Thought Leader Interview with Debbie Qaqish
Debbie Qaqish, is a recognized thought leader and innovator in the demand generation space with seven years experience in using marketing automation and over 30 years experience in sales and marketing. Her principal area of expertise is helping companies transform from traditional marketing organizations to Revenue Marketing organizations. Debbie is all about revenue. Her latest project, The Revenue Marketer, defines a new role for marketers in revenue production. From building a revenue marketing practice to the resulting requirements for team structure, skills and metrics, Debbie is helping shape this exciting new role in the market.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Debbie about The Pedowitz Group’s involvement with the Marketo User Summit 2010, and what she sees as the future of sales and marketing organizations.
Pedowitz was a sponsor of the inaugural Marketo User Summit last year. What are some of differences you expect to see from last year to this year?
Debbie: First of all, we are so excited about being a part of this year’s summit! The first big change: I think we will see a lot more faces. It’s due the growth of Marketo over the last year which has been absolutely, positively remarkable, and of course that growth has been for all the right reasons: The ease of use of Marketo and the emerging market for the revenue marketer has been absolutely phenomenal. So, I think we will see the number of attendees jump. From there, I think another big difference we will see at the conference this year will be the level of maturity. We talk a lot about the “revenue marketer.” And I believe that this is the year of the revenue marketer and building a revenue marketing practice. Because we have customers from Marketo who are returning for their second conference, we are going to have attendees who are much more mature in their use of Marketo. This means they are making a much higher impact on revenue. So basically, we are going to see more users, and more experienced ones at that. Those are going to be the two biggest changes between this year and last year.
What are you looking forward to the most at the User Summit?
Debbie: It is really two different things. First of all, I have a team of at least nine people coming from The Pedowitz Group to the Summit who are really interested in the Pre-Conference Training. (Especially learning about Revenue Cycle Analytics!) We are very excited about that! Secondly, (which is always true for us when we attend any event like this) we want to see what other marketers are doing. I want to see how they are using Marketo, I want to hear their stories, I want to hear about their campaigns, I want to hear about their successes and their failures. The more we can understand about the marketer who is using Marketo, the more we can understand about what it is we call the revenue marketer. This way we can provide a better service to help them get to the next level. We are very excited about meeting the marketers and hearing their stories.
How do you envision the evolution of sales and marketing over the next 1 – 5 years?
Debbie: This is really my soapbox topic to talk about because my background is actually in sales for most of my career. I didn’t grow up in marketing, and I remember the first time I ever saw a marketing automation system. I bought it as a VP of Marketing. But I thought to myself, wow, this could be really phenomenal if sales could have access to that online behavior and could make better pursuit decisions. So I when I think what marketing automation has done, particularly platforms like Marketo, and especially Inside Sales, I see how it has completely changed the game of marketing, and completely changed the game of selling. That is why we call marketers that use Marketo Revenue Marketers because that is really what they are responsible for. If you think about how our buyers have changed, they are now going online and are deep in their buying process before they make themselves known to you. So our ability in using Marketo to lead that online behavior, and create these visitor dialogues to nurture those prospects along, is absolutely critical. It significantly changes the role of marketing and significantly changes the role of selling. Ultimately, I see Marketo, and Marketo Solutions, being at heart of this evolution.
In your experience, what is the single most important success factor for a sales & marketing organization?
Debbie: It is simply amazing how often in an organization sales and marketing are not speaking to one another. I have done a series of webinars this year on the concept of the revenue marketer and one of the things I mention in every webinar is the importance of marketing automation as the platform that links sales and marketing together. I’ll give you a great example: Think about the basic definition of a lead: without a Marketing Automation system that can score based on demographic and online behavior, that scoring is fuzzy math at its best. So how can marketing ever have the capability to deliver to sales a high-quality lead? Now, for the first time, Marketing Automation gives the marketing organization a currency – a common conversation – that gives you metrics and provides accountability on both ends. This is one of the most important success factors for sales and marketing in this new world online behaviors because that is where the prospects all begin with this baseline of having a marketing automation system in place. Without that, it becomes very difficult to achieve ultimate alignment of sales and marketing, and is certainly very difficult promote digital conversations with your customers.
Visit The Pedowitz Group website, www.pedowitzgroup.com, to view the latest in Revenue Marketer thought leadership including interviews, e-papers and podcasts. You can also join Debbie on her weekly internet radio show WRMR – Revenue Marketer Radio.