In Conversation with Neha Garg, Demand Generation Manager at Contentsquare
Listen to the full podcast: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1824245/9048376
In B2B, sales and marketing might not always have a good relationship within the company. And that can be caused by various reasons from goal misalignments, poor communication to the culture of the company.
In order for a company to truly scale and grow, sales and marketing need to work hand in hand. And this time we got Neha Garg, Demand Generation Manager, APAC at Contentsquare sharing with us how she developed a close relationship with sales and how that helped make her job easier as a marketer.
Contentsquare has raised over USD 812 million in funding and they are a digital experience analytics platform that enables businesses to track online customer behavior and transforms this knowledge into intelligent recommendations for users to increase revenue, engagement and growth.
Let’s dive in to see how a closed sales and marketing relationship is built.
I was always interested in the field of marketing. It’s something that’s been in my family and I grew up around it since my dad was always in marketing.
But at the same time, I was also very intrigued by psychology and human behavior. So I found marketing to be the perfect fit for me to kind of bring that whole business and psychology side of things together by understanding buyer behavior and user base.
I started my career actually in the B2C space. I worked at a traditional consumer goods company then moved on to work at a startup to get a bit of experience in the whole startup ecosystem. At that point of time, I felt like I wanted to do a Masters in Marketing so I moved to the UK. I came across Contentsquare where I started off as an intern while I was still studying. So that’s how I kind of got my foot in the door and entered the B2B marketing space.
I think there’s definitely that notion that B2B is boring and with limited space for creativity. In the end, if you’re just selling a piece of software, how can you make that fun and interesting? But at the same time, I think that has changed tremendously over the past few years.
When we think of B2B, we always think that we have to get in touch with an entire company. Instead, you are actually still targeting people by their job roles or at an individual level, similar to consumer marketing. So I think that’s where you have a chance to be creative about how you reach out to them. And that part fascinates me. It got me very interested in wanting to get more experience of seeing business impact with the kind of campaigns we are running and reaching the right audience.
B2C might be a little more mass advertising, but B2B gives you a chance to be more targeted and kind of pick and choose who you’re going after.
One of the more recent ones and by far our most successful piece of content is our benchmark report analysis looking at e-commerce KPIs. We broke it down by industry and while it’s great for lead gen, we have also been using it across different channels. But the real creative stuff happened after those leads come in. It is not the best practice to just hand off these leads to sales and follow up with a meeting.
So what we did after create a nurture program for these leads. One of the campaigns within the program was running workshops related to that piece of content that they had downloaded. We split it up into a series of different workshops, corresponding back to certain topics or chapters in that report. And we found this to be really successful because it was relevant content to a group of leads who engaged with that specific content already.
We were trying to make it fun as well, you know, so for every one of these workshops, we would come up with a different theme. Whether it’s Star Wars or if it’s Indiana Jones, we’d make them super practical so we would always have very clear takeaways. And we got really great feedback from a lot of the countries all over APAC which was really great to see.
And another key thing was that we didn’t call it webinars. We called it workshops. The word webinar has definitely been overused in the past year since the pandemic has hit. So we try to just spin things up a little bit. To make them feel more hands-on and practical. We had questions coming in throughout our sessions and it was very much more conversational rather than just a webinar where you have to just sit in and listen.
So different kinds of strategies here with nurture. And I think nurture is one of those things where you have to keep testing and learning. You have to just keep trying different formats, touch points and I wouldn’t think there is one nurture program that’s going to fit everyone.
So one of the things that we’ve been doing is just mixing it up between sending more pieces of content. Starting off with a little bit more thought leadership, then slowly funneling them into product related content that directly addresses the pain points they might be feeling, and breaking it down by industry.
We’ve got industry specific content so if somebody from the finance industry downloaded a report, we’ll try and funnel them to a nurture track which is specific to finance content. Then we will weave in these workshops or even other events that are going on.
We’ve seen that once we get them to register for an event, the conversion into booking a meeting becomes a lot easier because they’ve become warmer after attending one of our events.
So I think having that mix of channels and content is very important. When your data shows that you’ve sent 15 emails to one person and they haven’t opened them, clearly email isn’t the channel to be going after.
So in Contentsquare, demand generation and events are two separate functions but they work very hand in hand. For examples, if we bring in new leads through digital and and then the event team takes over that lead to nurture them through an event nurture.
When you are a 3 person team, you can’t do everything yourself. The good thing about Contentsquare is that as a marketing team globally, we are quite close. We’re all pretty much aware of what’s going on, what content is out there which makes it a lot easier when it comes to content production. Because something that’s being produced in the US or in the UK can always be repurposed and used in the region.
