754: How to Balance Science & Sincerity In Sales w/ Jill Rowley

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Jill Rowley, Chief Growth Officer at Marketo.

Click here to connect with this guest on LinkedIn.

Wouldn't it be nice to have several thought 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 the benefits of having a network full of industry influencers? Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to be tob growth, a daily podcast for B TOB leaders. We've interviewed names you've probably heard before, like Gary Vannerd truck and Simon Senek, but you've probably never heard from the majority of our guests. That's because the bulk of our interviews aren't with professional speakers and authors. Most of our guests are in the trenches leading sales and marketing teams. They're implementing strategy, they're experimenting with tactics, they're building the fastest growing BTB companies in the world. My name is James Carberry. I'm the founder of sweet fish media, a podcast agency for BB brands, and I'm also one of the CO hosts of this show. When we're not interviewing sales and marketing leaders, you'll hear stories from behind the scenes of our own business. Will share the ups and downs of our journey as we attempt to take over the world. Just getting well? Maybe let's get into the show. Welcome back to the B tob grows show. We're here today with Jill Rowley, chief growth officer at Marquetto Jill, how are you doing today? I'm fantastic. To Carrre, you Logan, I'm doing really well. Jill. Well, thank you for joining us. We're really excited to have you on as a repeat guest here on bb growth. So thank you for joining us. For folks out there that maybe didn't hear your last interview or would like a little bit of context about why you're going to share on our topic today of balancing sincerity and science in sales, if you could just share with us a little bit what you and the team are up to a Marquetto these days. Yeah, that sounds great. So I joined Marquetto in December of two thousand and seventeen and I had actually no plans to ever re enter the corporate workforce. I had spent the prior four years building my own business and my personal brand, where by I was spending a lot of time doing professional speaking on the topic of digital sales transformation and a lot of my career has been spent driving marketing transformation and digital marketing transformation, and I'd learned a lot about the modern buyer through that work and realized that marketing had been doing some incredible work to evolve and and really adapt to the modern buyer, but sales was largely still stuck in the old world of smile and dial pounds and pitch and not really in the new world of educate and engage and reach and teach our customers. Hm. So I met Steve Lucas, the CEO of Marquetto, back in May of two thousand and seventeen and before I met him, I watched a video of Steve Talking about his first sixty days at Marquetto and Logan. I was I was really like I got goosebumps. I was blown away because what I saw was the new CEO of Marquetto talking about the MARTEC Todato world that I had started to envision, where we shift from a world of marketing automation to a world of engagement. And you know, Steve had said nobody wants to be marketed to and I had been out there preaching nobody wants to be sold M and when Steve was talking about this transformation of the buyer from a you know, a marketing to an engagement it got me excited about you is Marquette of the company to drive that technical rights. So so one we can evangelize a method of engagement. Sure, engagement economy,...

...engagement era great, but from a product perspective, can well, company that's rooted in marketing automation really transform into an engagement platform? Yeah, so like that joined it to try. Hey, well, it's lofty goal, but I love the direction of it. It's funny how often in sales or marketing conversations we ask our sales peers, you know, if you're doing that, would you like to be sold to that way? Well, no, I wouldn't. Or, you know, you ask a marketer, you know, would you respond to that campaign? Well, no, I wouldn't. So, you know, thinking about the way that we like to be engaged with, you know and and having that drive the way that we that we drive engagement, you know, with our audience, I think is just it's a phenomenal topic. And so within that Joe, we want to talk about, you know, how do we balance science and sincerity in sales? And the first thing that you brought up when you and I were talking about this topic before the interview was a new definition of ACV. UNPACK that for us and tell us where that fits into this conversation. Yeah, so the the current definition of ACV is annual contract value and you know, I've grown up in SASS. I joined sales forcecom back in two thousand, so I was one of the the first, you know, twenty some salespeople at Sales Forcecom, and sales force was the pioneer of the subscription model and browser based software delivered as a service and and ACV, aarr Mrr so in a recurring revenue, monthly recurring revenue. Those are all very common terms in the SAS subscription world and a lot of you know the board level reporting is very much focused on you know, how are you growing the average annual contract value? And what I think we need to be more focused on is what ultimately we need to drive is the actual customer value and who within our organization at every step of the way, starting from product right. How are we designing our products so that our products drive actual customer value? And we have to think about who is our customer right. And so you know, if your customer is a big, complex global enterprise, then you need to be designing capabilities that support the needs and requirements of that big global enterprise customer. So it starts even with you know your products. If your buyer is someone who is non technical but you have a highly technically configurable product, how are you making that configuration really super easy through? You know, why can all that sort of stuff exactly? So actual customer value has to be something that you think of throughout. I always say no more shitty products marketing, no more false advertising in your marketing messaging. Right. So we will oftentimes see a trend come about and everyone will jump on that Buzz Word, you know bandwagon right start to talk about, you know, Ai and machine learning and say that their platform is an AI driven blah, blah. Yeah, everybody's got ai in machine learning these days. It yeah, I saw someone post on Linkedin like the amount of traction you get or clickthroughs on something, a Webinar or something, whether they use the words ai in machine learning or not. And obviously with AI in machine learning their click through rate was much, much higher. But that that's not really driving customer value. If that's not really a part...

