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Marketing as a Sales Productivity Amplifier

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Mark Stouse

B2B Marketing

Marketing as an AMPLIFIER to Sales productivity!!! The quote above was the primary focus of my discussion with Mark Stouse - the CEO of Proof Analytics. Mark self-identifies as a communicator turned marketer turned SaaS CEO. Over this journey, Mark has developed a strong perspective on how to prove ROI, especially for marketing investment. What are the metrics that matter to a Chief Marketing Officer? Mark says this is very straightforward: "Marketing's mission is to help Sales sell more product to more customers faster and more profitably than Sales could do by themselves". Simply stated, it is measured by more deals, bigger deals and faster deals - Deal Velocity! Calculating how marketing measures these should be the primary point of any metric that Marketing captures and reports. When pushed on the top three metrics, Mark responded that KPIs (data) by themselves are not enough. Data is the measurement of what happened in a particular time for a specific place - ALL in the past. Analytics, specifically regression analysis, enables a marketer to predict and forecast how future marketing investments will impact Sales productivity as measured by pipeline and revenue. The B2B SaaS industry is still young when measured against other industries such as manufacturing, retail, or consumer packaged goods. As such, the maturity of using sophisticated analytics to predict the future in the industry is still in its infancy - especially compared to larger, more data-intensive B2B online companies. An example of using data on a more granular level was Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and Pipeline Coverage Ratio. By understanding how specific cohorts perform in top of funnel conversion, the marketing ROI can be increased materially through enhanced targeting. Next, we pivoted to Mark's concept of Marketing exponentially impacting Sales productivity. Mark has an interesting take on the concept: Marketing should invest more time helping Sales improve conversion rates in the middle and bottom of the opportunity funnel versus primarily being focused on top of funnel market engagement. Mark used a military analogy where the Air Force provides air cover to the ground troops.  Why does Mark believe the above? Marketing has conditioned business leaders to think that Marketing is primarily a brand awareness and engagement function versus a selling process amplifier. Mark highlighted TRUST as a key ingredient to enhancing conversion rates and accelerating deal velocity. What drives a buyer's confidence - trust is a crucial ingredient to building buyer trust. The more confidence a buyer has that a company and their product will impact their buying process, measured by win rate and sales cycle time. As a marketer, a pivotal question is what are we doing to increase the buyer's confidence and trust, resulting in helping Sales close more deals faster! If you are interested in hearing thought-provoking ideas on how Marketing can use data and analytics to enable Marketing to become an exponential multiplier to Sales productivity - this conversation with Mark is fascinating.

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