Time to End Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success Silos

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Marketers love the thrill of the chase. We pursue prospects with reckless abandon. MQLs are B2B digital hunting trophies.


But when marketers catch prospects, the game’s over. They quickly forget about these newly-minted customers….because prospects are sexier.

It shouldn’t be this way. 

Prospects shouldn’t be engaged separately by sales, marketing, and customer success. The three groups should be working together to attract, capture, and serve customers.

John McTigue argues that silos create friction, which drives customer unhappiness and churn. 

He believes a unified approach is a win for B2B companies and customers. 

I Mark Evans and welcome to market is forthe podcast that delivers insight from marketers and entrepen, and thetrenches in twenty five minutes or less marketers spent a lot of time, moneyand effort attracting an engaging prospects. You love the thrill of akiln, but what's a prospect prisint a customer, we seemingly lose interest.This is despite the fact that it's so much easier to keep an existingcustomer than when a new way to day, I'm talking with John Mc tee, thecustomer journey strategist on how to keep customers happy and loyal. Welcometo market E's part. Thank you glad to be here. Let's start off with the initial premisthat- and I could be wrong here- that marketers love to attract and engage prospects and turnthem into or help turn them into customers, but we often forgetcustomers after their part of the full they're fat and happy we've done ourjob. Now, it's up to other people and customers, success and customer serviceto keep them there. Is that an correct depiction of? What's going on out theregenerally yeah, I think so. I think historically,sales and marketing and customer success or really customer success as athing hasn't hasn't been there. For you know, for many years it was justcustomer service or customer support, so yeah. I think the they've been SIlowed for a long long time, maybe forever doing their own job, and youknow, as you said, marketing and sales are really focused on bringing in new customers. Imean at somebody else's problem after that. So I think where we're at ischanging that mind set, and it's it's not fully implemented. Yet, let's saythat, but it is changing. One of the things that I read a lotabout these days is the silos between sales, marketing and customer success.They all have their different mandates. They all operate differently. In manycases they don't communicate that well, don't share resources, don't sharefeedback and, as a result, they're marching to the beat of their owndrummer. A lot of people are starting to suggest that they should be morphtogether, that there should be an amalgamation, that there shouldn't beany delineation between sales marketing. A customer success. Do you subscribe tothat view and if so, how do you make that a reality? How do you merge allthese different job functions together, so you can move forward and lockstep well, I do subscribe to that idea thatstrategy. It makes perfect sense if you think about it from the customer'spoint of view. They don't want to deal with silos.They don't want to have to be handed off from one department to the next. They don't want to deal with multiplepeople who don't know what they're you know what they're all about, what theirinterests are, and things like that. So there's a lot of friction thatbuilds up in these hand, offs between the initial marketing and sales and andthen finally, customs customer support, which I think statistically shows thata lot you lose a lot of business. This way there. You know those those fencesbetween the silos so to speak, are high friction and they do cause problems.They do cause customers to get. You know unhappy with your brand andyour products and so on. So there are lots of good reasons to merge them.Your question is more about how hard is that to do, and what are you know?Maybe what are some of the barriers,...

...but I think if you can do it, it'scertainly a great idea to have the three operations meeting as a teamfocusing on what the customer wants, exchanging ideas and staying incommunication so that that messaging, back and forth is always consistent.People are always aware of what the customer you know where they are intheir journey and what their interests are and what their challenges are andthey're working together to solve them. So I mean it makes sense from a sort of a logicalpoint of view, but because it's so organizational siloe and leaders have their little youespecially true with leaders that they have their fites and the you knowthey're defending their territory, that you have big problems in breaking downthose wallss. So that's kind of the the first step is maybe putting in someone above them. You know chief Revenue Officer who says:Okay, guys, the walls are coming down and you guys have to figure out how towork together. Lots of different ways that we can gofrom here, but one of the issues, I believe, is the idea of compensation.So right now, if your sales rap you get base plus commission in many cases, ifyou're the marketing person you get rewarded based on mq l's or S L's, andif your customer success, I guess, there's rewards around retention. Maybeit's about up cells, but if everything's going to be amalgamated,the whole compensation system is going to have to be re imagined becauseeveryone's going to have to be in the same boat, be rewarded in the same kindof ways, and so that's going to be really interesting challenge both froman organizational structure. Point of view, but also in terms of compensation, you know, and a sort of a modern dayanalogy would be a car dealer where you now you have sales reps that aren't oncommission any more they're paid salaries and everybody's salary goes upand down based on a revenue based on performance and profitability. So why not do that with sales andmarketing and customer success in any organization you know like. I don't know why that wouldn't be true,because they're all working together to attract and convert people into customers, they're all working to keep thosecustomers through retention and they're, all working together to up, sell andcross cell and expand accounts. The only thing that I can think of thatwould be better than that possibly is having smaller teams focused onspecific accounts. So you have like an account based team with a marketer or sales rap. Maybecouple sales reps, a customer success person all focused on you know: Half adozen, maybe ten or fifteen accounts, and there are. They are directlyresponsible for performance revenue, performance, pretention, upsall, Crosscell working as a team and they're rewarded through a bonus system or,however, you want to handle that the advantages is much simpler. Thatway and you are either you're either doing well or you're, not, as you know,across the board and you're more focused on individuals.You know with individual customers and customer accounts trying to help them be successful,because that's how you're successful yeah. I think that makes a lot of sensein the bt Enterprise Space, where you've got big high value customers totake a long time to come on board. So what usually happens is the marketingpeople will attract them. The sales...

