Aligning your sales and marketing operations is a huge challenge in its own right. Factor in the technical murky waters of your growth stack and it’s easy to see how your processes, systems and metrics can become misaligned.
Earlier this month, we held a webinar featuring experts in marketing and sales operations. Our panelists from Bizible, Bedrock Data, InsightSquared and New Breed offered a wealth of actionable insight into how they’re working to align sales and marketing operations around their growth stack. We highly suggest listening to the webinar in full. But if time is short, we’ve pulled several expert hacks you can leverage in your sales and marketing ops alignment.
What should your growth stack look like?
The short answer — it’ll look a bit different for every company. In general, a tech stack that’s optimized for growth will include an MA platform (i.e. HubSpot), a CRM (i.e. Salesforce), and several marketing and sales enablement tools (i.e InsightSquared and Bedrock Data).
During our webinar, Dave Rigotti, VP of marketing at Bizible, shared the growth stack he currently uses across Bizible’s sales and marketing teams.
Marketing stack: The focus of this tech is on data collection, automation and reporting
- Marketo — marketing automation
- Salesforce — to track performance metrics
- Datanyze — data appending
- Salesloft — sales automation co-owned with sales team
Sales stack: The focus of this tech is on the data
- Salesforce — CRM
- Salesloft — sales automation
- InsightSquared — reporting
But remember, before adding any platform to your growth stack you first need to identify your reporting goals. With those established, you can then look to build your growth stack around tech solutions that’ll help solve each reporting need. Too often the opposite approach is taken and teams are then forced to spend time patching together processes across platforms that might not even be the best solution to achieve their reporting needs.
Once your growth stack is in the works, the next step is to establish processes your teams will use throughout each platform. You need to create alignment between how marketing information gets handed off to sales, how it’s processed in the CRM, and how it’s then handed back to marketing to generate reports. This will look a little different for everyone, but treat the integration of data as a user itself and ensure required fields are being referenced correctly throughout your stack.
The best operations teams are the ones who can access the right level of information in a clean and actionable way. Spending some time to establish these mechanisms will go a long way toward creating a culture of accountability to the data in your organization.
You'll need full team buy in
Establishing highly functional processes across your growth stack is only half the battle. The real challenge will come from getting consistent buy in from your teams. After all, processes are only worthwhile if people stick to them!
Our first hack, and this comes from Dave at Bizible, is to align both your marketing and sales teams around one goal. Ideally, you'll establish that goal near the end of the funnel — think contribution to pipeline or revenue. As both teams worked toward that single goal, Dave noticed they frequently made better decisions with more clarity than they would have done if their agendas were disjointed.
Evan Robinson, director of sales ops at InsightSquared, shared that he too aligns both teams around revenue. One of the hacks he uses to ensure they stick to process is exception reporting. Evan’s exception reporting flags opportunities within the CRM that have fields outside of an average range. He can then use this report to show examples of poor execution and encourage change in behavior across his teams.
What should your marketing and sales ops team look like?
The first thing to consider is whether you have the resources and expertise to keep your ops teams in-house, or if you’ll need to look into outsourcing some of those roles. If going the internal route, work to align your marketing and sales teams toward a centralized function. Here at New Breed, we’ve aligned our operations functions under one Revenue Ops team.
This alignment process can be lengthy. Dave from Bizible shared that, for the time being, it’s possible for your current team members to each hold a sliver of the operations roles. Each member of Dave’s team is an expert in reporting and can effectively show how their efforts are driving revenue. Though they each own separate processes, there is a strategy across teams that works from the single set of KPIs backward.
How to measure the success of your teams
Sales success is easier to measure because it can be viewed with metrics that are close to where the team exists in the funnel — deals closed, pipeline inflow/outflow, etc. The challenge comes when trying to accurately measure marketing’s contribution. Marketing success metrics lag from the time of their efforts and traditionally it has been hard to tell which lifts came from which marketing initiatives.
To help with that, our final hack comes from Matt Solomon, sales operation specialist at New Breed. Matt insists the best foundation for reporting success is to set up campaign influence within your CRM. Each of your opportunities will likely be influenced by multiple marketing campaigns throughout your sales cycle. With campaign influence, you can directly report on the relationship between an opportunity and each related campaign — essentially the foundation for multi-touch attribution. And the best part is that each opportunity is still attributed to a single campaign in order to show marketing’s effect on ROI.
A final word
When the appropriate tech stack for operations is in place, your marketing and sales teams can run like a well-oiled machine. Get your teams on board and establish a process that works best for you and the success of your business.
Agree with our experts' advice? Disagree? Let us know in the comments section below!