Aligning Marketing and Sales to Drive Business Growth: A Q&A with Fuze CMO Brian Kardon
Coming at you this week from the SiriusDecisions Summit in Las Vegas, NV! I’m excited to share that our CMO Brian Kardon is presenting on Fuze’s marketing journey alongside VP of WorldWide Demand Generation, Will Pringle, and Ken Evans, Sr., Director of Marketing Operations. We’re also pleased to share that our work has been awarded a SiriusDecisions “Return on Integration (ROI) Award” for building a measurable, predictable, repeatable demand-creation engine, with high levels of cooperation between sales and marketing.
Before this week’s events got underway, I had the chance to sit down with Brian to talk more about Fuze’s marketing revamp and the positive impact it’s had on aligning the company’s marketing and sales teams.
What prompted the marketing revamp for Fuze?
When I joined the company in September 2015, Fuze was in a period of rapid growth and transition. Having just acquired Fuze, the company (then ThinkingPhones) had more than tripled its employee base. Our leadership team was eager to seize a large available global market of companies moving from legacy, on-premise communication systems to cloud-based communications. The budding Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) market was ripe with opportunity with less than 10 percent penetration. Fuze needed a strong marketing strategy in place to capitalize on this opportunity.
What was your approach?
I wanted to provide a fresh start that would empower the marketing team to make an impact when it came to adding new enterprise prospects to the pipeline. I started by hiring a small but extremely talented group of marketers to make the most of existing resources. By the end of 2015, the team had completely gutted and rebuilt our marketing technology stack, reporting systems and processes.
From there, SiriusDecisions played a critical role in helping us shape a strategy to move forward. At the beginning of 2016 we carved out an annual plan and identified areas where we wanted to align efforts with sales objectives.
How were you able to create better alignment between sales and marketing?
A successful demand gen program isn’t just about the numbers. It’s about building cohesion between sales and marketing goals. Do sales and marketing have a good relationship, built upon trust? The answer lies in the details of each program. Our program literally put this commitment on paper, with an SLA from marketing to sales addressing how we would serve them and what they could expect from us in terms of leads and pipeline contribution – both sourced and influenced. The document defined exactly what a lead was and explained the Demand Waterfall, while also putting time stamps on passing leads from marketing to sales. Taking the time and effort to clearly define the “terms” and agree to guidelines also gave us the opportunity to establish mutual accountability between the teams. To make it official, the document was marked up in DocuSign and presented to our heads of sales ops and demand gen, creating a formal partnership between both departments.
What have been some of the results?
Fuze has seen strong sales results from this revamp and the overall company performance has improved. We implemented a target account program that is generating large opportunities for us, and our investments in sales enablement has led to shorter cycle times for deals and higher win rates. Marketing and sales alignment is strong and I am grateful for the partnership we have with our sales team.
If you’re a marketing or demand gen professional, hopefully this is an alignment strategy you can consider implementing at your own company. We’d love to hear from you and in the meantime, click here to learn more about the SiriusDecisions Summit 2017.