Tracking Towards the Same Goal: 3 Tips for Better MarTech Implementation and Adoption by Both Sales and Marketing
Look, I know what you must be thinking: “Oh no, yet another blog post about Marketing and Sales misalignment … What more can be said on this topic?”. But even though there’s so much written and talked about when it comes to the age-old problem of Marketing and Sales not working closely together to achieve business objectives and drive more revenue, the problem is more relevant than ever. Go-to-market (GTM) team misalignment is a real money burner and efficiency killer in many organizations worldwide. According to LinkedIn’s Art of Winning report, $1 trillion dollars a year are lost due to Marketing and Sales misalignment (and we can only roughly guess how many hours are wasted because GTM teams are not on the same page).
So, there’s no surprise that many marketing and sales leaders across the globe are putting their thinking hats on and are spending a lot of time trying to tackle this issue head-on. Often, new shiny MarTech tools are thrown at the problem, but without successful adoption across different departments, the impact will be minimal. So how can different stakeholders work together to make sure the new tools, software and processes actually help GTM teams to achieve the main goal: more revenue?
Jat Hayer, SVP of EMEA Sales (TechTarget) and Andrew Milne, marketing thought leader and former Senior Director of Marketing (Secureworks) discussed this issue and potential solutions at length in their recent webinar Stop, Collaborate and Listen: Bringing Marketing and Sales Teams Together. Here are some of the key insights from their discussion.
#1 – Stop for a second and get the fundamentals right.
It can be quite challenging to be a tech marketer and seller in today’s market. You’re competing with hundreds – if not thousands – of other brands for your prospect’s attention, their limited budgets and a slice of market share. And every quarter you’re also tasked with delivering more leads and growing the pipeline to hit revenue targets. As the pressure mounts, you might be tempted to launch a new campaign and buy the latest and greatest MarTech tool in the hopes it will be the holy grail that solves all your woes. However, it’s not always the case.
Andrew says, “I think it’s really important to take a step back and understand what goal are we trying to achieve … How is this [solution] going to move the needle forward against my quarterly or annual goals … ? How am I going to measure success against this? What processes are going to really help set this up for success and make sure this is really smooth?”
Jat adds: “There’s so much pressure to buy the latest and greatest MarTech tools – regardless of your infrastructure, your processes or how your teams are set up. That’s why it’s so important to put the emphasis on fundamentals – and we see this basic, but important principle paying off with our most successful customers.”
The message is clear: Before you buy new tools or partner with yet another vendor, think about how the investment is going to fit within your current tech stack and processes, and how the solution will help you get closer to your revenue goals. On top of that, have an open conversation with your GTM leadership to see how your investment is going to help them achieve their goals.
#2 – Collaborate cross-functionally before you commit to buying new MarTech tools.
When implementing a new MarTech tool, careful attention should be paid to getting all stakeholders aligned so as to avoid major delays and disruptions in adoption. However, cross-functional collaboration is easier said than done – each department has its own goals and priorities that require their attention. Fail to communicate and align upfront, and it will be much harder to prove that your projects are actually going to help other GTM teams.
To avoid misalignment, delays and poor usage after a purchase, Andrew suggests involving and collaborating with the below teams cross-organizationally before you commit to buying any new tech:
- Start by involving your own team as early as possible in the process. If they are excited and sold on the idea, they will help you push the project forward with different stakeholders, especially if there are any roadblocks in the implementation or adoption journey.
- Then, work closely with your GTM leadership to understand how a MarTech solution can really help to solve a known issue for them specifically. Frame the discussion around the specific challenges a team is facing and how the solution can help resolve it. This will make leaders more receptive to adapting to the new tools and processes as their opinion, feedback and ideas were listened to early in the process.
- At the same time, don’t hesitate to involve your Marketing and Sales operation teams earlier rather than later. They can help you understand how the new solution is going to fit with your existing tech stack, and what it’s going to take to get to a successful rollout.
- You should also walk your finance team through the potential investment needed and what business problems the new tool is going to solve. As a rule of thumb, to get the finance team on board, try to speak their language by sharing data and insights to answer questions such as, “What’s going to be the business impact? What’s the yield on the return on investment?” It will showcase the need, importance and potential results affecting the bottom line.
Only once you have buy-in from cross-departmental stakeholders can you consider purchasing that new technology or onboarding a new vendor to help you achieve your revenue goals. Otherwise, your investment could be doomed to fail long before you get started.
#3 – Listen and find the common ground to drive adoption.
New tool adoption for GTM teams can be one of the biggest challenges as it requires changes in people’s behaviors – moving from a well-known process (which sometimes are flawed) to a different way of doing things. So even if you are well-aligned on goals and have buy-in from different teams, you still need to evolve how you support your teams to make sure your investment in the tool drives positive ROI.
Andrew says: “Adoption is the biggest challenge that we’ve had [when rolling out MarTech solutions]. To combat that with the sales team, we really need to speak their language. What does that mean? It’s hitting revenue goals – and that should be marketing’s goal and objective as well.”
So how should GTM leaders go about tackling this? Andrew suggests focusing on the use cases that are most relevant to the sales organization in order to create advocates for a newly implemented technology. This way, the tool is no longer viewed as yet another marketing idea taking sellers away from their main job. Rather, it’ll be seen as a pathway to generating more revenue.
Andrew shares specific examples of how his marketing team did just this. They appealed to the needs of their sales org when implementing a new vendor to fuel revenue generation activity.
- Use case: Increasing Sales efficiency through improved prioritization. From various discussions with leadership, it was clear to Andrew that his sales team needed help prioritizing the right accounts and prospects to go after. It should be no surprise that sales leadership wanted their reps to concentrate on the most in-market accounts to maximize revenue potential while minimizing the time spent chasing down dead-end leads. That’s where Andrew’s team saw an opportunity to utilize TechTarget’s intent data solution, Priority Engine, to help tackle this issue by providing real behavioral insights on which priority accounts were conducting research and who exactly was involved in the purchase process. This implementation of intent data helped fuel Secureworks’ territory planning, as well as helping sales reps prioritize their outreach to best-fit accounts showing the propensity to buy.
- Use case: Boosting the volume of relevant conversations. To support pipeline development and revenue growth, Andrew knew that the marketing team needed to help Sales get in touch with the right prospects while also helping them have better conversations with these potential buyers. With TechTarget’s intent data as a guiding force, they were able to go beyond sharing basic demographic information, such as job title, company and industry, and instead share deep, behavioral buying signals such as solution research patterns and the exact topics being researched. As a result, Sales was able to have more relevant conversations based on the exact challenges their prospects were facing.
- Use case: Accelerating open opportunities. Often, Marketing is tasked with hitting specific KPIs, such as delivering a set number of leads to the sellers, but, according to Andrew, marketing leaders have to look beyond top-of-the-funnel lead delivery and help Sales by providing extra value throughout the whole sales cycle. To help sellers with opportunities currently “in-flight,” Andrew’s marketing team utilized intent data to better understand accounts with open opportunities by mapping out the behavioral signals generated throughout the buyer’s journey. The result? These insights helped Sales better frame conversations and progress more opportunities further.
How TechTarget Can Help
Aligning GTM teams can be challenging – that’s why there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem. However, intent data, used by both marketing and sales departments, can be a connecting bridge, helping your organization find common ground while working towards the same goals. If you’d like to see how TechTarget’s first-party intent data can help achieve this, reach out to one of our representatives today.