How One IT Professional Is Getting Marketing and Sales on the Same Page [Case Study]

18 December 2018 by

John Day is—by his own description—an “IT guy.”

Not marketing. Not Sales.

IT.

So, when the owner of SP Marketplace (where John works) came to him a few months ago and said, “Leadfeeder: figure it out,” John knew he couldn’t approach it like a normal assignment.

Today, despite a lack of direct experience in marketing or sales, John is doing what so many find so incredibly difficult in many organizations.

He’s getting marketing, sales, and IT to collaborate.

How he’s doing it is a change management lesson for marketing, sales, and—yes—IT professionals everywhere.

We spoke with John recently to learn more about his story. As you’re about to read, the keys to his success have been:

  • Listening
  • Patience
  • Persistence

You’ll also hear the innovative ways SP Marketplace is experimenting using tools such as Leadfeeder and Google Data Studio to accomplish its sales and marketing goals.

(Note: Want to discover new leads, prospects, and gain new insights about your customers? Try Leadfeeder for free.)

The Challenge: Getting People to Change Their Behavior

SP Marketplace—which offers Office 365 and SharePoint solutions—doesn’t use many outside tools.

“We use our SharePoint products for almost everything,” John said. “Quickbooks and now Leadfeeder are the only external tools we’re using.”

To successfully implement a new tool (and the new process that comes with it) in such an environment, John couldn’t just send login credentials and wait for his colleagues to start using it.

Instead, he went slowly and methodically, gaining buy-in one employee at a time.

The Process: Gaining Buy-In, Step-by-Step

Here’s the exact process John followed to get everyone on the same page.

1. Run a Listening Campaign with Stakeholders

John didn’t start by making a public announcement proclaiming to everyone all the wonders of the new software tool the company was adopting.

Instead, he started quietly.

For three weeks, John focused on listening and learning.

“I’m an IT guy,” John told us. “I help the sales team, but I fall back on IT. I’ve been a SharePoint administrator for 12 years. Marketing and sales aren’t areas I knew anything about.”

To fill his knowledge gap, John focused on listening and learning during his three weeks of research.

He met with salespeople to ask them about their process and where their problems were. He listened to sales calls and tried to understand a deal’s workflow as it progressed.

“I listened to their sales calls to find out what they needed,” John said. “I wanted to know, ‘What don’t you have?’ and ‘What don’t you have figured out?’”

He also met with marketing stakeholders to ask about their daily activities and goals—especially around lead generation.

“I met with the Head of Marketing and asked, ‘How do you know when something is successful? What do you do? What are you measuring?’” he explained.

“As an IT guy, I want to know if something is working,” John added. “I want to look it up on a network and see the number of packets go up as everyone logs on. I brought that same mentality to this process.”

2. Lean (Heavily) on Customer Success

Even though John started with three weeks of research, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t talking with the people at Leadfeeder. On the contrary, he was actively working with Jason Watt, a Leadfeeder Customer Success Lead.

“I took it upon myself to get started learning the tool,” John said. “I watched some of the instruction videos. But I also tried to keep the interaction with Jason, and he really stepped up any time I had a question for him.”

As we’ll see in a moment, when John came out of his quiet period and started training other people, his relationship with Jason came in extremely handy.

3. Train Users How to Be Successful

When John was ready, he started working directly with the sales and marketing teams to implement Leadfeeder into their daily workflow.

In marketing, John started with one person, training them to go in and review the leads showing up in Leadfeeder and qualify the leads before sending them to the sales team.

John also worked with the marketing team to create a unique keyword report that shows which keywords individual people are using in search engines to bring traffic to its website.

“That helps marketing tremendously,” John said. “Even if they only looked at a page for 30 seconds, how did they find us? I want to spend our time and effort on that person rather than trying to buy lists of unqualified contacts.”

In sales, John implemented a process to show sales reps if someone from an open deal had been looking at its website.

“We’ve had three or four successes where getting the information from Leadfeeder seemed to close the deal faster,” John told us.

4. Make Results Visual (Using Google Data Studio)

John did a lot of work finding ways to make the results of the new process visual.

Leadfeeder integrates directly with Google Data Studio, allowing users to set up and create many different kinds of reports. This is ideal for reporting to internal managers about the success or progress of the efforts happening in both marketing and sales.

For example, the keyword report now being delivered to the marketing team was built entirely using this integration.

A preview of one of the Google Data Studio Reports that John created.

An example of a Google Data Studio Report

5. Don’t Argue, Educate

Finally, as with all new processes, some of the sales and marketing teams ran into problems when trying to execute tasks using the new platform.

When that happened, rather than trying to argue with the person or figure out the problem himself, John often reached back out to Jason—his customer success manager from Leadfeeder.

“Jason took quite a bit of time with one of our sales guys,” John told us. “Not only did Jason walk them through the process, he actually asked a couple of really good questions that made our sales rep really go back and think about his process for closing the deal.”

Conclusion: Persistence Pays Dividends

During our interview, John claimed several times that he was “lazy”—largely because he relied on Jason’s help from Leadfeeder’s Customer Success Team.

To us though, it looked a lot more like John’s persistence was the key element that is making the Leadfeeder rollout successful at SP Marketplace.

He went slow, learning the needs of all the key stakeholders who would be involved in the rollout.

Then he built buy-in, going employee-by-employee to help them learn the new platform.

And finally, he built visual tools to ensure everyone could keep track of the progress of the team’s efforts.

To us, that sounds more genius than it does lazy.

We’ll let you be the judge of that.

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