By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing
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We were thrilled this last time to be able to talk to Patrick Morrissey, CMO at Altify.
More from Patrick: I am a growth-driven marketing, sales and business development executive in high technology focused on building high performing teams, building lasting relationships and delivering results. I am also an advisor to innovative start up companies. I run marketing, alliances and channels at Altify. We focus on making the lives of sales people better by delivering great software that help strategic sellers win the deals that matter.
Matt: Thank you everyone for joining us on Sales Pipeline radio, those of you who’s joining us live we are here live every Thursday at 11:30 Pacific, 2:30 Eastern. Thank you for those of us that are always joining us on the Funnel Media Radio Network. For those of you on the podcast, thanks very much for subscribing and listening. You can catch all of our episodes at the iTunes store and Google play. And as always, every episode of Sales Pipeline Radio past, present and future is available at salespiplineradio.com. We every week are featuring some of the best and brightest minds in B2B sales and marketing, today is no different. Very excited to have with us, Patrick Morrissey is the CMO of Altify. A proud graduate of Iowa State University. Go Cyclones. Patrick thanks so much for joining us today.
Patrick: Thanks for having me Matt. Great to be here.
Matt: So I will bypass the questions about Navy competence and Cyclone football. We’ll get right to the B2B marketing side of things. First of all, talk a little bit about what Altify does. For those of you on the show that don’t know what Altify does for B2B sellers.
Patrick: Absolutely. We’re in the business of helping companies build the next generation of sellers. The problem we’re really attacking is, how do you affect the digital sales transformation? And we help companies by doing that in three ways.
Number one. Helping you win the opportunities that matter.
Number two. Helping you drive maximum revenue penetration and build the relationships with the customer that you already have.
And the third piece of the puzzle is all about how do we help you drive process with a combination of methodology, coaching and best practice that’s built right into our applications to drive, not only a disciplined sales process, but continuous improvement across your entire team. So customers for us look like everybody from the who’s who in technology, like Tableau or Sales Force or Auto Desk, to British Telecom and Comcast Business in the com space and Honeywell in manufacturing.
Matt: Speaking today to Patrick Morrissey, he’s CMO at Altify. You know you’re talking about what you’re doing with teams on B2B site. One of the things that I thought really stood out on your profile of LinkedIn is the fact that you focus on building teams. Getting your career leading marketing teams, what are some of the keys you find to building really high performance marketing teams that can deliver results?
Patrick: Yeah. It’s an interesting question because I think everybody comes to the notion of team a little bit differently. But I would say, particularly in marketing that, marketing is fundamentally a team sport. And not just on your team, but the extension of marketing into sales. So, there’s a few different things I would call out in terms of focus on teams that I have found to be successful over time.
One is as a general rule when you’re trying to put together a team, I would have a strong bias for athletes versus experts. Because, the pace of change across every business and across every market is so quick now, that there are a lot of people who may be an expert in a particular sub-discipline, who can’t transfer those skills and can’t help other members of the team. So one, I’d look for athletes not experts and people who can really work to solve the problem.
The second thing, when you’re thinking about marketing is really having an understanding and a focus on learning to try to understand the customer in the market. And a lot of that comes out of my heritage in product marketing, but also I think there’s a lot of bias that people, particularly on the sales sides of this discussion have, that marketing does a lot of hand waving, doesn’t really actually understand what’s going on. And so you need people across the entirety of the team to really be focused on, not just the mission of the company and trying to produce a result, but really understanding the customer in the market.
And then the third thing I would say specifically that helps inform teams, is look for people who have sales DNA. Because more often than not, having lived the life of somebody in sales and you had a great example, Elissa Fink was on with you a couple weeks ago from Tableau. She is a great example that proves the pieces in my mind, which is people who started early in their career or who have had experience in selling, have a lot more empathy for the realities of what it takes to generate an opportunity to get a deal done. But, also what results look like as measured by revenue, and I think all those things are important.
Matt: Great, great answers. And I think having that sales mentality, at least having some level revenue responsibility, I think is really key. What are some of the ways that you can impart that on people that may have been career marketers? That maybe have never carried a bag, having never been doing sales before. That maybe in the past in marketing had been really measured based on activities and volume as opposed to metrics that you can buy a beer with. Is that something that you can train? Is that something that you can … Or is that something you have to look for a certain mentality or mindset from the beginning?
