In the revenue ecosystem, especially for a Product-Marketing function, exchanging value for money intelligently and sustainably is becoming increasingly essential. This is where Account-Based Marketing (ABM) and Product-Marketing meet. How do you capture and create demand? How can Sales and Marketing sync up to bring in more $$$? What processes do you build to bridge these two?
On the latest episode of The Marchitect, Rowan Noronha, Founder of the Product Marketing Community, and guest host Sam Jacobs, Founder, Pavilion are joined by Latane Conant, CMO 6Sense, and Dustin Deno, CRO Affinity, exploring the interlocks between Sales and Marketing, product manufacturers and marketers, stakeholders, and decision-makers, as well as prospects and customers that help bring in more revenue and add value at the same time.
Listen to the full episode here, or skim the highlights below.
Exchanging value for money: PM + ABM for the win!
Whenever you ask any executive about their take on sales and marketing, they insist on sales aligning with marketing at all times. The definition of a “great marketer” is often equated to a knot tying sales and marketing together. However, is the role of Product-Marketing in a SaaS company, especially as you drive revenue, so surface level?
Product-Market Fit is the holy grail.
Latane believes the more substantial team, even than sales, to align with is the product team. He insists on doubling down on the Product-Market fit to achieve success.
“In the long run, the biggest reality of success is Product-Market fit. That's why I think the relationship between Product-Marketing and the product team is so important because it's our job to bring the view of the market into the product and take a product and make sure it's messaged and positioned correctly for the market. It's happening all the time. Guess what? Every time there's a change in the market, even if you had a product-market fit, you have to go back and rethink it.” Latané Conant, CMO, 6sense
Alongside doubling down on the Product-Market fit, it is equally vital to crystallize your messaging to the dot. Dustin advocates that you should align all teams on “what you're doing as a company, what your product delivers, and the impact that we deliver to every organization.”
Another buzzword gaining traction in the PM space is ABM, i.e., Account-Based Marketing. For Latane, ABM is:
ABM aligns the entire company on the most winnable accounts and contacts with a Product-Market fit.
(ABM) “is how we make sure that every single caller that we have in our go-to-market team, which is extremely limited, is focused on the most winnable accounts and contacts. You have to have, I think, a really good ABM mindset to say: What is the market for this product? How many accounts are actually in this market? How do we penetrate this? I think you need to know if you're capturing demand or creating demand, and you can start to look at the market and the breadcrumbs and see, okay, in this segment of our business, there already is a lot of demand.” Dustin Deno, CRO, Affinity
For Product-Marketers, it is good to achieve a Product-Market Fit, build and chisel the ICP, and look at such breadcrumbs of data about the market to marry PM and ABM successfully. Dustin looks at this as just an advanced level of sales and marketing initiatives.
“My job is to direct the team in a very focused and targeted way because, you know, we're the most expensive line item on someone's budget. So, we have to make sure that we're efficient. If you're not targeted with who you're going after with the right messaging and making sure you're doing it to accounts with a high propensity to buy — I don’t know how you can survive without it.”
Revenue is a team sport.
If you have painstakingly built a process that aligns with your Product-Market fit and ABM strategy, the next important metric as you inch toward revenue is time-to-value.
Dustin obsesses over time-to-value through his three touchpoint process:
- Who are we marketing to?
- How are we getting them into the funnel?
- How are we getting them from time to value extremely fast?
He sends out his best salespeople to close these conversations, generating more authority and trust. This helps him generate and sustain repeat customers and reduce the churn rate, generating more revenue.
There has to be more work put in behind the scenes, especially with your product and sales teams, and build accountability to further time to value.
Latane follows a process called ‘finding the red.’
- Isolate the problems and look for red flags.
- Try and build solutions to chase these reds.
- Have a high degree of urgency around quickly finding and fixing the red.
Revenue is a team sport, so it is crucial to have pre-game strategies, presence of mind, the ability to think and adapt on your feet, chase success, and then sit down for a post-game analysis to perform better consistently.
When led with extreme vulnerability and accountability, finding the red can help ensure your pipelines and inflows are secure and ready to take on and service your customers as a solution provider.
Putting money where the process it - exchanging value for money
Understanding the Product-Market fit and the whole team’s role in generating revenue leads to one key solution for developing and sustaining value for money — operationalization.
Both Dustin and Latane largely concur on this process when it comes to successfully exchanging value for money:
- Ensure your BDRs know all the data points: Who to reach out to, what message to reach out with, and what they're trying to accomplish.
- Build robust SLAs: Sales team should lead the creation of a Service Level Agreement along with the marketing to aid time-to-value.
- Be very prescriptive: Align the team on what they need to do daily, build processes and dashboards to understand how leads move through the funnel and get serviced to generate revenue.
Essentially, the daily workflow for a team that successfully exchanges value for money looks like this:
“The first thing is operationalizing, ensuring that your team wakes up daily and knows exactly what to do. I think to be a good steward of marketing, it's our job to operationalize efficiently and effectively. Build transparency through SLAs with your marketers, so if I'm going to hold the marketer accountable for how much pipeline they bring, I need them to hold me accountable for how quickly we're following up on that. Then we find the right mix of activity between the two of us that generates, you know, continuous revenue. The last piece is that you must align the whole company with it. I know that's hard, but your CEO needs to know that you're looking at how you're progressing certain accounts through the funnel versus this idea of an MQL. Everyone has to be aligned with that.”
Operationalize, be open to making mistakes, lead with vulnerability and accountability to fix them and keep the alignment going to create a revenue powerhouse amidst your product, sales, and marketing teams.
Want to learn how not just to survive but thrive as you exchange value for money efficiently? Listen to the full interview.