...people will develop. The relationshipnurture the deal close the deal and then customer success will make surethe customer is on boarded and happy. But if you had them working together,post sale, the sales person has the relationship, so they can stay involved.The marketer can use their skills to effectively communicate to the customerand the customer success person can then do whatever it takes to expand theclient to serve the client in different ways, and that could be a veryeffective way to do. Post acquisition, sales and marketing absolutely and it is working. There areplenty of companies doing this, but the challenge I think that you're hintingat is in you know, mid sized companies, it's S, mb, what's the equivalent, youknow you, you often don't have enough people to go around even to staff upthese teams, or maybe you have a small cvead. Youknow product and you have thousands even hundreds of thousands of customers. What's the deal there, so that's a slightly different way of looking at it, but instead ofmaybe grouping together and working so closely with the counts, those teams instead work on things likeproduct lead growth. They work on using more of a technology approach tostaying. You know closely tied in with the customers on their journeys throughout the process, and you knowhelping them succeed. So I mean there are different ways of approaching thatand they do depend on the size of the company and the product that you'reselling. But you know there are still ways of doing that. Without going backto the old ways in the s mb space, I find that one of the shortcomings ofpost acquisition activities is the fact that marketing seemss to wash theirhands of customers and that they're not communicating as effectively as theyshould. So in many cases it's a monthly newsletter or a quarterly newsletter,and these news letters are pretty lame. I mean there's probably not a lot oftime and effort that goes into them. I think a lot of them are simply goingthrough the motions to stay in touch with the customer, but for s MBmarketing, that's creative, engaging pro active prescriptive and really tiedto making the customer or more successful and making them smarter sothat they can use the product and better in different ways. That's athat's just a starting point. That's a fundamental way to really keep yourcustomers engaged and keep marketing as important engaged with your customers.To I mean, if you think about it, thecustomer is constantly changing. You know they have new challenges, newproducts of their own new markets. You know things are happening at thatcompany and then you're changing you know. So your products are changing.Your markets are changing, so marketing can be really good at sort of bridgingthat gap between what happened before and what's happening now you know kindof keeping people and not through sort of a stale newsletter, but more likecustomer stories you know doing doing with marketing does well interviewingcustomers writing up their stories. Doing great videos and podcast, youknow designing up. You know capturing results from theircustomers and creating really effective content out of that, and then one of the things that we often miss isinvolving our customers in our own marketing and US in theirs. So dogsharing brands doing things together like we're doing a podcast. Now I couldbe your customer and we could be sharing. You know, ideas back and forthacross our brands and then distributing...

...them to our audiences, which you knowit's a win win. So why not do that? You know why not have marketing moreinvolved in co branding- and you know, initiativesto get the word out on both sides. Try to help all of our customers out at thesame time, yeah. I think you're right. I thinkthere are many win win propositions that marketing taste fails takeadvantage of when it comes to their customers, because customers havetremendous domain expertise and thought leadership that is untapped. What Ifound is, if you reach out to customers and if you try to engage them, they arein many cases, extremely enthusiastic because they see the upside in two ways,one they can demonstrate. I made a smart decision by doing business withyou, which is great, I'm seein as somebody who is savvy and knows whatthey're doing and second they can promote their own company by leveragingyour marketing there's. Absolutely no reason why this shouldn't be done moreoften, but we leave. We leave a lot of these opportunities on the tablebecause we just don't think about it as market as we ignore it. It's not as nota priority not seen as effective and there's lots of ways that we just failour customers when it comes to customer success and marketing. Well, if you consider like fifty hundred year old company, that'snot really digitally transformed yet a lot of times and there's still manymany of those out there. They don't have that kind of marketing.They don't they're, not really doing much digital marketing they're notreally involved in social media and podcast, and all that, so we can help them with that and and it'sa wit again, it's a win win because they have a big audience. That'sprobably not aware of what you do. You can get business quite easily referralbusiness. This way, it's sort of, I guess, you'd- call it a hybrid of sortof direct and referral business, so you know they're, it can't hurt you todo this to sort of get the word out and marketing is uniquely qualified to dothis kind of work. Let's shift gears a little bit onLinkin recently, you wrote an interesting post looking at frictionand the idea of that many companies struggle with their web sites, becauseit's just not aligned with what customers want to know need to know oralign with their expectations. Can you walk through some of thebiggest mistakes that companies make when it comes to their web sites,because this is the digital doorway? This is the most important portal toeducate, engage and entertain your customers. Yet a lot of companies fail.What are they doing wrong and what should they be doing instead? Well, the root cause of this is lookingat it. From your perspective, not your customers perspective. So you a lot ofcompanies think of their website as well. This is this is my brochure. Thisis my brand. This is what I'm putting out there and if everybody likes it,they're going to come and do business with us. The only problem is: That'snot what your customers want. They couldn't care less about your brand.You know they probably never heard of you, and maybe they just run across youthrough a Google search or a friend tells them about you, and so you gocheck out their website. That's the first thing you do, and so they don't know anything aboutyou. They don't have this warm fuzzy feeling about your company or youremployees or your awards. They just want to know what you do. First, youknow who you are. What do you do? Why should I be interested in? How is thisrelevant to me? It's almost like a website needs to read my mind and tellme why I should be there and then make...

