Welcome to Talking Shop Tuesday, where we sit down with sales and marketing leaders to learn their tips for achieving #peakexcellence.
Today, we're chatting with Kevin Bobowski, former CMO of ActOn Software and former VP of Exact Target, about the resurgence of field marketing in account-based sales.
The focus on the message and the story is quickly becoming much more important. Today, companies need to get it right. This involves building the muscle memory of being able to change and adapt accordingly and keeping marketing messaging consistent across all channels. Customers need to understand why a brand does what it does and how this influences their life.
Execution starts with a story. Without the right story, you're spinning your wheels — it doesn't matter how hard you try or how good you are. You've got to get the story right. Once a brand has developed its story, it needs to master the process of activity: How does the company take that story to all the right customers as quickly as they can? It's a combination of sales and marketing.
Finally, brands need to focus on mindset. Teams that have an unstoppable mindset will enjoy activity that never falters or wavers and a story that doesn't stop being told.
Field marketing has traditionally been the territory of large companies with large marketing budgets. Today, though, lots of companies are deploying field marketing resources in exchange for demand gen resources. As a result, field marketing has become much more strategic and has become a closing event designed to help deals move through the funnel.
What's interesting about field marketing, though, is that it elevates its role and becomes an activation channel. By allowing people in the field to activate with the sales team, field marketing creates a close connection between sales and marketing and allows companies to work in a more cohesive fashion.
To put it another way, field marketing takes energy and impulsion out of headquarters and allocates it locally. This makes for a more impactful and allows companies to further showcase their brands where their customers are already existing. This also leads to highly creative ways to drive funnel opportunities, including through local events. When customers feel valued at a hosted event, it helps promote your brand in a positive light.
Additionally, field marketing allows in-field professionals to feed critical information back into the marketing department, which facilitates more targeted messaging and closer relationships between customers and salespeople.
How do companies get the right content at the right stage of the pipeline to the right people at the right time?
The answer is simple. The first step is to look at the sales process. By considering what you want your customer to know at the stage that an opportunity lives in and ensuring that a customer has all the information he or she needs to make an intelligent decision, it's easier to look objectively at every opportunity and ensure you're checking all the boxes, every single time.
Additionally, companies can focus on product training, which entails the sales enablement team and marketing team. There's a big gap, though, which is marketing enablement or marketing activation.
This comes back to the point about your story.
At a certain point, it's harder for marketing to get everyone in a company to understand certain marketing campaigns. There's a really important piece in the market missing around marketing enablement, so brands that take the time to focus on this stand to rise above.