We were happy to see our partner HubSpot take home an award Nov. 9 at the 2010 Sales & Marketing 2.0 Conference in San Francisco (#sm20). And since they were unable to attend, I got to bask for a moment in their reflected glory, accepting the award on their behalf. HubSpot’s award for Best Alignment of Sales & Marketing deals with a subject dear to my heart: the sales-marketing divide. And, having brought clients to the HubSpot internet marketing platform, it was an honor to stand in for them on the physical platform in San Francisco.
Marketing-sales service level agreement works wonders
HubSpot’s internal approach is to use a service-level agreement that helps both sales and marketing work seamlessly to generate inbound leads and close sales. Each team knows what’s expected of them. In addition, HubSpot’s sales and marketing teams (@hubspot) meet weekly to stay aligned with various goals.
Overall, HubSpot has gained in sales productivity, improved communication and lowered the cost of customer acquisition.
Good ideas, good conversation with 400 pros
Awards were only one aspect of the conference, produced by Sales Dot Two Inc. and hosted by Selling Power magazine publisher Gerhard Gschwandtner (@gerhard20). It was a chance to share ideas with and learn from about 400 people involved in sales and marketing in various ways, from CEOs to regional managers.
Some of them, like us, are HubSpot customers and partners. I met up with Jan Cook, director of sales operations at SolArc Inc., and Mike Damphousse (@damphoux), founder of Green Leeds and author of the Smashmouth Marketing blog. (A Bay Area Hubspot User Blog also provides a way for folks to connect when we’re not at conferences.)
And I had some good discussions with several vendors, including Microsoft CRM Dynamics and Whiteboard Selling. I learned a few things about marketing automation software from Eloqua’s Jill Rowley, Director of Key Accounts (@jill_rowley).
Then there were the panel discussions, which proved that we haven’t yet figured out all there is to know about marketing.
Q: What's the future of cold calling?
In one session a panel of sales and marketing experts were asked about the future of cold calling, and whether there will always be a role for it. The panelists all seemed to say yes?!
If I heard them right, I have to disagree. Inbound marketing can be so effective that there isn’t any need to drop out of the blue and try to sell somebody on something.
Q: Should a CMO carry a sales quota?
But I enthusiastically support another idea that came up several times: having the chief marketing officer carry a sales quota. It’s amazing how many problems of sales-marketing integration seem to resolve themselves when the CMO’s you-know-what is on the line.