Train sales teams on customers before products

Jill Rowley, Growth Strategist/Startup Advisor, Stage 2 Capital

“Instead of focusing on products, train new salespeople on the customer first. Who are your customers? What is their competitive landscape? What motivates and makes their people tick?”

Build bridges with inbound response teams; focus on sales specialization

Aaron RossAuthor of #1 SaaS Book: From Impossible To Inevitable

You can’t build an entire team of rock stars, so you need to make your system the rock star. Part of that system divides salespeople into specialties: prospectors, closers, account managers, and inbound lead response people for triage and nurturing.

Align around pipeline

Tracy Eiler, Chief Marketing Officer, Alation
 

“The customer is more in charge than ever before. We’re not talking about the sales and marketing alignment because it feels better or makes work more enjoyable. It’s for survival.”

Set gates on buyer actions, not seller actions

Mark Roberge, Managing Director, Stage 2 Capital; and Senior Lecturer, Harvard Business School

“Today, virtually every customer journey starts in a domain owned by marketing — be it a website, email, or social media platform. It then progresses to domains owned by sales, such as calls and meetings. It’s forcing companies to address sales and marketing misalignment via customer-centricity.”

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"Get the hiring right, focus on internal satisfaction"

Jennifer Prince, VP and Head of Global Content Partnerships, Twitter

"Focus on changing culture first"

Matt Heinz, President, Heinz Marketing

"Promote culture change with data, metrics, usable insights"

Chris Perrine, VP, Asia Pacific, G2

"Forget features and functions; pay attention to people"

Cian McLoughlin, CEO, Trinity Perspectives

"Use technology to streamline information and content management"

Michael Goldstein, VP and Head of Sponsorships, NA, Mastercard

"Include customer success and service interactions to flesh out buyer journeys"

Kay Kienast, Official Member, Forbes Communication Council

"Visualize customer journeys from end to end"

Arun Pattabhiraman, Chief Growth Officer, Freshworks

"Build a healthy, productive sales-growth culture"

Amy Franko, CEO, Amy Franko Associates

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