What I've Learned from 100+ weekly Sales and Marketing Meetings

Anonymous
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As someone who has been holding weekly sales and marketing check in meetings since 2010, I think I've learned a thing or two on how to make them go smoothly, and what not to do. Here are my top 4 tips on how to make these meetings successful for both parties involved.

1. Decided on the metrics you are going to report on and stick to those numbers

I learned this first one the hard way.  A couple companies ago we looked at different metrics every meeting from website traffic, sales call activity, MQL conversion rates. This made the teams unfocused and a bit scattered. Decide early on which numbers you want to look at every meeting and stick to that. Whether it is weekly inbound leads, number of requests for demo, website traffic, or untouched leads, pick the metric you and the head of sales want to look at week over week and do not deviate. Going into the meeting with a different set of numbers every week will only confuse matters. 

2. Communicate the marketing plan widely and openly

I once heard the adage that marketing lives 6 months in the future, sales can only see the present, and finance lives in the past.  Events book months if not years in advance. Typically marketing will put together their entire plan at the beginning of the year and know where they will be every single week. The thing is, sales is rarely privy to those planning meetings or checks the marketing calendar. Since sales lives month to month, it is up to marketing to communicate and champion the plan. Even if you feel like you are repeating yourself, tell them over and over what events are coming up, where case studies are located, what email nurturing means. It is always better to over communicate than to let a great marketing program go by without letting sales know it ever existed.

3. Be open to new suggestions to your

Building off point number #2, it’s great that you have a marketing plan in place, but be open and flexible to new ideas and suggestions.  If sales says they want to do a local event to feed a certain territory, take it into consideration. Sometimes speaking opportunities come up last minute.  If sales sees an ad campaign that isn’t making sense to them, be open to their suggestions; prospects are probably just as confused by the messaging.

This also means building in a bit of slush to your budget for last minute changes, with the caveat of communicating that if one project is added to the time table another project will have to slip.

4. Be your own cheerleader

Marketing events tend to rely heavily on active participation. To make the events successful, marketing needs to “sell” the event to the sales team and the ‘higher ups’. Convince sales that the event is the correct one to invite their prospects to. I prepare campaign briefs for events and big initiatives to explain through what we are doing it, why we are doing it, and what we are aiming to get out of it. Often I worry that I am repeating myself in weekly meetings, but it is always better to over communicate than to let an event go by without letting sales know it ever existed. 

What are your tips for making sales and marketing meetings a success?

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Thanks for sharing this Jessica. Your #1 item on metrics was a big problem before I even started using Marketo.  We had our Marketing plan, but no measurement plan and no course of action if those numbers are not even close to being met.  Also we didn't have benchmarked numbers on things that really mattered.  It's much better now that we have a reporting process.

Your #3 is a challenge.  While we try to follow our Marketing plan as close as possible, if we deviate from the plan and start allocating time and money on pursuing new ideas, some of the more critical marketing activities suffer.

Thanks Michelle for your post.

I believe #2 and #3 are crucial to to success of any organization. The rift between marking and sales has as much to do with the different metrics and timelines each faces daily. I believe (and you allude to it in #2) that sales has to be part of the marketing calendar to increase the partnership that is necessary for success for both groups.

Marketing automation facilitates this, but I believe it is imperative that the "sharing" methodology already be in place prior to implementing any automation solution.

Anonymous
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Thanks Jessica. Good tips. The big one I see is OVERCOMMUNICATE. Like you said, Sales lives in the present while Marketing lives in the future. Marketing has to continually remind Sales of the value it's bringing to the organization. You sometimes feel like a broken record but it's through that repetitiveness that Sales sees that value.

Anonymous
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Thanks for the share - and agreed on #2 especially! 

Anonymous
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Thanks Jessica for sharing this.

Isn't a word missing in the title of your third paragraph?

Anonymous
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Hi Sergio,

How does your org communicate to sales about the marketing calendar? We put our calendar as a tab in SFDC, but it's a bit messy, so I'm trying to figure out if there's a better way.

Anonymous
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I keep a public calendar using Google as well as a written calendar that is posted behind my Head of Sale's desk.  Additionally in our company wide meeting I recap all the upcoming events.  For larger events such as Marketo Summit I'll hold a prep meeting and prepare a slide deck to inform the sales team of the who what where when why of the event so they get the low down. There is never enough communication about marketing calendar.

Anonymous
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I love this! Thanks so much for sharing. I definitely have seen the need for repetition in marketing + sales meetings.