By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing
Late in 2015 we started producing a radio program called Sales Pipeline Radio, which currently runs every Thursday at 11:30 a.m. Pacific. It’s just 30 minutes long, fast-paced and full of actionable advice, best practices and more for B2B sales & marketing professionals.
We’ve already featured some great guests and have a line up of awesome content and special guests coming up. Our very first guest was Funnelholic author and Topo co-founder Craig Rosenberg. Next we had Mike Weinberg, incredible writer, speaker, author, followed by Conrad Bayer, CEO & Founder of Tellwise. Recent Guests: Jim Keenan; Joanne Black; Aaron Ross; Josiane Feigon, Meagen Eisenberg, and Trish Bertuzzi.
We cover a wide range of topics, with a focus on sales development and inside sales priorities heading into and throughout the year. We’ll publish similar highlights here for upcoming episodes. You can listen to full recordings of past shows at SalesPipelineRadio.com and subscribe on iTunes.
This week, our own Brian Hansford, VP of Client Services hosted our guest, Dave Rigotti VP of Marketing at Bizible. Bizible provides a powerful platform that measures marketing performance in driving revenue. Brian and Dave discussed how new analytics and attribution technologies help marketers measure where revenue is coming from, the best performing channels, and the ROI for demand generation. These tools are giving marketers powerful insights to align closely with sales and pursue a common goal!
Brian: So I am coming off the bench for Matt Heinz once again so it’s always a pleasure to do this, I’ve done this a few times for Matt now. And I think I have a really good show ahead for us, got a really good guest and we are going to talk about marketing performance management and how that is really important for modern marketers in driving revenue and why salespeople should actually care.
Dave: Hey, how’s it going? This is Dave, so excited to be here and thanks everyone for calling in.
Brian: Hey Dave, what part of the country are you in right now?
Dave: I am in rainy Seattle. Looking forward to sunny Seattle but calling in from Seattle today.
Brian: Right. I wasn’t sure if you were actually traveling this week or not so we are actually sharing some of the rain here. Thank you so much for joining me and I want to get right into it. Tell me a little bit about what you are doing, what Bizible does.
Dave: Sure. So my name is Dave Rigotti and I am the head of marketing at Bizible. I have been here for about 3 1/2 years now. Prior to that I was part of a large company doing marketing. And what really drove me to Bizible and what we do from a product perspective, is really connect your marketing activities to revenue. And I just saw this as a great opportunity and a great need of doing so that support sales, supports the organization and for us as a company we help B2B organizations connect their marketing to revenue and often piece of that is I get to do marketing to marketers which is super fun. So I am excited to talk a little bit more about unboxing performance management and some of the value that you can get out of it.
Brian: Yeah, so let’s talk about that. The gist of it is, marketing for years was all about activity, arts and crafts marketing, marketing communications, PR branding, things like that. And there were always some functions that were around lead generation but there was that what I call that line of demarcation between marketing and sales. There wasn’t always a very clear definition or agreed-upon definition on what leads were versus contacts or suspects. And once a marketing organization may have collected a contact name or got a response or have somebody actually come to a trade show booth, they would do that over the fence to sales and wipe their hands of it and that’s it, it’s done and then sales would hopefully run with that and drive the sale or drive some revenue – very, very hard to measure the actual effectiveness and just to show what sort of impact marketing has on the business.
And I think the last several years with modern marketing, there has been this concept of marketing performance management and it’s been around for a while. But I think now we are hitting this critical mass where marketers are realizing that they need to show what they are doing to help drive the business, drive revenue to fill the pipeline. And how can we do that with reliable accurate information?
I presented a couple weeks ago locally here in Seattle to an analytics group and I found some data that CMO tenure, while it was on the rise for a while it’s starting to go back down again and the number one reason for that is CMO’s are not able to effectively show the impact that they are having on the business. And marketers are being held accountable for revenue, what the impact is to the business, but they need a method to do that.
