October 5, 2015

Expert Interview: Why Sales and Marketing Are Just One Job

Written by
Tags: Podcast

Dave Rigotti, Head of marketing at Bizible, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series to share his insight on B2B marketing attribution and analytics. The series, which is hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Josh Bland, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.

In this episode, we discuss B2B marketing attribution, pipeline marketing, and marketing ROI.

Below are a few highlights from our conversation:

TechnologyAdvice: Why is B2B so much further behind B2C attribution?

Dave Rigotti: One of the reasons is because B2B faces a much harder technology problem. Because of the large decision maker and longer sales process, revenue is happening offline — it’s not like an eCommerce transaction.

B2C has had most of the marketing budgets. So as these companies create software for marketers, they naturally start there just because that’s where more of the marketing budget lives. We’re really seeing B2B come into its own and really demand specific solutions and products for themselves. Solutions that aren’t simply taking a B2C product and changing the messaging to sell it to B2Bs. They’re really being smart and demanding with what they actually need.

TA: How should teams track attribution?

Rigotti: With any kind of marketing there’s a crawl, walk, run stage. Here we always take an agile approach to our marketing and we encourage a lot of other companies to do that as well. It works just great for us. There is what we call the crawl stage of attribution, and there are some things you can do with conversion tracking from ad networks or there are some marketing animations systems that have some limited functionality of attribution built-in — which is great if you’re a small company and you just want to get started with it. And then there’s a point where we all kind of go beyond that. That’s who we sell to and that’s where we are as a company as well.

TA: What’s the biggest attribution challenge facing companies?

Rigotti: Our broad challenge is specifically in technology. It’s this growing marketing technology space. There are more and more technology vendors out there and a business can go from having one marketing tech provider to a dozen. All these different software solutions are collecting their own data, so your marketing data is not living in one system anymore — it’s living in a dozen.

So having more data stores means more connections are needed to really understand the marketing performance. So when you think about an attribution funnel it means more and more work is going to have to be done to connect all of the dots together and then make the right decisions.

TA: What do you think is the best way to unite sales and marketing?

Rigotti: It’s incredibly important and it starts with just culture between the two teams. A lot of companies will say, “Okay, this is the marketing funnel, this is the sales funnel.” But they aren’t actually different. It’s just one funnel. You have to first change your mindset on how you figure out acquiring customers. And it’s not like they complete the marketing cycle, then they start the marketing funnel, then they start the sales funnel — there is just one funnel.

You are just artificially splitting up the two. One, changing that culture of, “Hey, this is where we’re one team, where we’re driving one goal,” and then once you kind of get on board with that, then you can start to think about, “Okay, why are we having these differences between our teams?” As we’ve been talking with a lot of people, we find that it comes down to how performance is measured.

In a lot of marketing teams, their goal will be leads or opportunity for conversations: my goal is to drive a thousand leads this month. In sales, their goal is to drive X amount of revenue. So when marketing hits their thousand leads goal, but sales hasn’t hit their revenue number, marketing says, “Well, that’s not my fault. We did what we set out to do,” and then vice versa.  

When you become revenue focused, the marketing team can have a goal on revenue and it can be the same as sales — and that’s what we do here at Bizible. At the beginning of the year, we set a goal for where we want our revenue to be at the end of the year, then forecast out and that’s the same goal as sales and marketing. So you kind of share each others’ successes and challenges along the way and you don’t have the, “Oh, I did my job and you’re not doing your job.” It’s just one job.

This podcast was created and published by TechnologyAdvice. Interview conducted by Josh Bland.