As a marketer, how do you get your voice heard in sales meetings and your team trusted by company executives?
Lee Judge presented his C.A.S.H. framework at B2B Forum 2023, giving attendees a roadmap to do just that.
Ensure your marketing results are both accurate and respected by executives and the sales team with this clip from A. Lee’s presentation, or read the transcript below.
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So what areas must we master to create successful sales and marketing collaboration?
(You can’t just throw cash at it… although we sometimes get accused of that as marketers.)
C.A.S.H. That’s a framework. And that framework is starting off with C, for Communication.
Now, throughout this I’m going to ask you for some crowd participation because in each step, just like in communication, it needs to go from sales to marketing and—say it with me—from marketing to sales.
One more time: From sales to marketing, and from marketing to sales!
Exactly. It has to go both ways.
Now, you’re here as marketers, so you’re going to get your part. I’m going to give you some more tools to make sure that you help them get their part. And if they don’t get their part, at least you know how to do your part and help build this collaboration.
Effective communication is the lifeblood of your organization and it’s most evident when you understand each other’s needs. You collaborate more effectively because of that and you can drive growth for the company, but only if you’re communicating with each other.
We’ll go a little bit deeper than that.
So communication has five main tenants—each one of these C.A.S.H. topics will.
The focus points are going to be:
The next part is Alignment. (I’m going to give you one more chance here. From sales to marketing. From marketing to sales!)
Alright, so let’s talk about alignment.
The importance here is to strengthen the bond between sales and marketing, and it’s essential for achieving KPIs, understanding each other’s roles and creating or responding to the proper organizational structure.
We’re going to get into these as well, especially the structure.
Five parts here:
Systems between sales and marketing and marketing and sales.
Alright, build stronger sales and marketing teams with efficient systems.
The technology we use affects how we see each other, whether it be your CRM, your market automation platform (which I’ll just say maps from now on because I said that a lot), analytics platforms, reporting processes, and the cross team usage of both of those things.
The last part [of the C.A.S.H. framework] is honesty.
Honesty between sales and marketing, and—thank you—between marketing and sales!
The power behind honesty. The stakes are too high for us to hold back the truth. And sometimes we want numbers that sound good, or feel good, or maybe think they’re going to help us keep our jobs.
But it’s more important to be honest about those numbers and leadership will greatly appreciate that.
They need to be able to trust the numbers you give them.
The challenges are, of course, the company culture, transparency, reward systems. (Are you rewarded for having all those MQLs from the trade show? Is a salesperson rewarded for closing deals? Of course they are. But are you rewarded for the trade show? Not until you show an opportunity.)
Exploitation of lack of proof. That’s where marketers, we fool ourselves. Because we want to show our value. But sometimes that’s our biggest challenge is proving our value. And we change our reports every year because we have lack of proof of what happened last year, right? We have new KPIs and new reports. Meanwhile, sales had the same report since before CRMs. So keep that in mind.
Five points here.
Between teams and management, you must align the KPIs so you have honest reporting. Not so that you look good or your team looks good, but so that the company actually has reporting for their revenue so that executives can make decisions.
Work together to prioritize the most effective activities. Use the reporting coming out of the bottom of the funnel with sales to determine what activities you should be doing. Not the thing that’s shiny or new, but the thing that actually drove revenue.
Proof systems: plan campaigns with tracking in mind. Start from the beginning with, okay? If we’re going to do this thing, how are we going to track it? You don’t want to end up at the end of the campaign, you haven’t tracked it, then you have no proof. Then you’re making up numbers to say, “well, you know what? We can’t report on this, so let’s report on that!”
You’re not fooling anybody. They’ll expose team dependencies.
Acknowledging efforts. Acknowledge who influenced the deals. Acknowledge… and this is something that’s difficult, especially between sales and marketing because both teams typically have a hand in most deals. It isn’t always obvious. You don’t always see it, but it’s there.
And so what that means is, I had a salesperson once say, “yeah, this is my weekly report. We had a bluebird, we had a deal come out of the sky and landed on us and we signed a deal.”
Excuse me? We met this person two years ago. He’d been reading white papers, coming to webinars. That wasn’t just a bluebird. You didn’t just find that out of the sky. Marketing had a part in that, right?
So hold them accountable by attending the meetings, having your data, and calling ’em on the carpet when it’s time to show that, “no, marketing was in the room. We’ve been there before you were.”
Or if the deal went cold during Mr. Salesperson, Mrs. Salesperson’s activities, “marketing warmed them back up.”
So we’re always intertwined in there. Be sure you have a voice in that.
“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”
Truth over good numbers. [Good numbers] will keep you a job today, but maybe not for the year. So truth over good numbers.
Give credit where credit is due.
Support honesty over just getting the credit.
So yes, C.A.S.H.—communication, alignment, systems, and honesty—can bring these two together.
For some reason I heard, “love will keep us together.” But no. C.A.S.H. will.
C.A.S.H. will keep us together.
Lee’s framework can be used by anyone in marketing who wants to not only get attribution for their efforts, but also wants to be a leader.
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