This post is for B2B executive management teams thinking through the application of Artificial Intelligence to grow faster and more profitably by increasing CRO/CMO collaboration.
As it relates to all those corporate brand marketers out there that I love, while there's tons of value in "branding", this post is not for you all.
This post is for those marketers and sales teams being asked to implement/scale a Demand Generation methodology that directly links marketing to sales and accelerating sales cycle velocity.
Context...Ever been to "Tom + Jerry's" on Houston in NYC's East Village?
"Growth Hacker" was a term you heard more often 5-10 years ago as it was used to describe a cell of people fluent in Sales, Marketing, Tech, Analytics etc. who effectively applied software product development principles (i.e. Agile) to the way start-ups would develop/execute/iterate their Sales and Marketing efforts.
Driven in large part by a lack of resources, this innovative approach was embraced in lots of start-up ecosystems with results that speak for themselves.
Chances are, if you went to Tom + Jerry's when NYC was being questioned as a tier 1 start-up ecosystem, you would have heard lot's of people talking about it...
"Growth Hacking 2.0" inside F1000 environments
Fast forward to today and enterprise B2B growth teams are trying to figure out how to replicate a similar methodology within their organizations as the benefits of linking Business Strategy, Social/Business Graph Intelligence, Integrated Marketing, BD Hunting, AI and industrial grade performance analytics have become overwhelmingly clear.
Easier said than done as "Sales" and "Marketing" haven't always been on the "same page" historically...
AI is making it easier to "focus on what matters most" and less on what doesn't
The challenge with AI is not only understanding what it really means and why it matters, but its practical application and the speed it can move from implementation to value creation.
The good news on this front is when it comes to "growing faster and more profitably", this is where AI thrives in a very practical way.
As referenced by 2 of my rockstar colleagues, Monika Klimek and Richard Fouts in their look at AI's application in this area ("Use Smart Machines to Acquire High-Value Customers."), CEOs turn to us when they read the following stats:
"In the second edition of their book, Sales Growth: Five Proven Strategies from the World’s Sales Leaders (which distills interviews with 200 sales leaders from the world’s most successful organizations), authors Thomas Baumgartner, Homayoun Hatami, and Maria Valdivieso de Uster report that those sales organizations that have been early pioneers of AI have experienced an increase in qualified leads and appointments of more than 50 percent, sales cycle reductions of 65-70 percent, and overall cost reductions of 40-60 percent. The research is an early indicator that AI in sales can help generate more qualified leads, while additionally executing their associated sales cycles in less time. These same organizations report that AI has helped them acquire customers that have gone on to become loyal."
At the risk of stating the obvious, Growth / Demand Generation is "simple" but don't confuse "simple" with "easy" as we know it's most definitely not that... ;)
It's "simple" in that it boils down to a couple key levers including:
- What companies / key executives are we looking to engage?
- What are we doing to provide value to them from the initial outreach to engagement to bringing them on-board as a partner?
- What are we doing to increase the quantity/quality of our leads and the velocity of our sales cycle?
And when CEOs turn to us and ask how AI can impact those 3 levers, our answer is also "simple"...
- Improve Business Strategy: Enable your Growth team to increase their focus on most profitable targets with highest lifetime value
- Increase Productivity: Enable your Growth team with "disruptive, highly engaging insights" that will maximize ROI of "Next Best Action" aka accelerate your sales cycle velocity
- Maximize Selling Time, Minimize Everything Else: No more data entry, no more manual sales pipeline insight development and no more "sales bias" skewing the reality of the active sales pipeline
For more details, please check out Monika and Richard's white paper and as always, hope you enjoy and let me know what you think!
E: Alec.firstname.lastname@example.org; T/IG: @Alec_Coughlin