Our Points Of View On Sales & Marketing

Thought Leadership

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

GDPR April 2018 Update

Building on our December learnings, GDPR is a hot topic within many of our client companies and all companies right now – even if they are US based selling into either US locations or selling outside US.

The fines for non-compliance are heavy at 4% of global revenues per year and the risk of inability to sell/market in the European region on an ongoing basis.  Surprisingly, many companies are not putting much energy behind compliance of their data processes or systems.

What sometimes gets lost on the compliance penalty is the actual benefit of embarking on this project – for the first time, Marketers will have true intention indicated by relevant database prospects.  GDPR forces out the ‘great unwashed’ of disinterested prospects or non-relevant contacts.  Said differently, reporting from a Marketing viewpoint will be pinpoint accurate in the EU region or on EU affected records.  Never has there been a time with such Marketing measurement precision.

We’ve conducted nearly a dozen free diagnostic tests (let us know if you want one?) to benchmark performance for our clients on their databases and have a few observations on the GDPR projects and data results:

  1. We see GDPR projects falling across two lines:
    • Part 1: prospecting part which impacts primarily systems and processes that are outbound oriented in nature (eg Marketing Automation, some aspects of Salesforce, and the processes that touch those)
    • Part 2: customer data which primarily impacts systems and processes that house or store customer level data (systems like Salesforce, Salesforce communities, and any other IT system that houses billing information or product information, etc.)

 

  1. Every company is approaching GDPR differently organizationally
    • Usually the initiatives are marketing led initiatives for prospecting processes, IT led initiatives for customer processes
    • Legal is almost always involved regardless of the prospecting or customer aspect
    • Legal/Finance/IT are often funding the initiative that Marketing and/or Sales is executing

 

  1. Benchmark data
    • We’re finding US companies with US focus surprisingly having some records in their database that would cause them to be in jeopardy of violating GDPR. We’ve seen upto 1% of the database contain GDPR records on our testing.
    • Of the non-US focused companies, we’re finding global SaaS companies having a 4% or more impact on overall database of records that would also be considered GDPR eligible.
    • We’re finding there are two levels of testing records – matched and unmatched records.  Unmatched records require a deeper investment to assess properly but statistically fall in line with matched records relative to the entire database.

 

  1. What is less noticeable are records that are tabbed as GDPR records but are NOT in the EU but are owned by the EU.  These types of records are the ‘gotcha’ records so be careful!
    • Primary territory records (eg French Guiana – and others – owned by France)
    • Outermost territories (eg Aruba and others owned by Netherlends)
    • These kinds of records are not going to be as easily detected by automation systems and are the ‘gotcha’ type records.  Studying your record types and origins is important!

 

A prediction – I’d expect to see GDPR for US based companies in 2019.  We’ve seen the recent data issues with Facebook in the news, so expect to see more, not less, privacy regulation in the US.

What trends are you seeing in GDPR for your company?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Part 4.  Lessons Learned in an Account-Based Approach (ABA)

 

As published in MarTech Advisor

 

In our industry conversations and experiences with over 100+ Account based deployments, we find that many marketers, particularly SaaS companies or large enterprises, believe they’re “already doing account based marketing.” When we dig a little deeper to uncover what that means, we find it means their progress is very different for a lot of companies.

 

(See article on MarTech Advisor)

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Part 3. What kind of talent is required for ABM success?

 

As published in MarTech Advisor

As Gartner recently pointed out in their October 2017 survey, nearly half of all discretionary marketing spend is dedicated toward internal people or external agency support.

In today’s series, we’ll talk about key resources needed to successfully pull off an ABM strategy to build on our earlier ABM posts of when to create a strategy and how to convince stakeholders of the strategy.

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Part 2 – How to convince stakeholders ABA is worth doing.

 

 

As published in MarTech Advisor

 

In Part 1 of our series, we talked about when an Account Based Approach (ABA) should be embarked upon.  In today’s piece, we’ll talk about how to enlist stakeholders that ABA is worth doing.

 

Account-Based Marketing or selling can not happen only within the Marketing department, which makes it very challenging for those of you in cultures that need to prove success out before embarking in a larger initiative. You need executive support, as well as the support of your peers in sales.