So let’s talk about what marketing performance management is and get into some of the nuts and the bolts. But also, Dave over the course of the conversation, I want to get into why salespeople should care, why your CFO should care, why the CFO should care. So tell us from your point of view with marketers you work with, how do you guys define marketing performance management?
Dave: Yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head there in talking about activities. Salespeople listening in will get this really well. At the end of the month when you are writing commission checks for the sales team and [05:40 inaudible] team it’s not about like how many opportunities you got that month or how many emails did you send to try to close the deal? It’s about the outcome so it’s no longer about activities, it’s about outcome.
And really every other part of the organization gets that and has made that shift and we just kind of know starting to see that shift in marketing from hey, let’s optimize for activities and moving that towards let’s really understand the revenue outcome of our marketing and start to optimize for that. So when I think about marketing performance management, I think of it as being kind of three key areas; you are planning your marketing, you are executing your marketing and your measuring your marketing.
So when you move those all to revenue, you start to really look forward and not backwards. When you’re looking at activities and you are measuring activities, you are always looking back and so when you can start to align that to revenue you can start to do right things around planning for the future. Salespeople are always planning for the future, I mean that’s the sales role, like once the deal is closed it’s done. And so we are starting to see the shift in marketing and I think a lot of it is drafting from sales success and what’s been successful on that side for driving revenue and bringing that over to the marketing function.
Brian: The organizations that I have seen or worked with where this really takes off are marketing teams that actually have a revenue goal. They have a shared goal with sales and that seems like a natural forcing function to bring sales and marketing together to collaborate. But also to work from the same picture, the same data sets so you’re not just having an isolated marketing automation system that plugs into CRM with some pieces of data and then sales takes that. It seems like there is a forcing function that’s natural when you have that revenue goal that brings sales and marketing together. Are you seeing that as well? Do you see that result in terms of organizational performance and collaboration? Is that something you see with your customers from Bizible?
Dave: Yeah, exactly. I will speak for me first and then more broadly. Certainly I measure our marketing to revenue and so does our sales team. We have the same revenue goals that we are trying to hit every month, every quarter and for the year. And so we build sales targeting plans against that, we build marketing plans against that and we are kind of very aligned there.
We even take it one step further and tie my compensation as the marketing leader to revenue as well so at the end of the quarter if this is great we are all happy, we are little under, marketing is not at the bar celebrating that great webinar we did, we are right there with the sales team and in those trenches. And I think that, honestly like the major benefit of aligning your marketing to revenue is aligning with the sales team.
You start to go from this like unhealthy relationship of marketing, you are not doing enough driving, you’re not driving in of leads for me and then the marketer is telling sales, well you’re not just doing a good enough job closing them to just like how can we both come together and service organization and have both not only our goals align but our conversation aligned. It’s healthy for the company, it’s healthy for the culture and honestly it starts to do much better work. You start to prioritize a lot of different things and they are the right things to think about and the right things to prioritize for.
Brian: One of the things that I get excited about with that alignment and that shared responsibility or some shared goals are revenue, the focus for marketing isn’t just on lead generation anymore. Lead generation is incredibly important, you want to keep that machine flowing and generate quality leads that have good customer engagement but when you have that good relationship and tight alignment you are also able to identify where marketing and sales can work together deeper in the funnel. So it’s not just after generating that lead, it’s how can you support sales as they are actually prospecting or getting deeper into the sales process and supporting them and aligning that process.
So it gets into the concept that we call full funnel marketing. So it doesn’t just stop at the very first stage of the funnel, it gets deeper into the funnel and you know potentially what that does is it helps you with pipeline velocity, it helps with the quality of opportunities that you are getting. And also, better conversion rates. And a lot of that I feel based on what we are seeing is you can attribute that back to the data that you are getting from marketing performance management.
