596: The 4 Things Your Sales & Marketing Teams Should Be Aligned On w/ Shari Johnston

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Shari Johnston, SVP Marketing at Radius.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharijohnston/

Wouldn't it be nice to have severalfault leaders in your industry know and Love Your brand? Start a podcast,invite your industries thought leaders to be guests on your show and start reaping thebenefits of having a network full of industry influencers. Learn more at sweetish MEDIACOM. You're listening to the B tob growth show podcast dedicated to helping be tobe executives achieve explosive growth. What you're looking for techniques and strategies or toolsand resources? You've come to the right place. I'm Jonathan Green and I'mJames Carberry. Let's get it into the show. Welcome back to the BBgrowth show. We are here today with Sherry Johnston. She is the svpof marketing at radius. Sherry, how you doing today? I'm great.Thanks, James. I am really excited to chat with you today, Sherry. We're going to be talking about sales and marketing alignment with ABM, andthis is obviously something I'm I'm very, very passionate about. We hosted thealigned event earlier this year and so I could I could talk about alignment allday, I think. So really excited to get in get into this conversation, but before we do Sharey I'd love for you to tell our listeners justa little bit about radius and what your team are up to over there.Sure, so, sure, so, radius, a radius. We helpmarketers and and stale leaders plug in there and tap in their marketing automation systemsthen crs into what we call the radius network of record, which is theworld's largest be tob data and intelligence set so that they can really help reachtheir prospects across the every channel. Really a collect connects intelligence as well as, on the channel, integration with the largest, most accurately to be dataset to to really help amplify your good market strategies. I love it soso, Sher he's we were talking offline, you know, just kind of startingthis conversation. You know, around...

...why alignment is so important, whyit's top of mine with so many marketers and you you had some stats around. Just you know why everybody is paying such close attention to alignment today.Sure, yeah, you know, I think it's top of mine for allof us as we start the new year. What you what can we really dobetter? How can we really make sure our next year as a success? And you know, align is just about really making sure you have abetter year socially with your sales or marketing counterparts. But really does is oneof the single biggest things you can do to impact your business that we spendthirty, two, forty percent of our revenue on marketing sills. So aligningthese sizes can really help you grow exact serious decisions. Has Some survey resultsthat organizations with that are alignment have twenty four percent faster growth and twenty sevenpercent faster profit over a three year periods. So it really can impact the bottomline by ensuring that your teams are aligned. That's I hadn't heard thatbefore. So that's that. That's incredible. So as we kind of get getdeeper into here, Sherry talking more about okay, but what does alignmentreally look like? You'd mentioned, you know, really making sure that bothteams are aligned on goals and that they have a single source of truth.Can you elaborate on that a bit for us? Yeah, you know,if it's success, isn't isn't the same for for both marketing and sales?You know, I've seen this repeatedly. It can it can get massy.So if, if, if marketing success looks like volume of leads and theyhit their target, yet your sales team is missing. There's it's never greatto have teams not aligned on what success looks like for an organization and canreally cause that alignment to crumble and also impact results. So setting up ona single source of truth of success across...

...the Organization for not only pipeline generationbut how the two teams collaborate, at a Dash Board of where, whereyou're not getting metrics from multiple touch points, but really having a single source ofwhere you look out for or how your business is being around as isincredibly important. That can solve a lot of the alignment issues. That justthinking sure that organizations understand and both sides and sales and marketing understand, whatthey're contributing to the organization. Another thing you mentioned offline share. He washaving aligned Kpis. How do you go about doing this and explain this ina little bit more depth? Yeah, you know, I think we allneed that carrot to really make sure that we're delivering on what what can helpthe organization seals as lots of times a little bit more straightforward. It's alwaysbringing in and in closing business, but marketing can often be a bit morefuzzy and and you know, depends for the organization on on what's our capabilitiesfrom a tracking standpoint, but also just really making sure that it will bringthe organization success. And what example here is that, you know, historicallya lot of marketing organizations have been have been gold and their KPIS or aroundlead volume, more or at ul volume, which doesn't always convert to success forthe sales organization. It doesn't have much to do with the quality ofthe leads, so much of which, in our case I've moved my teamto to pipeline generation so that it helps not only with US delivering the volumeof doll ors that will contribute to scales closing deals, but also as aquality element. Is Not going to get all the way into stage two orstage three pipeline without it being a reasonably qualified lead. So, you know, really making sure that that is success, those two things are aligned, becausethat they're and often and the organizations...

