April 20, 2018
Alignment between sales and marketing is critical to accelerating a company’s growth. In April, LLR brought together our portfolio companies for Sales & Marketing Collaborate 2018, a two-day event dedicated to collaboration and peer networking around the key challenges impacting both functions.
Throughout the event, sales and marketing leaders tackled their most burning questions about people, process, strategy and technology, and sought one another’s practical advice in areas such as:
- How do you structure, hire, train, compensate and motivate an inside sales team? Or do you outsource lead generation to a third party?
- How do you manage attributions across multiple touchpoints in a customer’s journey?
- How do you shift from a transactional to enterprise sale and focus on the prospects most likely to buy?
- How do you navigate the massive landscape of Sales & Marketing technologies to choose the right tools to support your specific needs?
By digging into case studies on LLR portfolio companies’ sales development and account-based marketing programs, and by reviewing the complete stack of technologies used across the group, this year’s attendees walked away with new tools, strategies and tactics recommended by their peers for enhancing sales and marketing programs.
During a panel on Sales & Marketing Alignment, leaders from benefitexpress and Phreesia shared how they maintain tight collaboration between departments and preserve a “healthy tension” that keeps both teams focused on driving growth. Some of their keys to success include transparent communications through regular stand ups; constructive feedback loops on marketing content and reactions from the field; use of technology for tracking performance against shared objectives and maintaining accountabilities; and setting leadership responsibilities that cross departments.
Steve Chang, Managing Director of Strategy at LLR Partners, led the group through an evaluation of how Agile Methodologies can be applied in Sales & Marketing to quickly and efficiently deliver workable solutions to real-time challenges. Often done in response to shifting customer expectations and behaviors, growth companies are moving to a more collaborative test-learn-adapt approach to designing sales and marketing programs. To get started, Steve recommends:
- Identify an idea, opportunity or challenge to pilot under the agile philosophy
- Assemble a cross-functional team who will engage from start to finish
- Establish a clear goal and set of milestones
- Break down projects into 2-4 week “sprints” that build up to the overall effort
- Pause frequently to review, iterate and adjust as needed
LLR’s Michael Sala, Managing Director of Strategic Origination guided attendees to rethink “Why People Buy.” Borrowing from Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why,” the discussion evaluated how to align one’s sales process with the mindset and influences of each buyer type, ultimately connecting buyers with technology or service providers who share their beliefs.
One theme was clear throughout Sales & Marketing Collaborate 2018: constantly exploring new strategies and tactics, evolving your playbook over time and seeking out the experiences of one’s peers is necessary for elevating your chances for success. LLR Partners’ series of Collaborate events aims to foster this exclusive opportunity for networking and idea-sharing among companies in our portfolio and in our network.