Steal the Secrets of 5 Ultra-Successful Sales Leaders

alignment-conference-compressor-410402-edited.jpgIn B2B, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a topic as widely-loathed as sales and marketing alignment.

For all the content dedicated to the subject, sales-marketing alignment remains a pie-in-the-sky industry concept to most B2B sales leaders.

That’s partly because you can’t find many success stories that drill down into the strategy and practices of successful campaigns.

Next week’s free virtual summit, Aligned 2017, sets forth to rectify that. Cohosted by Sales Hacker, Engagio, Ambition, HubSpot, and more, the five-day event gives registrants on-demand access to 50+ brand-new video sessions with experts, consultants, and operators talking all things B2B sales-marketing alignment.

5 Sales-Marketing Alignment Success Stories for B2B

What does a successful B2B sales-marketing alignment strategy look like? How are B2B sales leaders implementing those strategies? What tools and tactics are they using?

Aligned 2017 has the full answers. But as a special preview, I’m chronicling five of my favorite sessions from next week’s summit.

From $250K ARR to $11M

The most remarkable thing about Drew Woodcock — the first and only sales leader for online restaurant ordering platform ChowNow — is his prior sales management experience. Or lack thereof, we should say. Drew Woodcock joined ChowNow as an Account Executive in May 2013.

In November 2013, ChowNow’s leadership tapped him to become the first sales leader in company history. Sales team headcount at that time? 7 reps. Annual recurring revenue? $250K.

Fast forward three and a half years, and ChowNow has more than 40 reps and $11M in ARR.

How did Drew get ChowNow where it is today — with zero foundation to build on and zero prior experience to draw from? Simple. He started aligning ChowNow’s sales organization by revamping incentives. As the company scaled, he kept teams accountable to goals by tracking, publicizing, and rewarding key activity and efficiency metrics. Most critically, he created a culture of camaraderie, teamwork, and professional development that transcends his sales, marketing, support and account management teams. At Aligned, Drew will cover the key tools and playbooks he leveraged to drive ChowNow’s success.

Register for Aligned 2017. Submit a question for Drew Woodcock.

From $0 to $10M in Revenue

Michael Pici led the sales team charged with launching HubSpot’s nascent sales platform back in 2014. After taking the product from $0 to $10M in revenue generated, Michael now leads a team of 80 salespeople and managers.

He attributes HubSpot’s revenue growth to internal alignment across its product, marketing, sales, and service teams. That includes deploying MSPOTs (Mission, Strategy, Playbook, Omissions, Tracking), running audits on failed initiatives, communicating with leadership across functions, and, perhaps most critically, committing to constant, company-wide client communication.

If that’s too high-level for you, start by stealing this strategy from the HubSpot leadership team. Bring together the heads of product, marketing, sales, and services for your organization. Jump on a conference call with a major existing client, allowing each member of the leadership team to ask questions and get insights specific to their function within your company.

Use that as a springboard for an internal discussion about improving alignment and coordination across each of your departments. Congratulations, you’re using a tried-and-true HubSpot alignment philosophy in your organization.

Register for Aligned 2017. Submit a question for Michael Pici.

From 3 Reps to 30

Ask Prezi sales operations lead Adam Harless, and he’ll assure you industry and company size don’t impact the core principles behind successful B2B sales and marketing operations. Adam should know — 18 months ago, he went from leading sales operations for enterprise 3PL Echo Global Logistics to the same role at Prezi, a high-growth SaaS startup.

Worlds apart? Not so much. Adam says the same alignment principles apply, whether you’re running sales operations for 700 brokers working in a high-volume call center or an agile, inbound-driven SaaS startup.

Adam’s principles:

  1. Streamline processes
  2. Adopt user-friendly technology
  3. Focus on key metrics

Following those principles has proven fruitful for both Adam and the B2B sales team at Prezi — which grew from three to 10 reps in 2016 and is expected to reach 30 reps this year.

Register for Aligned 2017. Submit a question for Adam Harless.

From Desegmentation to Hybridization

Outsourcing sales development to another organization — especially one with the specific characteristics of Inside Sales Team — is still a relatively novel concept for most B2B sales organizations. And yet, Inside Sales Team president and general manager Marijke Kemble has successfully grown both sales and support team headcount since taking over their internal business operations last June.

How did she do it? By going completely against the grain in how she structures IST’s sales organization. While most B2B sales organizations are segmenting their various sales functions into unique, hyper-specific roles, Kemble implemented the opposite strategy. Not only did she de-segment IST’s sales team, she hybridized various marketing, business development, closing, and account management functions into a single role.

