Sales and marketing alignment is a concept that companies have talked about for years and somehow still haven't managed to solve.
This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, growth strategist and author Darrell Amy what companies can do to finally achieve marketing and sales alignment.
Darrell knows how to help businesses grow. Rolling up his sleeves, he works behind the scenes with executives, sales leaders, and marketing professionals to develop and execute revenue growth strategies.
He knows what works and what doesn’t, and he is shares this information in his new best-selling book Revenue Growth Engine: How To Align Marketing and Sales to Accelerate Growth.
Check out the full episode, or read the transcript below, for details.
Resources from this episode:
Text the word "revenue" to 21000 to go to Darrell's website and gain access to his Toolkit
Kathleen (00:01): Welcome back to the Inbound Success Podcast. I am your host, Kathleen Booth. And this week, my guest is Darrell Amy, who is the author of the Revenue Growth Engine. Welcome Darrell.
Darrell (00:24): Kathleen. It's great to be here. This is going to be a lot of fun.
Kathleen (00:28): I'm excited to dig into this with you because we have a hot topic that I think marketers have have struggled with for a long, long time. But before we jump in could you please tell my audience a little bit about yourself and what the Revenue Growth Engine is?
Darrell (00:47): Absolutely. So I am a sales and marketing junkie. I started as straight out of college with a marketing degree in my hip pocket, started in a sales B2B dog eat dog aggressive sales environment, was a sales rep, sales manager, worked with a Japanese company, helping them recruit and train resellers. And then I got the idea in 2004 to start my own business and my very first client, I trained his sales team. And when we got done training the sales team, he said, Darrell, everything you taught my team is fantastic, but my website doesn't say anything about it. Now, keep in mind, this was 16, 17 years ago, way back in 2004. And he said, do you build websites and being as it was my first client, Kathleen, you know what the answer was? Yes, sir. We built websites.
Darrell (01:38): I'd actually built one for a nonprofit and for my church as well, but I pulled my marketing degree out and, you know, with now close to a decade of, of sales experience and started down this journey of developing salespeople and have had the opportunity to train thousands of salespeople for companies in the fortune 500, all the way down to great, fantastic locally owned, small businesses. And the same time started on this journey in 2004 of web search, social inbound, account-based marketing.
And it's been so much fun having a foot in both the sales and the marketing world all this time, but also feeling that tension back and forth about, you know, this, this perennial topic of sales and marketing alignment and how do we work together? So that's what brought the Revenue Growth Engine together. I wanted to put together a model of best practice to be able to align marketing and sales, to drive what we're all about, whether you're in sales or marketing, which is revenue growth.
Kathleen (02:43): I love that. And it's, it's the perfect segue because as you say sales and marketing alignment has been a topic that marketers have talked about for a long time.
Certainly as long as I've been in marketing and they've even come up with names, like I think HubSpot called it smarketing. And we, one of the companies I used to work at, we joked, we didn't like the word smarketing. So we called it smalignment. But like, literally it's why is this so hard? Why?
Darrell (03:21): Well, it, it, you know, having, having a stake in both worlds here now for almost two decades I think it's hard because there's so many different reasons.
One we, we tend to get focused on, on even though we're, we're heading in the same direction, we're talking different language, you know, if, if you think about the language of marketing, which you know, is fascinating journey here, you know, as it continues to evolve and the platforms and the data and the you know, all of, all of the different words and verbiage we use in marketing and then the world of sales, which, you know, in some ways has changed in a lot of ways, hasn't changed that much.
And so I think there's, there's misalignment communication. And that's why, you know, to me, the, the, the moment the light bulb came on for me was I was getting ready to speak at a conference.
Darrell (04:16): And so it was a growth conference and all these businesses were there. They wanted to grow. There were, there were marketing people in the room and you could tell they were in the front rows, they were ready to roll. They were excited about all the new gadgets and all of the new you know, the new tools out there. And it's an incredibly exciting time for marketing right behind them.
You could see the sales managers, the sales managers are in the room, you know, if they were either, they were either on their phones trying to, you know, close a deal or get something moving forward. And, but you could kind of see the thought bubbles above the sales manager's heads, right? Like, why are we here? This is a waste of time. We could be out selling something and where, why don't I, why aren't you giving me better leads?
