Naked Marketing: The Sales Leaders’ View of the Marketing Data Lake

Big Data MarketingSo far, the entire Naked Marketing series has been told from the perspective of the marketing team.

In this post, it’s time to get the perspective of the people we do it for: the business development and field marketers who turn the opportunities into revenue.

So here’s a Q&A with two of our most senior revenue generators:

Scott Padlick, Senior Director of North America Field Marketing

Scott is responsible for generating qualified pipeline for the NA Enterprise and Corporate sales teams.

Aaron Algaier, Director of Business Development

Aaron runs the Enterprise and Corporate business development teams.

These are the guys who run the teams that turn leads into opportunities and opportunities into revenue. They’re the people we created our Big Data Marketing platform for.


Big Data Marketing


Let’s find out what they think of it.

What was selling like before the Big Data Marketing program?

Scott: If you go back a year, our prospecting was very cold. It wasn’t personal. We’d work with the sales team to identify some top accounts, load the names up for Aaron’s business development team and they would make cold calls. Essentially, we were trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Aaron: The way we did it a year ago was very inward out – our conversations were about features and products. It was a lot more ‘spray and pray’.

So has the new program changed that?

Scott: When we got the Big Data Marketing Dashboard, we could instantly get much more intelligent and more personalized in our approach.

Now we take those target accounts and look them up in the dashboard. We can see their web visits; we see exactly who the individuals are and what pages they’re looking at.

So the business development team is able to be much more selective about the people they reach out to and much more personal in their approach because they have context about what those people are interested in. That’s a huge difference.

Aaron: Our conversations are now more about impact on the business and building a true relationship as a trusted adviser – not just a rep trying to push a product.

It’s a lot less spray and pray, and more of a focused approach to our account sets – and that’s made a huge impact for us.

Does the platform also help spot new opportunities as well as accelerating existing ones?

Aaron: Absolutely. One way is that it shows us additional products of interest in a prospect account – something we didn’t know they had an interest in. We can see a team that we may be talking to about, say, MDM, and spot that they’re also hitting a lot of web pages and content about Data Quality. So we can open up that opportunity.

Scott: It’s insight that can spot new opportunities, grow them in new directions, and increase the average sales price.

Aaron: We just recently we saw a huge spike in interest on an important account – a 300% increase in web traffic and activity in 30 days. That says something is happening within that account that needs our attention immediately. That’s an opportunity we would never have seen without this new approach. This tool let us spot the new spike and accelerate that deal.

How does the new insight help in sales management?

Scott: The sales managers working with Aaron and his team also use it as a coaching tool.

If a sales manager hears from a rep that he or she has pursuits around a given product in a handful of accounts, we can go into the dashboard and see if those people are hitting those product pages on the website. If they are, that’s great. We’re breaking through.

And if we’re not seeing web activity, the manager goes back and works with the rep to make sure we’re getting to the right people – to further qualify those opportunities.

How do you use the predictive scoring?

Aaron: This is big. The Lattice Engines tool allows us to score the quality of the contact or the account according to their propensity to buy.

It goes way beyond looking at their last visit to the website. The score is based on hundreds of attributes and behaviors and it lets us determine the quality of a lead.

The idea is to focus our team’s efforts by asking, “Who do we go after?” Instead of simply going after everyone in the system as we did in the past. It lets the team spend more time trying to engage with the highest quality contacts.

It’s right there in the dashboard, so you can see, “Wow, someone has hit our MDM page twelve times and, look, they’re a Lattice A.” [See post #5 “Marketing Technology Stack” about why our BDMs love prospects with a “Lattice A” score.]

What about the ‘influencers’ piece? How does that help?

Scott: Not only are we able to see who’s visiting the website and what they’re looking at, we can also see who on the buying team is the most engaged – the people who are sharing information with their colleagues and who seem to be the biggest advocates for Informatica.

So now the business development team knows very specifically who they should be reaching out to, with a more targeted personal approach that includes lots of intelligence and context.

Marketing has a history of bringing shiny new things to the table. Was there a lot of skepticism about this new big data approach?

Aaron: To be honest, when I saw this I actually started salivating because this is something that I’d never seen before.

It gives us true insight in real time about what’s happening – and that’s dramatically different from the kind of pie-in-the-sky stuff you’re talking about.

This is real. When you get your hands on it and you have a business conversation with a contact, you know this is live and active.

Scott: The feedback from the field sales reps and the sales managers has been the same.

Aaron: Yes. Every company has their skeptical reps and even the skeptical reps or managers have said, ‘Okay, this is pretty cool. I can see how that information would be valuable.’

Scott: Actually, I’ll even quote a Regional Manager and a VP who said, ‘Holy, <beep>. This is amazing.’ One guy manages a team of 8-15 field reps and the VP runs an entire region. So, for them to actually make that comment to me was very, very, encouraging.


Big Data Marketing


Okay, give me the bottom line. Summarize this new way of working.

Aaron: It really is a game changer. Fewer than 1 percent of the companies in the world are using this technology the way that we do. More importantly, it’s going to be a key factor of our growth from a $1 billion company to a $3 billion company over the next 3-5 years.

Scott: Put it this way: I’m in the tool every day. I bounce around from different region to region and look at opportunities that are currently in flight, that we’ve forecasted to close, and then at our white space and those accounts that we’re targeting.

I use it to determine where there’s a significant influence or an up-tick of interest and making sure the teams and managers are fully aware of that. So I’m in the tool daily. Knowledge is key and my goal is to put as much in front of our reps as possible so they can target the right people in the right way.

Thanks Scott and Aaron for your time and your enthusiastic support! This is exactly what we did it for!

A new relationship

I’ve been in B2B marketing for over 25 years and this is the first time I’ve ever heard sales people talk this way about a marketing-led initiative.

For me, it’s not just exciting because of the results (that would be more than enough). It’s also exciting because it shows a new way forward for the most important relationship in any business: the relationship between sales and marketing.

With the big data approach, we can align the two teams more closely than ever before – and do it around a clean, clear data set that shines a bright light on real opportunities.

It’s the difference between an inefficient, broadcast-style model and a focused, targeted effort built on relevant conversations with real prospects.

And that’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.


big data marketing

Book – The Marketing Data Lake

Naked Marketing, Prologue – “Finally We can Connect All the Dots

Naked Marketing, Post 1 – “A Big Data Marketing Operations Odyssey

Naked Marketing, Post 2 – “Who’s Who Behind Our Big Data Marketing

Naked Marketing, Post 3 – “The 5 Foundations for Big Data Marketing

Naked Marketing, Post 4 – “The Business Case for Big Data Marketing

Naked Marketing, Post 5 – “The Big Data Marketing Technology Stack

Naked Marketing, Post 6 – “Big Data Marketing Checklists for Marketo and Adobe Analytics

Naked Marketing, Post 7 – “The Data For Big Data Marketing

Naked Marketing, Post 8 – “The 60-Day Sprint to Our Big Data Marketing Data Lake

Naked Marketing, Post 10 – “The Account Based Marketing Dashboard

Naked Marketing, Post 11 – “The Big, Beautiful Bubble Chart – Nailing Marketing Attribution