Interview Tips, Part 1 - Land your dream job
Great interview tips to help you prepare for your dream career.
Jeff Marcoux | Vice President of Prodcut Strategy & Marketing, TTEC, GreenFig Instructor
In my career, I have seen good sales enablement, and poor sales enablement, the difference in results are evident as is the quality of the relationship between sales & marketing. What is interesting is that great sales enablement can be distilled down to just a few simple focus areas, what I have termed the 5 + 1 strategy.
1. Sales & Marketing Alignment
Most of the issues that come up between sales and marketing are due to misalignment. Misalignment on what is a good lead, when a lead is ready to convert and be worked by sales, when the hand off between sales and marketing occur, etc. It is critical that marketing and sales work through the lead scoring methodology, definitions and what truly makes a lead good vs. bad and what it is ready to be worked by sales. All too often for the sake of efficiency and speed, marketing will go into a vacuum and set all of these rules up by themselves independent of sales...don’t be one of those marketers.
Ensure your sales leaders are at the table helping you to ensure alignment. Several additive elements I have used to help with this are utilizing our account-based intelligence to become more data-driven, and using a fit score based on a positive and negative set, along with intent and surge data, both can help to ensure you’re not just working from opinions but rather, a data-driven approach.
2. Setting your SLAs
The second key to a successful sales enablement strategy is ensuring timely follow-up by all parties. One of the biggest frustrations a marketer can have is to deliver an amazing qualified lead based on all the criteria agreed to in #1, only to have it sit there for days, weeks, months. This is even more critical if you are utilizing intent and surge data given that active data is showing you there is an opportunity with the lead. Working together with sales leadership to define these follow-up times, agreeing on what activity will be logged in your CRM, and most importantly, what happens if a sales rep does not meet the agreed upon SLAs.
1) Qualified out and the reason why it’s documented so that fit models can be refined accordingly.
2) Lead will be worked by the sales executive.
3) Sales executive identifies that while a great account, the lead will need to be more developed over time.
Sometimes there is a 4th option that comes into play. This happens when a sales executive does not have time to work with the lead due to current deals in flight and some of the work they are doing with legal and other departments to close those active deals, so we simply assign the lead to another sales executive.
The last part here is to answer the question of what happens if the SLA is not met. My favorite answer here is to use a rolling escalation reminder. First a reminder to the rep within 1 hr of missing the initial deadline, then after a set window a reminder to them and their manager, then them and their skip level, and eventually going to senior executives. While not a fan of a stick methodology like this, it is effective. This all does depend on your company culture, but regardless you need to define and set up SLAs to ensure that leads are followed up with.
3. Moving beyond fluffy metrics
One of the reasons that sales and marketing often are at odds, is due to how they are measured. Traditionally sales are measured by closed-won deals, actual dollars that impact the company while marketing is measured on, what I like to call, fluffy metrics like opens, clicks, engagement, likes, and if your lucky number of AQL and MQL leads. To have solid alignment between sales and marketing is important, it is critical that the marketing team is on the hook for closed-won revenue and has the ability to track from lead to revenue. What is the % target of closed-won that you want attributable to your marketing and demand generation teams? Be a revenue marketer, not a fluff and stuff one.
4. Make your Sales Team Look Good
This one is a softer strategy, but the elements are just as important as 1-3. It is marketing’s job to ensure that sales shows up with the right assets for the deal, including, an aligned persona and buyers journey that is appropriate for the opportunity and the meeting that the sales executive is going into. Do they have the right deck, right demo, right competitive intelligence, etc. Make sure your team is going in there with a winning plan and a confident mindset vs. hoping for a hail mary of a deal.
5. Feedback Loops
Setting up a feedback loop is the last of the core sales enablement strategy This is because without some feedback mechanism you get the same old thinking and the same old results. I recommend a blended approach to establish your feedback loops, a mix of data-driven and anecdotal inputs. From an analytics perspective, looking at the pipeline stage duration, conversion rate and asset utilization is important for marketing to ensure everything they are putting forward is being used and impacting pipeline velocity or conversion rate.
The second part of the feedback loop comes from interviewing and surveying your sales teams on what they need, what is working, and what isn’t. I set up a monthly meeting with my sales leadership team where they bring feedback from their teams and share input across product, marketing, and demand generation through an open and candid dialogue. Having the mix of verbal feedback and analytics is key because it helps to round out the picture, making sure you know that your time spent is effective.
Executing on these 5 elements will ensure that you have a successful sales enablement program and solid alignment between the teams. So if that list above seems like a lot of work to do based on where you are, go get started, but if you want to add in that +1, that extra bit of magic, keep reading.
Sales teams are under immense pressure to hit numbers on a quarterly, semi-annual, and annual basis. I like to hold back a little funding and work with the sales leaders in a region or product line that is behind and work directly with them to inject a bit more love where they are weak. This can come in the form of new leads, focused pipeline close activities, or other elements you agree upon with the sales leader. Doing this helps to show them that you are invested in their success and want to help them when they are behind. It is a great way to reach across the aisle and have a great relationship with your sales team.
