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'm Mark Evans and welcome to MarketingsPark, the podcast that delivers insight from marketers and entrepreneurs in the trenches intwenty five minutes or less. Marketers spend a lot of time, money andeffort attracting and engaging prospects. We love the thrill of the kill, butonce a prospect turns into a customer, we seemingly lose interest. This isdespite the fact that it's so much easier to keep an existing customer than wina new one. Today I'm talking with John mcteae, a customer journey strategist, on how to keep customers happy and loyal. Welcome to Marketings Park.Thank you. Glad to be here. Let's start off with the initial premisethat, and I could be wrong here, that marketers love to attract and engageprospects and turn them into, or help turn them into, customers,but we often forget customers after they're part of the fold, their thought andhappy. We've done our job. Now it's up to other people in customerssuccess and customer service to keep them there. Is that an a correct depiction ofwhat's going on out there generally? Yeah, I think so. Ithink historically, sales and marketing and customers success, or really customer success asa thing, hasn't hasn't been there for you know, for many years itwas just customer service or customers support. So yeah, I think they've they'vebeen siloed for a long, long time, maybe forever, doing their own joband you know, as you said, marketing and sales are really focused onbringing in new customers and then it's somebody else's problem after that. SoI think where we're at is is changing that mindset and it's it's not fullyimplemented yet, let's say that, but it is changing. One of thethings that I read a lot about these days is the silos between sales marketinginto customer success. They all have their different mandates, they all operate differently. In many cases they don't communicate that well, don't share resources, don'tshare feedback and, as a result, they're march into the beat of theirown drummer. A lot of people are starting to suggest that they should bemorphed together, that there should be an amalgamation, that there shouldn't be anydelineation between sales marketing and customer success. Do you subscribe to that view?And if so, how do you make that a reality? How do youmerge all these different job functions together so you can move forward and lockstep?Well, I do subscribe to that idea, that strategy. It makes perfect senseif you think about it from the customers point of view. They don'twant to deal with silos. They don't want to have to be handed offfrom one department to the next. They don't want to deal with multiple peoplewho don't know what they're you know, what they're all about, what they'reinterests are and things like that. So there's a lot of friction that buildsup in these handoffs between the initial marketing and sales and and then finally customers, customer support, which I think statistically shows that a lot you lose alot of business this way. There you know, those those fences between thesilos, so to speak, are are high friction and they do cause problems. They do cause customers to get, you know, unhappy with your brandand your products and so on. So there are lots of good reasons tomerge them. Your question is more about how hard is that to do andwhat are you know, maybe what are...

...some of the barriers? But Ithink if you can do it. It's certainly a great idea to have thethree operations meeting as a team, focusing on what the customer wants, exchangingideas and staying in communication 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 whether challenges are and they're working togetherto solve them. So I mean it makes sense from a sort of alogical point of view, but because it's so organizationally siload and leaders have theirlittle ye know, as especially true with leaders, that they have their fifeedomsand then you know they're defending their territory that you have big problems in breakingdown those walls. So that's kind of the the first step is is maybeputting in someone above them, you know chief revenue officer, who says,okay, guys, the walls are coming down and you guys have to figureout how to work together. Lots of different ways that we can go fromhere. But one of the issues, I believe, is the idea ofcompensation. So right now, if your sales wrap, you get base pluscommission in many cases, if you're the marketing person, you get rewarded basedon mql's or SQL's and if your customer success, I guess there's rewards aroundretention. Maybe it's about upsals. But if everything's going to be amalgamated,the whole compensation system is going to have to be reimagined because everyone's going tohave to be in the same boat be rewarded in the same kind of ways, and so that's going to be really interesting challenge, both from an organizationalstructure point of view but also in terms of compensation, you know, anda sort of a modern day analogy would be a car dealer where you nowyou have sales reps that aren't on commission anymore. They're paid salaries and everybodysalary goes up and down based on revenue, based on performance and and profitability.So why not do that with sales and marketing and customer success in anyorganization? You know, I don't know why that wouldn't be true, becausethey're all working together to attract and convert people into customers, they're all workingto keep those customers through retention and they're all working together to upsell and crosssell and expand accounts. The only thing that I can think of that wouldbe better than that possibly is having smaller teams focused on specific accounts. Soyou have like an account based team with a marketer, a sales rep,maybe couple sales reps, a customer success person, all focused on, youknow, half a dozen, maybe ten or fifteen accounts and there are theyare directly responsible for performance, revenue, performance, retention, upsale, across cell, working as a team, and their reward it through a bonussystem or however you want to handle that. The advantages. It's much simpler thatway and you're either you're either doing well or you're not, 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, becausethat's how you're successful. Yeah, I think that makes a lot of sensein the BB enterprise space where you've got big, high value customers that takea long time to come on board. So what usually happens is the marketingpeople will attract them, the salespeople will...