Darrell (05:00): And then in the back of the room where the business owners and they're back there, I can see a couple of them drinking their coffee. And they're like, you know, looking out over this, you could just see them going, why can't y'all get along and figure this out. And as I was preparing for this conference, that's when I realized that this isn't about marketing. This isn't about sales. As much as I love either both of the professions, what it's about is growing revenue.
And if you boil it all down to the most basic level, Kathleen I've determined, there's really only two ways to grow revenue. We get more net, new customers, or we sell more to our current clients. Those are the two ways to grow revenue. And so rather than talk about sales and marketing, I say, we shift the conversation to driving net new business and cross selling more to our current clients, and then let's get together and figure out how to do that.
Kathleen (05:55): All right. So how do we do that? Because you have this, I don't know why this is so difficult to solve. Like it's, it's, I would think that this would be something that would have been fixed by now. So, so I would love to hear your take on, on what the best way is to approach it
Darrell (06:12): Well, so here's the, here's the first place to start is just to look at your business and ask the question. If there's only two ways to grow revenue, getting net new clients, or selling more to your current clients, which of those two are you good at? And which are you maybe not so good at where's your core strength?
And what I find is, Oh, I'll illustrate this with a story. We went to do a growth strategy workshop. I get involved in a lot of these, this was pre COVID. So it was on the airplane, down into West Palm beach, working with a great technology company down there.
And we've got the owner of the company in the room, say VP of sales, marketing director, a couple other folks in the room, and they're there to put together a strategic growth plan. And so we get to the beginning of the conference and you know, we're just North of Miami, we're drinking cafecitos that great.
Darrell (07:04): Oh man, it's so good Cuban coffees. We're having a great time. We get ready to start the conference. And like all, you know, all workshops. I say, you know, what are your goals? We said, going around the room and the owner of the company goes, I want more net new business. And everyone goes, , we want more net new business. So I write on the board net new. So what's your goal?
And they said, well, 10%, if we can get 10% year over year net new, you know, we'll be happy. Is that okay? That sounds modest and reasonable or write down 10%. So what did you do last year? Oh, and I'm expecting like 2%, maybe we went backwards, you know, something like that. And he goes, well, we did 9.8% net new growth last year. That's what I did. I started laughing. I was like, well, congratulations.
Darrell (07:52): You know, we should write a case study. This is great. But then I said, what about cross sell the other driver of revenue growth? And this company had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in personnel partnerships training on this new services initiative. That was a great fit for their current client base.
How's that going? And the owner's eyes roll back. Right. And he's like, Darrell, we're struggling with this. So here's, here's why I tell this story sales and marketing. You know, rather than having this battle back and forth, which we can talk about, I've got some thoughts on that as well, but rather than have the battle look at the two drivers of revenue growth, find the one you're not good at and then get together and say, how can we solve this problem?
And in the case of this company, you know, they said, how can we solve this problem of cross selling?
Darrell (08:44): Well, say, you know, the obvious answer from sales is we need to develop a regular cadence of meeting with our ideal clients to review business and keep up to date.
So they started a periodic business program and got their reps trained and managed around that to support that marketing started a consistent client communication program and backed it up in this case with a client loyalty program, which gave the reps a good excuse to go in and have their first what they ended up being quarterly business review.
And so now, you know, that it wasn't about, you know, marketing, we need more leads. These leads aren't good enough, you know, that kind of stuff, instead of was saying, okay, we've got a real business problem here.
We need more cross sell revenue. Let's get together in the same room, put our creative hats on together and figure out how to do it. And as a result, you know, now they're beginning to cross sell people into that new business area. And when you start doing that, revenue starts accelerating.
Kathleen (09:42): So you talked about getting marketing and sales together and as step number one. And I think there, there are different levels at which you can on what you can really kind of look at sales and marketing alignment. There's a very like theoretical level of, of psychological alignment and that sort of thing.
But then there's the very practical level of when do we put these people in the same room, how often, you know, and for what purposes, so maybe we could start there and can you talk me through kind of your perspective on, on, you know, these are generally two different departments within a company, and so what, is there a meeting cadence that you are a fan of for them?
Darrell (10:25): Absolutely. And, and so there's so many different ways we could talk about this. I think there should be a regular meeting cadence and whatever that cadence is, then the question goes, well, what's the topic of the meetings that we're going to have when we're working with clients to implement a revenue growth strategy, we'll have a quarterly sales and marketing strategy meeting where they'll look at core initiatives for a stage of the client experience that they want to work on together or a particular problem such as cross selling they want to solve. And then that group will set some, some goals for that business quarter.