...it as easy as possible to find outexactly what I want to know so that the really the key thing is answering myquestions and the rest. It could be on thewebsite somewhere, but it shouldn't be up front. It shouldn't be the firstthing that they run into so a lot of people bounce because they go. What isthis? I don't. This is not. This is not something I'm interested in and they'llsee. It is a gigantic picture of people working, and you know stuff like that,and it's like well, I'm not interested in that. We got that we got people working atdesks, I'm here, for you know to make more revenue or fix things faster, oryou know something like that. That's the key is you've got to think through what your customers journey islike early on in the process and what are what are they interested in? Whatare their questions and the easiest way to do that is to ask I find itfascinating and troubling at the same time that when you see web sites- andyour first impression is- I don't understand what you do, I don'tunderstand why I should care and it's marketing one and one. It really istrying to position yourself in a very simple, accessible way, what you do and why anyone should careand I'm doing a lot of positioning work. These days to try to simplify acompany's corporate narrative, and the first thing that I tell people once youdevelop, your positioning is take that and repurpose it for your website,because it'll go a long way, but I guess companies are very product, focusor feature focused or price. Focused and reality is, are not customerfocused, that's the thing even higher up in thepecking order than positioning. In my opinion, you have to you have to understand the why you knowwhy would someone want your product? You know what is it about them? What isit about their their needs or their their wants or whatever that woulddrive them towards? I guess that is positioning really. You know what is it what's the connection between you andthem, and, and you got to get that across right away, because if you don'tyou lose them nobody's going to watch it and even asixty second video product demonstration or a Blob Post. You wrote about this andthat you know I mean yeah maybe later, but right now we're just we're justmeeting in a cock at a cocktail party. You know, and I'm not telling you mylife history, yet we haven't gotten there. Yet, let's assume that your positioning isgood, your website works, a conversion happens and a prospect turns into acustomer and a lot of what you write about on link in has to do with onboarding and the magic of on boarding that turns a customer into an engagedcustomer. What do you see is the biggest mistakes when it comes to onboarding and what are the must does? What are the things that a company mustdo right from the onset to make sure that on boarding is almost like alaunch tool into something bigger and better? The biggest problem people have in onboarding is not knowing what their customers actually want during thesales process. There's not a back and forth about what your goals are. Youknow if you sign up with us, what do you hope to accomplish, and so the onboarding process doesn't reflect that at all, it's generic! It's like this! I,these are the steps we want you to go through to be our customer, which isnot what customers want. They want to solve their problems right out of thegate. You know, thatplus,...

