Key Trends in B2B Demand Gen Marketing Teams
Highlights from this Episode
Highlights from this episode
Welcome to part two of our chat with David Lewis. In this episode we continue our though provoking chat with my good friend, David Lewis, CEO and founder of DemandGen and the author of Manufacturing Demand. We will be discussing key trends in B2B Demand Gen Marketing Teams. David’s team has helped over 400 clients with lead management, including companies like SAP, Dell and Apple. David discusses a few of the principles from his book, Manufacturing Demand. He then talks about how marketing can build a better relationship with sales. He also looks to the future of B2B marketing anhod what it may look like in the coming years. Lastly, he shares where you can get a free copy of his book.
Key Points from This Episode:
- Building better, more collaborative relationships between sales and marketing.
- Why sales and marketing need to have empathy and understanding for each other.
- Evaluating marketing through the lens of the sales department.
- Predictions for the future of demand gen.
- Where to get a free copy of David’s book.
“Nobody wants to be told what to do. Nobody wants change pushed on them..” — @demandgendave [0:05:11.4]
“If you operate in silos and hate each other and don’t want to get culturally aligned, no amount of verbiage or desire is going to ultimately work because you really don’t fundamentally want to align with sales.” — @demandgendave [0:07:15.1]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
David Lewis on Linkedin — https://www.linkedin.com/in/demandgendave
David Lewis on Twitter — https://twitter.com/demandgendave
Manufacturing Demand – http://manufacturingdemand.com/
DemandGen — https://www.demandgen.com/
DemandGen Radio — https://demandgenradio.com/
Dell — https://www.dell.com/
Apple — https://www.apple.com
SAP — https://www.sap.com/
Martec — http://www.martec.com/
Scott Brinker — https://chiefmartec.com/about/
Training Day — https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0139654/
[0:00:07.2] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to the B2B Marketing Jukebox by LeadCrunch. Help us start a movement to make B2B marketers the maestros of shareholder value.
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0:00:34.0] DG: I’m here today with David Lewis. David, thank you so much for joining us today.
[0:00:37.8] DL: Absolutely, good to be here with you, David. Thanks for having me.
[0:00:40.7] DG: You bet. David is the CEO of DemandGen, a great company that helps companies in B2B with things like the marketing tech stack, the configuration and integration of those things, demand gen strategy and execution, lead management, reporting analytics, data services and all the things that come with that like sales and marketing alignment and lead nurturing and all those kinds of things.
The company’s worked with 400 different clients I think at this point and companies like Dell and Apple and SAP and so on. David’s also an advisor to MarTec, if you’ve ever seen the Scott Brinker marketing tech landscape with 5,000 companies on it and it gives you a headache to look at it. And he wrote a book about five years ago called Manufacturing Demand, which I highly recommend and he also has his own podcast, DemandGen Radio. David, thank you so much for joining us again.
[0:01:38.4] DL: You bet, thanks again for having me, and it’s always interesting to hear someone else kind of paint your life story, or a little bit about what you’re doing, and glad to be here and share some of the insights and certainly learnings I’ve had across that journey.
[0:01:51.9] DG: My experience with this, helping people with the journey, is that some of it’s counterintuitive. By constraining the volume of leads that you pass over to sales, you actually sell more and that’s a concept that seems a little bit curious to people at first. You think, “Well, let’s give them all because who knows who’s going to sell.” But it doesn’t really work like that. It brings up a problem that I think a lot of marketing people struggle with, and sales organizations, which is, how do you build a better, more collaborative relationship with sales?
[0:02:24.9] DL: First of all, you start off by wanting to do that. I cover that, David, a lot in my book. In fact, when I reread my book a couple years later, after I had written it, I just went back and did that because I’m working on a new book right now called Agents of Change and so at one point I said, “Am I going to keep my old book? Just keep it out there? Or should I incorporate some of the key points, evolve it and work on the new book?”
And when I read it, I’m like, “Wow, the beginning of my book is all about why I’m so passionate about aligning with sales.” Where that passion came from and in fact, there’s a story in the book where I say, “If I was a new marketer just starting at a new company, I would treat it like an episode of the movie Training Day with Denzel Washington.” Now that ends pretty badly for them, but my message was you’ve got to do a lot of ride-alongs with sales.
Don’t start in the tower before you go out and talk to a lot of clients and prospects. Close-won business, close-lost business. Really find out why people have bought the solution that the company is selling or providing and why people haven’t and so get out there. But in terms of, what are some of the keys for doing that, it’s got to start with you wanting to and with you recognizing that it’s just like cats and dogs, oil and vinegar, salt and pepper.