 

(Click on the link above for the rest of the article as published in MarTech advisor!)

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Part 1 – When is Account Based Marketing needed?

 

As Published in MarTech Advisor

 

We have all heard the buzz; Account-Based Marketing, Account Based Selling, Account Based Revenue, Account Based Everything…the acronyms are plentiful.  I’ll add one more to the mix.

 

An account based approach (ABA) represents an omni-channel coordinated sales and marketing approach, one that reinforces B2B sales and marketing fundamentals, but more hyper-targeted than in times past.  It includes very personalized and customized experiences across ANY automation tool for sales AND marketing.   Analysts are catching onto this trend:

 

(See MarTech Advisor for full article)

 

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

2018 Salesforce Lightning Migration for Marketers

In March 2018, Salesforce will soon stop support of bug fixes within their classic version of CRM, moving toward the next generation capabilities.  Client wise, we’ve begun helping some organizations make the move over to Lightning, though clearly it is very early days of such a move.
There are several sales and marketing benefits of such a migration – better visualization, cleaner account level hierarchies, improved productivity with fewer clicks to name a few benefits.  Marketers will need to make sure their marketing automation software can in fact be used properly in Lightning as several have the classic application installed.
Before embarking on a migration, there are key questions to ask internally before making a switch:
  1. What is your business objective of a migration (e.g. sales cloud to improve sales performance, service cloud to improve support perf., etc.)?
  2. How documented are your existing sales and marketing processes?
    • How accurate and optimized are those processes?  This will help speed up an installation (and give an opportunity to freshen up an old set of sales processes).
  3. How are you thinking of this as a migration strategy – a fresh brand new instance or a migrated classic one?  This impacts strategy/timing and marketing.
  4. How much customization in terms of SFDC custom objects in Classic exist?   That will impact time to convert as custom object migration is more challenging.
  5. How proficient are your internal resources at JavaScript understanding?  That could impact time to migrate from an existing classic instance to Lightning.

What are you seeing in terms of 2018 migration plans?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

GDPR – Sales & Marketing impact

(Please also consult your internal counsel and data privacy officer for how your company should approach GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)).

 

While there are several strict laws of data privacy throughout the globe to include countries like Canada, Australia, and China, GDPR is a European-wide framework that is the strictest treatment of data globally and is consistent pan Europe effective May 25, 2018. GDPR enforces accountability for ANY company selling or marketing into Europe and emphasizes the collection and processing of data.  This law impacts all companies, and their sales’ and marketers’ communication.

If you are a company considering implementing GDPR, there are several business advantages to following this law:

  • With clean, opt in data, better chance of demonstrating meaningful metrics internally
  • Improved targeting for selling and nurturing purposes
  • Less infrastructure carrying cost on dead contacts or contacts that have no conversion chance
  • By following the law, there is no 4% penalty on global revenues that could be assessed

There are several elements of GDPR legally to abide by, but the two largest concerns are making sure that Individuals give consent to data use and that the 3rd party has a legitimate interest, this link shows examples of the definition of legitimate interest.

 

Tips for planning for GDPR:

  • A plan should be put in place around the collection and storage of information that can identify the person, such as IP address, first name, last name, mobile numbers, and phone numbers among other information.
  • The company itself is accountable for GDPR compliance regardless of whether the data was sourced by a 3rd party or not, so it’s important to understand how data is collected and how it is processed.
  • It is critical that the marketer think through opt-in procedures, updates preference centers, and ensures sure that sales and marketing systems are properly processing data consistent with this new law.
  • The law also includes unstructured data – for example, an email that is sent from Outlook must ensure that the individual receiving the email has consented to receiving information.
  • A double opt in email approach is highly recommended as best in class way of ensuring clean data practices and is more likely found in a marketing automation system than in that of a sales automation system.
  • Data input from 3rd party sources, whether purchased lists or through trade show uploads require specialized treatment from a data governance perspective.
  • Consider a double opt in approach for all events, as an example of this special data governance treatment.
  • Some sales technologies enable phone calls to be recorded and collected. Explicit consent will be required to record phone calls.  You should clearly communicate to customers why their data is being requested for collection and how you intend to use it in any future activities.
  • Other outbound phone calls must not be listed on a ‘do not call list.’ Other calls must give explicit permission for follow up communication to occur.
  • Lastly, it is important that all tools are in compliance to governance – which would include sales automation tools (Outreach, Salesloft, etc.) as well as marketing automation tools. Marketers, make sure your sales team is compliant with their email automation tools.