Patrick: Yeah. It’s an interesting question and I would say that a little bit of it is focus, a little bit of it is learned. And some people are just, naturally have that spirit, you’ll get it. And what I mean is that from a learning perspective, the first thing is to level set the conversation particularly in marketing that marketing exists as a revenue generating function. So, I think a lot of these conversations don’t get out of the blocks correctly or are misunderstood, not only in marketing but across the business, because there’s a bias that marketing does stuff and it generates leads and good leads turn into pipeline. And forever after Amen and good luck, and then people go on. The reality is, from a business owner’s perspective, and certainly from the CEO’s perspective, the measurement is earnings and results on a quarterly basis, on a yearly basis. And if you’re public that’s an EPS calculation right?
So, One. The first piece of the puzzle is, understand contribution to revenue to orchestrate all the behaviors in the team across that. The second thing is to really look at spending time with the sales people and with the customers that, some people naturally come with that experience, as we were talking about a second ago. But in fact the best lessons I ever saw in real life to help illustrate this point is, I worked for Dave Kellogg at Business Objects years ago, and he used to send out a survey to the entirety of the sales team and it had two questions on it.
The first question was a laundry list there, a pull down list of every person who was in marketing and the sales people were all asked, “Do you know these people?” And the second question was, the exact same list, “Please identify those people who had actually helped you win a deal?” As you might suspect, by the way I laid that out, obviously that’s going to over bias to more senior people and people in product marketing, putting a technology context in this case, that are out on the street or in the field or in front of customers.
But what it was, was a clear message that if you were doing something that somehow correlated to sales and helping us be successful, then you need to re-think what you’re up to. The second thing was, we’re keeping score on this. Like everything needs to be measured and your activity, so if you’re not doing it now, now’s a good time to go find somebody in sales and figure out how you can help.
Matt: We’re talking to Sales Pipeline radio today is Patrick Morrissey. He’s the CMO of Altify. Before we have to take a quick break here in a couple of minutes here Patrick, just I want to talk a little about differentiation in the sea of what is like, 5500 maybe even more sales and marketing tools out there. And I think everyone’s got a different story and a way to sort of tell their story and differentiate, but in the mind of the buyers, talking about like a B2B, CRO, chief revenue officer, VP of sales, it can all blur together. What are some of the keys to really creating differentiation in a significant sea of competitors?
Patrick: Well, one is the idea is that you need try to look to, I think the high ground for marketers and the high ground for differentiation is looking to create your own category, because different sells and different wins. And you can see that in lots of different examples around the different market spaces. But trying to be as different as possible to carve out your own unique space and the language and the focus that you have is one piece.
The second piece around differentiation is really starting from putting the customer at the center. What does the customer want? What does the customer need? You can decompose any sale cycle down to its root, which is fundamentally people and problems. I need to find somebody who matters, who has some purchasing authority but I really need to understand her role, her needs and her business, her market and really provide some insights to them. Because nobody got up this morning, or most of us didn’t get up this morning, looking for in my case, new technology, new apps. For other people its platforms or it’s industrial solutions or whatever it might be.
But I’m intensely interested with anybody who can come with a new understanding or a new insight to me in terms of what’s in my business, what’s happening with my team or my people. What’s going to help move the needle and give me some insights that are going to help me manage more effectively. And I think one of the common traps around differentiation is it starts from, “Hey we’ve got the newest best thing that’s really going to be awesome and let me tell you.” Because we all get bombarded with these emails, and not only are the emails poorly written but they’ve vomited a bunch of stuff at me that has nothing to do with what I’m thinking about right now and I just hit delete.
Matt: Asking about that, the messages you’re giving are really, really good in terms of how to create some value added insight based message to begin with. But as a CMO of a large technology company, I’m sure you’re the recipient of a lot of these messages and approaches as well. So, independent of the message, are there certain approaches that work better to get a hold of you? Are there certain channels, certain tactics that seem to stand out to earn your attention in advance of having an interesting message?
Patrick: Yeah. I think there’s a couple of things that stand out. One is, sending me some numbers or some case studies. I think the crown jewels of any of these communications to stand out is, show me somebody who looks like me Matt, who’s produced a real world meaningful dollars and cents result and explain to me very crisply in three sentences how you can do that for me. That and I had a vendor, like the best email I’ve seen in the last year. You mentioned Cyclone football at the top of the program, which I’m happy to do a follow up segment on if we ever have time.
I got an email from somebody when I first started, who sent me a clip of a Cyclone football touchdown and said, “Hey well I’d love to talk to you about football.” Which it really interested in his pipeline because he’s probably thinking out of the parking lot before the CEO is asking you specifics about pipeline metrics and here’s how we can help. And I immediately forwarded to my team and said, “Please get this guy on the calendar immediately.”
I’m sad to say the end of the story doesn’t end well, I made a massive purchasing decision, because what they were selling wasn’t as good as his email. But, it was that combination of show me something different, show me something personal and give me something contextually that starts to say how you’re going to help me. That’s the key to the capital.