And they'll meet together weekly in a sale, a weekly sales and marketing or marketing and sales alignment meeting. And so in that meeting now, they've got specified projects that they're working on. You know, some are more marketing focused, some are more sales focus, but they're working together and building out that infrastructure for those projects.
Darrell (11:24): And they're both giving input on them. So we get to the end of the quarter and the projects are done. It's not, you know, one of the biggest problems with sales and marketing alignment is marketing creates something, launches it. I was talking to a sales rep out in Los Angeles and a great rep works in financial services. And he's like Darrell.
I went to meet with one of my clients today and they pulled out something from our marketing department and put it in front of me and ask me a question I'd never it before in my life. So, so let's get marketing and sales together on some type of regular cadence. I think weekly to have an alignment meeting where where we're solving problems together and we're creating things together, whether it's collateral or campaigns or whatever that is so that, you know, we're cross pollinating and getting input and buy-in throughout the, throughout the process.
Darrell (12:17): The other thing that you can do there's two other things, very practically for sales and marketing alignment related to meetings. One is to set a cadence of deal analysis. And I talk about this and the Revenue Growth Engine book, where maybe once a month you say, you know what, we're going to get together for an hour, or we're going to get together for lunch, or we're going to do something once a month with some sales leaders and some marketing leaders in the room.
And we're going to take a deal. We won the deal we lost and a deal that went to no decision, and we're going to tear it apart together, and we're going to figure it out and we're going to figure out why we're winning, why we're losing and why, you know, why we're getting no decision deals. And now sales and marketing in the room together are able to process that you might invite in your sales reps from time to time.
Darrell (13:06): You might even invite in the client and go, why did we win? You know, this is this is helpful. And, and doing those, those deal analysis meetings, those usually just happen in the sales department. If you have a great sales leader, they'll already be doing deal analysis. It's kind of like Monday at LA.
You know, it's like Monday after the football game, we all watched the tape, right. Here, I think companies shouldn't do that as a sales and marketing team and maybe even operations together to figure out why are we winning? And that's going to make the marketing better. It's going to make sell sales better and it's going to help align.
Kathleen (13:43): I love that. I'm, I'm curious about one thing, cause so I've worked in sales I've I obviously work in marketing now. And I've run a lot of sales and marketing alignment meetings and, and what I found in my experience and maybe I'm running them wrong, but I found that that a lot of times they veer into becoming a time for sales to, to ask marketing for things.
And I will say at marketing's behest, like when I have these meetings, I'll be like, what can we do to help you sell better? You know, what are questions you're hearing from, from prospects? What are, what are things you need to close deals faster? And I think those are all things that need to be talked about, right?
Like, because marketing has a really important role in sales enablement, but sometimes I feel like these meetings veer into the territory of just become like adding to marketing's to do list without kind of the reverse, which is, you know, really looking closely at marketing hand sales leads, what's happening with them and what is sales doing on their side? And this is totally my biased opinion because I spend more in these meetings as a marketer than I ever did as a sales person.
But what is your experience been? Because sometimes that, that to me can get frustrating where I'm like, okay, this, this meeting should not all just be about adding to my to-do list. It needs to be a two-way street where, you know, the sales team gets held accountable for using the marketing materials and doing certain things. I dunno, I dunno. Have you seen anything work really well?
Darrell (15:16): Well, I think that when you do start creating things together, so you start with strategy, you know, and rather than start at the tactical level, which tends to happen, right? What do you guys need? Oh, I need a brochure or, you know, whatever. I, you know, if you start start a lot of times those meetings start there.
The other thing to do is I want to talk about leads for a minute. Cause this is one of the biggest places of tension between marketing and sales sales says he don't give me enough leads. And when you do get leads, sales said, these leads are garbage. And then the marketing people say never close the leads. So and I work primarily in the B2B space. So the answer I'm going to give here is in the business to business space and in the business to business space.
Darrell (16:04): Most of the companies that I work with in most companies in the business to business space have a defined target market. In fact we recommend that you dial it down even more to what we call ideal clients, which is not a new term, but the idea is who are the clients that can buy everything that you sell and are a good fit.
