Building Effective Demand Engines with the alignment of Sales and Marketing

CMO Talk Series

Sumit Mahajan

Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Datamatics Business Solutions Ltd.

in conversation with our host

Krishnan Chatterjee

COO, MarketsandMarkets.

When we approach the subject of quality demand, we discover the debate between effectiveness and efficiency. Over the last decades, especially in the B2B world, CMOs have focused and performed well on efficiency metrics, including MarTech technologies and processes, to such an extent that the entire process of lead management, lead generation, programmatic buying, and the whole host of things are happening on top of the funnel.

However, when this subject is pushed to the efficiency vs. effectiveness debate, which concerns whether leads are qualifying, being recognized as valuable by sales teams, and finally closed into revenue on top of the funnel, a notable challenge arises. The alignment of sales and marketing can bridge this challenge.

Marketing and Sales: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Marketing and sales are not only two complementary aspects. Collaboration, cooperation, and communication are vital for the success and scalability of any organization. When sales and marketing departments are not correctly aligned, the result is unqualified leads and/or unsatisfied prospects. Moreover, their lack of communication can derail internal and external processes.

Marketing and sales productivity relies on alignment concerning crucial business strategies. Both departments must agree on what comprises the customer experience, and each must appreciate their respective roles in shaping it. On the one hand, marketing often focuses on customer targeting, product pricing, and promotions. On the other hand, sales are concerned with prospecting, sales funnel management, customer relationship development, upselling, cross-selling, and so forth.

Progressive Marketing Scorecard for Effective and Efficient Marketing

'How can marketing be effective while being very efficient?'

With this thought in mind, Sumit Mahajan has redesigned and realigned a 'Progressive Marketing Scorecard,' which defines the effectiveness point.

Firstly, keeping MQL volume or Marketing Qualified Leads at the top of the funnel.

Secondly, the marketing head is co-owing a revenue number. These growth engines exist as the core element because they drive growth. There is no better way for marketing to contribute directly or indirectly than acknowledging the number of dollars being moved to the bottom line through all the marketing channels. Hence, a number is sitting on the marketing head owing it.

Thirdly, a matrix of LTV by CAC. When someone asks how much this year's revenue is, the question is redefined to looking at a lens of LTV and the perception of owning the operating model of channels-which is also where CAC comes in.

Lastly, the MQL velocity is not at the rate at which MQLs are entering the funnel but at what rate the MQLs entering the funnel are getting converted into sales dollars. In a way, it is about putting a dollar number, a timestamp, and long-term value into the 'Effectiveness' funnel and then wrapping this all around with co-ownership and collaboration, which holds for marketing and sales as well while trying to build an ecosystem that effectively is all about sales dollars.


Collaboration between Sales and Marketing: The Secret Sauce

The debate of marketing vs. sales and 'who contributes the most' is a traditional tale that has resulted in both departments operating in silos, creating tension between them and preventing both teams from fully executing their jobs. Currently, the tables have turned. It is impossible for marketing and sales to function distinctly today—collaboration is a must for results and growth.

Although CMOs and CSOs play individually and focus on specific results in the revenue lifecycle, they ought to collaborate across a series of revenue-generating activities to meet their goals. Alignment is not a prize but a continuous path of collaboration.

If marketing were to see sales as a channel for marketing, the amount of productivity and effectiveness it could drive logically would be high because now you have co-opted a 10x digital channel, and as opposed to digital, social, email marketing and other stuff, you have a 10x channel available to you.

- Krishnan Chatterjee

Marketing and Sales: Better Understanding = Better Cooperation

Since marketing and sales are necessary for building effective demand-generation engines, the teams must cooperate comprehensively. For example, since the salespeople spend most of their day interacting with the customers, noting their challenges and expectations of a product/service, they can give their unique insights into what makes the customer tick from first-hand experience to help marketers.

Marketers can then use this data to develop more specialized tactics that focus on these problems and demonstrate how your business can address them. You will find that marketing efforts produce more leads if you target their primary desires and requirements and present answers to their problems at this early stage.

"Marketing can do more for sales by doing three things: by strengthening the foundation (the top of the funnel), better collaboration and co-ownership (the middle of the funnel) of sales and marketing, and creating long-term value with the humungous amount of branding and giving it to sales."

- Sumit Mahajan Protection Status