...can be a mismatch. Also youas what is a hot topic is a PM and ensuring that you're you're reallyaligned on not only the KPIS around pipeline volume, but what are you bringingin the right accounts for your sales team and I'm really being aligned around whatthat looks like. And so is that primarily sharry? Obviously it's it allstarts and with leadership. So did that look like you and the VP ofsales sitting down it and just coming to an agreement on? Okay, whatwhat should marketing skpis look like? How can we get, you know,these two be more on the same page? And then from there, I guess, how did that then trickle down into, you know, both sidesof you know, the Marketing Organization in the Sales Organization? I guess whatwere some of the things that you and your counterpart did to make that alignmenthappen? Sure, yeah, you know I having done this, this transformationat three different organizations. You know, the first time around, you itdid. It was at led by by a the marketing team and you knowI have a huge sense of passion for being closer to revenue as a marketerand I think dawn or the days of we made some real, huge initialefforts with the introduction of marketing animation and lead to close models, but itstill wasn't good enough. We were still delivering a lot of stuff to salesthat was not producing revenue. So you know, when ABM was introduced itreally got me excited of stopping wasting my marketing dollars and resources on leaves thatweren't going to convert. So you know, that started out with me sort ofleading an ABF strategy of like okay, well, these are the only accountssales really cares about. The rest of the leads they put in ourre nurture program to die. So you know, why don't we focus ourmarketing and sales efforts on those particular accounts that we know are going to bepotential customers for us? And you know,...

I think that really spoke to andhelped make sure that me and and my then marketing our sales. LaterI gave Rogal, we're on the same page. And then then four thereI think. I think it's super important to make sure your ops teams arealso bought in understand the strategy, because it also can have quite a bitof implications on your your operations, how things are tracked, how things arereported and and buy and from those teams as well. So did that looklike? You know, once you had that target list of accounts that youknew sales, sales must go going after. Did that just mean kind of designingspecific creative that would that that was attractive to those specific accounts, running, you know, running ads specifically to people in those organizations? What on? A A little bit more great need all our level. What did itlook like for you guys then to say, okay, we're going to from aour marketing team is going to start focusing on these these target accounts?Yeah, you know, I think once you get a nail down list ofaccounts, which which sounds like an easy task but a different topic, canbe a little bit of a yeah, a little work. Yeah, exactly, but I think it is really poor important because your abm strategy is nevergoing to be successful if you're focused on the wrong accounts to begin with.But you know, once you get there, you know, the way we goabout it is really looking at okay, what is our typical buyers journey looklike? How do we get in front of them? How do weawareness, engagement and conversion tactics to get them all the way through the buyersjourney? And what we do then is create all of our tactics based offof that ABM list. So, for example, for awareness tactics, whatare the awareness tactics that are going to get in front of those accounts themost? So we'll typically do things like digital add campaigns that allow us totarget just to the accounts and contacts that we want to. They're a littlebit more expensive as a impression, but then we know they're not wasted byour dollars, are not wasted on contractors...

...and people who are never going tobe customers for us. And then further down the funnel with events, myevent team completely creates their strategy of what events we decide to invest in andwhat's ones we don't, based off of the overlap with the target account listand the event itself that they therefore we know that we're getting are repped infront of those accounts that they really want to get in front of. Andthen further even down the funnel, will focus on custom content that can reallyhelp make sure that it addresses the specific vertical that our accounts are in,some of the pain points that are common across our accountless to really help personalizethe experience as much as possible. So we've talked about have aligned goals andhaving a single source of truth. Talked about aligned KPI's, you just talkedabout, and being aligned on on the buyers journey itself and making sure thatyou're both on the same page of awareness, engagement, conversion. So important tobe on the same page just knowing those things. The last one Iwant to talk about is being aligned around the ICP. They ideal customer profile. This seems like, you know, it would be a no brainer that, of course, marketing those you know who they're going after, and sales, you know, has as the same picture in their mind. But talkto us about you've obviously done this and three different organizations where people missing onthe alignment around the ICP. Yeah, you know, I would say it. Even the most sophisticated organizations this can often be would ask the question betweenyou're looking reading yourselves leader, and see if they do aligne. You takethe sale with sometimes it's called the named a count list, to to thethe marketing ICP that used for different marketing lenders, and there's just often amisalignment between the two and and really doing the homework around. You know,I think the misalignment can happen on both sides. It's difficult sometimes for fora lock there's to really get after those...

