CMO Peer Group Meeting: Solving the Great Divide, Sales and Marketing Alignment

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It was a great gathering of just over 20 CMOs and VPs of marketing to end the month and discuss sales and marketing alignment. Clint Poole, CMO of Lionbridge, hosted the discussion.  We expect that the alignment conversation will continue at future meetings but summarized below are a few key takeaways from Clint and the group to help solve the great divide.

  1. Lionbridge made a decision a few years back to move LDRs under marketing. They serve as the connective tissue to sales. They started with a pilot and were quickly able to prove a positive impact on leads/revenues.  It was estimated that only approximately 25% of organizations are aligned with this model but Clint believes it’s critical to alignment success.  Note, someone commented that this shift can have its challenge as LDRs natural progression is into a sales position so recruiting this talent can be more difficult. 
  2. Moving forward takes hard work with a coordinated effort on GTM planning, refreshing segmentation and ideal customer profiles and prioritizing accounts.
  3. Only with good sales and marketing alignment are you going to be able to initiate successful Account Based Marketing.  Peter Isaacson, CMO of DemandBase, and a member of MassTLC, shared this ebook which provides actionable insights to align Sales and Marketing around a common set of goals.
  4. The #1 reason sales doesn’t make quota is they are unable to differentiate value. Lionbridge instituted a social learning approach for sales training that was shown to increase ASP and deal size. The program improved rep confidence and a greater return on investment.
  5. As always, measurement and reporting are key to success. Lionbridge established this structure.
    Clint’s full presentation can be downloaded here. We can’t thank Clint enough for his thoughtful presentation and for hosting the meeting.  Also, a shout out to Peter Isaacson, CMO of Demandbase for joining us while in town. Demandbase is a sponsor of the MassTLC sales and marketing community.  I’d be happy to connect you with them if you’re on the path to ABM.
    Our next meeting will be hosted by Bob Canaway, CMO of Black Duck Software and is scheduled for March 24th.  Topics of interest based on polling the group include:

    • Where do BDRs reside, continuing the conversation and training techniques ·       Structuring the marketing team
    • MBOs for marketing team members – compensation and MBOs, but larger topic, how does marketing talk to CRO, CEO – finding success in up and over
    • Understanding decision making framework for brand investments
    • Deeper dive on ABM – Hot topic!
    • Customer acquisition driven by marketing and sales – how do you align
    • Customer Marketing – Bernd – what role do we play and how do we measure – attribution is very different
    • Buyer’s journey shift – where do sales and marketing fit, overlap, hand-off
    • Alignment with CMO, CIO, CEO
    • How do you find time to do everything as a startup marketing organization? How do you build your team?
    • Sales enablement – outside vs. inside vs. BDR
    • Shifting from a product focused organization to customer-centric focused
    • Marketing enablement – people, process, technology
    • Marketing tech stack
    • How do you identify and choose the right segments Analysts and influencers
    • Budgeting – getting support internally
    • Marketing 101 – series of fundamentals – this has been asked for by other segments of our membership and will help fill a need in the market
    • Product marketing sub-group interest!



    If there is a particular topic you are interested in, please let me know.


    We look forward to connecting again soon!