The future around e-privacy and cookies is likely the next law to come out next.  It is an exciting time to be in Sales and Marketing in 2018!

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

What’s The Impact Of The New Demand Unit Waterfall?

As published in DemandGen Reports, May 2017

By Jon Russo, Founder B2B Fusion, @b2bcmo

For B2B revenue leaders that are contemplating adoption of the new SiriusDecision’s Demand Unit Waterfall, here are five impact areas on B2B strategies and initiatives to consider:

  1. Develop a data strategy: install proper data processes, match leads to accounts (Ringlead, Full Circle, Lean Data, etc.) and establish the right global account hierarchies. After Fuze CMO Brian Kardon and his team invested significant time and energy in a data strategy, his team experienced massive growth success.
  1. Embrace an Account Based approach. CMO Peter Herbert of VersionOne describes his very successful Account Based journey as, “real progress B2B revenue teams are making towards a more intelligent, proactive, and efficient way of going to market.”  This new approach reinforces a need for an ABM strategy of account identification and investments (Engagio, DemandBase, Radius, Everstring, Oceanos, Terminus, Kwanzoo, Big Willow, etc.)
  1. Align and measure. Herbert says, “B2B teams are shifting from working in silos to capture and handoff leads to working together to engage — in a more compelling way.”  Build supporting Salesforce structures, data lakes with Business Intelligence overlays like Anish Jariwala at Informatica has created, or leverage tools that measure most of this new waterfall (Engagio, Full Circle Insights, etc.)
  1. Select attributes of the buying committee but...anticipate challenges identifying the right buying authorities from scouts or key influencers, especially if roles change deal to deal. Expect assumptions and manual intervention as Sales uses Salesforce contact roles sparingly, Marketers create personas, and roles change.
  1. Retain the right internal and external talent to support this new waterfall and maximize technology investment ROI. Augment internal teams with knowledgeable external sales and marketing performance firms that extend internal strategy reach and best practice system capabilities to improve odds of visible success and to move in a more agile manner.
by B2B Fusion B2B Fusion No Comments

Digital Selling – 2017 MarTech Integration Challenges

In Morgan Stanley’s recent ‘Software Eats the CMO Suite’ survey, the number one business to business challenge for Chief Marketing Officers with their technology purchases is the inability to successfully integrate disparate technologies into a unified platform. This integration issue is also a consistent one we see across our enterprise client base and through informal polling of my professional network – the end result is a disjointed customer experience and an incomplete way to identify what marketing tactics are driving true sales/business results.

As a root cause of the issue, in larger enterprises, these platforms run cross organization – for example, internal IT ‘owns’ the data warehouse, whereas Marketing owns Marketing Automation. This ownership rift exacerbates the challenge of bringing disparate systems together with no one organization owning the integration aspect of systems like these.

There are at least two symptoms of the root cause of not being able to integrate platforms:

  • The inability to have a seamless customer journey so that the journey is one experience, not several disjointed automated experiences. We find this to be the fundamental driver of customer success.
  • Non-reportable, non-actionable data. Can’t correctly answer the question ‘what demand generation / online sales techniques are most effective with disparate islands of data?’  This situation is a sharp pain point for ANY CMO trying to attribute their performance to revenue.

So how does a CMO solve this complex integration situation in 2017? The integrated technology strategy CMOs should involve the following factors:

  1. Start with the end in mind – determine ‘what are you hoping to accomplish with an integrated strategy that drives the right customer experience?’ Get others in the organization to buy into that approach and assign a business owner to the process. This step is sometimes referred to as a ‘needs assessment’.
  2. Select the initial automation platform wisely and not hastily. A specific marketing automation choice dictates a significant part of your go to market strategy and your ability to integrate with partners to drive a seamless customer experience. Switching costs out of platforms are expensive and time consuming. Invest time in really understanding the partner ecosystem and/or hire someone who has that understanding, else risk wasting valuable time.
  3. Understand API capabilities on your chosen marketing automation platform – leveraging APIs is the ‘mortar between the data bricks’. There is a radical difference across each REST API of automation platforms. Some platforms will charge extra for use of the APIs. Be mindful or find a trusted partner who has done these kinds of integrations before as API work is often times non-core to the business.