Dave: Yeah, you hit on a couple of really key things there Brian, and I will add on that by having that shared focus, it’s also healthy for deal sizes. And because marketing is focused on revenue, the quality is much higher, I think that’s what’s going to your conversion rate comment. Not only are the quality of contacts that marketing is generating going to be higher but so is the quality of opportunities, the quality of the deals. We think about how does this help salespeople?
Salespeople can take a higher opportunity load because you removed the opportunities that were fake or at least weren’t as high quality, they are generated from high-quality marketing sources. And because marketing is supporting sales, it’s doing activities after the opportunity has been created, as you said, they close faster, they close at higher rates, they are bigger deals. You can start to do, take higher loads as a sales team that leads to more money and those are right decisions in organizations to be taking.
Brian: Well listen, I am here with Dave Rigotti vice president of marketing from Bizible and we are talking about marketing performance management and how marketing is getting, wrapping their arms around and assimilating more into revenue responsibility. We have to take a break for a few seconds here and then after the break we are going to come back and continue the conversation.
Brian: Hello everybody and once again for joining us, Brian Hansford with Heinz Marketing and Dave Rigotti, vice president of marketing from Bizible, the leader in providing marketing performance management and attribution solutions for marketers and sales organizations alike. So are talking about marketing performance management, revenue generation, revenue accountability.
Dave from your perspective, what’s a good place for marketers to start with an attribution and marketing performance management initiative?
Dave: Yeah, this is a question I get pretty often. It really comes back to goals. If you’re going to start thinking about how can marketing move to a marketing performance management mindset, the first place to start is just what are your goals? What are you measuring marketing on? What are you compensating marketing on and that’s like way easier said than done sometimes.
I’ve tried with some organizations where the marketing leader wants to move to revenue but the CEO or whoever the marketing leader is reporting into is like no, we need to generate leads because that’s what we’ve always been doing.
The first thing is align your goals with what the company initiatives are. It’s almost always revenue. If it can’t be revenue generating sales opportunities, it’s still like much better than just generating leads and being this lead machine. So move to that full funnel approach that you are talking about. And that will just be like a huge step.
The next piece is you’ve got to figure out where you’re going to get the data as you move deeper in marketing funnels you have no more marketing interactions that you need to track. They are often times across multiple people at an organization so figure out how we collect that data and that’s like of course going to be different for every organization, you might be able to get that out of marketing automation to kind of audit that data.
And then the last piece is make sure you’re going to use it and that you’re going to use it to its full potential in kind of informing the future. Looking backwards is great but the purpose of looking backwards for anything is to change the future. So once you get that full funnel view, like start to think about what are we going to do differently to improve that and not let’s just pat ourselves on the back when things went well and forget about the things that didn’t go well.
Brian: Right. It’s interesting you mentioned the CEO perspective. Education and understanding is a big challenge that we run into with a lot of organizations we talk with. There is that perspective or that understanding that marketing is there to just generate leads but marketing can do so much more. I mean it can help fuel and really give horsepower to that revenue pipeline.
So there’s a lot of education both inside the marketing department and with other executives that seems to be, I think there is a breakdown that when you come to a CEO or even a CFO and say listen, the marketing department wants to pursue this shared goal around revenue, we need to look at how we can do that and support that with data and then the campaigns and programs that can support that and where you can steer that and steer your budgets and where to engage your customers. So that’s the education piece I think is a challenge not only with marketing people but also non-marketing execs. And I think that can certainly be a challenge that we run into so that’s an interesting example that you come up with.
And one of the things that I talk about sometimes is marketing generates leads but very rarely if ever does an opportunity or a sale come from a single lead source or a single campaign all right. So a sale will come from very likely, multiple touches, multiple campaigns over a period of time in measuring the impacts that each one of those touches has, it’s very important. So it’s not just about the lead source – somebody filled out a web form but tracking for the opportunities throughout the pipeline. How do you pursue that? I guess how do you do that with Bizible Dave or how do you see that that’s helping marketing organizations fuel their funnel?
