Heidi Melin, senior VP-CMO at teleconferencing company Polycom, shared the stage with President-CEO Andy Miller (via Polycom videoconferencing technology), who was promoted to his position this week from exec VP-field marketing. Melin and Miller discussed how they implemented a global alignment between marketing and sales over the past two years.
“When I joined the company two years ago, marketing was viewed as an expense, not an investment area,” Melin said. “There was a real lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities, and no one knew who was supposed to be doing what. We didn't have any kind of metrics or measurement and no way to measure the value marketing was bringing to the table.”
Working closely together, Melin and Miller implemented a global sales and marketing realignment that included defining common goals and definitions, implementing a global sales automation system (Salesforce.com), establishing a lead-nurturing program and building dashboards and measurement processes.
One result of the program has been improving the productivity of the sales team by one day a week, resulting in millions of dollars in savings, as well as improving sales cycles, Miller said.
“Our success has been determined by sales and marketing coming together collectively and bringing the whole organization along with [them],” he said.
In another presentation, Maxine Graham, senior director-global integrated marketing and operations at Blue Coat Systems, and Peter Johnson, senior manager-marketing operations, discussed how they implemented a global sales and marketing realignment at the network security and management company.
“We wanted to make sure we had much tighter data integration between our sales and marketing automation platforms, get standard definitions in place, put in place common business processes, build a defensible ROI and establish industry best practices,” Graham said.
“It was a joint effort between marketing, sales and marketing operations,” she said, pointing to teams including field marketing, channel marketing, inside sales, internal IT, tech reps from sales and marketing automation platforms and senior executives in sales and marketing.
The effort included an internal audit and “gap analysis,” development of common definitions, a lead scoring system, new business processes for lead nurturing, more efficient data cleansing and a closed-loop measurement system.
“The most important thing is, we now have a single, global process and reporting system,” Graham said. “In every region, people are reporting information the same way. We have a much higher level of trust in the data, and we have gotten tons of increased visibility.” Pointing to direct results of the effort, she said marketing's contribution to the sales pipeline is up 68% since the program was implemented, and its contribution to wins is up 73%.