...key accounts and they don't want tolimit there's a fear of missing out. On the marketing side that that canhappen and then not oftentime, on the sale side. You know, we'lldig into the account list and you know the the for an experienced reps,their their dialog can go something like this. You know I well, I knowa guy over at that organization. Therefore they're on my target account listsand often that's that doesn't mean that the organization will be a good prospect foryour for your your solution. So really making sure that there's there's some youknow, are what I call art and science to to the ICP. Sohearing from the street, from from sales of you know what, where they'refinding success. We're what deals are applying to businesses, but also looking lookingat the data, looking at your historical customers success, what customers are renewingand and what industries and company sizes and types of personas are involved in thosesales cycles to help create some some actual data driven results to to identifying yourICP. I love it. I love it. I'm Sarry. Since you'vedone this you know a number of times, I'm sure. I'm sure you've gotlots of people asking you for advice as they're leading transformations in their ownorganization. Is there a particular question or maybe a common mistake that you seepeople falling into over and over again as it relates to the alignment issue whenit comes to a bum? Yeah, I just I think the I thinkaligning on the the Kpis across the organization is difficult. I think attribution isalways a source of contention and and there's just a lot of questions around,and understandably so. Migrating from from traditional lead to close model Kpis, toABM KPIS or very aligned Kepis can be...

...scary. You know, in ourcase and marketing were we're giving up a lot of control over what we haveinfluence over. For instance, we really do have influence over producing mqls.We don't have as much influence over whether or not they get to stage fourpipeline or not. That sort of gets put into the hands, not notentirely, but of primarily in sales hand. So we have to give up alittle back control and have some trust with ourselves counterparts, and I thinkthat oftentimes can be scary and is probably the biggest challenge I've seen in organizationsand in my days. Sherry, I love closing out our interviews with thisquestion. It allows our listeners to get to know our our guests on adifferent level. What would you say is the legacy that you want to leavebehind? Sure, yeah, you know, I'm really passionate about helping women havea louder and more equal voice in in technology leadership. I see thisagain similar to marketing and sale of alignment. That is not really the downside.Is Not just about being fair and, you know, having women represented asthey should be. But not only that, but I also do believetech organizations would be better off from a results perspective. A lot of thedownsides we're seeing in tech organizations are our weaknesses. That are are typically representativequalities of heavily mail dominated team. Than you know, having been a womanleader at a few organizations now, you know I'd love to see help providea that voice. I'm actually doing a twenty one days of a twitter shoutoutto some amazing women who have influenced my careers or or also some some amazingwomen I've had the luxury of being able to mentor over the years and aregoing to be the next generation of of executives, for sure. So yeah, I love to leave behind a legacy of hopefully influencing that initiative in apositive way. Fantastic, Sherry. If...

...somebody listening to this they want tostay connected with you or they want to learn more about radius, what's thebest way for them to go about doing that? Sure for me personally,I'm at Carrie on twitter. You can find me on Linkedin at Sherry Johnston, and then, from a radius perspective, you can visit us at Radiuscom.There's all kinds of ways to reach out to us directly or learn moreinformation there. Cherry, thank you so much for your time today. Thishas been fantastic, great. Thank you so much, James. To ensurethat you never miss an episode of The v Tob Growth Show, subscribe tothe show and Itunes or your favorite podcast player. This guarantees that every episodewill get delivered directly to your device. If you or someone you know wouldbe an incredible guest for the B tob growth show, email me at Jonathanat sweet fish Mediacom. Let us know. We love connecting with be to beexecutives, and we love sharing their wisdom and perspective with our audience.Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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