Matt: Love it. We have to take a quick break here, pay a couple bills. We’ll be right back with more with Patrick Morrissey he’s the CMO of Altify. We’ll be back after quick commercials, you’re talking to Sales Pipeline Radio.
Matt: Thank you Paul. It is very clear after the first half of this episode, we’re going to have to work on the field Expedia unit of Sales Pipeline Radio. We are … I called our studio if you’re listening this week, we got a little compromised audio quality today. We are recording from the home office, the Sales Pipeline Radio’s middle son had eye surgery yesterday, so he’s home recovering today so we are working this from home. But thanks very much everyone for joining us.
Paul: I figured you were out on a ship, that’s what it sounds like because it’s almost like a wavy watery sound so I figured you were out sick.
Matt: That’s so weird. No I’m literally, literally at the kitchen table and it’s pretty quiet here. So I don’t know. I’m going to make sure, if I blame Comcast does that mean I get free wifi? I think they come back and fix it? Did we talk about that?
Paul: I think so. I think so.
Matt: All right. Well, thank you very much for joining us again. Sales Pipeline Radio we got more with Patrick Morrissey, he’s the CMO of Altify. And we’ve been talking a lot about, well just everything from building effective teams to differentiating yourselves on the sales technology side. We talked a little bit, Patrick, about just marketers that are building a mentality of revenue responsibility. How inside of Altify, are you connected with the sales organization? How do you both create strategic alignment with sales, as well as, how do you operationalize that on a day to day basis?
Patrick: It’s a great question Matt, and in my case I spent a fair amount of time, I’m the executive sponsor, on a couple of deals on a couple of account every quarter. So I have some long term relationships, where I’m responsible for the overall relationship, versus the quarterly deal specific things where I’m looking to help. But, as often as possible I’m trying to get out on the deal with the sales teams, and go sit in meetings and go talk to customers, is first and foremost where I think I have the most value. And I find the most value in it and find the most learning is really understanding the day of the life of a sales leader, and instrumentation piece is key.
And one of the things that we allow you to do at Altify, or the way we keep score of it internally, is the notion of an account plan, or a portfolio plan. Which has capabilities that we sell at creative and sales force, which allows not just the front line sales person, but also his manager or the VP etc., to track the overall performance of their portfolio. As well, as do things like assign actions and activities that are really based on account objectives to the marketing team and to myself individually.
So, now we start to get line of sight between, what is marketing doing to help sales sell? And really make it actionable by putting it in an account plan, so we can help create ease, not only to learn the white space to generate some opportunities in that territory. But, everybody can keep score on what are the activities to surround the customer to assist in the ease and to include true selling in a way that’s going to deliver value for our end customers.
Matt: Patrick do you believe that sales people should, excuse me, that marketing folks should have a period of time when they’re on the sales floor? Whether that’s playing an SDR role, or just carrying a bag? Is that something that is valuable or is there alternative ways to sort of build that mentality?
Patrick: Yeah. I think that’s valuable, but that’s not necessarily always practical. And that doesn’t necessarily lie with how some people organize. I think a couple of the hacks that you could start to apply Matt to do that as I’ve seen is.
Number one. Bringing some of those people into individual sales calls even if it’s in listen only mode or web cast, so they can understand the dialogue. They can understand the questions. They get the vibe of what people are seeing day to day. Even better, if they can get on a plane and go sit in a meeting.
The other thing that I’ve seen work really well is for marketing people, particularly to talk, not just to AE’s, but oftentimes where the rubber meets the road is the front lines sales manager. Go find somebody who’s got five, eight, five, six, seven, eight direct reports and really understand what he or she is going through in terms of how do they think about pipeline. How do they bucket their time between coaching the reps versus working out deal strategies, versus thinking about pipeline, versus managing a report. To really try to pick up not just where’s the energy and where are the problems, but also how do they think? How do they prioritize? Which is a leading indicator of mapping to something that’s going to help everybody on the team be more successful.
Matt: So many different directions we can take this conversation. Now we’ve only got a few more minutes here before we’re going to run out of time, but curious how all this plays with the idea of customer lifetime value once you’ve got that customer on board that’s great. But it’s maybe the end of the sales funnel, but it’s kind of the middle of revenue customer lifetime value bow tie if you will. How do you manage both sides and how do you balance the need to continue to fill the boat with new logos while also really putting a strategic focus on keeping people happy and satisfied and paying for as long as possible?
Patrick: There’s multiple cuts to that question, I’d say a couple different things. One is being really deep on the idea of who is the customer, not just from a logo or for all the excitement around account based marketing. It’s really people based marketing. When you get underneath the details about how do you upsell a customer, it’s not just doing a first transaction, but it’s also looking at, “Okay. Who else is on the team that were involved with this? What other problems are we helping to solve?” Are we really robust and coming back to them as a team not just the AE.
