussions around revenue growth and how much it costs to get to that revenue growth, because marketing are going going to go out and spend and you're going to have three people in bomb that conversation. You're going to have the chief revenue officer, who's, you know, main target is obviously revenue growth, the CMO, who's whose main target should be aligned to that revenue growth, and then both of those guys are going to be going and speaking with the CFL saying how much money they need to get there and tivity. The marketer will need money for programs. It's some head count. The curl will need money for headcount. Yeah, and both of them are working together to say, okay, CR says, okay, we need to grow by let's say five percent per month. Therefore I need to hire this amount of people. Then the CML says, okay, in order for to grow but a five perfercent per month, then what we need to do is bring in x mental leads in order for to get those ex mental leads me to make the investments here here and here. Here's how much the investment's going to be. Does that mean that our customer requisition costs are going to be okay, conversations going back and forth between curl and see semo and then when you get that plan together, you typically going to the CFO and the schools in those plans together and he'll say okay or she'll say, okay, we have border to do that. We need to go for another rundom investment, whatever it might be. Well, some the C if I would work in that type of capacity and a sort of advisory capacity in terms of if it will work from a money perspective to hit the targets the CMO and the CROOR setting. Okay, make sense, that makes perfect sense. Well, it's it's it's sort of of in say. So thank you very much and yes, of fault for the audience to take away today. If anyone, if anyone's story, wants to get in touch with you as to any fells or question, although on a bit more about lead, be the I'll just want to have a check because you was the best way to connect in the so best way to get lead fears. Leafiercom. You sign up for free try. We've got two week free trial there. All you need to do is this, add a small snipper code to to the head or your size, and then you're going to go your truck and leads are coming to your size. Yeah, may personally, if you want to reach out to me directly, the best place to get me on Linkedin. So if I me Andy Colligan, so that's Andy with a why, and then see you lll ign and and yeah, just feel free to reach outs. I know be having to have a conversation. I'm very accomomic doing so. So that's great. Thank you very much for your thing today. What it was an absolute pleasure fully on the Showandi. Thanks mate. 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 BEDB 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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