So that is it, the 5 + 1 Strategy that can take your sales enablement and alignment to the next level. What am I missing? Do you agree with these or disagree?
Great interview tips to help you prepare for your dream career.
GreenFig instructors Sue Hay and Jerine Erice recently taught classes in Marketo, Salesforce and analytics to our lifelong learners in Digital Marketing Science. We share their blog that underscores the value of a well-examined lead management process and provides actionable steps to optimize marketing strategy and increase ROI. Read and learn! Resolved to improve your sales and marketing effectiveness this year? Lead management might be the answer. A good lead management process starts with defining potential customers (or leads) and taking them on an educational and nurturing journey based on their buying persona before ultimately being passed on to the sales team. Lead management measures, tracks and reports on this customer acquisition process, from the first point of contact to the closing of the sale. This allows sales and marketing to work in tandem, with the ultimate goal of increasing conversion rates and ROI while shortening the duration of the process. This process is arguably the most important aspect of marketing. But according to DemandWave’s 2017 State of Digital Marketing Report, many marketers still find that obtaining high-quality leads is their number one challenge. Why do marketers continue struggle with this, and what can you do about it? Here are four lead management tactics that you can adopt now for a more robust lead marketing strategy and better-optimized sales funnel in 2018. 1. Get Sales and Marketing Aligned The alignment of sales and marketing is critical to lay the foundation for an effective lead management process. This ensures that the company as a whole is working toward a similar goal. The responsibility of increasing ROI becomes the responsibility of both teams. This alignment, especially in the case of B2B companies, shortens the sales cycle and makes it more efficient. In order to achieve this alignment, both teams needs to be on the same page -- aware of their responsibilities, as well as the intricacies of the process itself. Call a meeting to go over your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and the lead management process. Make sure everyone knows the different stages a lead goes through as well as the proper way to handle a quality lead. Some key journey points to remember include Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), which is based off of lead scoring, Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) and Sales Accepted Lead (SAL), which are identified after a meeting occurs and the lead progresses through the sales cycle. Here is a helpful checklist to get you started. 2. Analyze the Lead Journey Once a lead is created and enters the process, the lead journey is analyzed over time. Tracking can be done through a CRM platform like Salesforce.com, SugerCRM, Hubspot CRM, social media analytical tools and email marketing analytics. Salesforce is one of the major Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools to document and keep track of important information. Through Salesforce, marketers are able to take a well-rounded look at their business and manage relationships with the partners and other strategic alliances, existing customers and prospects. With tracking, you learn that lead’s process and behavior. This knowledge proves valuable when developing content and tactics to use during the lead management process. Even if these leads have been passed off to the sales team, they are still important to track. Through monitoring, you can measure sales performance, and calculate marketing and sales ROI. This information is key because it allows you to learn how expensive each lead is and the proper steps to take in order to get more quality leads while reducing cost. You are able to analyze your marketing efforts as a whole, and make any necessary adjustments to save time and money while increasing revenue. 3. Score Your Leads Next, it is crucial to score your leads with lead scoring tools built into platforms like Marketo or Hubspot. Through scoring, you are able to determine not only the lead’s interest in you, but your interest in them as well. This allows the sales team to only spend time on leads that matter since higher scoring leads are more likely to convert. To have an effective lead scoring system, it is important to look at the lead’s persona, level of engagement and timing. 4. Nurture Your Leads Last but not least, it’s important to nurture high scoring leads before passing them to the sales team. According to DemandGen, leads who are nurtured with targeted content produce a 20 percent increase in sales opportunities. It is important to determine the unique preferences of your leads. What drives their attention? From there, you can create targeted content that is relevant and valuable to them. Some of the most effective targeted content includes email nurture campaigns, promotional offers and call-to-action content. For more information on GreenFig’s upcoming courses taught by industry leaders like Jerine and Sue, check us out at www.greenfig.net.
Marketing Language Understanding Have you ever traveled to another country and found the language barrier a challenge for even the simplest things like asking where the bathroom is or what time the bus is coming? The same can be said of the digital marketing world – it’s like being in a foreign country if you don’t understand the language. As a student new to digital marketing I was naive to think I would be capable of quickly understanding and engaging in the dialogue of my instructors and classmates – it’s just marketing-speak, right, how hard can it be? Much to my dismay (and with a subtle hit to my ego) the pre-class chatter seemed almost completely foreign to me with acronyms such as: PPC, CTR, CPC, MQL, and SQL being used as casually as LOL or even hello – I was a bit lost. This brief scare was resolved when class started and we began by deciphering this new language of acronyms and how they related to digital marketing. The instructors understood that this was going to be a barrier for most (if not all) of us in the class and made sure to tackle it right off the bat.