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Smarketing: A Sales & Marketing Love Story

Once upon a time, sales and marketing were in love

True, Marketing wanted a long-term relationship and Sales only wanted a one-night stand, but it was clear where everyone stood.

Then, the relationship began to change

With the advent of digital and social tools, buyers – not sellers – stepped into the driver’s seat.  They began using online means to conduct ROI analyses before making final purchasing decisions.  Today, according to Sirius Decisions, buyers are more informed than ever because they’ve got access to online content as well as an extensive online peer network.  And, according to a recent DemandGen Buyer Behaviour report, almost half of buyers create a short-list of potential vendors and one- third conduct initial research on solution options before the first communication with a sales rep.

Marketing started to use tactics that buyers, not Sales, preferred

Marketing started to change too.  As Cisco’s CMO Karen Walker has said, “Marketing was the last function to be industrialised and the first function to be digitised.” With the buyer in control, Marketers started moving away from outbound tactics like tradeshows, live events, and email campaigns that Sales was used to.  We started using digital tactics that matched the buyers’ desire to look for information online using search engines, vendor websites, and social media sites. But neither Sales nor Marketing was happy.  Things got so bad that Hubspot reported:  “87% of the terms sales and marketing teams use to describe each other are negative.”

Enter Revenue Marketing

Like a good marriage counsellor, Revenue Marketing helped Sales and Marketing rekindle their relationship.  In a nutshell, Revenue Marketing ensures that Marketing strategies and campaigns align with Sales and business objectives to generate a measurable ROI to the bottom line.  Using Revenue Marketing principles, Marketing started to transform from a cost centre to a revenue centre. Marketing and Sales began to work in partnership again. And they began speaking the same language – using terms of endearment like planning, forecasts, pipeline, bookings, and revenue.

Back on track:  Smarketing

Today, the romance between Sales and Marketing is back on.  And, like all happy couples, they’re using a pet name:  Smarketing.  Hubspot defines the term Smarketing as “the alignment between your sales and marketing teams created through frequent and direct communication.” We’ve embraced the term and the concept here at Cisco, and here are four lessons learned to strengthen the relationship between sales and marketing.

4 Tips For Smarketing bliss

 1. Speak a common language

It’s important to be on the same page. For example, here at Cisco, Sales and Marketing both know exactly what we mean by terms such as Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL), Sales Accepted Leads (SAL), and Sales Qualified Leads (SQL).

2. Gaze in the same direction

Marketing and Sales must also share revenue goals and strategies.  We have defined how much Marketing will contribute to Sales  – both to the pipeline and to bookings.  We have also articulated what each team will do to support the others’ efforts.

3. Communicate, communicate, communicate

Once you’re on the same page, tune your operational systems to give visibility into results – and refine your processes continually.  At Cisco, Sales and Marketing use common reporting dashboards and hold each other accountable.  Both teams listen and respond to feedback.

 4. Celebrate success hand-in-hand

Now that Marketing can concretely prove its value, both teams can celebrate together. This builds strong team morale.

Smarketing may be a cute term but it has very real ramifications.  In fact, according to a study done by the Aberdeen Group, companies with strong sales and marketing alignment can get 20% annual revenue growth.  Now that’s worth celebrating.

So please raise a glass and join me in congratulating the happy couple.  To….Smarketing!

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Some tuning on Cisco.com search

We’ve done some fine-tuning on the search on Cisco.com:

  • It should feel faster, especially after the first search you do
  • Results should be even more relevant
  • Popular features like the “information box” for key queries remain intact

Let us know how it’s working for you!

vni-search

 

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Cisco.com: Did you notice?

If you’re an astute visitor to Cisco.com, you’ll notice a couple of our prominent pages have gotten some nice functional updates. .

First, the all new Support & Downloads page, which went just through some tweaks, streamlining, and a mobile-friendly update:

JuneSupport2015

Some new functions on the new Support & Downloads page:

  • Quicker searches for downloads and products
  • Easy focus on top product categories
  • Quick, visible access to open support cases, recent downloads, and recently visited products in support
  • “Responsive” so it works nicely on smartphones (along with more than 7,000 mobile-friendly model support pages underneath)

Also, not too long ago, we created a new Products & Services gateway page:

JuneProductsRoot1015

Among the things we’ve updated on the Products & Services page:

  • More readable with bigger fonts (so you don’t have to squint)
  • More pictures (so you don’t have to read so much) (but still loads fast)
  • Clearer linkage to the handy Products A-Z list
  • “Let Us Help” available even as you scroll
  • Better information on financing options (which you really should check out)
  • “Responsive” so it works nicely on smartphones
  • Linked more obviously from the body of the recently updated Cisco.com home page

More to come on the background on both of these designs. Enjoy!

P.S. Smartphone views of these same pages:

Products:

JuneProductsMobile2015

Support:

JuneSupportMobile2015

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We don’t need ‘The Rock’ to save the day, we just need to ‘Get Social’!

Mobile applications and sensors are commonly used to monitor traffic, health & wellness and incidents such as road traffic accidents.  But what about the threat of catastrophic disasters such as earthquakes where the loss of life can be unprecedented?