I think salt and pepper actually is probably the best. I’m going to stop right there with the metaphors because salt and pepper together kind of make a better seasoning, right? Neither one on its own. You wouldn’t want to eat a mouthful of salt and you wouldn’t want to eat a mouthful of pepper but you know, when you sprinkle that on food, it’s better. It’s better together and I have often had to run workshops and get sales and marketing really in the same room.
And have them understand that, yeah, just like the Air Force and the Army are totally different cultures and led totally different that they’re better together and so you have to have that mindset. If you work in a company where that culture is never going to happen, I would say brush up your resume, brush up your LinkedIn profile and think about making a change. Because you can move mountains when the teams are well-aligned. In terms of the key steps for doing that, I’m going to – can I paint a visual with you David, and try to tell a story through the podcast?
[0:04:33.1] DG: Sure.
[0:04:33.3] DL: Alright. I want to have you picture that you and I are in a room together and we’re both standing up and we like each other, we know each other. We trust each other. I’m going to take my hand like I’m high-fiving you, and I’m going to take my hand and put it out and ask you to do the same. Alright? Are you virtually doing that?
[0:04:50.7] DG: Yep.
[0:04:51.4] DL: Now, I’m going to take my hand and I’m going to push on your hand and arm. What are you in your mind doing?
[0:04:59.3] DG: Probably taking a step back a little bit.
[0:05:02.8] DL: Yeah, taking a step back. Probably people listening in felt like I’m pushing your hand back, right?
[0:05:10.4] DG: Yeah.
[0:05:10.7] DL: Because nobody wants to be told what to do. Nobody wants change pushed on them. Nobody wants to hear that marketing is going to define the SLAs for sales or marketing’s going to score leads and hold leads back that are not sales ready. That pushing mindset and I drew the physical analogy, it doesn’t work. In fact, the name of my company, DemandGen, I never planned for that to be the name of the company.
It’s, what happened was, early in my career we used to have a sales and marketing meeting on Fridays. I didn’t like that sales sat on one side and we sat on the other side in marketing. I thought, why don’t we rebrand the meeting? Being a marketing guy, why don’t we rebrand it and call it the Demand Gen meeting? Because we’re all on the same team, even though we are two departments, we’re one team trying to drive growth.
So what I would then say to someone, “Oh okay, Dave, so the hand pushing doesn’t work. What does work?” And that’s the hand out. That’s the palm up. That’s the, “Hey Dave, will you go on a journey with me?” Let’s say you’re sales and I’m marketing. It’s a conversation that says, “You know Dave is the head of sales, you know that sometimes you just feel like all this demand that we generate in marketing, it’s just piles of shit leads for you.”
Your team, “We’re working our hearts out to generate all this demand for you, and when we pass it over to you we hear back that all your leads suck. And they don’t all suck. Some of them definitely are not ready for sales.” So there’s this method out there, it’s called lead scoring and I’ve been reading a lot about it and it looks like we could systematically determine what is not shit and what are good leads. “Could we work on that together and maybe sit down and talk about what a qualified or unqualified lead is and what kind of behaviors might make sense that they’re showing level of interest, would you be up for doing that?” Right? Totally different approach.
And that’s what we find works is that, “Will you go on this journey with me together to improve how we’re working, to improve what we’re capable of doing together?” And that’s it but if you operate in silos and hate each other and don’t want to get culturally aligned, no amount of verbiage or desire is going to ultimately work because you really don’t fundamentally want to align with sales and you got to.
[0:07:28.6] DG: That’s great advice. My experience with that David, is I think those ride-alongs that you were talking about at the beginning of this can be very helpful because I think sometimes marketers maybe don’t have the empathy for what sales people are faced with and understanding what they do. I would say by the same token, a lot of sales organizations don’t really understand the constraints of marketing, right? So I think helping build a bridge between those two is huge.
[0:07:56.9] DL: If you ever want to know what it’s like to be in sales, go play SDR for the day and bang out a bunch of calls and write a bunch of prospect emails and call a bunch of people, then you just get their voicemails and see if anyone follows up with you and you’ll be a little more empathetic and vice-versa.
Go write a case study or a customer success story in sales and write the narrative and think of the imagery, and put a PowerPoint presentation from scratch together that tells why someone should look at your product or service. Let’s walk in each other’s shoes for a bit and create some empathy.
[0:08:28.2] DG: The part that I think is really effective for the empathy is when you finally, after a bazillion dials get through and actually reach someone live, and they’re kind of angry at you for calling them.
[0:08:41.2] DL: Right, “What do you want? Why are you calling me? I’ve got to jump to a meeting in a minute. What is it?” Yeah.
[0:08:45.7] DG: Across all these clients and all this change you’ve gotten a great perspective. I’d love to hear what your thoughts are about where you see things going over the next two to three years from a demand gen and lead management standpoint.