They align with your company values and you know, the types of clients you want to work with once you know who your ideal clients are, you've got the profile you've marked your current ideal clients because not all of your current clients are ideal by the way. And maybe it's a usually 80-20 rule then go out in the marketplace and go, okay, let's get the data on our ideal clients. Once that happens. Now, the sales and marketing lead thing is over.
Darrell (16:57): I say, if you know who your ideal clients are, you don't need leads. You already know who your leads are, what you need is engagement and intelligence. So a lot of this back and forth of, you know, Hey, you're not giving me enough leads. What we need instead is we need, we know who our ideal prospects are.
Let's now put a plan together from a sales standpoint and a marketing standpoint to make sure we have what I call a hundred percent coverage of these ideal prospects. So from a sales standpoint, you know, the sales leader goes, Hey, here's IRA. Our ideal prospects. We've agreed on a cadence to call on the three most important decision makers, influencers, or marketing speak personas in those accounts on a quarterly basis. So you can call on anyone you want to, but absolutely hundred percent. We call on these ideal prospects.
Darrell (17:52): We engage with them and if you don't want to do it totally fine, we'll give it to somebody else. So you put a target account program in place. Marketing's the same thing. Now this requires a different thought pattern in marketing.
Cause usually with marketing, we've kind of been like, we're going to throw, you want to throw the nets out, throw the lures out and hope we snag something. But with an ideal client profile in mind and it lists of ideal prospects. Now it becomes incumbent upon marketing to say, we're going to use every possible effort to get the company in front of these prospects with a value proposition.
And we're going to aim for 100% coverage, meaning that every decision maker and influencer hears from our company and engages with our company in some way on a regular basis. Now, are we ever going to get to a hundred percent?
Darrell (18:45): No, but you know, now from marketing rather than becoming tactical campaign focused, we're gonna run an email campaign and we're going to do this. Now we're getting in the room and we're going, okay, we've got these prospects. What can we do to engage with them?
And this is more of an account-based marketing mindset. You know, an account-based marketing is a fantastic model. That's been pioneered at the enterprise level in the technology world. But regardless of what you hear in the enterprise level or technology world, this mindset of saying, Hey, we know who our target, our ideal prospects are. Let's figure out how to get in front of them and let's use our best, most creative minds and all of the tools and tactics at our disposal to make sure that happens.
So now we're not talking the stuff that's going back and forth between marketing and sales now is about engagement with these ideal prospects and clients rather than, Hey, I got somebody that gave us an email address from somewhere in the world that might possibly be a human being, right? So a little bit, little bit different mindset. When we look at ideal clients, they're, I'll get off my soap box.
Kathleen (19:58): No, I love all of this. ABM is definitely can be a really powerful strategy if, if executed well. So my question, as I listened to you talking about all of this is what advice do you give to marketing and sales leaders about how they forge a relationship with each other? Because it seems to me that this would all need to start there with the head of marketing and the head of sales becoming one another's best friends.
Darrell (20:32): Yes. And you know, relationships happen with common quills, like happened with time, spent together. You know, they happen when both both parties are rewarded for success.
You there's, there's so many different dynamics there, but at a minimum, you know, I would say start spending time together a lot of time together and, you know, marketing people, one of the, one of the best things that, that I think we can do as marketing people is it used to say, get out in the field.
What that means now is get on the zoom calls, right? It'd be there. On the zoom calls set up, set a cadence where you go, you know what? I'm going to spend a certain amount of time every week with salespeople on calls with prospects and clients, because what's going to happen is in the process, you're going to forge a relationship.
Darrell (21:27): You're but you're also going to get that valuable information, which is what's important to our clients and prospects right now. And maybe even more specifically, what are the actual words that they're using? Because right now, and this may be, you know, there's so many times we've been saying recently, this is more important than ever, but here's one thing I want to say.
And I'm a firm believer that when it comes to the message, which, you know, marketing owns the message when it comes to the message, we've got to always remember that buyers don't buy products. They buy the outcomes, those products and services deliver good old Theodore Levitt walked into his Harvard business school class. And the first day of marketing class holding up the old drill bit says, you know, nobody ever buys a drill bit. They buy the whole course set, Seth Godin would say, go South.
Darrell (22:17): We'd say they didn't buy the hole. They bought the ability to hang the plaque on the wall. Right. And I always laugh because then Donald Miller stands right behind and says, well, they didn't actually buy it. The plaque, they bought the ability to look good to their friends.