The sun drenched, Californian city of Pasadena is known for hosting the annual Rose Bowl Football game.  It is also located near the infamous San Andreas Fault (SAF).  If you paid attention in geography class at school or if you’ve seen the latest Hollywood blockbuster, ‘San Andreas’  starring ‘The Rock’, you’ll know that this means the city is at risk from earthquakes.

The Rock

Can ‘The Rock’ save the day?

It is suspected that one day California will be hit by The ‘Big One’.  This is a hypothetical earthquake of a magnitude ~8 or greater that is expected to happen along the SAF. Such an earthquake will result in devastation to human civilization within about 50-100 miles of the fault in urban areas such as Palm Springs, Los Angeles and San Francisco. No one knows when ‘The Big One’ will happen because scientists cannot predict earthquakes with any precision.  However, technology is providing them with data that in time will give Californian residents a fighting chance of survival.

Seismometers are highly sensitive instruments that detect seismic activity that occur before earthquakes strike. Unfortunately, due to their cost, the number of seismometers in California are limited.  The Southern California Seismic Network operates just 350 seismic stations and the Northern California Seismic Network has a further 412.

With the threat of ‘The Big One’ forever looming, The Caltec Institute in Pasedena embarked on a project to determine how they could provide a blanket of cheap Seismometers across the state.

Their answer? Smartphones! Yes, really!

Research conducted proved that accelerometers found in most smartphones are sensitive enough to detect large earthquakes.

Creating the ‘Community Seismic Network’ – Caltech is encouraging residents to opt-in to turn their smart phones into mobile seismometers by simply downloading an application called ‘Crowdshake’ onto their android device.

Caltec have said: “if only 1 percent of users in the area opted into the scheme, that few hundred seismometers would be augmented by several hundred thousand additional sensors giving sufficient intelligent processing”.

So how does it work?

Upon downloading the mobile application an algorithm executes in the background of the mobile device.  Algorithms are monitored and when seismic motion is detected by the accelerometer, a message is sent to a Cloud Fusion Center which includes the time, location, and estimated amplitude of the data that triggered the message.

Mobile seisomemetres

The benefit of the Community Seismic Network is huge.  A dense, city-wide seismic network could be used to detect earthquakes rapidly after they start and measure the strength of shaking accurately as it unfolds.

What would this mean to Californian residents? Well, it will enable immediate action to be taken to prevent damage, such as stopping trains and elevators, stabilizing the power grid, and deploying emergency teams.

This is an astounding example of the Internet of Everything! People, data, process and things coming together to save lives in real-time!

Whilst the application is currently a research prototype and not yet fully deployed for public use, Caltech anticipate that the capability of real-time early warning may convince users to download and install the application when it is readily available.

So quite simply, it pays to ‘get social’ especially on those days when ‘The Rock’ isn’t around the save the day!

Get-Social

 

Reference:

The Next Big One: Detecting Earthquakes and other Rare Events from Community-based Sensors.

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Buckle up! It’s time to take off for Cisco Live 2015 in San Diego (#CLUS)

Cisco Live provides a rich lineup of education, with over 700 sessions to increase your knowledge and propel your career.  You can also network with likeminded professionals and industry thought leaders providing additional value from your involvement long after the conference ends.

To help you get the most from your Cisco Live experience, be sure to take advantage of these social media opportunities:

  • Expand your professional network – Cisco Live offers multiple opportunities to enrich and broaden your network.  Start with the arrival tweetup on Sunday night at 5:30 – 7:30 pm in the Social Media Lounge.  Meet new friends and connect with Cisco Live veterans over food and drink while you plan your exciting week ahead.
  • Join the conversation – Start engaging on Twitter and join the #CLUS conversation while meeting other attendees.  Share #CLUS content and you might be our first Yellow Cape winner awarded Sunday night.  But don’t stop there! Download the mobile app and check out a list of gaming opportunities to enhance your Cisco Live experience and win prizes along the way.
  • Start scavenging – Cisco Live’s popular Scavenger Hunt launches on Monday. Take photos from the scavenger hunt list in various locations and post them on Twitter or Instagram with #CLUS and #CLScavenger hashtags for points towards a daily and grand prize. You could win a daily prize of a $500 Amazon gift card for the most retweeted photo or a $100 Amazon gift card for the most creative and fun photos. The grand prize is a $1,500 Amazon gift card!
  • Get the picture – Receive your personalized digital photo from John Chambers, Chuck Robbins, Aerosmith, and Mike Rowe.  Starting Monday, June 8, request your personalized photo here, beginning with John Chambers.  It’s John’s last year at Cisco Live as CEO.  You don’t want to miss this!
  • Participate in a #CiscoChat – At this year’s Cisco Live, #CiscoChat is bringing you conversations right from the event floor. With topics ranging from digital transformation to women in technology, each social chat will feature experts who will pose and answer questions and engage with participants. This is a great way to be involved whether you are attending the conference in person or joining from home. A complete #CiscoChat schedule can be found here.
  • Follow the hat – Have some fun following @TheCiscoHat, as an anonymous attendee chronicles the Cisco Live’s 2014 Customer Appreciation Hat’s journey to Cisco Live and the discovery of the 2015 hat.

Don’t wait until you arrive in San Diego. Start networking today. Add yourself to @Networkingnerd’s Twitter list and participate in the conversations on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+. The benefits of #CLUS can start today.

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