Chief Marketing Officer Jon Perera of Highspot, a sales enablement platform that empowers companies to elevate their customer conversations, joins host Greg Moore on this week’s podcast. With a unique background in both marketing and sales, Perera offers his advice for sales and marketing professionals alike on how to align successfully to support the customer.
Perera joined Highspot about a year ago, with an impressive background in product marketing and sales operations at Microsoft and as vice president of product marketing and product management at Adobe.
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A Quick Note: This is the second-to-last episode of Season 1. We’re taking next week off to tape our season finale LIVE at TRANSFORM, Showpad’s sales enablement conference on November 6 in Chicago, which we’ll post Nov. 13.
How to Align Modern Sales and Marketing
There’s often misalignment between sales and marketing because sales doesn’t understand what marketing fully does, and marketing believe sales doesn’t always use the assets they’re provided to the full extent they could. The reality is that alignment between marketing and sales takes place when they collaborate to break through walls together. Perera explains this as being when both departments understand and respect the different success metrics each has. But when there’s shared metrics such as new client acquisition and revenue growth, and two head in the same direction. Perera shares the four components that lead to successful alignment between the two departments:
1. Having a shared strategy to win: Develop a strategy that both the head of sales and head of marketing believe in to hit numbers
2. Strong communication and collaboration at the top: Establish an effective leader-to-leader connection
3. System of measurement: Align on shared KPIs that both leaders can look at constantly to understand how to get better
4. Listening and having empathy: Understand each other’s viewpoints
Perera argues that sales and marketing alignment falters when there isn’t trust from the top and leaders aren’t measuring success together. But when they follow those four components, they’re more likely to win together.
How Sales Enablement Brings Sales and Marketing Together
Perera shares his hypothesis that sales enablement can be the glue that brings sales and marketing alignment together.
Many sales enablement teams focus on onboarding, but as our own CSO Insights’ research shows, they also manage content, offer guidance on how to use that content and then measure the success metrics.
Sellers simply having content available isn’t enough, they need to have guidance on how to use it effectively in the moments of action. Perera speaks to what Highspot calls a sales play: what you need to know, what you need to say and what you need to show—and it’s the job of sales enablement to bridge the gap between sales and marketing to deliver sales plays that close deals.
Think Through the Lens of the Customer
Great sales and marketing alignment happens when they place the customer at the center from start to finish. Perera gives the example of a prospect going to Google to solve their business problem and landing on an organization’s website. The modern buying experience needs to be personalized. Technology can give organizations a full view of how personalized that customer’s experience is and how seamless the handoff from marketing to sales. Marketing often focuses on leads coming in through a website and sales focuses on quota, but when the two come together to focus on providing a better customer experience, they create a larger opportunity for revenue growth.
What’s Jon Perera’s Move?
At the end of each episode, we ask our guests for their best actionable advice in a segment we call What’s Your Move? For Perera, he encourages sales leaders looking to improve alignment with marketing to focus on defining success:
“Start with a shared definition of success. Reach out to your counterpart to understand each other’s individual metrics and KPIs, and understand where they live in overall company and business goals—get into the details on how you’ll work together. Make sure that sales enablement is empowered to build the bridge between sales and marketing.”
Outline of Episode
[2:00] Perera’s journey from product marketing at Microsoft and Adobe to chief marketing officer at Highspot
[4:35] What sales and marketing alignment should look like
[8:25] The role sales enablement plays in sales and marketing alignment
[13:50] Where technology stands in sales and marketing alignment
[18:01] Keeping the customer at the center throughout the purchasing path
[22:05] Perera’s advice for sales and marketing leaders looking to align
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