Of course, we might make some tweaks wherever necessary in terms of language or depending on the market that we’re going after. But that’s definitely been a huge help for us.
The second thing is just repurposing existing content into different formats. So like this benchmark report that I mentioned, reformatting that into a workshop series. It wasn’t actually taking too much extra effort because we already had most of the content. It was just putting them into slides, getting a few examples and, working through our database to invite people to the event.
So I think it’s all about thinking smartly about how we can use what we already have and repurposing that into different formats. It could be video snippets from an event, or sound bites from senior level leaders who spoke at an event which we can use on social or email.
So our relationship with our sales team is very close. I’m usually chatting to them almost every day and I think it is so important to highlight that sales and marketing work hand in hand. Getting as much feedback as you can from your sales team is only going to help us in terms of which content is working and what people are saying on the ground.
It also helps in leveraging our sales team to push out certain pieces of content through their contacts. We were not going to always be able to reach everybody at all times, but leveraging your sales and inside sales team to send out content and invite people to events has also been huge in helping us scale and grow.
In other B2B companies, marketing teams might be targeted just on MQLs and the number of leads that they bring in. But at Contentsquare, we’re targeting opportunities. So we are with the sales team right up until the account closes because it’s in our best interest as well to get those meetings to turn into opportunities.
So as a marketing team, I think that mindset already shifts to not just about bringing in a thousand leads and saying, here you go, follow up with all of them. It’s about looking at the quality of the leads and then seeing the journey that they take and how we can support our sales team to make sure they convert into a conversation then an opportunity.
When I joined Contentsquare, the first thing I did was try to join as many sales meetings as I could so that I could learn from the sales calls. How they conduct their meetings, what are the questions, pain points that prospect face, and work with the sales team to see how we can help make it easier for them. What are the things that we can do as a marketing team to feed you more quality leads? What is it you need from us? So I think that communication is key.
How do you attribute the opportunities that marketing is bringing to the business vs the opportunities brought in by sales?
So we have a whole tracking system in place in terms of where the source of the lead comes from, for example for an event we’ll know they were registered through sales or through marketing.
But eventually it boils down to the relationship you have with sales and the level of understanding. I think the sales team has seen a huge value in the marketing activities and campaigns that we run. So that if a lead has attended an event and has helped that lead to proceed to the next stages of the deal, it is quite fair to give marketing that attribution for it.
Attribution within marketing itself is so complex. There are so many different touch points that a lead can go through. Are you going to attribute the lead or opportunity because they downloaded a report, attended an event?
That’s always going to be a challenge but when you feel that you have to keep proving yourself that it was marketing that brought in this lead. I think you need to take a step back and think about your relationship with the sales. Maybe there’s a disconnection or misalignment in terms of what is considered marketing sourced lead vs sales sourced.
I think one thing with APAC that we tend to do is we think of it as this one big region or one big country. Where in fact, there are so many different nuances. Within APAC, you need to break it down into different markets and countries. There are some similarities between more mature markets such as Australia, Singapore when we compare them to the UK. But then with not so mature markets like India and Indonesia, your approach needs to be different.
Just as an example, direct mail. It was one of the strategies that worked really well in UK which we replicated in APAC. But we only saw responses in Australia and not so much in India, Singapore, Indonesia. So we needed to reassess and look a little deeper at why it didn’t work for some countries.
One localized campaign example was one that we recently did in Indonesia which focused on senior level executives. A lot of our previous events have been all over APAC and we try to get as many people to attend online. But for this one, we did it like an experience.
It was all virtual but we did like a chocolate tasting and making workshop with a chocolate company based in Indonesia. We got like an expert who joined the call for the first 30 mins, who did an interaction session with our prospects but also still had a presentation about Contentsquare. The whole point was to make it a little more fun, more of an experience rather than just come join our event and listen to our speakers.
So that worked really well and we are planning to also do this in other countries as well.
Develop your relationship with your sales team from day one.
They are going to be your most important team to work with when it comes to everything that you run whether it’s a campaign or an event. The more you can learn on the ground from their experiences, the more focused and targeted campaigns and messaging you can create for your company.
This is a win-win because then the sales team can start getting more quality leads because you’re using input and feedback that they’ve given. And you will start seeing a lot more results with the campaigns you’re running and they’re more likely to want to follow up with the leads that you’re bringing in.
This is a joint effort!
Connect with Neha Garg on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/neha-garg-/
Listen to the full podcast: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1824245/9048376
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