As a B2B enterprise, what issues are you experiencing in cross platform integration?  What platforms do you most effective to automate your customer experience?   Would love to hear your comments!

Today’s blog contribution comes from Jon Russo, founder of B2B Fusion, a sales and marketing performance firm focused on connecting marketing investment to new revenue.  Enterprise clients include Anthem, Ricoh, Thomson Reuters, and Level 3 among others.  Jon currently serves on the Board of Directors for MOCCA, the leading enterprise association for operational excellence in Digital Marketing.  Prior to founding B2B Fusion, Jon held global CMO roles for 10 years in private and public technology companies in Silicon Valley, NYC, and Luxembourg.

by B2B Fusion B2B Fusion No Comments

2016: Where should an organization invest an incremental dollar in marketing?

At a recent New York City gathering of forty senior B2B marketing executives of the Marketing Operations Cross Company Alliance (MOCCA), the hottest 2016 marketing planning topics were people and investing an incremental dollar in data.

People:  Kathleen Schaub, VP of IDC’s Chief Marketing Officer Advisory practice, illustrated new industry research indicating 59% of technology firms having CMOs with tenure of two or fewer years; in addition, 25% of marketing roles today did not exist ten years ago.  With this amount of change on people, it becomes very challenging to find the right skillsets, thus the war on talent.

Yet given the critical importance of marketing tech and the sheer amount of hype that is in the market, IDC found it surprising in its research of nearly 100 technology firms that fewer than 2% of marketing staff are in dedicated technology roles.  IDC also finds that companies’ information technology teams still provide marketing with very little support. As marketing technology becomes a bigger part of marketing operations, some roles become “blurred” or ‘mixed’. In advanced organizations, the use of technology may be greater than strictly found in dedicated roles. IDC believes that the greater part of the growth in marketing technology and corresponding support roles is still in the future – compounding the need for these skills.

As customers move their buying process away from direct and inside sales representatives and towards digital buying patterns, organizations are also making that same shift to cut costs. This trend toward virtual sales is seen as model that blends 75% digital (web properties, digital assets, cognitive computing, analytics, and other automation support), and 25% person vs. what might have been a 100% human-based role ten years ago.

Data:  Schaub and Maggie Chan Jones, SAP Chief Marketing Officer, agreed that data is the number one area where a marketer should be making incremental discretionary investment.  Jones says that becoming a data-driven organization is one of her top priorities for her team.  “The great thing about big data is, it allows marketers to make smarter decisions in real time. Look at our events strategy. After a multi-year journey to elevate the strategy of our events with analytics and insight, our work was recognized by the ANA.” SAP won the Genius Award in the “Excellence in Analytics Driven Strategy” category, awarded to the brand applying the most advanced approach to allocating investments across marketing.”

The work of the SAP team has evolved to include survey insights and understanding attendee areas of interest through a process called “behavioral fingerprinting”, which uses sensors to understand audience traffic flow and areas of interest going into and out of the event. It also takes into account on-site focus groups and deep social media analysis to add the customer’s voice to the numbers and patterns emerging. The team is now in a position to react to heat mapping at the event – in real time – and redirect the flow of traffic to other sessions or areas of interest for the audience.

2016 is an exciting time to see the dawning of an accountable Marketing function with newer technology and people to drive this accountability.

B2B Fusion is a sales and marketing performance firm focused on generating higher quality leads through optimized technology, process improvement and marketing/sales alignment.  Led by Jon Russo, former technology/information services CMO, B2B Fusion analyzes funnel dynamics, improves revenue business processes and delivers best practice data and nurture strategies for enterprise clients like Anthem, Level(3) Communications, and Thomson Reuters. Jon currently serves on the Board of Directors for MOCCA, the leading enterprise association for operational excellence in Marketing.