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Tracy Eiler is a revenue-driven SaaS marketing executive with “core DNA” in demand generation and awareness.

She is the co-author of “Aligned to Achieve: How to Unite Your Sales & Marketing Teams into a Single Force for Growth” (Wiley, 2016). Eiler has driven marketing strategy for companies with a variety of revenue models including freemium, high velocity/small business, midmarket, enterprise, and OEM. Start-up, public company, and M&A experience.

She has marketed to line-of-business executives, end users, IT, and C-suite. She describes herself as: metrics-driven across all initiatives and having a roll-up-the-sleeves attitude with a strategic and creative outlook. Professional recognition includes: named a B2B Demand Marketing Game Changer, Top 20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management, and Most Influential Women in B2B Marketing Technology.

You can reach here @tleiler on Twitter and https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracyeiler/.

She will be live on March 29 starting at 930 AM PT for one and a half hours during which she will answer as many questions as possible.

Here are some resources that Tracy thinks are useful supplemental content:

1. e-book on all new research on alignment

2. e-book on how to figure out your Total Addressable Market (requires registration)

3. recorded webinar on alignment, featuring social selling sales expert Barb Giamanco (requires registration).

4. infographic on alignment 

  • JF

    Javier Feldman

    over 1 year ago #

    Hola Tracy

    Should sales and marketing be aligned around a single value metric?
    If yes, what should that be and why?
    If not, why?

    • TE

      Tracy Eiler

      over 1 year ago #

      Thanks for the question, Javier. YES. I think they should be aligned around pipeline. Most marketers end up measured by lead volume/quantity, and even quality. But moving further down the funnel and signing up for pipeline is powerful. Sales trusts you much more. And it helps marketing make ruthless decisions on what we're going to spend our time and money on. For example, we did an analysis in my team of what campaigns created the most pipeline, and then cut the things that didn't -- which feel so risky -- the whole "FOMO" thing. We cut a number of tradeshows/industry events where we generated quantity, but it did not convert to pipeline. And our custom events DID. So we moved the time/money and the result is much better. But we've had to deal with "how come we're not at xyz industry event". That's where the FOMO comes in.

      5 Share
      • JF

        Javier Feldman

        over 1 year ago #

        Thank you for this.
        If I can ask a follow up.
        If you had to move behind marketing and sales and consider the entire organization, what sort of metric would you align the entire company around?

      • TE

        Tracy Eiler

        over 1 year ago #

        What a great follow-up. I think there are several company-wide metrics to consider aligning around -- revenue, of course. But after that -- NPS (net promotor score) is a great one. Happy customers stay, pay their bills on time, are advocates, and so on. Customer adoption is another one -- are people actually using what you sold them? And if you have a big customer base like we do, how many customers are multi-product? What is your retention (renewal + upsell). Healthy companies retention is around 120% (meaning for every dollar the customer spent in year one, they're spending $1.20 in year two).

  • DO

    Danielle Olivas

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi Tracy!

    What is InsideView's biggest growth challenge currently?
    How are you tackling it?

    • TE

      Tracy Eiler

      over 1 year ago #

      Hi Danielle -- by far our biggest growth challenge is expanding our footprint in customer accounts. We have a big customer base, and that renewal annuity is big $$. We have a portfolio of products to sell, and many of our customers only have 1 product, or are only deployed in one dept or geo. So determining the recipe to expand in our customer accounts requires a mix of demand gen, customer adoption/training, customer success, and account management. Many marketers (I know I was) are focused on top of funnel only. Get that inbound engine going. Industry stats say 80% of our time has been focused there. But in subscription businesses especially (whether it's software or music or lawn service) keeping those customers happy, protecting the revenue, getting them to best practice, and earning the right to upsell, are critical. The e-book on alignment that GH has posted has some great stats in it showing that marketers are looking more at 50% of resources on new acquisition, and the rest spread across adoption, upsell, and advocacy work.

      3 Share
      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        over 1 year ago #

        I can't even imagine the scope of this challenge.
        Can you share some more about your upsell process?
        What signals do you look for that tell you that someone is right for one kind of product or another?

