The biggest impact happens when marketing and sales teams rally around the customer. When they work together to form and tell customer stories, it not only brings the two teams into lockstep with a shared mission and vision, the entire company benefits with increased revenue performance and pipeline.”
– Andrea Lechner-Becker, CMO at LeadMD

If you’re like me, you’re grateful that your company kickoff is behind you.

At Drift’s kickoff this year, one of our biggest goals was to align our marketing and sales teams. That’s also part of the reason why we partnered with LeadMD on a recent study. (The quote above is actually taken from that research.)

The purpose of the study? To find solutions for the growing tension between marketing and sales.

Often, the misalignment between marketing and sales comes down to mixed goals, where both departments play co-owners of revenue growth, but are guided by two completely different playbooks:

  • The marketing playbook focuses on generating new leads
  • The sales playbook is completely focused on bookings

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But it doesn’t have to be this way. Based on my own experience, solving this problem requires two things:

  1. A united front between a company’s marketing & sales leadership
  2. A common goal both teams can get behind

During kickoff, I teamed up with our CRO, Josh Allen. Together, we walked through our 2020-2021 go-to-market strategy, how we plan to deliver more value for our buyers, and what our benchmark for success would be for both teams.

Bookings are a great goal for marketing and sales to get behind. But if this success metric isn’t easily adopted by your marketers, the next best goal should be pipeline generation. After all, both departments are growth-oriented and customer-focused.

I’m incredibly excited to work with Josh and the sales and marketing teams to grow the Drift brand and deliver better experiences for our current and future customers – guided by a common goal.

How are you working with your sales team in 2020? What more could you be doing to align marketing with sales?

Here are a few other ideas to get you started 👇


Is the CMO the new Chief Growth Officer? [PwC]

According to PwC, the number one challenge facing today’s CMO is their inability to act as a true partner to sales. A failure to do so not only negatively impacted the tenure of CMOs, but the launch of GTM strategies.

“In the evolving digital world, the marketing function is increasingly being asked to concentrate on lead generation and sales growth. This requires greater cooperation and collaboration with the sales function, and a new set of skills….In effect, CMOs are now tasked with acting as “chief growth officer” without having the authority or resources that go along with that position.”  

This growth mindset was the reason why Josh and I decided to present a united front at this year’s Drift kickoff. Doing so made it clearer to everyone how the Drift strategy and messaging impacted future revenue growth.

5 steps for improving the relationship between sales and marketing in 2020 [LinkedIn]

Most of my work focuses on strategy, but I still love content that gets into tactics.

If you’re looking to improve the relationship between marketing and sales, check out this article. It not only validated my thinking around Drift’s GTM strategy, but gave me more ideas around team-building and sales enablement.

Marketers are getting more love at the top [McKinsey & Co.]

Marketing and sales may have a rocky relationship, but things are looking up for CEOs and CMOs. 83% of CEOs said that marketing is the clear driver of business growth, according to a recent McKinsey report. That said, there’s still work to be done. 23% of these same CEOs don’t feel their marketing organizations are delivering on their growth agenda.

According to McKinsey, here’s what separates high-performing CMOs from the rest of the pack:

  • They leverage CEO support for growth
  • They adopt a CFO mindset to communicate value
  • They partner with CTOs to unlock data insights
  • They empower CHRO to build talented teams

I hope February is treating you well! If you’re on a February 1st fiscal year, I wish you the best in kicking off the year this month.

I’d love to know how you’re getting aligned with your sales leaders. Feel free to send me a note on LinkedIn, tweet to @triciagellman, or reply to this email.

See you next month 👋

(P.S. Really exciting news: I’m launching a new podcast “CMO Conversations with Tricia Gellman” this March. In the podcast, I’ll be interviewing other marketing leaders, sharing advice from my own journey as a CMO, and much more. Learn more about the show here and to subscribe.)

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