[0:09:00.3] DL: You don’t have an easier question for me? Because the hardest thing I have trouble predicting is the future. No, I mean kidding aside, next two to three years, I’ll tell you what I’d like to see in Dave’s perfect world which is my way of answering your question. Number one is, all the things that I had mentioned that I’m not going to rehash, those are now table stakes. You’ve got to align with sales and you’ve got to practice lead management. And you’ve got to operationalize this demand factory, this metaphor with the demand funnel, you’ve got to do all of that stuff.
So nothing’s changed there but over the next couple years, let’s settle down. We don’t need 7,000 marketing technology tools. But we do need a dozen or a couple dozen that are really well integrated and well leveraged. So let’s not go spend money like drunken sailors and buy the next thing thinking that that’s going to be the Holy Grail and that’s going to fix this or do that.
Make smarter investments in what you’re doing and get more value out of the tools that you have before you go onto the next thing. So I think marketing is going to bring more discipline to how we build out our martech stacks, number one. Number two is, we’re going to restructure our marketing departments if we haven’t already and even that’s never static, you’re never done there. But we’re going to build our teams where there’s much less of this kind of unicorn mindset.
That your head of demand generation also is going to be super proficient in your marketing technology stack. You need a head of marketing operations. You need a head of demand generation. Somebody’s thinking about programs and someone who’s thinking about systems and leading their teams there. You’re going to revisit how field marketing is working with marketing and whether you’re enabling them to do more of their own campaigns and have a global demand center. We’re seeing that.
You’re going to see more people in your departments that are responsible for ABM, responsible for data orchestration, people that are responsible for analytics. People that wake up every day with specialty skills for doing that rather than this jack of all approach and the only way that we’re going to get all of this to happen in the next couple years is to make sure that leadership understands the power of marketing, the capabilities of marketing and how much we can drive growth in the organization.
I’m going to throw a question back to you. What do you think is the biggest factor that determines the value of marketing in an organization? I don’t know if I love the way I’m asking that but what do you think determines the value of marketing within an organization?
[0:11:46.4] DG: Wow that is a great, great question. I think that the value is not so much attributing revenue from marketing activities. I personally think that it’s, “Can you figure out how to tell a really compelling story that makes all that stuff happen?” And that usually comes from having a pretty empathetic understanding of your customer and what it is that you guys do that is unique and compelling.
[0:12:17.9] DL: Yeah, I think that’s a great answer. I don’t think there’s one answer to that but what was in my head is, the respect you have from sales, the relationship you have with sales. The value of marketing is perceived by sales, because let’s face it, if sales is crushing their number and getting what they “want” from marketing, then marketing is really great. Marketing is doing a phenomenal job. But when the numbers are off or sales are off, marketing is part of the blame.
And so, I think the more that we, as marketers, think about knowing the numbers, knowing the goals, driving that and making sure that sales understands. In my company, I think 75 to 80 percent of our new clients come through the marketing channels, not through sales. Our head of marketing loves to tell me about that and when she does and shows where it’s coming from, that helps every year assign more resources and budget to it.
So that, yeah, I can’t wait for two to three years to go forward and for us to see it. But I think we’re just going to get more proficient, more better, more specialized in marketing and just going – the organizations that do are just going to crush it. We’re ready for a reset probably in our economic markets and lot of people tell me, “Do you ever worry about that? Are marketing budgets going to get slashed?” I’m like, “Not in the companies that can show growth. They’re going to get more money.”
[0:13:39.5] DG: I agree with that. I think the one thing that marketing has to do a better job of is showing how they can make sales a lot more efficient because they can, to your point. It’s crazy to cut off something that makes your sales team more efficient, even in a dip in the economy which always happens but there’s no reason to do that. David, you mentioned where people could get a free copy of your book. Do you want to share that with the audience?
[0:14:04.1] DL: Yeah, I mean there are two places. One, if you go to demandgen.com, in the top menu just click “resources” you’ll find it there. But if you want to go right to it, it’s manufacturingdemand.com, and you can download the entire book as a PDF for free and read it and reach out to me if you want to discuss. Anything is in there or hit on the podcast and the podcast that I do is DemandGen Radio. Just search for that and I’d love to continue the conversation. Thank you, David.
[0:14:32.6] DG: David, thank you. I really appreciate it.
[0:14:34.9] DL: You bet. All the best.
[0:14:36.1] DG: All right.[END OF INTERVIEW]
[0:14:37.5] ANNOUNCER: Thank you for listening to the B2B Marketing Jukebox by LeadCrunch. On our website, leadcrunch.com, you can find timestamp transcripts and info about the guests. You can send topic or guests suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe to these podcast on all the major platforms like iTunes.
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