...to the extent that you can make itpersonal like have a work. You know it could be an online workshop or or somelive training. You know, and he to the extent that you actually have someoneassigned as either an account manager or or definitely assigned as an accountteam, that's even better, because then they know they're being taken care of.Otherwise you just get a stream of emails. You know do this and Oh, Inoticed you didn't do that and it's like okay leave me alone. I'm trying toget things done here. It's that lack of personalization that lack of custom ization. You know that I thinkis, is typically what drives people away even during the free trial, and I think it's one of the negativeswhen it comes to marketing automation is that we put people into buckets orbig giant groups, and we assume that they have the exam experiences in thesame needs and the reality is that people buy solutions for lots ofdifferent reasons, and I think you're right when it comes to on boarding itreally is about. We know you have, or we think you have, these specificproblems and here's how to solem using our product. Here's what you do andthen based on people's activity, then you can personalize the unboardingexperience. Your emails are a lot more relevant, a lot more personal, a lotmore effective. We don't do that. We just hit the button and hit play andlet it go from there and I think again as marketers. We leave a lot on thetable. We leave a lot of opportunities, untapped yeah and the worst thing I've seen ispeople actually drive forcing you into some sort of tutorial program that youhave to go through these steps and sort of get certified. As you know this, andthat I mean and that's the last thing people want you know they want to skipright to the the thing that they were most interested in and dive in. Youknow show some dash boards and move on. You know, and so you just can't assumethat you can't assume anything. You have to ask a couple of final question. One has todo with the future of marketing, and this is obviously a loaded question,but you know, as we move forward and as companies reset or recalibrate theirmarket activities, there's going to be some back and forth when it comes toactually how to structure their marketing organizations. Do you dothings in house or do you use freelancers contractors, agencies andfractional executive? The mix could be completely different from what we saw ayear or eighteen months ago, when a lot of companies had big, fully staffedmarketing teams. You have any thoughts on how things man fold and howmarketing organizations may be structured going forward. Well, I think it depends on a couple oftrends. So one of them, you mentioned already the automation trend. If thatcontinues. So the idea there is that more and more stuff that marketers dogets automated up to an even including creating content, maybe even creatingstrategy from for so and things like that. I mean, if that really continuesunabated, that will have a fairly significant impact, not only on thesize of marketing teams, but you know who works on a marketing team you're going to have a bunch of tech,people basically and a strategist, but it could go another direction and Ithink it actually is heading in this direction is just a little slower thanI would have liked, and that is in the opposite direction: more human to human,more personal, more brand forward and less about conversionand Ottoman autumn automation. So those are two sort of competingtrends and I think if that trend starts,...

...to win out more you're, going to seemore hiring of content, marketers and designers andbrand marketers, and even customer marketers and product marketers,because there's there's going to be more of this sort of human to humanelement, where you really need expertise at the at the daily level.That's hard really hard to automate and you're kind of seeing that too you'reseeing that it's harder and harder to find talent out there. So it's notquite clear which direction were going in and whether or not that's outsourcethat could go either way to because you know there are special agencies. Moreand more agencies are sort of. You know they focus on one or two things andless sort of you know, agency of record and then consultants sort of the sameway. You see more specialized consultants and things like productlead, growth or a B M or something and then the fractional C mo or see seewhatever. I think that's going to increase,because there's more and more change in the market place all the time and you see companies coming and goingyou see, people coming and going so you need leadership. Having peopleavailable for a short period of time is is at least one good solution to that.So I'm I agree with you. I see the brand content trend, gaity more romantbecause as companies looked a differential, everyone's doingautomation, it's table stakes, but if you can carve out a unique andinteresting brand through different kinds of market activities, I thinkthat's going to be more and more important and I think for Action Al Youand I are obviously bias because we're it fractional marketers but get thestretcher power that you need when you need it. One final questionrecommendations on a good book that you've you've read recently and when wecan travel internationally. Where would you like to go? Well, I have a sort of anti commercialagainst sales and marketing books. I don't I don't read very many of them,because a lot of them are just kind of methodologies or retreads, but I have I have some exceptions. Irecently read product lead growth by West Bush. That's it's really good. Ifyou're really interested in how SASS companies can drive revenue growthrough kind of just making making their products more friendly, it's avery interesting read, of course, there's never lose a customer again byJoy Coleman. That's that's kind of a classic read on Retention and Growth through customer service customerjourney, and then the third one I like ismarketing rebellion by Mark Shaffer, which is all about this sort of humanto human trend. That's been coming on, and so your last question is easy onefor me, because we actually had our vacation canceled in two thousand andtwenty to Portugal in Spain, so we haven't re scheduled, but we'replanning to. We really want to get to those two places, and you never knowI'm game to actually move somewhere like that. One of these days so we'llsee yeah. I think a lot of us are looking for an escape of any kind,whether it's Portugal in Spain or is going to the cottage up, north or orsimply visiting friends again doing something different would be would be agreat change of pace. One final final question is: If people want to learnmore about what you do and and the services that you provide, where canthey find that out? Well, I'm on, as you know, I'm onlinked in every day. So if you really want to get my attention, it's just J,MC tigue is the last part of my linked...

...in profile and then W W W customer journey. My stro MaestroCom is where I hang out on the web look forward to connecting up with withanyone and everyone. Well, thanks John. This has been agreat conversation, your insight into the customer journey and all thingsmarketing has been refreshing. It's another example of someone that I meton Linkin reached out to devolve relationship and had jump onto mypodcast, so it's finally good to do something professional together. Afterall, our conversations same to you mark and thanks for having me enjoyed it thanks for listening to another episodeof marketing spark if you enjoyed the conversation, leave a review andsubscribe by Iton Potii or your favorite podcast AP, for show notes oftoday's conversation and information about John is a marketing spark o cove.Last long, if you'd like to learn more about how I help pts companies as afractional co, Tucic advisor Conan, an email to park at Mark Evans, Nota I'lltalk, you now.

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