...of your product and if you're playing fast and loose with those buzz word terms, right, that's exactly right. So, you know, we really have to be focused on messaging what the value is that we deliver to you know, our actual value that we deliver to our customers. From a sales perspective, it's really important that salespeople know their customers deeply so that they can actually help the customers solve whatever business probably more or whatever goal that that business is trying to achieve. If you don't know me, how can you actually help me a value? Right? Yeah, so it's it's from product, it's from sales, it's from marketing. The idea is, how can we create value for the customer experience at every touch point? And you know, if we kind of narrow that focus, youill into sales. You know, you touched on this friction that's kindering this in sales. Right, the friction of sales leads looking at activity metrics, buyers wanted personally selling. Tell us a little bit about what you see that environment being like. You know, in most of our organizations, I think you know our audience is going to be nodding. Our head is as you kind of describe because I think it's it's a common thing. Yeah, it's still very much we're very much living in an activity driven sales environment where sales reps are measured on the things that are easily measured. Right. It's actually quite easy to measure phone calls, it's quite easy to measure emails, scent, it's quite easy to measure demos deliver like those are those are activities that are easy to measure. Oftentimes because, you know, we've got technology that integrates with our serum system. So there are lots of technologies that will log emails directly into your cum system and then you can run reports in the serium system to see which your salespeople have sent the most emails. And that is not a measure. Not only is it not a measure to customer value, but it's not a measure to strength of relationship and and in fact, oftentimes those high activity metrics lead to negative brand impressions. And you know, I gosh, it's so crazy how many stupid emails I receive that a I am not the buyer for right, right only am I not the fire within Marquetto. Marquetto is not the ideal customer for what is being pitched. Yeah, the spray and prey model is hitting you wrong, and both points like, not only is the organization not a fit, but you're not within their ICEP anyway. Yeah, and if you're sending me an email, that's the third wrong, because I you know now that every marketer and every salesperson on the planet has everybody's email address and the ability to automate a series, cadence sequence of emails to everybody. You know, it is a lot harder to get my attention in email right. If you know me, if you know me, if you have gone and you have googled Jill Rally and you have looked at my linkedin profile. If you have on my linkedin profile, there's a link to my twitter, if you have followed me or even just looked at what I tweet about, you will know not to send me generic scripted stuff it. That is not how you're going to engate. So you might be hitting all your activity metrics that your sales leadership team is making you hit, but you're not building healthy relationships based on value. Yep, you're not building a relationship with many buyers that are very much like you, Jill. I read a tweet from jayacoons oh just last...

