CRM Talks is a video and blog series where we sit down with big brains from all corners of the business world. We want to get to the bottom of why they use CRM, how it helps them, any tips or advice they might have about specific feature implementation, and where they think the world of CRM is heading in the future. Watch it. Read it.
Like the mother of a dozen children, we’re not allowed to say which one is our favourite.
Let’s just say Luke from eStore Media is a good friend of NetHunt CRM. Having already webinared with the Queen of Chat herself, Anastasia from NetHunt’s Customer Success team, he agreed to sit down with another NetHunt queen, Anna Pozniak, to talk all things Sales and Marketing alignment.
What is eStore Media? eStore Media is a service provider which helps eCommerce companies to build long-lasting relationships with customers. It’s the only integrated suite of eStore Shelf Analytics, Product Information Management and Al‑based research methodologies and is proven by Fortune 500 Brands.
If you’ve got time, watch the full video version of our chat with Luke.
If you’re from an older school, stick the kettle on, make a cup of your preferred hot drink, and take in our chat in all its glorious, written form.👇
🗣️ Anna's speech is in bold and Luke's speech is in italics.
We invited Luke to make a recording of this topic because Luke shifted to a new company. They have a marketing director who is trying to establish sales and marketing alignment. Stay tuned because I think we’re about to have an interesting conversation!
It’s great to have you! So, let’s get down to it. How do you define sales and marketing alignment?
I had my answer, but I think I've changed it from when we last spoke. I thought it was quotas, KPIs, and simply making sure everybody is on the same page. I think this helps alignment, but doesn’t implement it.
After reading more into it, alignment is all about streamlining a buyer’s experience and journey. This is the primary focus of internal sales and marketing alignment. So, it’s easy to show why and when alignment is not happening, but without a focus on the buyer then sales and marketing alignment is never going to happen.
So, when does misalignment happen? Do you have any personal stories about misalignment?
Well, I’m not about to name any names but I do have a lot of stories!
For example, when there’s been a certain promise on the website, and then nobody knows how that’ll be dealt with or if it’s even possible, then the SDR team has to come up with an answer to the customers who are asking for a certain thing that’s been promised. That’s when it costs me, you’re burning the pipeline that you’ve got. In an enterprise space, that’s when it gets dangerous.
It’s not only happened to me as a SDR, but as a customer too.
You click on a website and think “oh, I want this report”, and you fill your details in, and you get pushed to a sales person that you didn’t want to speak to; you just wanted to receive the thing that you asked for. The salesperson doesn’t understand the context, they just try to qualify you as a lead. I do it myself, downloading eBooks and they’ve tried to sell me a tool and I’m just like “I don’t know what you do, I just wanted the thing!”.
Let’s talk about how sales and marketing teams at eStore media are aligned now. Most articles that I read about alignment say that you need to hang out and go to the pub together. I’m not sure this really helps alignment. You can get to know people on a personal level, but that doesn’t mean it affects business outcomes and your metrics will skyrocket.
How should Sales and Marketing teams be aligned?
Well maybe, but I think my colleague in marketing would disagree and wants to go to the pub with me! But no, with certain things it’s not just about personal relationships.
I’m new at eStore Media, so is our Marketing Director. In terms of the structure of sales and marketing, we don’t have one - but what we are doing is being very hands-on. I invite him to every weekly meeting and we have regular one-to-one catch ups. We Slack each other regularly asking, “what did you think of this?”. We’re both on the same page with that which is a beautiful thing.
Now in meetings, we analyse everything. We have a recap email after meetings and ask about whether the structure was like to see if they got anything out of that meeting.
Now the obvious question is who should be responsible for alignment?
Everybody! Literally everybody!
Sales and marketing leadership should automatically think that way now. Marketing is becoming more important than ever. Everybody has to think that way.
If it’s not happening then it’s the CEO’s fault. It’s in a chief financial officer’s interest that sales and marketing speak because now you need lots of tech stack - it’s important for teams. They should care, making sure they speak up. CRO come from sales, but they should care about marketing. In the future I think CROs could actually come from marketing, and of course a Сhief Marketing Officer should have a keen interest in sales.
It comes from the CEO or founder that needs an understanding of sales.
You also discussed the tools you use with the marketing director. Should sales and marketing use the same CRM system?
Yes 100%. From a personal point of view it’s all about transparency. I want all the leads in a CRM. I want all the information from any department - I want to see it. If it’s across different systems, it’s gonna cause confusion. A typical person doesn’t want to go into 2-3 different tools just to do their job. Enablement tools, acceleration tools, data tools, you’re clicking into too many different websites if it’s not integrated properly.
That's for me, but then CFOs care about tools, like we mentioned, it’s better for them to have all the tools in one. It’s a better package. People think whether they need to cut something then that’s perfect if it’s in one.
We once experimented with a different tool for email marketing. NetHunt CRM got good email marketing functionality, but we wanted to experiment. It was a nightmare because we always needed to export and import the database. You don’t have the whole history of a lead in the system, you have to manually match data.
Maybe I’m biased, but one tool is better than many!
Luke, thank you so much for this conversation! Thanks for your time, your knowledge, and your expertise. It was a pleasure for me!
Yep, thank you!
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