What can a new CMO do in the first 90 days to make sure they have success with their new organization? How could they make sure they are on the same page as the sales team from the get-go? To answer questions like these, we talked to Ed McDonnell (LinkedIn | Twitter).
Ed is the Senior Vice President of Sales for Salesforce Marketing Cloud. He has also served in senior sales roles for Eloqua, EDGAR Online, McGraw Hill, and Reuters. We also talked with Ed about how marketers can use data more effectively, and why he thinks B2B and B2C businesses are converging.
Ed’s Background in Sales - (00:40) - Started in customer success and moved over to sales.
- “It was just a deep love of understanding business problems and being somebody that can help a customer try to solve that business problem with technology.” - Ed McDonnell
- “Technology for most customers is unnatural. It’s something they have to learn.” - Ed McDonnell
- For marketers, the biggest challenge is not matching people to technology, but making sure that customers know how to implement it.
How to Partner with Sales from the Get-Go - (06:08) - “It’s easy for a marketer to jump in and start trying to fix stuff. My advice is to take a step back. Understand from your team what is working and what’s not working. Go on a road show and talk to your sales organization, and talk to all your stakeholders including your customers to get deep into why you’re winning and why you’re losing.” - Ed McDonnell
- Understand your data. What are the inputs you have? This will also help tell you what is working and what is not.
- Question everything. Challenge it when people say “it’s always been done that way.” That doesn’t mean you have to change everything, but at least you’ll know why it’s done that way.
- Marketers need to understand that salespeople are often controlling. They get antsy when a revenue function falls outside their control.
- Know your sales leaders’ biases and understand where they are coming from before you try to convince them.
- “People just want to know that you’re working on the things that they think need to be worked on.” - Ian Faison
Using Data to Start a Conversation - (16:15) - “Great sales leader want data. Data drives decision making.” - Ed McDonnell
- The problems that marketers are trying to solve are often quite simple: Get leads, convert them to customers, and keep them as customers. Use data to illustrate why you are approaching it the way you are.
- It’s important to be proactive. Don’t justify with data when you’re asked. Lead your strategy with data.
- “The best marketers are the ones that come to the table very quickly to say ‘Hey we made a bet. It's really working. We think we should do more of it.’ or ‘Hey, it's not working. Are you okay if we pump this thing down and do something different?’” - Ed McDonnell
- “In the first 90 days, focus on one campaign that you can guarantee will get attribution, something that you know how to run, fits into the playbook, and you can execute flawlessly.” - Ian Faison
Data and Creativity - (25:12) - “Marketers are the most creative people on the planet. Data has to be a key pivot that everybody makes, but we have to continue to let marketers unlock their creative passions because that's what drives the best ideas. Data will always inform you, but data can't be the only thing that informs us we have to be able to test and try and have fun.” - Ed McDonnell
- It’s important not to let data strangle creativity. But creativity needs to be informed by, and sometimes constrained by, data as well.
- “I think that you know for people who want to be creative, there has to be creative constraints. There needs to be brackets on this stuff because if there’s not, there’s always something bigger.” - Ian Faison
- It’s okay to be creative, but be intentional about what you want the business result to be.
Convergence of B2B and B2C - (29:27) - “I don't think companies think in terms of B2C or B2B anymore. Marketers don’t think of themselves as B2B or B2C marketers. They think of themselves as marketers.” - Ed McDonnell
- Mentioned by Ian and Ed as an example: Peloton
- “B2B buyers want flawless digital experiences as well. Yes, a lot of times they want to get on the phone with a human being and talk through their problems, but if you can create a situation where they can do it all online as well, it’s a great opportunity to do both.” - Ian Faison
- Inside sales is becoming more important than ever before. It’s more difficult than ever to drive interest through outbound strategies. This also makes content strategy more important than ever.
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