The #1 Way To Get Marketing and Sales Aligned

April 26, 2023

Getting sales and marketing on the same page is a tale as old as time — but Vivek Nanda, Chief Growth Officer at SwiftShift, makes it sound easy.  

In this interview with Alina Vandenberghe, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Chili Piper, they discuss:

  • Can CMOs be CROs?
  • The difference between operating vs success metrics
  • Why customer marketing over acquisition
  • and so much more...

Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Alina: This is Alina Vandenberg. I'm co-founder and Co Chili Piper, and I'm here with Vivek, who's Chief Growth Officer at Swift Shift.

[00:00:08] And we're gonna talk. How marketing and sales can work better together to leverage the power of customer marketing and metrics that align them to just be more effective leaders.

[00:00:20] What's the difference between a CMO and a growth

[00:00:22] Vivek: officer?

[00:00:23] Yeah, that's a very interesting question In my opinion. The major differences, like, uh, in CMO role, you are just pretty much tightly just doing the marketing stuff

[00:00:34] in CGO role. You expand that role into little bit on strategy, a little bit on operations, and you don't have a sales team. So it's almost a model where it's either product led or it's operationally given.

[00:00:50] For example, in our case, because this product is less, but it's more about hiring people. The company I work, that's how we grow. And uh, so that is the extension of marketing beyond strategy and operations. Along with that, that's when you focus on the growth, that's the CGO role.

[00:01:08] Alina: If you look at, uh, differences between, uh, CMO and a cro, since they're very tightly connected, how would you look at, um, defining them?

[00:01:19] Vivek: If you ask me like a CMO can be a marketing vp, marketing can be a cro. That's my belief, first of all. Uh, because if it's a product led motion, if there's no sales team, I think CMO or somebody from marketing is equally capable of building that department or handling it.

[00:01:37] But if you have to have a sales lead, And VP of marketing generally do not have experience managing sales reps. They do have experience managing SDRs a lot of time, but not the, you know, the AEs. And in that case, I would recommend that it is generally the cases you bring in a sales leader doing the CRO work.

[00:02:00] And that's how, that's kind of the biggest difference, I would say.

[00:02:03] So it depends. What is company's model of, uh, go to market? Is it like product led versus sales?

[00:02:08] Alina: So to some extent, uh, the marketer is in charge of leads generation, but it's in charge of sales at scale. Um, and then sales has the benefit of using personalization.

[00:02:23] The question is how do you motivate, uh, the individual, uh, account executives and SDRs to do their job better? And that's, uh, Fitted for a specific kind of leader, right?

[00:02:36] Vivek: Yeah. I mean, uh, I don't think it is just marketing jobs for leads. Sales is also generating leads, who's saying sales is not generating and, uh, the, the real thing is alignment.

[00:02:47] Alignment. In terms of, uh, how you set up your teams, like between sales and team sales and marketing, what is the handoff point? Is it the lead as the key success metric or is it a qualified. Mm-hmm. . So I think, and I am always believer of the ladder, which is, you know, marketing. Every marketing department has to have success metric as qualified pipeline.

[00:03:13] And in that case, you have a luxury of having SDR either waste because it doesn't matter anymore because there's no fight.

[00:03:21] Because the fight is only when you talk about just leads, when you talk about qualified opportunities, which is what salespeople want, then it's all gone. There's no mis. So I think, uh, then in that case, you almost have to look through what your workforce capacity looks like and stage of the company.

[00:03:41] If the sales leader can manage and is capable of handing, you know, 10, 20 reps, that's great. They don't necessarily have to take the burden of SDRs if the marketing team is slim, but you can do more, uh, you know, even strategy where SDRs can become. Uh, marketing team and still build qualified pipelines. So that's how I would say it's

[00:04:04] Alina: true.

[00:04:04] It's very hard to define where our sales starts and ends and where marketing starts and

[00:04:09] Vivek: ends. .

[00:04:10] My favorite code that I created it, that sales and marketing in B2B world are not just brother and sister. They are twin brother and sister. That's how close they have to be.

[00:04:19] Like almost born on the same day, just a few seconds. How do you,

[00:04:24] Alina: uh, incentivize, uh, as a co-founder and the CEO for marketing and sales teams to work well together? What metrics should they align on? Yeah.

[00:04:34] Vivek: Uh, I run my teams pretty much, uh, on two metrics, what I call it, operating metrics versus success metrics.

[00:04:41] So operating metrics are your metrics that you can measure on a weekly basis, monthly basis, and this is what you will look at, qualified lead or high intent. People who are hand raised are requesting demos, but that gives you the pulse of where your activities are heading. So that's like operational mattress you have to do every day that operation as a marketing team.

[00:05:03] And that's what you are measured on. Increasing organic traffic, getting more back links. Mm-hmm. , uh, getting, uh, more impression on social media. So that's your operating metrics or getting more email opens.

[00:05:14] And then the success metric need to be always aligned with. The handover point to sales, which is the qualified pipeline or the qualified opportunity.

[00:05:24] And uh, that's how I put it. So there is operating metric, success metric and success metric is the qualified pipeline, especially in BW world. You pass it on to sales and that's how you create the right metrics. You go for only one success metric as a team

[00:05:37] pipeline is

[00:05:38] Alina: important. How do you, uh, incentivize pipeline metrics when it comes to customer?

[00:05:46] Vivek: customer marketing. A lot of people, first of all forget that there is cross sell and expansion. Mm-hmm. , there's almost, in startups always a focus on new, new, new. Mm-hmm. . And it's kind of crazy because, uh,

[00:06:00] I've heard so many companies who will do a lot of events and direct mail, gifting campaigns and just focus on new prospects rather than focus on their existing customers.

[00:06:11] So, which. Is kind of like big miss, like you should be always focusing on existing customers.

[00:06:19] You should be segmenting customers where you have opportunity for upsell and cross-sell. Engage with them at larger scale through these events, through gifting campaigns, even after you've required them so that you can scale it because you know, there's, uh, retention is cheaper than acquisition and uh, that makes it the game.

[00:06:39] The customer marketing is actually more. Especially now as we are entering into the next year, then acquisition. That's what I would say  

[00:06:47] So it's, it's a matter of understanding where your revenue coming from, and of course utilizing the relationship that you have instead of building, finding and building new relationships

Alina Vandenberghe
Vivek Nanda
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Demand Gen Chat is a Chili Piper podcast hosted by Tara Robertson. Join us as we sit down with B2B marketing leaders to hear about the latest tactics and campaigns that are driving pipeline and revenue.
If you’re looking for tactical ways to improve your marketing, this podcast is for you!
About Mastersaas live
MasterSaaS Live is the interview series that seeks to answer the question: What does it take to be a badass CMO? For our host Alina Vandenberghe, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Chili Piper, this question is personal. A CPO-turned-CMO, Alina is on a journey to become a badass CMO — and is building in public as she goes. If you're a current or aspiring marketing leader, this is your only chance to learn from top marketing leaders, innovators, and big thinkers about marketing in 2023 — from CRO to brand to music and so much more.
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