So they didn't get isolated weighted and eaten by a lion, you know, whatever the motivation is, you know, buyers buy outcomes, right. And what's so critical right now. And this is why I think marketing and sales need to be working together and meeting with clients and prospects together is the outcomes shift or continuing to shift.
They shifted with COVID when the crisis happens. So I think we all know that, but I mean, if you think about know, for example, right after about six or eight weeks after the crisis started this, this year Gartner went out and did some research in the tech space and they said, what outcomes do you want?
Darrell (23:08): Well, last year it was all about scalability. And how do we, you know, accelerate growth and do all these things this year or after the crisis, the outcomes changed resiliency, redundancy, remote working, enabled that same product, same service, different outcomes, which means different message.
And I think that message is going to continue to shift as we move through the different stages of economic recovery, whatever that looks like. And so in this time, it's really critical that is marketing people. We get out there with the sales team and we know participate or lurk in video and zoom meetings and listen in really pay attention to what the specific top of mind outcomes, the problems and aspirations that our prospects and clients have.
And that is aligning that. And then after those meetings sitting down with their sales team and debriefing and going, okay, what do we hear here? So we can make sure that the message that we're delivering from a marketing perspective that also gets repeated by salespeople is laser focused on what the clients and prospects actually want right now,
Kathleen (24:20): Do you ever find that marketing gets pushed back from sales on that participation? Because it's interesting. You know, I've, I've seen various levels of receptivity to this. I worked in one company where the sales team was highly receptive to marketing, kind of being a fly on the wall.
Then I spent some time in the cybersecurity sector and nobody wants any flies on the wall, whether that's a marketing person or like now there's all this great technology like gong and chorus and you know, where you can record calls, but in B2B cyber it's, it's like next to impossible to do any of that.
And, and then I've worked in companies where, you know, they, the sales team just says, well, we don't want to bring a clown car into a meeting. Like we want to keep it small. And so I'm wondering what you've seen and what, whether you've seen that pushback and if so, how you've addressed it.
Darrell (25:17): Well, certainly I think that's a sales leadership issue and you know, and obviously not withstanding highly regulated industries and, you know, different things like that. I mean, there's, there's certainly a lot of different challenging circumstances, but the reality of all of it is marketing can't, we can't as marketers deliver a clear focused message unless we're able to be in front of buyers.
You know, there's only so much that internet research is going to do. It's actually hearing the words that they're using. Another way to go about if you can't get involved in the meetings.
One thing that I think marketers should do and should always have at the top of their priority list, it's usually at the bottom, but at the top of their priority list is case studies, success, stories, client interviews, whatever you want to call it. So and I, this was, this comes from just a, a 32 second rant from running a marketing agency now for 17 years, right?
Darrell (26:17): Hey, Darrell, we need you know, to redo our marketing. Great. Okay. So we come back with, you know, website and all the different things. And then underneath all on that red list of recommendations is to put together a set of case studies because we always ask, do you have any case studies?
Well, no, we hadn't ever gotten around to it. Okay. So now, you know, now it's like, Hey, we need a new website. We need corporate brochure, some videos, all this. And then we say, well, what about case studies? Well, we'll get around to that when we're done with that. So I got to the point where, and you know, now the answer is, look, we're not going to build a website for you.
We're not going to build a corporate brochure. We're not going to do anything for you until we write three case studies for your current clients, because then you'll see, we'll see together what the actual outcomes those people want and what they value from your company.
Darrell (27:12): And I've just always makes me laugh. Kathleen, I get asked I've had the opportunity over the years to write many, many case studies. And when I do, I'll always interview the sales rep first, and this is such a great point of marketing and sales alignment.
So I'll interview the sales rep and say, Hey, tell me about this client that give me the backstory. Why did they buy Oh, well it's because we saved them money. Or we gave them a positive ROI, which is sales speak for save the money. Okay. Great. Any other reason? No, no. It was mainly because of my good looks and we saved them money.
Okay. So then we'll interview the client and you know, we'll get down to the benefits section. What were the challenges, what did this company do for you or how have you benefited? And the client will start rattling things off.
Darrell (27:58): We like this, we love this. This is really helped our organization. It solved this problem. And in most of those conversations, I ended up having to say, Oh, by the way, are you tracking the ROI, trying to bring the money thing into it somehow. And most of the time the clients go, well, not really, but we like this, this, this, and this.