Dave: Yep, that’s exactly the measurement shift. Once you have aligned on your goal, how do we measure all of these interactions that are happening? This is the concept of multitouch attribution. So building that buyers journey of all the interactions that are happening and then once the deal closes you say well how do I know like what’s the value of all of those interactions? So yeah, that’s the concept of multitouch attribution.
Many solutions or made tools out there to help you measure attribution like Bizible have both kind of like stock models to help you understand like more simply what’s the value of these interactions or even know like mission learning to help you figure out what is… give me every single interaction that’s happened and then meter out the value. But they are come down to, for B2B companies they come down to moving deals through the sales process. So the very first interactions, you’ve generated awareness, generating that lead, generating the opportunities.
So you can tie back – hey, this marketing activity drove this deal forward which in marketing and in sales is like the most important thing other than revenue is that at least the deal is moving forward and you’re making progress on it. So understanding your buyer’s journey and tying your marketing to those stages.
Brian: One thing I get excited about whenever I work with marketing performance management or attribution strategies is being able to actually dig into and identify the highest performing channels as well as where content assets. I know one thing we’ve discovered just this year actually working with Bizible is that we are able to identify content assets that are very high performing at various stages in the funnel.
And that is very interesting because I know for years people have been talking about content is king, content is king, all of those platitudes but measuring the ROI of content has been elusive until now. I think marketing performance management is actually revealing where channels are performing very well or not where you can steer resources in the future and what content assets are actually performing well for the function that objective they may have such as generating new leads or helping shorten sales cycles. I get really excited about that just because that’s just more data that helps optimize how marketing organization performs.
Dave: That’s one of my favorite pieces too. We are a seven-person marketing team and four out of the seven team members are dedicated to content. We have been able to build this healthy content engine because we focused content on traffic, or rankings, but how much revenue it drives. And you’re exactly right, there is a difference in content is like there is a difference in channels.
Social marketing, is the very top of the funnel, paid search has a little bit more intent so it’s more middle and then sales and sales marketing is very, very bottom of the funnel. You see that same thing across content as well and aligning and thinking about all of your marketing, not just channels, but your messages as well so that full funnel approach, it unlocks great opportunities for revenue growth and just being able to have the content team control its destiny and make decisions about data and not just – I want to write about this piece of content.
Brian: Yeah, speaking of great content, folks that are dialed in or listening to this recording we are going to be closing out the show here but I would encourage you to actually go to the Bizible website to download the State of Pipeline Marketing Survey that Bizible conducted. And we actually worked with Bizible on this but it has some very interesting data just to see how marketers are looking at measuring performance, their goals, where they are prioritizing efforts and some of the challenges that they face – very detailed report, lots of valuable information in there so I would encourage you to take a look at that.
Dave I think we are getting ready to close out here in just a few seconds. Is there anything real briefly that you have coming up at Bizible that you can share with us before we wrap?
Dave: Sure. I will say I am excited about the future of marketing performance management, it’s the last five years, it’s been about collecting data and understanding the past and it’s moving towards that’s use that to understand and change the future. Bizible is going to be moving into the space even more so stay tuned for that but I think some exciting things will be happening in this space over the next year or so in this awesome transition period. I am really excited to share more.
Brian: That’s great. Dave I really appreciate your time dialing in. Again Dave Rigotti, vice president of Bizible from Seattle talking through marketing performance management and helping marketers and sales organizations actually work more closely together and optimizing revenue performance. I’ve really enjoyed this conversation, look forward to seeing more great things come from Bizible in the future and if any of you folks have any questions or feedback, please email me at Heinz Marketing and that’s Brian@HeinzMarketing.com. You can also check out the previous recordings that we have at Sales Pipeline Radio and I wish you all great selling and great revenue success!
Paul: Once again you’ve been listening to Sales Pipeline Radio brought to you by the folks at Heinz Marketing the only show that takes a look at how to build and maintain and grow that sales pipeline.