...night talking about, you know, areas where he focused in and was focusing more on resonance instead of reach, and I think that that falls very much in line with what I hear you saying. So I love that today's gross story revolves around search engine marketing. DELPHIC's a big data platform, had hired an agency to manage their Google ads a few years ago, but they weren't seeing the results they wanted to see. Being such a technical be tob solution, they set out to find a team that could take on their challenge. After countless proposals, they found the perfect fit directive consulting, the B Tob Search Marketing Agency. And just one week after launching directives campaigns, Delphic saw their lead ball double and their costperly drop by sixty percent. I have a haunch that directive can get these kind of results for you to so head over to directive consultingcom and request a totally free custom proposal. That's directive consultingcom. All right, let's get back to this interview. So that's the friction. We're trying to get to actual customer value and actually valuing that as our ACV. So you had three, three ways that you think that sales leaders can set up their teams and sales practitioners can go about doing this on on a daily basis. So it revolves around this methodology of knowing more, caring more and doing more. So talk to us about how sales professionals can go about knowing more. I think you mentioned you know, it starts with listening. That's right. So we have to know more about our customers, we have to care more about our customers and we have to do more for our customers. And the way that we go about this is we need to listen to our customers. where our customers are having conversations? Where can we find information about our customers and what they care about? One example, let me just give you. I like to be very specific, so perfectly, but I listen to a lot of podcasts, as many of your listeners do. MMM, and you know, I listened to a lot of podcast about marketing and leveraging technology to drive growth in marketing. And just so happens that marquetto cells, technology to marketers that helps drive growth. So, wow, isn't that funny that I would listen to a podcast about how you can use technology to drive growth and marketing. Hmm, that seems like I would want to know more about the world in which my customers live. And yes, I do. And so I was listening to this podcast demand jen, radio guy named Dave Lewis. He's the CEO of demand Jen. We go back over a decade, actually over a decade and a half, because my my youngest daughters turning fourteen and Dave and I were on the phone when I was in the delivery room working on a contract. So I was listening to this episode, number sixty three, how to lead a marketing operations team, and it was an interview with a gentleman named Scott Burns, who's the director of marketing opposite century link. Century link is a Marquetto customer and an award winning Marquetto customer. They've just done incredible work within their organization and Scott has built his marketing opps team from very little to very large. And what Scott was talking about is really how revenue has to be the measure. Right. They look at things from an outcomes perspective and that's how they start to, you know, evalue any any investments in in their stack and and also in their team. And so, you know, me listening to that podcast took time out of my ability to make calls and send emails. And so, if you know,...

...someone was looking at that from a traditional sales leadership perspective of a of an activity driven or Yo, it took me twenty minutes to listen to that podcast and then it took me another, you know, four to five minutes to actually compose a tweet to share a link to that podcast and then another five minutes to compose the linkedin share to share it across my social network, tagging Scott and Dave Lewis from to man, Jon and Kate on Scott's team. But that the meaning and the value for one, if I was wearing a sales rep hat, for me as a sales rep to know more about my customer, to to care more about them. Because, like, I share it so that I can shine the spotlight on Scott and his team at century link for the great work that they're doing, because I want to care more and I want to do more for them to shine the spotlight on what they're doing it. Those are non traditional activities that would be valued at the sales leader level within an organization. It's just we don't have room for them when you're based on when you're measured on volume, not not value. Yeah, but the thing that that made it very valuable was that you're not doing that for for anybody in everybody. You target it in very strategically on who you were going to spend that extra time to build that resonance rather than just reach, like you said, as opposed to spraying. You know, people like yourself, like the emails you're getting where you're not the buyer and Marquetto's not a fit. As long as you're starting with this customer fit that you know and then you're engaging, then that makes sense and there's a lot of ways to speed that up. I love your idea of listening to a podcast to find out about, you know, what your buyers are concerned about. One thing I've done is turned up my podcast speed to one and a half or two times speed. You know, we can listen a lot faster than we talk and you can listen to a podcast at at faster than x and still be able to get the value and get the meat of that content to be able to, you know, relay it or use that in in the engagement that you're going to do right. Well, that's a trick. I mean not a trick, but it's a technique, say, because I do the same thing. I listened to him at one and a half or two and then I stop, like I'll stop the podcast, like on Scots for example, who's actually talking about a product that they're betating for us and how they have been doing a lot to break the product, which is fabulous. Like, I love that. And so in that I want to capture that quote that he was mentioning about that new product and are that with the product team who is, you know, working with him in the Beta perspective, to let them know that the work that they're doing with Scott is is appreciated. Right, he's actually talking about it. So and again, that's a that's a different approach to one the customer and the relationship with a customer, the resonants, if you will. Right. So, I've defined social selling is not using social media, because social media is about reach and that's what marketing does, but using social networks and networks are about relationships and that's what salespeople do, and using these networks to do research on the buyer, to be relevant to the buyer, to build better relationships. M Not to you, not to become, you know, a thought leader. Like I wrote a post a while back about sales people shouldn't be thought leaders. They should be subject matter experts, they should be trusted advisers. But I'm not saying that every salesperson needs to build the most incredible personal brand and be perceived as a thought leader in their buyers world. That's not a an achievable goal for...