So then I go back to the sales rep and go, Hey, do you want to know why your client actually is buying from you? And do you want to know how much money you left on the table by discounting this instead of charging a little bit more than what they were currently spending to get all these additional benefits.
And so case study conversations, you know, I would say as, as marketing, you know, I would challenge you to set a cadence to say, I'm going to do one of these a month, or if you don't have a library of them one a week and really get that that going, it's going to help fuel your message.
So you're able to create better content, but we'll also give you tons of stuff to go back to the sales team and begin to add value and forge those relationships.
Kathleen (29:00): That's a really good point. And I don't know how many marketers really do that, but I love that notion of, you know, so often as marketers, we're going to sales and asking them to tell us things, but if we can interview customers and, and bring intelligence back to sales, that's really powerful.
Darrell (29:22): It is, and you know, the market research is good and we should be doing that. And we should be, you know, doing industry trends and seeing what's going on, but none of that can replace the actual conversations and words with our ideal clients. And that's where, you know, it gets down I'm Canadian. So I like maple syrup. I write about maple syrup a lot in Revenue Growth Engine. Just because
Kathleen (29:49): You would get along with my husband really well because he not kidding says all the time that maple syrup is the, the universe's most perfect food. He puts it in his coffee.
Darrell (30:01): Does he drink it straight?
Kathleen (30:03): I don't know if he would admit he did.
Darrell (30:07): And I don't know if I would admit on live radio, I drink it straight up that may or may not happen, but what's great about maple syrup is we take a substance that, you know, is sweet. It's okay. You know, SAP comes out of a tree, but then it gets distilled down. It takes 40 gallons of SAP to make a gallon of maple syrup. And that's where having these conversations with clients.
And then also if possible participating in sales meetings, that's where you get it boiled down to the really good stuff. And that's where we create messaging that is really effective. And that can't happen until we get in front of clients as marketers and cooperating with sales. And that is one good way to start to build those relationships.
Kathleen (30:49): So I'm curious about one thing, which is, do you think that the way marketing and sales leaders are compensated feeds into this divide between marketing and sales, like is there, is the incentive structure part of the problem or the, I shouldn't say the incentive structure itself, but it's the fact that they very often have two different incentive structures or in some cases marketers have no incentive structure, right. You pay, like, I wonder if that, if that lends itself to deepening the divide between marketing and sales.
Darrell (31:27): Maybe I think so. And I'm thinking from two different angles, one is just in terms of overall results. You know, when, when the team wins, everybody should win and you know, I'm not a compensation expert by any stretch, but just that principle of saying when the team wins, everybody should win. And we all know in today's buying environment that there is no buyer that doesn't touch the company's marketing at some point before, during and after the sales process.
Right. I mean, it's just, it's the reality of today's world. So I think there should be an incentive there, especially, and I would, I would say, especially around landing ideal clients, like that's where you should really have the high fives, but the other place that I think a lot of companies miss it, even if they've got a structure that does align marketing compensation with results is usually sales compensation is aligned to net new business and not cross selling more to current clients.
Darrell (32:33): And you know, this, this is when we look at companies, if you grow net new business by 10% great, you know, it's going to take you, the investment analysts have a rule of 72. You take the number 72, you divide it by the return on investment. It tells you how long it takes to double your investment. We can use that in the sales and marketing world. If we growing 10% year over year 72 divided by 10%, it's going to take you 7.2 years to double the revenue of that business.
Now, if I can cross sell, do net new and cross sell at the same time, I can cut the time to double the business in less by 50% and some even more cause the exponential nature of it. So now instead of seven years, I can double the business and say three. So I think companies would be smart to compensate marketing and sales, not just on net new, but also on cross sell revenue to current clients.
And to really focus on that. And most companies we go in overall, it's not a, it's probably a general rule that that's just not happening and there's a great opportunity to align marketing and sales by getting the comp right around cross selling.
Kathleen (33:47): I would agree with you. And I just, the whole thing really does make me wonder if marketers were given the exact same incentive structure as the sales teams with whom they work, how would that change things? And I was thinking, as you were talking, I was actually thinking through it, if it were true for me, which it's not right now.
And if, if I was being comped exactly as my sales counterpart was, I suspect and shame on me for not doing this already, that I would probably more frequently be saying to him, Hey, like we got to sit down today and look at what it's going to take for us to hit the number, you know, this month or this quarter, like I would be doing that more often.
