Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The CMO Club May Summit, NYC: “How CMOs Add More Value to Sales”

This breakout session featured Jay Mitchell, Co-founder of Motum; Mark Oakey, SVP Global Sales, SAP; and Greg Van Acker, SVP Sales, OKI Data

Marketing-qualified leads and sales-qualified leads are not created equal, according to Mark. Because the truth is, sales-qualified leads are worth a lot more. If there is not a compelling value proposition the marketing team can lay out, they must manufacture it, and that’s extremely difficult to do.

Greg says the first step is answering the question, “Is there a problem we can uniquely solve?” In the current economy, a qualified lead needs to deliver today and not six months out.

How is the sales team involved in the lead generation process?
Greg: Sales is very involved. I encourage you to hold your sales people accountable for all the work they do. Even if you have an all-star on the team, if he refuses to follow up on the leads it’s going to hurt the team. Key Performance Indicator metrics should include a customer visit quota, but you must bring value to those meetings.

Mark: Because we’re trying new things all the time, the marketing and sales teams need to work closely together. The marketing team needs to meet and understand the customer. We also execute programs on a country-by-country basis as tactics shift depending on the region, and we tweak the program on a quarterly basis.

Greg said that the marketing department should be able to articulate the value proposition better than a sales person, because the marketing department should have a more refined level of expertise. And the marketing team needs to deliver analysis of what the competitors are doing, since that’s what sales teams are mostly looking to learn.

Talk to the sales team to find out what the one thing was that made a prospect pull the trigger and buy. That’s what you as a marketer needs to take back to strategy development.

Getting the sales team to gather customer references from the field should be part of their KPI. But there should not be a monetary incentive attached to it, since it creates a management issue, placing the salesperson in a position where they must report to marketing.

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