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On the latest episode of The Insiders podcast, hosts Simon Hazeldine and Richard Lane spoke with Ivy Petit, Global Marketing Director at Veolia Water Technologies.
Ivy explained how integrating the voice of the customer in the design of your value propositions helps align marketing and sales activities.
She talked about the processes and tools for a smooth integration of the two departments and highlighted the importance of educational pieces for outreach, sales enablement and training, finally touching upon the value of workshops to guarantee internal communication and the exchange of the insights gathered in the market.
Ivy stressed that, even after 20 years in marketing spent in a series of leadership roles worldwide, a simple piece of advice learned in business school is still central to her strategy: building a value proposition canvas.
To achieve a product-market fit in shifting scenarios, however, and to understand how to best describe the value created by a solution, Ivy emphasised that marketing leaders must allow the voice of the customer to direct the definition of marketing narratives:
“All value of our offer is coming from the market: what are the current challenges of our ideal customers, their drivers, their pain points… and also moving on to the business model definition: what is the willingness to pay for this solution and associated services? What is the competitive advantage that we have from their point of view?”
All these questions find answers in the market, that is, through the voice of the customer. The best way marketing leaders can answer them is by working closely with sales.
Global companies must articulate their offer in relation to different geographies, customs, and local challenges. Marketing needs direct insights into these markets. While Sales and Marketing are often misaligned, they must come together and share information:
“Before reaching [prospective] customers, we work with the sales team because they know them, but also have strong expertise in markets, projects and customer relationships. They have a lot of inputs to share with us.
“Generally, we do workshops together: we map together drivers and pain points, just to check that we are aligned on what we will ask the customer. And we define together a profile of the end user.”
The process of building a marketing strategy must be iterative. For Ivy, it is crucial that Sales gather information on the market, listening and reporting to Marketing the voice of the customer. By collecting and structuring this information, Marketing can then draft the narratives that Sales will be able to share with prospects, and use themselves, to covey the right message around the product or solution they are selling.
Ivy is a firm believer that the voice of the customer must circulate internally. For this reason, it is important to select the right tools to connect sales and marketing leaders within the organisation:
“I used to work for global companies. I can tell you that every time you want to implement a new tool or technology or platform, it’s a project by itself.”
For this reason, technology needs to be selected simply to support the production and dissemination of a marketing narrative from an end-to-end point of view: from sales enablement tools like CRMs to eLearning suites, useful to disseminate internally what you learn on the market and keep your teams on the same page when it comes to your value proposition; all the way to marketing automation, that should work as an accelerator of lead generation and inbound marketing.
Ultimately, it’s all about capturing, sharing and structuring insights and technology, rather than becoming a burden, should support your processes and facilitate your collaboration with your team.
Contact us to see how durhamlane can help you align marketing and sales by supporting your lead conversion process, and listen to The Insiders podcast for more insights into the world of B2B sales and marketing.