The broader and deeper an Inside Sales Team member’s understanding of the entire B2B front office, the better they would understand and serve IST’s clients. It’s proof that there are a million unique ways to successfully align your B2B sales organization.

Register for Aligned 2017. Submit a question for Marijke Kemble.

600% Revenue Growth

Since Morgan Ingram joined Terminus in 2015, he’s implemented a truly hybrid strategy that has bridged the gap between marketing and sales: The SDR Chronicles YouTube channel.

This is a prime example of successful sales-marketing alignment. It speaks to the right audience and offers value rather than selling.

The channel has had an impact both for Morgan, who was promoted to sales development manager, and Terminus, which achieved 600% revenue growth and 300% client growth since May 2016.

 Register for Aligned 2017Submit a question for Morgan Ingram.

Register for Aligned 2017

These five success stories are just the beginning. Aligned 2017 offers a week’s worth of video content for modern B2B sales leaders, including keynotes from Gary Vaynerchuk, Jill Konrath, Tony Hughes, and more.


Whether you’re adopting an account based approach, looking to ramp inbound lead generation, or trying to smooth the handoffs down the marketing and sales funnel, you need a playbook that matches the needs of your organization.

Register now to get free access to all 50 video sessions starting Monday, May 22.

Source: Steal the Secrets of 5 Ultra-Successful Sales Leaders

Charles Duhigg on the Power of Setting Smart Goals [Master Class]


As any inbound certified member of our community knows, setting SMART goals (that’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) is the keystone managing (and measuring) highly productive sales and marketing teams.

Aligning these goals is what keeps marketing and sales teams in lock-step.

For example, marketing may have a Service-level Agreement (SLA) with sales to generate 100 marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) per month, and in return, sales agrees to “work” at least 80% of those MQLs generated by marketing, and provide feedback to marketing about which ones resulted in the most productive conversations, and new business.

This relationship gives marketing teams perspective. They can look ‘down’ the sales funnel to identify which campaigns, content, and touchpoints generate the best conversations for sales. Conversely, it gives sales teams a view to the top of the marketing funnel, allowing them to prioritize MQLs from the campaigns, content, and touchpoints that have led to success in the past.

When both teams have this view, magic happens. They work together as one revenue team, and collaborate to maximize efficiency and revenue.

Aligning sales and marketing teams might seem like a job for the managers of these teams, but it truly needs to happen at all levels of the organization. The HubSpot Growth Stack, a combination of our marketing and sales software, is built to enable this interaction between teams. It’s a truly powerful example of the 1+1=3 mentality that drives many of our teams here at HubSpot.

On June 22, join Pulitzer-prize winner and best-selling author of Smarter Faster Better, The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg, to the HubSpot Academy Master Class stage. Click here to register for this live event.

In this master class, HubSpot Academy Inbound Sales Professor Kyle Jepson, is going to be interviewing Charles on the power of setting SMART goals, and why productivity is at the heart of growing companies through proper alignment between marketing and sales. The more value we can muster from every bit of effort these teams put forth, the faster we can grow and scale.

HubSpot Academy Master Class Featuring Charles Duhigg

Source: Charles Duhigg on the Power of Setting Smart Goals [Master Class]

What Is Channel Strategy? What Marketers Should Know


Be honest. Do you know what your non-marketing colleagues do all day?

Sure, you might have a general idea of what your co-workers in sales, finance, and HR do, at least categorically. But it seems that many of us — myself included — have those days, weeks, and months when we’re so bogged down in our own daily hustle, that we become a bit oblivious to what everyone else around us is working on. After all, that’s probably why the phrase, “put your blinders on” exists.

But while a colleague’s job might look different from our own, there’s actually quite a bit that we, as marketers, can learn from them. One of those things is channel strategy. Download the essential sales and marketing alignment kit here to increase  collaboration & communication between teams.

That’s why I recently sat down with my colleague, Adrianne Ober, a Channel Consultant here at HubSpot. After speaking with her about what she does every day — and about the most important knowledge she’s gained in this role — I’ve realized that there are a lot of channel strategy lessons that marketers can apply to their own work.

So, what did we learn? Read on to find out — or listen to our interview with Adrianne by pressing “play” below.

What Is Channel Strategy?

A channel strategy, according to TechTarget, “is a vendor’s plan for moving a product or a service through the chain of commerce to the end customer.”

In many environments, this kind of channel strategy takes the form of a reselling program — here at HubSpot, we work with Marketing Agency Partners who not only grow with HubSpot software but also, teach their clients how they, too, can be more successful with it.

That’s where channel consultants like Ober come in. “My role is a combination of an account manager and an implementation specialist,” Ober explains, but her day-to-day work encompasses much more than that. “Our focus is to work with our new Agency Partners, to onboard them to the program and support their reselling and delivery efforts.”

