The Marketing and Sales Handshake

Sales Marketing Alignment


Note from Jon Miller: I’m pleased to welcome our newest contributor to the Modern B2B Marketing blog. Laura recently joined Marketo as Sr Director of Corporate Communications; she brings “too many years” of B2B marketing experience to her role and is responsible for, among other things, working with Marketo’s customers to document and share best practices and results. Here is Laura’s first post; please join me in welcoming her to the team!

Laura-mishina I joined Marketo last month after spending more than a decade at large, well-run companies like Oracle, Siebel and Sun (now Big Oracle). I left the spoils of a high profile company that impressed my uncle for a start-up company he can’t pronounce (“Marketo rhymes with ghetto”), because it was time to retrain my marketing muscles or risk atrophy.

Marketo is not your average startup. Its founders come from Epiphany and they are ‘brainiacs’ when it comes to the science of marketing in a no boundaries, no time outs social networking world. There is an abundance of smart energy and shared purpose in our crowded office, and the majority of our 185-plus customers — both sales and marketing — love our lead management product. As customer-facing professionals themselves, they willingly speak in colorful, quotable sound bites, which makes my Corporate Communications role incredibly fun.

I am learning how to thrive in a modern B2B marketing world, where the traditional hand off from marketing to sales has become a solid handshake. It mirrors the shift from traditional to modern marketing summarized below.

Traditional Modern
Customer engagement Interrupt driven Conversational
Campaigns Static – yes-no flow diagram Dynamic – listen, learn, react, remember
How marketing is measured # of leads and activities % leads converted to pipeline, net new revenue
Business process Sales cycle Revenue cycle
Marketing and sales collaboration Hand off Hand shake

In today’s Marketo-enabled world, marketing and sales are joined at the hip (think blissful newlyweds), and they collaborate throughout the revenue cycle — from click to customer and beyond. Marketing carries its fair share of the load by nurturing, scoring and progressively profiling leads until they are “qualified” (sales readiness is one of many agreements). Marketing supports Sales by providing them the freedom and insight to pursue the hottest and highest priority leads.

Done well, the handshake between marketing and sales serves as a catalyst to ignite the revenue cycle and stimulate an economic recovery. I look forward to discussing modern B2B marketing ideas and best practices with all of you.