      • TE

        Tracy Eiler

        over 1 year ago #

        Hi Anuj -- great follow-up question. It's a huge challenge. You've got to earn the right to upsell customers. So you first need to make sure they have a great post-sale experience. For us, that's adoption. Getting the customer deployed, making sure all the users are happy (we have an in-product NPS question for that), and measuring their usage. Then, we've earned the right to expand the conversation in the account. We typically enter into a company through sales or marketing. So once we have that first contract in good shape, we try and expand the conversation. Ex. reaching out in sales/mktg to the other departments in the company where we're not yet there, talking to them about our experiences working with the first group, and so on. Often we'll ask that first group to refer us to colleagues in other teams. But in true account-based marketing, you've pre-identified all the people you think you should have a relationship with (see another answer in here re a "what works" analysis we did showing on average there were *34* people interacting with marketing campaigns in an account.). So we pre-identify the people, and start nurturing them w useful content that matches business pains we think they have, trying to get meetings to expand the conversation, and so on.

      • TE

        Tracy Eiler

        over 1 year ago #

        Re. the signals we look for, Anuj, we watch -- at an account level -- who is interacting with our content. And it's mostly business-pain focused content. So we can tell, for instance, if someone downloaded content on customer data management and the pains related, that we should engage with them around that topic. ABM (account based marketing) calls this "account engagement", and it's a great pre-opportunity metric to track. Are you expanding your awareness in an account? Are people interacting with your content? That leads to conversations...and pipeline...and expanded deals. But it's a long game, so you must be patient. Sales gets antsy. So sharing the account engagement data really helps w/ that.

  • JD

    James Dunn

    over 1 year ago #

    HI Tracy,

    If you were starting a marketing team today, what role would you hire for first and why?

    • TE

      Tracy Eiler

      over 1 year ago #

      Wow, James, what a great question. It depends on the buyer and stage of company. Sirius Decisions has some great data showing marketing orgs at different sizes (<25M revenue, on up). I can't say just one role. I look at marketing in 3 major buckets -- awareness functions (PR, social, influencers, etc.), demand generation (inbound techniques like SEO/SEM, outbound techniques like account-based, events, and so on), and product marketing (core messaging, tools for sales, sales enablement, competitive analysis). You start with generalist athletes, and then specialization starts getting built out as you can invest in focus areas.

      • TE

        Tracy Eiler

        over 1 year ago #

        One more thing on this one since some of you voted it up. I had the opportunity to be interviewed by industry research firm IDC, on "predictions from top CMOs about the marketing team of the future". In that, I talked about the notion of the "T" shaped marketer. What does that mean? In my career, I've usually had specialists in key areas -- events, SEO, SEM, digital channels, product marketing, and so on. And those people were "shaped" like a capital "I". When you're a "T", you have specialty AND breadth of knowledge across other marketing disciplines. Ex. the product marketer understands how demand gen works, the events person understands competitive positioning, anyone creating content understands how SEO works. There are many benefits to this view -- career growth is a big one, for the employee. But for the CMO, it means you can plug and play people a bit more, and the marketing that you're team is delivering is more resonant w/ the buyer. Now, this "T" model takes a lot of effort. And I'm not saying you don't need specialists. You do. But the top of that "T" means the people have a broad view and general understanding of the operational pieces of marketing, and do a better job collaborating. And I think ultimately it makes for the next generation of CMOs. I'll send that report to GH to post. There are about 10 CMOs interviewed talking about their PoV.

  • SK

    S Kodial

    over 1 year ago #

    HI Tracy!

    You've received a lot of accolades in your career.
    I was most intrigued by the "Demand Marketing Game Changer" (wow!)
    Can you talk more about what changing the game for demand gen is all about?
    Who else in your opinion is crushing it at demand gen?

    • TE

      Tracy Eiler

      over 1 year ago #

      Hi all, I'm here! What a great group of questions. Changing the game in demand gen? I think every challenge is unique. The buyer is in charge and us marketers need to meet them where they want to talk. We need to be *helpful* in the buying process. And by unique I specifically mean there are many different demand gen models. In my current company, we've got *inbound* demand gen programs that feed our small business team (we're a B2B software company selling to sales & marketing). That segment is companies w/ less than 1000 employees. Then we have our enterprise team (>1000 emp) and those demand gen motions are *account based*. And, we have a partner team, selling to other tech companies that want to bundle in our products. So we've got to balance our efforts across 3 different sales teams, w/ different selling motions.