...the masses of folks who are in sales. Right right, or their claim that status before it's actually achieved? Right, even worse, I think. Oh yeah, laatefully yourself a thought leader. Yeah, that's not good. Yeah, well, I love how you flip the script on on social and I think that that's the way that a lot more sales people need to be using social. Use It as listening rather than a microphone first, you know, and there's things that you can do, like listening to a podcast at too x. You can build lists on twitter, you know, you mentioned and and I saw obviously before we connected, that you're very active on twitter. You know, you can build even private lists to add, you know, people that you want to engage with on twitter so that you can easily see what your audience is talking about and look for those prime opportunities to engage. You know, did they just get named to the fearless fifty marketing list or you know what other sort of trigger could strike up a conversation so that it's not the smile and dial mentality. I love that. I've come from a world in ten years of beb sales that was very much smile and dial and hit your fifty two, a hundred calls and that activity benchmark. While you know the activity is important, if it's not the right activity then it's not going to engage the right buyers. That's a leadership issue. I mean Logan this, this really is when you have, and and this is going to sound agist, but when you have, you know, fifty five year old sales leader running the sales organization who hasn't really figured out that digital and social are incredible channels for not only engaging but understanding and researching, HMM, you've got you've got a cultural issue. And so what you have to the way I describe it is, is not about the digital and social channels. It's about the customer and really the first thing that customers notice is is how well your sales team understands them. Right, like, you know me. You know my role, do you know my challenges? You know my industry? Do you know what I'm trying to achieve? And if we're not training and enabling our salespeople on how to know thy customer, how to listen and learn and engage with this modern customer, how to do more for the customer, if we're not training and enabling the sales team, and shame on us as a sales leadership. Yeah, well, Joel, this has been a great conversation. As I mentioned at the top, I love anything that hits on this topic of, you know, doing more engagement and creating more relationships in selling, bringing the social into social media, and I love the example that you shared, you know, with your customer in the way that you're doing it. I think a lot of folks out there are going to learn something from this, take something to be able to apply it right away. If folks want to follow you, stay connected with you, reach out to you, Jill, what's the best way for them to go about doing that? Yeah, so love love twitter because I really do like to engage in real time and every tweet that I send is sent by me and it's sent when it appears to be sent. Like I don't schedule. Yeah, I actually use twitter to you mentioned creating twitter list. I'll even set it up that if I'm trying to build a relationship with a specific individual, I will set it up that I get alerted in real time any time that person sends a tweet. So there are certain people who I need to know exactly what they're doing, when they're doing it and what they're sharing on twitter, and so I have that set up. So twitter at Jill underscore rally on twitter and then Linkedin. But you cannot send me a generic invite. I get way too many generic invites. I will have no idea that you heard about me or liked what I said in this podcast if you don't tell me that...

...when you send me an invite to connect on linkedin. So happy to connect on Linkedin, but I just the generic invites have to stop. With that caveat. Reach out to Jill on Linkedin, follow her on twitter, find a way to engage. I love it. This has been a great conversation. Jail, thank you so much for coming on the show again. Yeah, thanks, Logan, and I'm glad toby didn't Bart for your kids didn't bother you. I think we made it through and we hit on some good topics with no interruptions. It was awesome. We sure did. Thanks so much, Logan. There are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the be tob growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners, and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations with likeminded people. Will Talk Business, we'll talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a be tob growth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be to be growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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