Lindsay has helped build world-leading field marketing organisations for fast growth startups, and has recently moved from database company Couchbase to revenue intelligence platform Gong, which has just closed a funding round of 250 million US dollars.
Field Marketing and Sales Enablement
Speaking generally, product marketing is the team that's building out the messaging, and communicating values to the consumers. Sales enablement is there to help establish processes and content so that sales can more effectively get in front of their prospects and communicate that value.
Finally, Field Marketing is a little bit of sales enablement, but with a focus on getting salespeople in front of their target prospects, to help initiate conversations, develop relationships, and build awareness.
Lindsay meets constantly with her sales team on a one-to-one basis. Scaling is the hard part, but she typically likes to meet with the account executive, along with their SDR, so that there's very close, tight knit alignment between what field marketing is putting out and how the sales team can leverage it on-one-to one basis.
She’s on all of the team calls, on forecast calls, on the QPRs, the SDR team calls, top to bottom, she’s meeting with everyone to make sure she really knows what they need, where they’re hurting, and where they need awareness, activation and acceleration.
Especially with the pandemic, a huge focus of Lindsay’s has transitioned into not just creating really great field marketing events and campaigns, but helping the SDR team, leveraging them and using them strategically from a very tactical standpoint.
The easiest way to scale those conversations is to view things from a field marketing standpoint, to standardise processes, content, and tactics, to avoid wasting time or resources.
Some of the processes might need to be adapted beyond just one rep, so that there's a balance of standard campaigns and standard process versus tailored strategy and tactics.
In terms of the collaboration between marketing and sales, there's dozens of agendas and goals going on between those departments. Still, it’s important to stay aligned and work in the same direction.
Lindsay’s approach is to start with the perspective that field marketing is the tip of the spear for all of marketing, which means it’s very important for field marketing to understand the overarching strategy.
The goal is to bridge that gap, and leverage it so that it's tailored for those targeted prospects.
But, after the initial process, how do you keep the groups aligned?
Constant communication, over-communicating and following up to make sure that what’s being done is actually helpful.
Recently, Lindsay started monthly “workshops”, as an addition to the one-on-one meetings with each of the reps and the SDR teams.
The “workshop” includes updates, monthly schedules, account segmentation, content alignment, and in general, building awareness not only for the team, but also for the clients.
Before COVID, field marketing was almost exclusively in-person events, which included workshops, networking, regional conferences and trade shows.
With COVID, they chose to go 100% virtual. They doubled down, did even more webinars to drum up MQL, help drive awareness, and in general keep up the momentum. They created a library of meeting incentives, email campaigns for accounts, to further incentivise them to at least stay engaged to some degree.
In terms of the actual performance of the different content formats, they saw a definite change. Now that they’re able to narrow aperture on who they’re reaching out to, they’ve had a lot more success being able to break through those accounts with the virtual formats in terms of the actual engagement levels during events.
Pre-COVID, a lot of their field work was hands on workshops, networking events, and in general, very light on content. Once everything shifted into a virtual space, they recognised that they couldn’t network the same way that they could in-person.
Because of this, there was higher emphasis on having content for the field marketing, virtual events, which meant upcycling existing content and using it in more creative ways, or chopping it down and incorporating a lot of different elements.
For example, they took content from their annual developer conference, created short presentations, and broke it up with mixology demonstrations.
It was wildly successful.
It was the perfect combination of fun, light content, valuing everyone’s time, and incorporating those human, domestic elements.
The Human Connection and Keeping Engagement
Bringing in that human element, the sensitivity and empathy, was one of Lindsay’s top priorities. When it comes to keeping the engagement for virtual meetings, or even workshops, there have been new challenges.
They're six hours of virtual content, and while they normally have great registration, there tends to be a lot of drop-off when it comes to actually staying connected for the full time. They’ve had to revisit and adjust those details time and time again, and it’s not something they’ve perfected just yet.
How can companies leverage the new environment and openness to virtual interactions, while still making them valuable as in-person interactions? Lindsay believes the key is keeping it fresh: reinventing, recreating, and innovating.
One of the benefits of a digital/online environment is the opportunity to gain the data and almost immediately begin to apply that data, which couldn’t have happened in real world events with the same efficiency.
Suddenly, you’re able to tell how people have consumed the content, for how long, what sort of actions they've taken during the webinar, and more.
Another huge benefit is that, because they’ve been able to narrow their focus on tier one and tier two accounts, it makes it even more valuable because it's exactly who they’ve trying to prioritise their engagement with. Whereas in-person, you might have to lower your standards to increase your average and fill a room, instead you're able to have higher-quality focus and attendees at your events.
This makes those interactions even more valuable from a data standpoint.
Keys to Success in Field Marketing
Field marketing begins and ends with your sales team. Build that relationship, take that time, and have an intimate knowledge of who their target accounts are, what works for them, what doesn't.
To be successful, you have to be fully aligned and in lock step with your sales organisation, from the SDR, to the account executive, to your area, directors, to your VP, and make sure that you're able to understand what their expectations are.
What does success look like for your team?
What does success look like for you?
You're not an assistant to sales, you're a strategic partner, but you do have to earn your bones. When deals come across the finish line, you want a feeling of comradery- after nurturing those people for months, even years, before that deal goes across the table, the rapport with your sales organisation skyrockets.
Next, learning when to push back and having the confidence to push back with some of the asks/demands from sales is important. Sales should be able to trust your expertise, but that doesn’t mean you should say yes to everything to prove that you’re the expert.
Learning where to tailor-make versus where to standardise, and being able to scale in order to better focus on what's important. Following through when you’re helping your sales team, enabling them to be successful and equipping them, all of these things come with the job.
Another important aspect as a field marketer to remember is that it’s your responsibility to help maintain momentum and velocity, not just to build the velocity.
How do you maintain that momentum? There's a lot of things demanding your attention, so how do you help sales initiate the relationship, build the relationship, and create that overall brand experience.
You can hear more from Lindsay, and what her team is working on, from her LinkedIn.