On a cold, dreary Tuesday night in Boston, 13 marketing and sales executives gathered at the warm and inviting Trade restaurant for the inaugural CMO dinner hosted by MassTLC and underwriter Zylotech. When you convene this many CMOs in one room, you are bound to be treated to an evening of sharing, learning and merriment – and we enjoyed heavy doses of all three.
We began by introducing ourselves, sharing why we chose to attend, and what our first car and jobs were. No McDonald’s or baby-sitting for this crowd! We started our working lives as Christmas tree farmers, radio show producers (with a summer take home pay of $520!), fish mongers, and waitresses. One of us even held our first job for just one day (and he never did get paid). The cars were just as varied – some of us (yours truly) had humble automotive beginnings with Datsun B210s and Dodge Omnis, while others were sexily hitting the road in a ’73 Mustang convertible and a bright yellow Spitfire!
After a lot of laughs getting to know each other better, we buckled down to the business of exploring the practice of Revenue Operations, marketing, sales and customer success alignment, and analytics. Every person in the room participated, giving us a rich array of new ideas to think about. We learned from our special subject matter experts for the discussion about their company’s strong, collaborative and aligned go-to-market process across marketing, sales and customer operations. The keys to their success include great data and analytics, but, more importantly, transparency, shared revenue goals, and a culture of direct and open dialogue through which leaders both challenge and support each other.
We talked about the benefits of having a leader across sales, marketing and customer functions, who creates a shared, customer-driven vision, sets aligned goals, and fosters the collaboration and communication needed to drive consistent, customer-driven growth.
We shared the challenges that marketing, typically with a small team, faces in structuring to support multiple products, geographic markets, industries, and channels. We often need to make hard trade-offs and spread ourselves too thinly. Many of us agreed that we too often lean towards new business creation and under-resource marketing efforts for existing customer growth. We also touched on how our lead qualification and cold calling teams are structured.
Lastly, no discussion would be complete without us trading information about our technology stacks. Technology won’t make us successful or solve our alignment problems, but it is an absolute foundational element. We heard raves about Mintigo, 6Sense, Tableau, and Conversica. We heard about struggles with chat, and one of our CMOs who is shifting to Drift.
As we wrapped for the evening, we unanimously agreed we want to do this again. It was absolutely energizing to engage with this group.
If you are interested in joining us next time, reach out to Nayla at MassTLC.
Special thanks, again, to our sponsor Zylotech. Zylotech’s customer data platform manages and unifies customer data – no matter how messy and incomplete – pairing it with advanced customer analytics to produce relevancy-based recommendations that can be activated through any marketing engine. B2B marketers are using Zylotech as the underpinning of effective revenue operations.
Hope to see you at the next CMO dinner!