[VIDEO] Selling to Marketing: How to Grab the Attention (and Wallet) of a CMO

When DiscoverOrg first launched its sales intelligence platform 9 years ago, the company sold the best data in the world to sales teams that understood the value of org charts and direct dials to better find and connect with their IT prospects.  In tech years, that was a million years ago, and today, so much has changed:

  • Our solution is much deeper  – delivering a comprehensive suite of sales, marketing, and predictive intelligence tools that enable organizations to more effectively identify, target, and engage with their top prospects at the right time with the right message
  • Our datasets are much broader – covering marketing, sales, finance, engineering, and HR lines of business, in addition to our legacy IT datasets; if you sell into any of those departments, we have a solution for you
  • The sales function has changed with the rise of the sales development team, outbound prospecting, and new sales technologies emerging every day
  • The marketing landscape has wholly transformed, with the CMO often responsible for driving growth across the enterprise, marketing budgets expanding to the largest in the organization, and marketing technology vendors growing from 100 to 4,500+, a dizzying prospect for anyone trying to build a cohesive tech stack.

What has that meant for DiscoverOrg?  It means that today almost 50% of our customers are marketing teams looking to build a better pipeline, set up a successful account-based marketing strategy, and ensure exceptional data quality in systems across the enterprise. It also means that our own sales team has had to learn how to sell to the marketer – a very different proposition than selling to other salespeople.  So, what have they learned?

Watch the Video

 

Here are three keys to effectively selling to the CMO:

1. Focus on ROI, value, and outcomes – not the technology.

There is likely not a single function in the enterprise that has to prove a return on investment more than marketing.  Our budgets are big and the value of our activities is inherently difficult to fully quantify given the sheer number of touchpoints and impressions customers make with a brand before deciding whether to buy or not.

 I have 4,500 different technologies to choose from and 40 more show up every day.  Just because the technology is cool isn’t enough.

If a company is struggling, the marketing budget is one of the first places a CEO or CFO is going to look to make cuts, and so every investment a CMO makes has to demonstrate value.  If you can’t tell me how I am going to drive more revenue from your solution and how I am going to be able to measure that contribution in a simple and straightforward way, you are unlikely to be successful selling to me.

I have 4,500 different technologies to choose from and 40 more show up every day.  Just because the technology is cool isn’t enough.

2. Sell cross-functionally

CMOs work hand in hand with heads of Product, Sales, and Customer Success every day to launch products, generate pipeline, and measure program effectiveness, and our technology stacks  have to integrate with all of these other department’s systems in order for us to get a full, accurate, and clean picture of our customer’s lifecycle.

When I get a recommendation for a marketing technology from my Head of Sales, I’m more likely to look at it.

It’s easier for me to prove value if I have those leaders on my side as well, so if you sell to marketers, you should also be influencing and selling to my counterparts on the other teams.  When I get a recommendation for a marketing technology from my Head of Sales, I’m more likely to look at it.

3. Don’t sell me or get too cute with your outreach

I can spot it a mile away.  Don’t ask me what you have to do to get me to sign the deal tomorrow so that you can hit your quota. Don’t send me a note wondering why your email got lost in my inbox.

Instead, focus on educating me, connect me to others with similar challenges, and help me demonstrate value to the CEO and the Board.

I get close to 75 prospecting emails and cold calls EVERY day. I also review almost as many that my own team writes, and I’ll quickly cut through the fluff.  Instead, focus on educating me, connect me to others with similar challenges, and help me demonstrate value to the CEO and the Board.

If you can show me that you’ve done your research (perhaps by referencing something I wrote), you know what my specific pain points are, and that your solution very specifically solves one or two of those challenges (but not all of them, because I’m not that gullible), then I might listen.  I’ll probably do a bunch of research about you before I ever reply, but you will have made an impression.

 

I’d love to hear from you. If you sell to marketing teams, what tips have worked for you? What mistakes have you made and what lessons did you learn? And if you’re looking to build a better pipeline of top marketing prospects, check out the DiscoverOrg Marketing dataset.

See How An Org Chart Can Help You Know Your Prospect (KYP)Sample Our Data!
Katie Bullard

As CMO, Katie brings 15 years of marketing, product, and strategy experience in global, high-growth technology ..read more