      • TE

        Tracy Eiler

        over 1 year ago #

        One more thing -- luckily we can have the same core message, and same content, to use in the buyer's cycle. It's the *techniques* that are different, to engage the buyer. And as you well know, growth is about experimentation -- so having what I call "steady state" programs that are foundational, and leaving 10-20% of your time and budget flexible for tests.

      • SK

        S Kodial

        over 1 year ago #

        Is it a different level of challenge if you're a marketer selling to other marketers when they can see what tactics you're trying to use on them?
        How do you get beyond that?

      • TE

        Tracy Eiler

        over 1 year ago #

        hi SK -- you made me LoL. it is SO hard to be marketing to other marketers. As you point out, they know all the tricks. But they also know a good technique when they see one (and a fail when they see one). I'll give you an example -- I was on the receiving end of a direct mail campaign. Two different companies were trying to get time with me. They both sent food. One was cookies with our logo on them. One was cupcakes. The difference? The cupcakes were fresh, local bakery, with a hand written note. Beautifully executed and relevant message. The cookies with our logo tasted and looked like something you'd buy at a crappy airport magazine shop. The logo was the wrong color. They tasted like cardboard. And at first we could not tell who sent them -- no note. The "sender" message was printed in teeny type on the front label (kind of like Amazon gift notes). Guess who got the appointment?

      • TE

        Tracy Eiler

        over 1 year ago #

        So, to get beyond the difficulty of marketing to other marketers -- excellence in execution is critical. Table stakes. After that, doing your homework on what your target audience cares about. Cookies and cupcakes are clever, but if I don't have a business pain around the problem that vendor solves, I'll just eat the good stuff and throw away the card. I'm too busy. So really researching what your target cares about, personalizing as much as possible, and executing beautifully is the way to go.

  • GH

    Glen Harper

    over 1 year ago #

    Thank you for joining us today, Tracy.

    Could you share an experiment that was either a big win or led to some really big learning (either at InsideView or from earlier experiences)?

    • TE

      Tracy Eiler

      over 1 year ago #

      Thanks for the question, Glen. I have a few. For our enterprise business (companies with >1000 employees) and average selling price of mid 6 figures, we were trying to pin down "what works".
      We pulled every "interesting moment" out of our marketing automation system (interesting moment=form fill, event attendance, etc.) for 15 new accounts where we had no previous relationship (10 wins, 5 losses). And we found some remarkable things.

      For instance, on average there were *34* people in each account that were interacting with our content and campaigns. CEB/Gartner has a buyer group stat that is 6.4 people, I think (up from 5 the year before). We have 34. And they were all sorts of people -- top execs down to marketing campaign managers and sales reps. Now, we think we only sell to the C-suite -- but their lieutenants are the one doing the research and making recommendations. So our sellers need to know everyone. I remember when I showed one of sales reps the data for a big bank he'd closed, and I asked him "who do you know on this list of people" -- he knew 4 of them really well, but none of the rest. Imagine if he had, what he might have been able to do with that account? Maybe close it faster? Maybe grow the deal larger? So that was a huge learning. We did not have any fancy analytics tool -- just a huge spreadsheet of data, a smart intern, and someone from our finance team helping.

      3 Share
    • TE

      Tracy Eiler

      over 1 year ago #

      Other insights in that "what works" found that our tradeshows weren't really paying off, but that our own custom events worked great. So that learning lead us to move the money out of one bucket into another. We had insights on content themes, form/function of content (do people like infographics vs videos vs ebooks vs recorded demos), and so on.

    • TE

      Tracy Eiler

      over 1 year ago #

      Finally, we did a major experiment with our SDR (sales development reps, or lead qualification) team in the back half of 2017, where we blended inbound and outbound followup. We used to have an SDR team that just did inbound lead qual, and another (more experienced) team do outbound to named accounts. We decided to blend those two -- the inbound people needed new challenges and the outbound people would go hours or sometimes days without having a meaningful conversation. We're happy with the outcome and are leaving it this blended way -- although it's not the typical way us software companies organize our SDR teams.