...develop the relationship, nurture the deal, close the deal and then customer success will make sure the customer is onboarded and happy. But if you had them working together post sale, thesalesperson has a relationship so they can stay involved, the marketer can use theirskills to effectively communicate to the customer and the customer success person can then dowhatever it takes to expand the client, to serve the client in different ways, and that could be a very effective way to do post acquisition sales andmarketing. Absolutely, and it is working. There are plenty of companies doing this. But the challenge, I think that you're hinting at is in,you know, midsize companies. It's SMB's. What's the equivalent? You know,yes, you often don't have enough people to go a round even tostaff up these teams. Or maybe you have a small ACV, you knowproduct and you have thousands, even hundreds of thousands of customers. What's thedeal there? So that's a slightly different way of looking at it. Butinstead of maybe grouping together and working so closely with the counts, those teamsinstead work on things like product led growth. They work on using more of atechnology approach to staying, you know, closely tied in with the customers ontheir journeys throughout the process and, you know, helping them succeed.So I mean they're different ways of approaching that and they do depend on thesize of the company and the product that you're selling. But you know,there are still ways of doing that without going back to the old ways.In the SMB space, I find the one of the shortcomings of post acquisitionactivities is the fact that marketing seeems to wash their hands of customers and thatthey're not communicating as effectively as they should. So in many cases it's a monthlynewsletter or a quarterly newsletter, and these newsletters are pretty lame. Imean there's probably not a lot of time and effort that goes into them.I think a lot of them are simply going through the motions to stay intouch with the customer. But for SMB's marketing that's creative, engaging, proactive, prescriptive and really tied to making the customer more successful and making them smarterso that they can use the product in better and different ways. That's athat's just a starting point. That's a fundamental way to really keep your customersengaged and keep marketing as important. Engage with your customers too. I mean, if you think about it. The customer is constantly changing, you know, they have new challenges, new products of their own, new markets.You know, things are happening at that company, and then you're changing,you know. So your products are changing, your markets are changing. So marketingcan be really good at sort of bridging that gap between what happened beforeand what's happening now, you know, kind of keeping people and not throughsort of a stale newsletter, but more like customer stories, you know,doing doing what marketing does well, interviewing customers, writing up their stories,doing great videos and podcasts, you know, designing up or, you know,capturing results from their customers and creating really effective content out of that.And then one of the things that we often miss is involving our customers inour own marketing and US in there's so both sharing brands, doing things together, like we're doing a podcast now. I could be your customer and wecould be sharing, you know, ideas back and forth across our brands andthen distributing them to our audiences, which,...

...you know, it's a win win. So why not do that? You know, why not have marketingmore involved in co branding and, you know, initiatives to get the wordout on both side try to help all of our customers out at the sametime. Yeah, I think you're right. I think there are many win,win win propositions that marketing taste fails take advantage of when it comes totheir customers, because customers have tremendous domain expertise and thought leadership that is untapped. What I've found is if you reach out to customers and if you tryto engage them, they are in many cases extremely enthusiastic because they see theupside in two ways. One, they can demonstrate I made a smart decisionby doing business with you, which is great. I'm seeing as somebody whois savvy and knows what they're doing. And second, they can promote theirown company by leveraging your marketing. There's absolutely no reason why this shouldn't bedone more often. But we leave we leave a lot of this, theseopportunities on the table because we just don't think about it as market as.We ignore it. It's not as not a priority, not seen as effectiveand there's lots of ways that we just fail our customers when it comes tocustomer success and marketing it. Well, if you consider, like fifty hundredyear old company that's not really digitally transformed yet. A lot of times,and there's still many, many of those out there, they don't have thatkind of marketing. They don't they're not really doing much digital marketing. They'renot really involved in social media and and podcasting and all that. So wecan help them with that and and it's a win again. It's a winwin because they have a big audience that's probably not aware of what you do. You can get business quite easily referral business this way. It's sort of, I guess you'd call it a hybrid of sort of direct and referral business. So you know they're it can't hurt you to do this to sort ofget the word out, and marketing is uniquely qualified to do this kind ofwork. Let's shift gears a little bit. On linkedin. Recently you wrote aninteresting post looking at friction and the idea of that. Many companies strugglewith their websites because it's just not aligned with what customers want to know,need to know or align with their expectations. Can you walk through some of thebiggest mistakes that companies make when it comes to their websites, because thisis the digital doorway. This is the most important portal to educate, engageand entertain your customers. Yet a lot of companies fail. What are theydoing wrong and what should be be doing instead? Well, the root causeof this is looking at it from your perspective, not your customers perspective.So you a lot of companies, think of their website. Is it?Well, this is, this is my brochure, this is my brand,this is what I'm putting out there and if everybody likes it, they're goingto come and do business with us. The only problem is that's not whatyour customers want. They couldn't care less about your brand. You know,they probably never heard of you and and maybe they just run across you througha Google search or a friend tells them about you and so you go checkout their website. That's the first thing you do. And so they don'tknow anything about you. They don't have this warm fuzzy feeling about your companyor your employees or your awards. They just want to know what you dofirst. You know who you are. What do you do? Why shouldI be interested in how is this relevant to me? It's almost like awebsite needs to read my mind and tell me why I should be there andthen make it as easy as possible to...

