Back to Marketing Masterminds

How to Integrate Sales Goals with Marketing Vision

Written by:

Howard Tillerman is the Chief Marketing Officer for Making That Sale and an award-winning marketing professional.

Edited by:

Sallie, holding a Ph.D. from Walden University, is an experienced writing coach and editor with a background in marketing. She has served roles in corporate communications and taught at institutions like the University of Florida.

How to Integrate Sales Goals with Marketing Vision

How to Integrate Sales Goals with Marketing Vision

Embark on our conversation with Brittany Slay, whose remarkable journey from the Navy through NASA to a leading role in the telecommunications world, showcases the essence of marketing. Brittany gives us a peek into leading with vision, mastering account-based marketing, and the seamless dance between sales and marketing teams. She shares the hurdles of adapting to the digital age, the critical role of data, and her enthusiasm for leveraging technology in creating meaningful campaigns.

Alongside, Brittany offers invaluable advice for aspiring marketers looking to make their mark. Prepare for a straightforward and enlightening session with Brittany, embodying the blend of innovation, strategy, and passion that drives success in marketing.

Career Path

MTS – Can you share with us what inspired you to choose a career in marketing and how your journey has shaped your current approach and philosophy in the field?

Brittany – My journey in marketing began in aviation, freight logistics, and information technology. Communication was essential in these industries, and this was the foundation for my career. I didn’t attend college in the traditional sense because I was in the Navy and deployed overseas. Therefore, I had to study independently, and my professor would mail me books and coursework to complete and send back. It took weeks at the time, and email was not an option since we barely had access to the internet. Then, aside from a slower process to complete coursework, it took me longer than usual to get my degree because I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do. For several years, I could be found studying during my lunch break or eating a sandwich with a greasy hand on the ramp of a cargo plane.

After a brief stint at a nonprofit, I applied to work at NASA. My knowledge of aviation helped me understand space better. I worked with engineers and program managers to translate complex technical concepts into engaging stories to reach a broader audience. While I worked at NASA, I got an MBA from my cubicle down the street from the capital building in Washington, D.C. Eventually, I went to Denver on vacation, fell in love with the city, and decided to stay. I worked for a startup focused on higher education in data science and programming, where I experimented with paid media. Unfortunately, that startup later laid off most of its staff, and I left before that could happen to me, too.

I have since moved on to more prominent brands and mainly work in the telecommunications industry, which I love. I’m now based in Austin, TX. I have a soft spot for sunny weather. Also, I genuinely believe in what we do, so being a part of a team with a mission to support small businesses and rural communities makes it easy for me to come to work every day.

Leadership in Marketing

MTS – What leadership qualities do you think are essential for leading a successful marketing team in today’s dynamic environment?

Brittany – Leading a successful marketing team requires a blend of several qualities (adaptability, vision, and empathy are the most important ones). My diverse experiences — from the disciplined Navy to the innovative NASA and Calix — have taught me the importance of these traits.

Adaptability is a must in the ever-evolving digital landscape. Vision steers the team toward achieving long-term goals while navigating short-term challenges. Empathy ensures a deep understanding of the team and the audience so the marketing approach can be more inclusive and effective.

I’m inspired by successful companies known for their visionary leadership, and I try to create a work environment where every team member feels valued, creativity is encouraged, and the marketing strategies we develop are innovative and in tune with the company’s goals.

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Strategies

MTS – What are the most effective strategies you’ve found in implementing ABM, and how do they differ from traditional marketing approaches?

Brittany – Account-based marketing is about precision and personalization, and experiences in roles that demanded high levels of customization and targeted messaging really shaped my approach. I use tools like 6Sense and PowerBI to understand key accounts’ specific needs and behaviors. Unlike traditional marketing tactics, which often cast a wide net, ABM requires a deep dive into the particularities of each account. As such, it helps craft messages and strategies that resonate on a more personal level.

ABM aligns marketing strategies more closely with sales objectives, and it ensures that our efforts are not just seen but are impactful. It involves continuous strategy testing, learning, and refining so each campaign is as effective as possible. Because of ABM, we have more meaningful engagement with clients and higher conversion rates, and we were able to build long-term relationships with key accounts.

Sales and Marketing Synergy

MTS – How do you ensure alignment between sales and marketing to achieve common goals?

Brittany – Sales and marketing must work in sync to produce a great result. In my career, I have always prioritized aligning those two, and I ensure that both teams work towards common objectives.

We have regular strategy meetings, joint planning sessions, and shared performance metrics. While each team has its own tactics and perspectives, we must understand that their end goals are invariably intertwined. That’s why we use collaborative tools and processes that ensure constant team communication and transparency. In our team, everyone respects and understands each other. We have a unified and practical approach, and we’ve launched successful campaigns that resonate with our audience and drive sales.

Lead Generation Innovation

MTS – In your experience, what innovative approaches have you employed in lead generation to effectively capture and nurture leads in a competitive digital marketplace?

Brittany – To successfully innovate in lead generation, you must have a keen understanding of the market, a creative approach to engagement, and the ability to effectively use data. My strategy has always been to blend creative storytelling with analytical insights. We go deep into data to identify market trends, customer preferences, and behaviors and then use those to tailor our messaging and campaign strategies.

However, it’s not enough to just capture leads. You must also nurture them through a thoughtfully crafted journey. For this reason, we use different digital platforms and tools, experiment with different content formats, and optimize our strategies based on performance data. We created an efficient and adaptable lead generation process to make sure our campaigns are relevant and resonant with our target audience.

Demand Generation

MTS – Could you share your insights on creating a successful demand generation strategy in a B2B environment?