      Our current experiment is having our SDRs take down the opps that are valued at <10K. Our small business team has a 10K deal "floor", and we believe we're walking away from possibly 1M in revenue by not working with the accounts that are teeny. We think ultimately it's a junior sales rep job, but for a quarter or so we're going to see how much volume there is and how quickly we can close them. So stay tuned on the outcome of that experiment!

  • MT

    Manny Tafoya

    over 1 year ago #

    Hey Tracy

    Can you talk about how you have practically helped achieve greater alignment within your current organization?
    What were the top issues you identified and what did you do to address each of these?

    • TE

      Tracy Eiler

      over 1 year ago #

      Thanks for the question, Manny. When I walked into my current company 3 years ago, we had a major challenge. 3 major things had changed in the business -- we went from 1 product to a portfolio, we added an enterprise sales team (previously it was all SMB), and we had signed a deal with a major CRM vendor to bundle in our technology. Marketing had only been promoting 1 product, and to the SMB audience, mostly through inbound demand programs. So the enterprise team, where deals take longer, are more complex, and higher average selling price (6 figures), was starving and frustrated. We had to quickly reconfigure marketing to meet their needs, and continue serving the SMB team. That required changes in people, process, and technology. I use those 3 constructs to break down the issues.

    • TE

      Tracy Eiler

      over 1 year ago #

      On the people front, changes had to happen. We had some great people, but they were "one trick pony" marketers. They could not adapt. So I had to make some people changes. On the process front, we had some major changes to make. For instance, there had been a rule that once an opportunity was created, marketing was "hands off" with that account. Meaning, no more marketing campaigning. Now, in small business that was OK, as the deal cycles were 30 days or so. But in enterprise, with a 6-9 month deal cycle, that account needs to keep getting touched by marketing. You can't put all that responsibility into one sales person. So that was a major change -- and our SMB team changed their ways and asked us to do the same with their opps. It makes sense -- I mean, we don't do anything stupid like making a special offer to an account that is already in play. But touching them with useful content and a helpful attitude continues awareness and air cover for the sales rep while they're working the deal. In addition, our sales folks had no clue how marketing was making the sausage. They didn't understand our lead scoring for instance, or what our emails even said in a nurture program. So we uncovered all of that so no more black box. And we started a "smarketing" meeting, every 2 weeks. And the agenda for that is very tactical and time-bound. We look at current marketing campaigns, look backwards 2-3 weeks on what's been happening and how followup is going, and then look forward 2-3 weeks on what's coming up so sales is ready. My team runs those meetings and all the sales leaders come -- and they often bring individual sales reps with them. We also use that time to show the sales team creative concepts, message test, and more.

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    over 1 year ago #

    Hey Tracy

    So cool to finally have you on!
    My mind is just blown at all the different kinds of companies you've driven marketing strategy.
    Which has been the toughest experience for you and why?
    What's been the biggest learnings for you from that experience?

    • TE

      Tracy Eiler

      over 1 year ago #

      One of my most challenging experiences was when I got my first CMO gig. That was the company where the sales execs would not even shake my hand, they were so frustrated w/ marketing. The CEO of that company wanted me to focus on awareness (influencers, PR, advocacy, advertising). But the sales leaders were SO frustrated that marketing wasn't delivering anything useful to them. So after I got through the people issues of their unfriendly/rude behavior (another story!), I told the CEO I needed 6-9 months to focus on demand generation and tools to help sales sell. I wouldn't be able to also do a great job on awareness the way he wanted. He supported what sales wanted. And I got my team to diligently deliver programs that generated good opportunities for the sales teams, put in a sales development function that was aligned very closely, delivered on some key things sales had been asking for (key content on specific subjects, some refreshed competitive analysis, and exec networking events). Once that was humming along, we could take on awareness.

    • TE

      Tracy Eiler

      over 1 year ago #

      It's a sad truth -- the leading cause of "death" in CMOs is the head of sales. Average tenure for a CMO is about 24 months now, way up from 14 months about 2 years ago. CMOs have to come in, assess quickly, and start delivering in the short term while taking on the bigger challenges that require longer lead time. It's critical to really quality the job opportunity before you go, as you could find yourself out on the street in a year. I do that through due diligence on the company, the execs, their point of view on marketing, their past experiences w/ marketing (ex. has their been a lot of pent up frustration and wasted money?), how much they value marketing -- or even understand it -- and so on. Expectations management is really critical.

