In our 22nd episode, Olivier L’Abbé, President at Metadata, talks category creation with two B2B leaders from the sales and account engagement categories.
Panelists for this episode include:
- Sydney Sloan, CMO of SalesLoft and leader behind the sales engagement category
- Latane Conant, CMO of 6Sense and leader behind the AI account engagement category
You’ll walk away from this episode with an understanding of peer review sites, customer experience, and KPI alignment.
Here are some of the key takeaways from this episode.
Takeaway 1. Use review sites to build credibility with analysts
One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make when building a category is deciding how much effort to put into building relationships with analysts vs. customers on review sites. The effectiveness of either strategy will mostly depend on your growth stage.
For early-stage startups, review sites like G2 are often a great place to start. They are more cost-effective compared to pay-to-play analyst firms. And because they offer a candid look into how customers use your product, you can use them to find ideal customer advocates for reference calls, case studies, and video testimonials.
Analysts will eventually start paying more attention to your brand if you build enough buzz on these review sites. You won’t have to spend as much time convincing them that you’re onto something great. Your customers will provide the social proof needed to show your credibility.
Takeaway 2. Be obsessed with customer experience
Focusing on your customers not only helps with analyst relationships but it also leads to increased customer retention. A high retention rate is a key driver to exponential growth. It reduces your marketing costs, helps you generate a ton of word-of-mouth marketing, and maximizes your customer lifetime value.
So how do you ensure your teams can deliver a fantastic customer experience? The answer lies in your internal teams. You need to make sure everyone has access to the right systems and tools to make informed decisions about the customer experience. Build excitement around your customer goals. Make it easy to keep track of what customers are saying about your brand.
With the right data and systems in place, you’ll enable a customer-centric culture that puts your customers’ goals first. And customer-centricity doesn’t just stop with your CSM team. Everyone from management to your sales and marketing operation should play a part in delivering a great customer experience.
Takeaway 3. Ensure that sales and marketing have the same definition of KPIs
When it comes to aligning sales and marketing teams towards the same goals, you’ll need to make sure everyone is on the same page about KPIs. This is something everyone talks about, but it’s easier said than done. The problem isn’t so much that no one knows what to measure. It’s that marketing and sales teams often have a different definition of the same KPIs.
Take conversion rate, for example. To sales, the definition of a conversion rate might involve looking at the number of closed-won opportunities. To marketing, it might mean the number of people that convert on a landing page. Both these definitions are technically correct. But they can create two completely different outcomes depending on which one you choose.
To reduce the risk of misalignment between your teams, you need to ensure that everyone is on the same page about how KPIs are measured. This requires education as well as a shared process for engaging potential customers.
For more insights on customer experience, KPIs, and building analyst relationships, listen to episode 22 of B2B category creators.
Sydney shares her predictions on how ABM will converge with sales engagement within the next few years.