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Mike Morris on Aligning Sales and Marketing to the Company's BIG Goals

Guest: Mike Morris, a Principal at Kettle Hole Partners, a company that helps you optimize your marketing results based on detailed tracking of the numbers. Previously, Mike headed up Customer Acquisition and Retention at Grasshopper, The Entrepreneur’s Phone System, where he tripled the customer acquisition rate and doubled revenue in 3 years. 

Overview: When a company falls short of its goals, sales and marketing teams tend to point fingers at each other. Sales complains that marketing isn’t delivering enough qualified leads. Marketing complains that sales isn’t closing enough leads. And perceptive CEOs see a significant misalignment that threatens to drag down profits.

On today’s show, Mike Morris discusses structural and analytical strategies CEOs can use to keep sales and marketing focused on reaching your target customers and Making BIG Happen. Mike also uses his time at Grasshopper as a case study in identifying a sales niche and firing test bullets to identify new opportunities for growth.

Mike Morris on symptoms of marketing and sales misalignment:

“If you keep missing sales goals, if you keep missing lead-gen goals, depending on what metric you’re looking at, that can be a sign marketing and sales are misaligned. Or, you’re generating leads, you’re generating conversations, you’re generating meetings, but you can’t close those deals. The more qualitative signs include frustration between sales and marketing. And then the result of that dynamic can often be high employee churn. So if you can’t keep good salespeople and/or good marketing people in the organization, that can also be a sign that the two functions are not aligned.”

Mike Morris on streamlining the chain of command:

“The traditional way is that sales and marketing would report up to different leaders who may then report separately to the CEO: for example, a Head of Sales and a Head of Marketing. There is a movement recently to go toward what’s commonly referred to as a Chief Revenue Officer. And that is the person who brings together those marketing and sales functions into one function and can help drive that alignment. So when you have a common chief over both of those functions, you’re probably more likely to be aligned. When those functions report separately up to the CEO, I think you have a much higher chance of being misaligned.

Mike Morris on tracking, measuring, and managing your marketing and sales KPIs:

“Figure out what really matters for the business and don’t worry about trying to solve everything. Attribution is a hot topic, especially online. Somebody sees a product on Instagram, they click on an ad on AdWords, but maybe they heard a radio ad too. What’s the actual reason they became a lead or purchased your product? That matters, but it only matters on the margin. And I don’t mean on the margin being small. I mean, it only matters when you change something.

“So the way that I always approach that and the way that I try to collect the data is by testing. If I want to understand if offline media ads actually drive more customers, I will construct a test where I run those ads only in certain geographies, and I will then see what that difference is. And then I know that’s the data that I have to track. So I think that there is still a lot of manual data collection analysis that’s necessary, but if you focus that on only the metrics that really matter, it becomes a lot less onerous and not nearly as daunting as thinking you have to track everything.

6 Ways the CEO Can Generate BIG Sales – CEO Coaching International’s Ken Eissing discusses how CEOs can assemble, manage, and motivate a top sales team that will drive fast growth and Make BIG Happen.

The “3 P’s” a Former Leader at Universal Studios, Mattel and Teleflora Used to Generate Billions in Global Sales – CEO Coaching International’s Cynthia Cleveland found a recipe for success by focusing on three key drivers that she believes are essential to getting any business BIG.

About CEO Coaching International

CEO Coaching International works with CEOs and their leadership teams to achieve extraordinary results quarter after quarter, year after year. Known globally for its success in coaching growth-focused entrepreneurs to meaningful exits, CEO Coaching International has coached more than 1,000 CEOs and entrepreneurs in more than 60 countries and 45 industries. The coaches at CEO Coaching International are former CEOs, presidents, or executives who have made BIG happen. The firm’s coaches have led double-digit sales and profit growth in businesses ranging in size from startups to over $10 billion, and many are founders that have led their companies through successful eight, nine, and ten-figure exits. Companies working with CEO Coaching International for two years or more have experienced an average EBITDA CAGR of 53.5% during their time as a client, more than three times the U.S. average, and a revenue CAGR of 26.2%, nearly twice the U.S. average.

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