Key Takeaways for Today’s Marketing & Sales Professionals from Tiffani Bova, Rober Glazer and Jen Grant

“Half the money I spend on marketing works, but I don’t know which half.”

This simple adage illustrates the marketing and sales problems of the past are still impacting teams across today’s organizations and industries. On a recent DisrupTV episode (121), its hosts R “Ray” Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research, and Vala Afshar, chief digital evangelist at Salesforce, interviewed three seasoned leaders addressing the future of marketing and sales. Be sure to check out the full replay for the interviews, but for now, here are the five takeaways from the discussions.

  1. Empower Upward Growth Through Holistic Sales and Marketing.

There isn’t just one right move to fix a problem. Tiffani Bova, global customer growth and innovation evangelist at Salesforce, former distinguished analyst and research fellow, and author of “Growth IQ,” warns executives should constantly reevaluate and ask the tough questions, rather than wait for slowdowns or panic mode in order to stay on top.

Ask your team: What’s working? What’s changed? What’s not working? How are your customers different? What has happened around you? Where do you want to go? Bova explained that she discusses these questions in client sessions and then asks, “how has your sales and marketing changed?” The answer usually is: “it hasn’t…”

This disconnect is what sets companies apart. It also explains why 52 percent of the Fortune 500 have been merged, acquired, bankrupted, or fallen off of the list since 2000,” according to a stat from Constellation Research. Don’t let one business metric (or even a full business model!) change around you without adjusting your strategies.

Bova’s book takes a modern spin on tried and true marketing strategies, highlighting some great case studies from McDonalds, Red Bull, Starbucks and Kylie Cosmetics. She stresses the importance of focusing on technique and leveraging a combination of strategies to figure out the best sequence for your business to flourish.

  1. Focus Your Investment Only on Results.

Flip the model on its head and pay only for results. Robert Glazer, founder & CEO at Acceleration Partners and author of Performance Partnerships,” explains that the value is in the results. We get into contracts and throw away money to gain menial results. You don’t have to get stuck in a contract with a partner for $20,000 a month, for example. This new model allows you to set specific goals and only pay for those agreed-upon outcomes. For every time you place me in X publication or X type of podcast, I will pay you $5,000. It’s much easier to track and measure these outcomes. You will get more value for your money and from your relationships by setting clear, actionable goals with the money tied to them.

  1. Stand by Your Core Values.

It’s more damaging to have your “values” plastered on a wall or discussed only once, than to not have any values at all. Core values are key to successful teams and organizations. Hire by them. Promote by them. And fire by them. Be clear about where you are going and ensure the team is aligned. It’s as simple and hard as that, explained Glazer.

Make your team and your organization a place where people want to get on board with your values as a leader. Everyone - employees, contractors and partners – should align themselves and keep that focus in their day-to-day roles to ensure the short-term and the long-term direction is where you want it.

  1. Diversify Ways of Thinking.

The HPPO (highest paid person’s opinion) is not always right. The strongest leaders know that the smartest person in the room is the room. Jen Grant, chief marketing officer at Looker, highlighted how in many organizations, teams are afraid to stand up to the HPPO or the HPPO wants to keep the data and insights locked at the top. Truly successful leaders understand the importance of everyone bringing their unique and diverse viewpoints to the table. It’s all about instilling empathy and trust.

Think about it. If we all lived in the same house, with the same family and attended the same schools, then we would all think along the same lines. Build your team with individuals from different backgrounds and locations, then they will bring different, unique ways of thinking to tackle the same problem. Use our differences to build strength in our outcomes. If everyone has access to the same data – sales and marketing, junior and senior employees, the HPPO – then we can remove the power struggle and work out the problems at a different, more successful level.

Glazer echoed these sentiments explaining that it’s important to also focus on time management, personal achievements, and health goals, for example, to really foster a strong, supportive culture for our diverse team members. Help everyone get over the bar in their own ways, and those strong accomplishments on the personal side will translate into business. Nurture your teams to grow your business on the inside and out.

  1. Talk to a Person. B2B AND B2C Marketing Aren’t that Different.

It seems daunting to jump from B2C marketing over to the B2B world. The first instinct for many is, “it’s a business, so make it as boring as possible, and use lots of words and long sentences.” All joking aside, Grant highlights what seems to be a big challenge for marketers trying to make this shift.

Grant, who has successfully run marketing programs on both sides, reminded leaders that you are always marketing and selling to a person. Our goal is to inspire them, make them happy, support them, and build their trust. Whatever you are selling or promoting, it’s not to the “four walls” of an organization; it’s to a person who needs a problem solved.

The Bottom Line

As market leaders upend traditional sales and marketing myths, expect a balance of a more data-driven approach with a personalized authentic message. Brand still matters in sales and marketing, and every interaction with a prospect and customer must reflect the brand.  However, how we engage will continue to evolve and brands and enterprises must be prepared for constant change.

What’s Next?

Where do you want to be in five years, 10 years, next month? As an executive, ensure everyone is focused on the same destination. Focus on the people – employees, partners, audience, etc. If you stay true to your guiding “light,” then growth and success will follow. For more knowledge sharing from smart executives, change agents and thought leaders, check out DisrupTV every Friday at 11 AM PT/2 PM ET.