...find out exactly what I want toknow. So they really the key thing is answering my questions and the restit could be on the website somewhere, but it shouldn't be up front.It shouldn't be the first thing that they run into. So a lot ofpeople bounce because they go what is this? I don't this is not this isnot something I'm interested in, and they'll see it is a gigantic pictureof people working and you know, stuff like that, and it's like,well, I'm not interested in that. We got that, we got peopleworking at desks. I'm here for, you know, to make more revenueor fix things faster or you know, something like that. That's the keyis you've got to think through what your customers journey is like early on inthe process and what are what are they interested in? What are 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 websites and your firstimpression is I don't understand what you do. I don't understand why I should care, and it's marketing, one, O one. It really is tryingto position yourself in a very simple, accessible way what you do and whyanyone should care. And I'm doing a lot of positioning work these days totry to simplify a company's corporate narrative. And the first thing that I tellpeople, once you develop your positioning is take that and repurpose it for yourwebsite, because it'll go a long way. But I guess companies are very productfocus or feature focused or price focused, and reality is they're not customer focused. That's the thing, even higher up in the pecking order than positioning, in my opinion. You have to you have to understand the why.You know, why would someone want your product? You know what is itabout them? What is it about their their needs or their their wants orwhatever that would drive them towards I guess that is positioning. Really. Youknow what is it? What's a connection between you and them? And andyou got to get that across right away because if you don't, you losethem. Nobody's going to watch it. And even a sixty two video productdemonstration or a blog post you wrote about this and that you know. Imean, yeah, maybe later, but right now we're just we're just meetingin a cut at a cocktail party and and I'm not telling you my lifehistory yet. We haven't gotten there yet. Let's assume that you're positioning is good, your website works, a conversion happens and a prospect turns into acustomer. And all a lot of what you write about on Linkedin has todo it on boarding and the magic of onboarding that turns a customer into anengage customer. What do you see is the biggest mistakes when it comes toon boarding and what are the must do? Is, what are the things thata company must do right from the onset to make sure that onboarding isalmost like a launch tool into something bigger and better? The biggest problem peoplehave an onboarding is not knowing what their customers actually want. During the salesprocess, 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, these are the steps we want you to go through tobe our customer, which is not what customers want. They want to solvetheir problems right out of the gate. You know that, plus, tothe extent that you can make it personal,...