Because the problem, particularly in technology is they hand off things to the CSM, and it’s never seen again and then when the expectations aren’t met there’s a lot of aggravation that gets in the way of the upsell. And so from the front end, from a sales point of view, this is the start of a relationship that should be expected to be long term otherwise, why are you wasting valuable marketing dollars and cycles going after these people in the first place.
And on the back half is, what is the plan to drive the customer success and to make sure that the service is as good as the sale? And that both sides have the ability to keep score on that, so that we can look at the next deal and the next deal and the next deal. And we consistently see in our most successful customers that the ones, if you think about some of the names I mentioned at the top, whether you’re in the telecom business, or you’re in the technology business or you’re in the manufacturing business. The more the deeper you understand the customer and can proactively provide insight, the more change you have to drive the up sell.
And you have a lot less friction on the upsell than you have trying to get the initial deals to begin with. So, anybody who’s not thinking about a long term relationship is really having the wrong kind of pipeline conversation to begin with.
Matt: Yeah. I would agree with that. Just a couple more minutes here with Patrick Morrissey, the CMO of Altify. Let’s talk a little bit about the need for agility. We got best laid plans you create at the beginning of the year, were here recording this almost the midpoint of 2018 and best laid plans often don’t survive first contact with the battlefield. Best laid plans Paul, to have this high quality audio situation here doesn’t always work, so you find me squeaky I figure, and sometimes you just power through, but also there’s a level of adjustments along the way. What do you guys do internally to make sure you are keeping your eye on the end goal, but making adjustments as you actually see what’s working and what’s not?
Patrick: Great question. And there’s a couple of different things from a sales and a go to market perspective, the marketing team on our side is spending time with the account teams while they’re doing their account plans. And really looking at what are the set of behaviors down to the individual AE or the individual account activity? Some of those maybe more top of the funnel just awareness. We’re trying to expand our surface area in the account from a programs plan, versus the other side of this which is, folks on my team who are directly interacting with customers or we’re doing things like custom customer videos and code ramming some of our sales content and our best practices around opportunities of account management with our clients.
And actually than helping support their mid-year SKO or mid KO efforts. So that they don’t have to have the homework, they don’t have the extra cycles and they’re getting some value add from the vendor. And those are the sorts of things to the point you were … The question you were just asking earlier. Where is we can start to calibrate either what are we seeing and what we’re looking at the metrics, and the numbers down to a program level, but also from an account specific area. Where can we over index to make sure we’re providing extra investment that’s going to help us out perform for the end of the year because, Q4 for us and everybody else really tells the tale.
Matt: Absolutely. Wrapping up here with Patrick Morrissey of Altify. The last question I want to ask you here, we usually ask most of our guests is, who are the people that have most influenced you in your marketing career? These can be people who are alive or dead, they can be professors, authors, peers, former managers, but as you think back, the people that have had the biggest impact. Who are a couple that stand out for you?
Patrick: Great question. And I would say that there’s two people who stand out for me. One I referenced earlier, Dave Kellogg whose now the CMO of Host Analytics, who is the guy who really gave me what I consider one half of the core definition of any kind of marketing conversation. He was all about the marketing exists to help sales sell, which I would round into marketing basis fundamentally about two things. How do you build relationships or brand, and how do you help sales sell?
The second person is Christopher Lochhead, who now has his own podcast and is the author of the book, Play it Bigger, and I think he’s got a new book coming out. Who was the Chief Marketing Officer I worked for back at Sci Ed. And was religious about the need to be different and to be direct and to be as aggressive as possible in carving out a clear and distinct value proposition. I think both of those things are just required for how the world exists today in marketing.
So I point at both of those people as … and Dave publishes a blog, a Tell blog, and Christopher’s got his own book and podcast and it’s easy to find out more from them. I would say those are two great resources for your audience.
Matt: Love it. Well thank you very much Patrick. Appreciate all of your insights today. Patrick Morrissey he’s the CMO at Altify. We covered a lot of ground in a very short amount of time. If you like what you heard here, you want to hear this again, you can check out our replay of this episode on SalesPipelineRadio.com. Join us next week, we got a lot of great guests coming up on the sales and the marketing side. Trying to flip it around getting a lot of marketing leaders, sales leaders, marketing and sales operations leaders. People on the front lines that are doing the good work that are helping people hit their numbers and being big companies around the world. Thanks very much for joining us. Look forward to seeing you next week. For my great producer Paul, this is Matt Heinz thanks for listening. Sales Pipeline Radio.