Brittany – In a B2B context, you need to understand the customer’s journey and have a strategic approach to content creation in order to create a successful demand generation strategy. My experience has shown that an effective demand-generation strategy is built on the foundation of in-depth market research and customer insights. You must identify what your audience needs and what their pain points are and develop content addressing these challenges. This content must be compelling and informative, and it should reach the audience at the right time and through the proper channels.

Utilizing a mix of inbound and outbound marketing tactics — such as targeted email campaigns, SEO-optimized content, and strategic paid media — has been vital. Additionally, aligning these strategies with the sales team’s objectives ensures that the leads generated are high quality and fit the company’s business goals. The goal is to create a seamless experience for the customer, from the first point of contact to the final sale.

Sales Enablement Techniques

MTS – What are some effective sales enablement techniques that have helped your team improve performance and efficiency?

Brittany – Effective sales enablement empowers the sales team with the knowledge, tools, and resources they need to succeed. Not only is this about providing them with marketing materials, but it’s also about a deep alignment between the sales and marketing strategies. 

In my career, I’ve worked on many enablement projects to equip sales teams with an in-depth understanding of the products and the market. We have regular workshops and detailed product information sessions, and I provide them with the latest market research and customer insights.

Moreover, I’ve found that creating a repository of easily accessible marketing materials, case studies, and customer success stories enables the sales team to have relevant and persuasive collateral at their fingertips. Regular feedback sessions between sales and marketing also help fine-tune the strategies, objectives, and messaging.

Data-Driven Decisions

MTS – Can you discuss the role of data analytics in shaping your marketing strategies and decision-making processes?

Brittany – In my approach, data is the cornerstone of all decision-making processes. We collect and analyze vast amounts of data to get actionable insights.

We set clear KPIs and use analytics tools to track and measure performance against these indicators. By closely monitoring campaign performance, customer engagement, and market trends, we can make informed decisions about where to allocate resources and how to tailor our marketing strategies.

This continuous testing, learning, and iterating process ensures our marketing efforts are practical and efficient. Thanks to data, we have been able to identify new market opportunities, better understand our customer base, and drive more targeted and successful marketing campaigns.

Technology in Marketing

MTS – What role does technology play in your marketing strategy, and are there any specific tools or platforms you find indispensable?

Brittany – Technology is very important for my approach. Tools and platforms like Salesforce and 6Sense have provided the insights and efficiency needed for campaigns. As a CRM tool, Salesforce helps me manage customer relationships more effectively and understand my audience. 6Sense allows me to tap into predictive analytics so I can identify and target potential customers more accurately.

Additionally, automation tools streamline marketing processes and let us focus on strategy and creativity. The right technology stack enhances the ability to execute campaigns efficiently and provides the data and insights needed to continuously improve marketing efforts.

Innovative Campaigns

MTS – What’s your approach to developing innovative marketing campaigns that stand out in a crowded digital landscape?

Brittany – Developing innovative marketing campaigns that stand out in a crowded digital landscape is a challenge that I relish. My approach is centered around understanding the audience and using that knowledge to create campaigns that are both creative and strategically sound. 

This involves staying up-to-date with the latest market trends, experimenting with new content formats, and always being willing to take calculated risks. Innovative campaigns are the perfect balance between creativity and data-driven insights.

For instance, in past campaigns, I’ve employed a mix of storytelling, interactive content, and personalized messaging grounded in solid market research. The goal is always to create campaigns that capture the audience’s attention and drive meaningful engagement and conversions.

Sales and Marketing Collaboration

MTS – What tactics have you found most effective in fostering collaboration between sales and marketing departments?

Brittany – Collaboration between sales and marketing departments should be a strategic priority at every company. Shared vision and open and transparent team communication are vital and they revolve around regular joint planning sessions, where both teams can align on objectives and strategies.

You must also establish shared KPIs so sales and marketing work towards common goals and can measure success in a unified way. Another effective tactic for me has been to involve the sales team in the marketing process — from developing campaign ideas to creating sales enablement materials. This ensures that the marketing efforts directly support the sales objectives.

Challenges in Marketing

MTS – What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your marketing career, and how did you overcome them?

Brittany – Keeping up with the changes in the world of digital marketing has been one of the biggest challenges of my career. You need to stay current with new platforms, technologies, and consumer behaviors. To overcome this, I’ve focused on continuous learning and adaptation, attending industry conferences, and regularly experimenting with new marketing tactics and tools.

Another challenge has been ensuring that our marketing efforts are creative and deliver tangible business results. To address this, I’ve emphasized a data-driven approach. We constantly measure and analyze the impact of our campaigns and adjust our strategies accordingly.

Measuring success

MTS – How do you measure the success of your marketing campaigns, especially in terms of revenue growth and market expansion?

Brittany – Measuring the success of marketing campaigns is multifaceted beyond just looking at revenue growth and market expansion. While these are undoubtedly important indicators, I also focus on other metrics, like customer engagement, lead quality, conversion rates, and brand awareness.

It’s essential to have a holistic view of campaign performance and understand how each element contributes to the overall success. Additionally, customer feedback and satisfaction play a crucial role in measuring success. By closely monitoring these various metrics and continuously refining our strategies based on this data, we can ensure that our marketing efforts are successful in the short term and contribute to long-term business growth and brand strength.

Advice for Aspiring Marketers

MTS – What advice would you give to young marketers aiming to advance their careers to a senior level?

Brittany – All young marketers aiming to advance their careers need to embrace continuous learning and stay adaptable. Remember, there is no “one path” to success. I certainly didn’t follow a roadmap. 

Develop a deep understanding of your audience to master crafting compelling narratives. Also, take into account the power of data. Understanding data is an invaluable skill in the data-driven marketing landscape. 

Finally, be willing to take risks, be creative, and always strive to think outside the box. The most successful marketers are those who combine creativity with strategic thinking and are flexible and fearless in pushing the boundaries of traditional marketing.