...like have a work you know,it could be an online workshop or or some live training. You know, and the to the extent that you actually have someone assigned as either anaccount manager or or definitely assigned as an account team, that's even better,because then they know they're being taken care of. Otherwise you just get astream of emails. You know, do this and Oh, I noticed youdidn't do that, and you know it's like, okay, leave me alone, I'm trying to get things done here. It's that lack of personalization, thatlack of customization. You know. That, I think, is istypically what drives people away, even during a free trial, and I thinkit's one of the negatives when it comes to marketing automation as that we putpeople into buckets or big giant groups and we assume that they have the sameexperiences in the same needs, and the reality is that people buy solutions forlots of different reasons and I think you're right when it comes to on boarding, it really is about we know you have or we think you have thesespecific problems and here's how to solve them using our product. Here's what youdo, and then, based on people's activity, then you can personalize theonboarding experience. Your emails are a lot more relevant, a lot more personal, lot more effective. We don't do that. We just hit the buttonand hit play and let it go from there. And I think again,as marketers, we we leave a lot on the table. We leave alot of opportunities untapped. Yeah, and the the worst thing I've seen ispeople actually drive forcing you into some sort of tutorial program that you have togo 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 skip right to the thing that they were most interested in anddive in, you know, show some dashboards and move on, you know. And so you just can't assume that. You can't assume anything. You haveto ask a couple of question. One has to do with the futureof marketing, and this is obviously a loaded question, but you know,as we move forward and as companies reset or recalibrate their marketing activities, there'sgoing to be some back and forth when it comes to actually how to structuretheir marketing organizations. Do you do things in house or do you use freelancers, contractors, agencies and fractional executive the mix could be completely different from whatwe saw a year or eighteen months ago, when a lot of companies had big, fully staffed marketing teams. Do you have any thoughts on how thingsmanfoold and how marketing organizations may be structured going forward? Well, I thinkit depends on a couple of trends. So one of them you mentioned already, the automation trend. If that continues. So the the idea there is thatmore and more stuff that marketers do gets automated, up to an evenincluding creating content, maybe even creating strategy from for Seo and things like that. I mean, if that really continues unabated, that will have a fairlysignificant impact, not only on the size of marketing teams, but you knowwho works on a marketing team? You're going to have a bunch of techpeople basically, and a strategist. But it could go another direction, andI think it actually is heading in this direction. It's just a little slowerthan I would have liked and that is in the opposite direction. More humanto human, more personal, more brand forward and less about conversion and Ottomanautomn automation. So those are two sort of competing trends and I think ifthat trend starts to win out more,...

...you're going to see more hiring ofcontent marketers and designers and brand marketers and even customer marketers and product marketers,because there's there's going to be more of this sort of human to human elementwhere 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 it that it's harder and harder to find talent out there. So it'snot quite clear which directions were going in and whether or not that's outsourced.That could go either way too, because you know, there are specialty agencies. More and more agencies are sort of you know, they focus on oneor two things and less sort of, you know, agency of record.And then consultants sort of the same way. You see more specialized consultants and thingslike product led growth or abm or something, and then the fractional CMOof or see, see whatever. I think that's going to increase because there'smore and more change in the marketplace all the time and you see companies comingand going, you see people coming and going, so you need leadership.Having people available for a short period of time is is at least one goodsolution to that. So I'm I agree with you. I see the brandcontent trend gaining more momentum because as companies look to differentiate, everyone's doing automation. It's table stakes. But if you can carve out a unique and interestingbrand through different kinds of marketing activities, I think that's going to be moreand more important. And I think fractional. You and I are obviously biased becauseof real fractional marketers, but get the strategic firepower that you need whenyou need it. One final question. Recommendations on a good book that you'veyou've read recently and when we can travel internationally, where would you like togo? Well, I'll I'll have a sort of anti commercial against sales andmarketing books. I don't I don't read very many of them because a lotof them are just kind of methodologies or retreads, but I have I havesome exceptions. I recently read product led growth by West Bush. That's it'sreally good if you're really interested in how SASS companies can drive revenue growth throughkind of just making making their products more friendly. It's a very interesting read. Of course, there's never lose a customer again, by Joey 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 is marketing rebellion by Mark Shaffer, which is all about the sort of human to human trend. That's that'sbeen coming on. And so your last questions easy one for me because weactually had our vacation canceled in two thousand and twenty two two Portugal and Spain. So we haven't rescheduled, but we're planning to. We really want toget to those two places and you never know, I'm game to actually movesomewhere like that one of these days, so we'll see. Yeah, Ithink a lot of us are looking for an escape of any kind, whetherit's Portugal and Spain or it's going to the cottage up north or or simplyvisiting friends again. Doing something different would be would be a great change ofpace. One final final question is if people want to learn more about whatyou do and and the services that you provide, where can they find thatout? Well, I'm on Les as you know. I'm on Linkedin everyday, so if you really want to get my attend unch, it's justj mctigue is the last part of my...

...linkedin profile. And then www dotjourney maestro maestr rocom is us where I hang out on the web. Lookforward to connecting up with with anyone and everyone. Well, thanks to on. This has been a great conversation. Your insight into the customer journey andall things marketing has been refreshing. It's another example of someone that I meton Linkedin, reached out to, developed a relationship and had jump onto mypodcast. So it's finally good to do something professional together after all our conversations. Same to you, mark, and thanks for having me. Enjoyed it. Thanks for listening to another episode of marketing spark. If you enjoyed theconversation, leave a review and subscribe by Itunes, spotify or your favorite podcastAPP for show. Notes of today's conversation and information about John is it.Marketing Spark dotcom blog if you'd like to learn more about how I held BDBSASS companies as a fractional CMO FOR GG, advisor and coach. Send an emailto mark at Mark Evans Dot Sea. I'll talk to you next time.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (81)