Inspiring marketing and sales alignment to strengthen your company, with Putney Cloos
Businesses today undeniably have better success when they align sales and marketing teams. In fact, according to HubSpot, sales and marketing alignment can help your company become 67% better at closing deals, and can help generate 209% more revenue from marketing.
But bringing these two departments together efficiently is easier said than done, and some businesses need a lot more effort than others. Putney Cloos, CMO of Cision, joined our podcast host, Mike Burton, SVP of data sales & co-founder of Bombora to share her career journey and experience of inspiring sales and marketing alignment to generate real business outcomes.
Breaking down marketing and sales silos
With more than a couple of decades of business experience under her belt, Putney has seen a ton of changes throughout the industry. From product development to commercialization and sales, technology changes the way you compete, and Putney has been at the frontlines of modernizing many businesses to serve the needs of the future.
During Putney’s time at McKinsey, marketers were kept separate from the sales team because leadership worried that if they overlapped, it would be distracting to their respective departments. The key to being effective is to not work too disparately. It’s a common mistake that many brands do without even realizing it, but sales and marketing are actually complementary.
So Putney took this as an opportunity to learn about the intersection of sales and marketing, and make changes not only in-house but for their customers too.
“The sophistication of all marketing was advancing and I wanted to make sure I was putting myself in an environment where it could be both learning, but also at the cutting edge of data-driven marketing and sales techniques,” said Putney.
Putney led numerous sales transformations for global customers in the food and beverage industry, homecare, and more. And the lessons remain the same despite the industry nuances.
“Every marketer and commercial team members should be thinking this way: what are the needs of your buyer that you can serve with your solution, rather than just purely what is the functionality of your solution itself,” said Putney.
“The role of the marketing organization is to fuel sales with high-quality leads and intelligence so that their sales partner can talk to the right account with the right message.”
— Putney Cloos, CMO at Cision
Support marketing and sales to reach maximum potential
“Anything that marketers can do that helps sales hit their goals in an easier way, or a more joyful way for them, is pure joy for me,” said Putney.
Putney explains that although businesses understand the role of marketing is to fuel sales, some leaders tend to focus on vanity metrics to drive results. For marketing and sales to reach their maximum potential, leaders need to ensure that sellers are to talking to the right account at the right time with the right message.
“One of the ways that we did that was through Intent data,” said Putney. “Our sales colleagues have such a hard job. No matter what company you’re in, no matter what industry you’re in, no matter what product you’re selling, it’s a very hard job to be on the frontline selling every day.”
Related resource: The 5 best tips to get proven results with Intent data
Intent data helped to fuel their sales teams and made it easier for marketing and sales to collaborate. Their sales teams spent less time and energy chasing the wrong accounts, which gave them more time and resources to go after the accounts that were genuinely interested in their offers. Putney says what also helps achieve marketing and sales alignment is working toward the same goal, and she tries to inspire that in her team.
“In terms of how I’m evaluated and how my team is evaluated, I want to carry the same number that our sales colleagues carry,” Putney said. “Ultimately, that does align incentives. I’m not 100% in control of everything that happens, but it does make sure that all involved parties are working as hard as they can towards the same goal.”