Reselling programs aren’t exactly uncommon, especially within tech companies, but what makes Ober’s job different is its true partnership nature. “We really do invest a ton more than other companies do in their partner programs,” she says, “to ensure they are getting the most out of it to help grow their businesses.”

What Can Marketers Learn From a Channel Consultant?

Building Your Own Channel Strategy

Not all marketers work for agencies, but many of us are responsible for positioning our respective products and services as solutions for our target audiences. For example, HubSpot’s Marketing Software provides automation solutions for marketers — what solutions does your organization offer?

In a way, channel strategy could be described as a formal approach to word-of-mouth marketing. How can you provide solutions to your customers that they, in turn, can share with and provide to their own networks? Ober challenges and encourages marketers to ask that question, find the best answer, and make it a reality.

There’s a “relationship-building aspect” of every marketer’s job, she explains, even for those who don’t work with customers directly. Chances are, you’re still responsible for crafting the messages and content that’s going to reach customers, and ultimately, that’s one way for brands to build a relationship with a target audience — by establishing themselves as a trustworthy, shareable resource for solving problems and meeting needs.

But where can marketers begin? “Product knowledge is … imperative,” Ober says. Start by becoming an expert in the solutions provided by your organization — not just the products and services you offer, but also, with the industry at-large. “We need to be comfortable with usage and training,” she explains, in order to establish that trust with both current and potential customers.

A Marketer’s Biggest Pain Points

The thing about HubSpot’s Agency Partner Program — one that even I’m guilty of forgetting — is that its channel consultants work with marketers, day in and day out. That means people in Ober’s position hear about the most common struggles faced by marketers every day and are tasked with proactively offering solutions.

So not only can marketers stand to benefit by implementing their own strategies — but speaking with people like Ober, it turns out, can help us to take a step back, examine our biggest pain points, and figure out how to efficiently tackle them.

“The biggest struggles I hear about are pricing, process, scaling, hiring, and time management,” she explains. In other words: growing pains. “In order for agencies to scale their businesses, they need to develop a repeatable process, which means they need to have a handle on time management for their team and make the right hires at the right time.”

Sound familiar? Maybe that’s why growth marketing is such a hot topic right now — no matter the size of the company they work for, it seems that these are pains experienced by a number of marketers. Those working in SMBs are often tasked with many of the responsibilities mentioned by Ober to help their employers grow. And those working for larger organizations, while not necessarily tasked with growing the business, are often tasked with building, executing, and growing new campaigns and initiatives.

That’s why it’s so important, Ober says, to make time for the learning process, no matter how “underwater” marketers tend to feel when they’re facing deadlines and other time-sensitive priorities.

“Our most successful partners make the time to build their process, invest in the education we provide for their team and take the time to price their services appropriately,” she says. “Marketers can and should make time to keep their finger on the pulse of the industry [they work in], connect with peers, and read up on trends.”

A Similar Skill Set

Finally, I asked Ober, “What else can marketers learn from a channel consultant?” To answer that, she pointed to many of the skills required of her job that overlap with those most crucial to a marketer’s success.

“This role requires us to confidently assess a marketing strategy as it relates to the overall goals,” she says, “whether it’s for a Partner Agency’s own marketing or one of their clients.”

And no matter what their industry, it seems that skill is highly valuable to all marketers — to be able to objectively measure their own strategies, and to figure out what is (not) working.

And “even more so,” Ober explains, is the shared, necessary ability of both marketers and channel consultants “to recommend the right tools and approach to go with the strategy.”

But doing that requires a high-level of communication skills, whether you’re making these recommendations to customers, your colleagues, or your boss. “We need to be able to [identify] not only where these gaps may be,” Ober points out, but also to align them with goals. Skilling up in those areas, she says, can ultimately help marketers accurately evaluate the feasibility of a situation, whether it’s marketing strategy or budget — or being able to predict how (and if) your brand will resonate with a given audience.

Looking Forward

With INBOUND on the horizon, Ober says she’s looking forward to discussing channel strategy and exchanging knowledge with industry professionals.

“I love seeing my Partners in person,” she shares. “I’m excited to talk with them about some products that were teased last year and are in beta now.”

But maybe even more than that, is how excited she is to hear about other marketers’ ideas.

“INBOUND is a place for peers to connect, and [we all] come away from the event with a ton of ideas,” she says, “and, as a result, a ton of motivation to dig in.”

Have you used channel strategy or consulting? Let us know in the comments.

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Source: What Is Channel Strategy? What Marketers Should Know