Aligning Sales and Marketing: Insights from Corrina Owens

January 31, 2024
Content Marketing | Marketing Strategy | Rep Matters

Episode Summary

In this episode of Rep Matters – Uncapped, hosts Zoya Segelbacher and Caroline Jones welcome Corrina Owens from Purple Cork. The conversation opens with a deep dive into the internal dynamics of organizations, specifically the need for marketers to make information readily available and understandable, both internally and for customers​​.

Corrina shares her extensive experience in account-based marketing (ABM), shedding light on the common misconceptions and complexities in this field. She emphasizes the importance of educating marketers on the true essence of ABM, which often gets lost amidst the noise of various tech vendors and their marketing strategies​​.

Furthermore, Corrina discusses the evolution of ABM marketing over the years. She touches upon the ongoing changes in the industry’s terminology and the need for marketers to adapt continuously. Corrina outlines ABM as a straightforward concept, focusing on aligning go-to-market teams to effectively target and communicate with ideal customers​​. This insightful episode provides valuable perspectives on the dynamic world of B2B marketing and sales alignment.

Featured Guest

Name: Corrina Owens
What she does: Chief Evangelist Officer
Company: purple cork

Noteworthy: Corrina Owens is an award-winning account based and growth marketer, known for her success in driving revenue for high growth B2B SaaS organizations through integrated and multi-channel marketing strategies. She holds the position of Chief Evangelist Officer at Purple Cork, where she specializes in creating virtual experiences that both drive revenue and delight customers. Additionally, Corrina is a respected advisor for several tech companies and consultancies, and also co-hosts and co-creates the podcast “Direct,” aimed at go-to-market professionals​​.

Key Insights

Clarity in Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

Corrina Owens highlights a common challenge in ABM: the misconception of its core concept due to market saturation and tech vendor claims. She emphasizes that ABM is a fundamental strategy, often misinterpreted as just another sales tactic. This confusion in the market, where various vendors claim expertise in ABM, has led Corrina to spend significant time educating marketers on what true ABM entails. She stresses that ABM is not a new concept but a basic strategy that sales professionals have been practicing for decades. Her insight calls for a clearer understanding of ABM beyond the buzzwords and sales pitches, focusing on its strategic importance in aligning marketing and sales efforts​​.

Breaking Down Silos in Sales and Marketing

Corrina discusses the persistent issue of silos in sales and marketing. She observes that often, departments within a company work in isolation, focusing solely on preserving their status and role. Corrina recommends treating sales and marketing as one integrated function, aiming for a unified business outcome. She points out that the segmentation of these departments leads to inefficiency, with marketing and sales placing competing demands on teams. This situation creates noise and distraction, hindering effective collaboration and partnership. Corrina’s perspective is that while this topic is widely discussed in conferences and keynotes, the real challenge lies in implementing strategies to effectively dissolve these silos and foster collaborative environments​​.

Challenges in Communicating ABM Concepts

Corrina shares her experiences as a solo marketer in various SaaS organizations, where she faced the challenge of communicating the complex concept of ABM. She points out that ABM is often narrowly perceived as a mere tactic, like direct mail, rather than a comprehensive strategy involving data analysis, strategic planning, and partnerships. This narrow view is a significant hurdle in larger organizations where ABM is seen as just another play or tactic by some reps or department heads. Corrina’s insight highlights the need for broader understanding and education about ABM as a multifaceted strategy, crucial for effective marketing and sales alignment​​.

Episode Highlights

Leveraging Customer Advocacy in Sales 

Corrina discusses an innovative approach to leveraging customer advocacy in the sales process. She describes a program designed to match enthusiastic customers with prospects, thereby creating a more authentic and credible engagement. This method effectively bypasses the traditional approach of providing handpicked testimonials, offering a more genuine interaction. 

“It kind of removed what we all know to be kind of like handpicked anyways and hand delivered and spoon fed words of testimonials et cetera. And they would have these conversations and it was this great show and tell aspect of like, hey let’s highlight our Arabian fans and give them an opportunity to show how awesome they are at using our product.”

Building Champions Across Teams 

Corrina highlights the strategy of building a pilot group of champions across various teams, including rev ops, sales, and customer success. This approach helps in implementing new initiatives and strategies, as these champions become amplifiers of the message across the team. 

“I’ve always had to kind of build my own pilot group of core users who would be my champions… And then once they see that they then become my amplifiers across that team.”​​

Leadership’s Role in Sales and Marketing Alignment

Corrina stresses the importance of leadership in rolling out strategies and structuring the alignment between sales and marketing. She discusses how sales professionals in environments lacking top-down support for ABM can still partner effectively with their marketing teams. 

“We should make it available for consumption, make it easier to buy. We should make it easier for people internally to understand what’s happening in the business.”​​

Ideal Relationship Between Sales and Marketing 

Corrina describes the ideal relationship between sales and marketing as being one cohesive team working towards a singular goal. She notes the common issue of silos within organizations and advocates for unified communication and objectives. 

“We should all be speaking the same vernacular. We should all be working towards one singular goal. Maybe we have different ownerships over a specific type of goal but we should all be rolling up into one singular goal.”​​

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