  • JP

    John Phamvan

    over 1 year ago #

    Hey Tracy

    a. What tools are you using at Ipswitch for experimentation & analytics right now?
    b. Where does your data live, ie, what is the "source of truth"?
    c. What collaboration tools does the team use?

    Thanks!
    John

    • TE

      Tracy Eiler

      over 1 year ago #

      Hi John -- my company (InsideView) did a major tech stack overhaul 2 years ago. We had nearly a million $ spent on tech and it was a mess. 3 predictive analytics tools, that we discovered were overriding each other, for instance. So we boiled it down to CRM, marketing automation, a sales content portal, and an SDR "orchestration" or activity product. We use Google Analytics of course, to measure what's happening on the website, and a BI tool for looking at data across systems. We're in the process of implementing some additional salesforce marketing analytics tools, that I'm expecting will give us better visibility to what is happening in *accounts*.

      • JP

        John Phamvan

        over 1 year ago #

        Very helpful, thank you.
        Could you talk more about this SDR "orchestration" or activity product? I've just never encountered this so have no perspective.

      • TE

        Tracy Eiler

        over 1 year ago #

        John -- there are 2 leading product here -- Outreach.io and Salesloft. Great tools, very similar.

        If you have an SDR function, you want to be able to monitor what they do (call volume, # emails sent) but also *prescribe* what they do. So, for instance, you determine a "sequence" you want to put a prospect through (similar to lead nurture flows). When we're going after an enterprise account (>1000 employees, typically 6 figure deals), we have 60 day sequences with 20+ touches. Those touches are emails from marketing, emails from the SDR, phone calls (sometimes leaving voicemail sometimes not), and social interaction (Twitter, LinkedIn typically). Those "sequences" are programmed into the tool, and the SDR can keep track of what they're supposed to do each day, and have templates of emails and call scripts they can modify.

        We have the philosophy that every time we reach out, it's a "give" or a "gift" -- useful content we think that person might care about. We're not just spamming them asking for a meeting. So the SDR manager is able to see exactly what her team is doing, where they are in a sequence, and who is interacting with what. The SDRs also can see what is happening w/ the prospect -- did they open the email? Download the content? Share it with someone else? All of that shows interest. Super useful. And, we've expanded our use of the tool beyond SDRs to our customer success managers, to manage their activity. All of this is integrated on the back end with our CRM, so you can always see what's happening in an account. I hope that helped!

    • TE

      Tracy Eiler

      over 1 year ago #

      b. Our source of truth is CRM (salesforce). We have all the usual challenges of lead-to-account mapping, and account-level analysis that is typical. but that's our truth.

    • TE

      Tracy Eiler

      over 1 year ago #

      c. for collaboration -- Google Apps (I live in docs and sheets) and Hangouts. We generate so much content that is written that docs works great. our engineering team loves slack, but marketing doesn't use it.

  • TN

    Tri Nguyen

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi Tracy

    I noticed that you'll aren't using a live chat widget on the InsideView site which stood out because I'm so used to seeing them now.
    Why don't you'll use one? (or was that just a variation that I saw)

    • TE

      Tracy Eiler

      over 1 year ago #

      Hi Tri -- live chat is a great tool, and essential if you have live buyers coming to your website, an e-commerce model, downloadable app, and/or visitors that need something immediately. I've had those situations before and chat works great. In our company, our small business team (fed mostly by inbound leads) is coming through asking to talk to sales. And we rapidly respond. The rest of our business is outbound focused, where we're engaging w/ them with interesting content and business pain discussion, in an account-based, very targeted approach. I hope that helps.

  • MD

    Mark Anthony de Jesus

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi Tracy

    Clearly Alignment is a topic close to your heart.
    We've been seeing more content on this topic show up on GH as well.
    If you had to point to one company that has pulled off organizational alignment really well, who would that be?
    Also, do you think they might be doing something that goes above and beyond the things that are table stakes to achieve this goal?

