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September 5, 2017

The Challenges of Demand Generation and Goal Setting

090517 - Tim Matthews

GUEST: Tim Matthews, VP of Marketing for Imperva

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In the most recent episode of the B2B Revenue Executive Experience, we sat down with Tim Matthews, VP of Marketing for Imperva and syndicated blogger and author of The Professional Marketer, to unravel the mystery of how to effectively align sales and marketing. We also covered challenges related to demand generation planning and goal setting.

This post reflects Tim’s thoughts.

Aligning Sales and Marketing

Tim has been in sales and marketing for a long time. Because he worked in sales, he has credibility with salespeople.

“I know what it’s like to be yelled at by a client or feel the pressure to close,” he said.

So for marketers looking to get aligned to their sales counterparts, Tim’s advice is this: speak in dollars and not in leads.  

Salespeople in particular care about “how many dollars are in my pipeline.” So speak their language. They understand other things, but they feel money.

Also, be sure to keep in touch. Tim speaks to all of the company’s regional sales teams just to check in. Some in marketing avoid this because they’re afraid of picking up action items, but this is a very obvious thing that is frequently ignored. It requires consistency and awareness. 

Matching Sales Capacity by Demand Generation

Tim shared a few interesting thoughts on matching sales capacity by demand generation.

  1. People make the mistake of not using quota numbers, which can be 10-20% higher than your revenue.  Sales isn’t flaunting that number, so sometimes it takes some work to find it.
  2. Think of your funnel on a “per rep” level. You might be killing it overall, but maybe all those leads are in North America and your guys in Europe are starving. Track leads in the region so you’re sure not to unevenly distribute your leads.  
  3. You have to watch for a sudden upswing in sales capacity. Tim’s company had a sales team that was doing well, so they added more capacity.  But if you add sales capacity faster than demand generation you’ll have more reps and the same number of leads. This means reps get fewer leads. Everyone is mad.  The trick is to talk to your sales leader to phase in the new sales reps. It’s a dynamic situation.  

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Exciting Technology Trends

We asked Tim: When you look at the technology landscape, what trends are you excited about?

His response was that there has been an explosion in the last five years in Martech products.

Hotjar is a great product that allows you to watch behavior of people on your website.  You can actually record the sessions of people on your site. Tim watched visitors of people from China copy and paste words into Google Translate.

The obvious realization was the need for a multi-lingual form.  Without the recording they may have never known. You can use this forever and ever to keep optimizing your site.

There’s also pretargeting advertising to get excited about (as opposed to the ads that follow you around), for those who want to do account-based advertising.

You can give these ad companies lists of accounts and titles in these accounts. There’s so much data available now to target people.

What Trends Do You See in the Future?

From Tim’s vantage point, we’ll become really good at audience or customer targeting.  We’ll be able to create a list of desired accounts that help us more effectively advertise to groups and individuals.

“The ability to specifically target the right person, the right company, at the right time, with the right content is not too far in the future.” - Tim Matthews

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Imperva has a pretty large inside sales team, because they have a product that sells well in the mid-market. They handle those accounts. Then they have a few hundred field salespeople who handle larger accounts.

On the sales side, they’ve had to do some work as a company to determine who sells and does what. They had to have a small overlay team to help guys in the field get up to speed on some of the products.

3 Requirements When Hiring

There are three qualities all Imperva new hires must have:

  1. An urgent, burning need.
  2. Growth - people they can hire that would allow them to do things that would increase growth.
  3. The “Nice-to-Have” factor.

Making sure every rep can sell all of their products is their number one development goal right now. Making sure the demand is there is important, but equally important is enabling their salespeople to sell all products.

Old habits die hard. New products require salespeople to do things a new way.  

What is most effective when someone is trying to sell to you?

We like to ask all of our podcast guests this question. Here’s how Tim responded:

“The ones I do reply to typically give me something specific of value—a benchmark, study, or what my competition is up to. And it’s not that hard to do.”

Acceleration Insight

In each episode of the B2B Revenue Executive Experience, we ask our guests for one nugget of wisdom they would impart to a sales professional. Here’s this one:

“Walk in the shoes of your customer. Be the buyer—pretend you’re a buyer trying to buy what you’re selling.  

I like to run my team with the idea that we all can improve.”

This post is based on a podcast interview with Tim Matthews, VP of Marketing for Imperva. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to the B2B Revenue Executive Experience.
If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.