The Age of Transparency
Transparency wasn’t technically the theme of this year’s Marketo Marketing Nation Summit, but it was a topic that I heard repeated over and over again. Companies need to be transparent about what their goals are, and how those are shared with teams. Marketing and sales teams need to be transparent with each other about what prospects they’re pursuing, and why. And MarTech vendors need to be transparent about how they can actually help marketers improve their company’s bottom line.
Keynote speaker Will Smith touched on the topic as well, obviously in a more hilarious way than anyone else. He mentioned it when talking about a conversation he had with his son, around the fact that in today’s age its so easy to figure out what your significant other is doing via social media, so re
lationships are much more transparent. But then he made the point that the technology we all use and love is actually forcing the world to become more transparent as a whole.
This is true both of social media, where people provide constant transparency into what they’re doing or who they’re seeing, and in business where the proliferation of data is giving companies a crystal clear understanding of what their customers and prospects need. The opposite is true in business as well; vendors have to become more transparent about how they can help customers. Unhappy customers now have the media channels to tell other potential prospects if a vendor wasn’t honest about their technological capabilities or expected results, which can be disastrous to a company’s reputation.
Finally, its critical in businesses that sales and marketing teams become more transparent with one another. These two teams together have a significant impact on any company’s pipeline and revenue. If they aren’t sharing details about their goals, the data they’re using to create programs, or outcomes from those programs, they put the entire destiny of the company in jeopardy.
Hootsuite presented at the Marketo Summit, and had some great examples of how sales and marketing teams can to be more transparent with one another. When Hootsuite chose Lattice as their predictive marketing solution, the first thing they did was make sure that they got buy-in from the sales team, and provided complete transparency around why they wanted to use predictive marketing, and the outcomes they expected.
By aligning the teams early, Hootsuite was able to take a measured approach to deploying Lattice. During the pilot phase they adjusted the lead flow in a way that wasn’t working for the sales team. However, due to the program transparency they’d already built in, it was a simple step for marketing to re-adjust the lead flow in a way that worked for the sales team participating in the pilot, and get everyone back on the right page.
This transparency has paid off for Hootsuite – the company saw a 30% increase in pipeline velocity, and increased pipeline by 10x during the pilot phase. They’re now looking at new and different ways that they can use predictive solutions to help improve the bottom line.
As Will Smith pointed out, this increased transparency has already affected the way we all operate in our personal lives. Have you seen shifts in your professional life as well? If so I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!