And so I don't know. It's just, it's interesting. I hadn't really thought about it before, but you, you got me, you got my wheels turning on that during this conversation.
Darrell (34:34): Mine as well. And, and I think you know, the general principle here is, is if the sale, if you want sales and marketing aligned, when the company wins sales and marketing should both win. And you know, there's, there's there's no disputing that, that it takes a team effort from the buyer's perspective, right?
We all know the data. We all know that that, you know, the buyers are way through the buying journey. I'm laughing Kathleen. Cause I was on a live cast the other day and I was quoting the challenger customer data on there's an average of 6.8 decision-makers in the average B2B transaction. And I said, that was 10 data, 10 years ago.
I know it's higher now. And I was live on the podcast and Brent Adamson chimed in, in the comments and said, it's now 12. So that made me laugh. But I was the reality is today, especially in the B2B buying space, you know, these decisions are complex. There's a lot of different people involved.
It takes a team effort from sales and marketing to make sure that all the decision makers and influencers are properly informed and, and, you know, properly engaged throughout the buying cycle. And there's no way that sales can do that all by themselves. So , let's look at compensation. Great. Okay.
Kathleen (35:58): If, if nothing else I'm, I think I'm going to for the next week, do a test and pretend as though that's how I was being comped and see what it gets me to do differently. Interesting. And what happens as a result of that? So I'll make myself the Guinea pig. Well, we can talk about this all day, but we're running out of time.
So I want to shift gears for a second. I always ask all my guests the same two questions at the end. I'm curious what you have to say. The first one is that, of course we are the inbound success podcast. So when it comes to inbound marketing, is there a particular company or individual that you think is really knocking it out of the park these days?
Darrell (36:35): Well, I am a huge HubSpot fan. We, we have been a HubSpot partner for a long time now and I, what I really like is I do like the innovation that's happening there. We've talked today about some account-based marketing strategies. I call it account-based marketing light, kind of, you know, for the, the mid sized companies.
And HubSpot's bringing more and more tools to the table in that space. And also just the beautiful way they've aligned sales and marketing with sales tools, CRM in the middle marketing and even operations. Now I say huge shout out for the work that's going on at HubSpot big fan.
Kathleen (37:14): I mean, they are absolutely the gold standard. Second question. One of the biggest pain points I hear marketers express to me is that digital marketing is changing incredibly quickly and it's very hard to keep up with everything. So how do you personally keep yourself educated and up-to-date?
Darrell (37:32): That's a great question. There's no, there's no stopping with education. I, I think the reality is you've got to be a voracious reader right now. So if you look behind me, I've got a lineup. This is my lineup of books to read right now. You know, and so I, I try to read a book every week and in the process as well, just you know, I've got my Feedly stacked with with as many informative blogs as possible.
There's no way getting around doing the hard work of educating yourself. And I think it's, especially for marketers, it's gotta be something where you say, Hey, I'm going to dedicate 10% of my week to educating myself. Otherwise you're going to fall behind really quickly.
Kathleen (38:20): It's very easy to do. It's very easy to do. All right. Well, if somebody is listening and they want to learn more about the Revenue Growth Engine, or want to connect with you online and ask a question, what is the best way for them to do that?
Darrell (38:36): Well, you text the word revenue to 21000 that's revenue to 21000. That'll take you through to our website, you'll get access to our growing toolkit, which actually contains some tools that will be helpful for sales and marketing, maybe to work on together and to set some goals.
And of course, my name is Darrell Amy, and Kathleen. There's just not that many people out there with the last name, Amy and the first name Darrell. So I bet if you look for me on LinkedIn, you'll probably find me. I'd love to connect with you.
Kathleen (39:04): Well, I will make it even easier and I will put the link to your LinkedIn and your website in the show notes.
So make sure to head over to the show notes if you're listening and you want to connect with Darrell or learn more about revenue, growth engine, or gain access to his toolkit in the meantime, if you were listening today and you liked what you heard, or you learned something new, please consider heading to Apple podcasts or the platform of your choice and leaving the podcast or review, I would really appreciate it.
And if you're listening and you know, somebody else who's doing kick ass inbound marketing work, tweet me at @workmommywork because you never know, they could be my next guest. Thank you so much for joining me this week, Darrell.
Darrell (39:48): I had a great time. Thank you, Kathleen, for all you're doing here on the podcast. It's fantastic.
Kathleen (39:52): Oh, thank you. All right. Until next week.
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