    • TE

      Tracy Eiler

      over 1 year ago #

      Good question. There are a number of companies who have pulled off sales & mktg alignment very well. I think mine is one, but there are many others -- companies in the martech space in particular I think are doing things right (ex. Engagio's CMO Heidi Bullock leads a great alignment initiative, Everstring VP Matt Amudsen, MongoDB/Meagen Eisenberg). Above and beyond? I've seen companies do some rotational jobs between sales & mktg ex. a marketing campaign manager might be an SDR (lead qualifier) for a month. Another example is looking for former sales people to join the marketing team (this is harder as the sales folks don't have the mktg experience to be truly useful). I think the rotational idea is clever.

      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        over 1 year ago #

        I love the idea of walking a mile in your colleague's shoes - its a surefire onramp to empathy for other roles.

      • TE

        Tracy Eiler

        over 1 year ago #

        On other thing related to understanding each other's roles -- it takes investment, and deliberate action, from the marketing and sales leaders to help their teams understand each other. If you're in marketing but you don't have a rotation program, so what. Get to know the sales reps. Sit near them so you can hear what they're going through. Ask to attend a sales meeting (usually there are weekly forecast calls). And, don't ask for ANYTHING the last 2 weeks of the quarter. Just be nice and supportive and don't take it personally if they bark at you. I do little things during that time that make a difference -- bake brownies, make them laugh, and so on. End of quarter is tough for sales. My husband is a sales VP and it's a quarterly rhythm in our home! I see it first hand.

  • DH

    Dani Hart

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi Tracy - so excited to have you here!

    There's a lot being written about frictions that exist when you have workforces with older team members and millennials.
    Now throw in the dynamic of tensions between marketing and sales where one organization has more of a certain age range vs the other and I can't even imagine what that might be like.
    How would you tackle a situation like that?

    • TE

      Tracy Eiler

      over 1 year ago #

      Hi Dani -- this is a big issue. I provided GH with an e-book on a major survey I just did on alignment, and we asked age ranges. 31% of the respondents were millennials. We found big differences (in the negative) re. their attitudes -- they were more likely to have negative impressions of their sales & mktg counterparts, and have less empathy and understanding. That really stood out to me. So I think we need to teach the next generation of leaders what the world is about, and put them in situations where they can be mentored -- and co-mentored. For ex. millennials are digitally native; boomers are not. They have something to learn from each other. Bk when you are digitally native, you're typically not as good at face-to-face. And boomers, that's all they do/did. So matching them up to help each other I think is one thing to try.

      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        over 1 year ago #

        In my last job, I saw the organization attempt reverse mentoring when attempting an internal social network.
        It seemed to work at first but then the older folks started to slowly give up on it as they found their existing habits easier to stick to.

        Are there any best practices here to make sure that the impact of reverse mentoring programs sticks for the long term?

  • PD

    Porus Daruvala

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi Tracy,

    Have you seen any trends in terms of company size when these alignment issues tend to crop up?
    Are there any leading indicators or signals that this is happening?
    If yes, what should the next step be and who should take it?

    • TE

      Tracy Eiler

      over 1 year ago #

      Hi Porus -- unfortunately, I see alignment as a universal issue and it happens no matter the size. Obviously the bigger you are the more people there are to deal with, and the alignment issues, in my work, are equally weighed across people issues, process, and technology. Technology is scalable, as well as good process. The people part requires great management and a lot of effort in communication.

    • TE

      Tracy Eiler

      over 1 year ago #

      Signals that alignment problems are happening? Pretty straightforward. The most common one is that sales says "the leads stink", and don't follow-up. Or sales doesn't give marketing feedback on a campaign or event, or share account plans. My book (Aligned to Achieve) has a "trust test" in it, for marketing to ask themselves "does sales trust us" -- it has things like "do they share their account plans? have they taken me to visit customers? do they give us feedback on campaigns?". If the answers are no, you've likely got a trust problem and that's foundational for alignment. True story -- I was the new mktg vp at a company (not my current one) and when I joined, the 4 regional sales VPs would not even *shake my hand* when I introduced myself. That was difficult to overcome, but we did it.

      4 Share

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