86 | No mo CMO. What really happens when you align with Sales.
35 min listen
Sales and marketing alignment. We all talk about it. Someone’s finally gone and done it.
Wrap your ears around this episode where we wrap our heads around a game-changing new commercial model from Jeff Lowe. Yes, SMART Technologies have gone where others fear to tread and smooshed their sales and marketing tribes into one big, happy, customer-focused fam. It’s so simple, but why is it so scary?
Hear Jeff share it all: How changing 235 people's job titles can make things angsty. How long it took before they knew they hadn’t made a huge mistake – and how can you make it actually work in practice?
Ready to discover more? Tune in to the rest of the Masters of B2B Marketing here!
View the full transcript here
86 | No mo CMO. What really happens when you align with Sales.
Jon Busby: Hello and welcome to the very first spinoff from the Tech Marketing Podcast. In collaboration with the Association of National Advertisers, we are thrilled to bring you the masters of B2B marketing. Get ready now as we spin through some fantastic episodes covering the latest and B2B, thinking from AI to advertising analytics, to attribution alignment, and so much more sales and marketing alignment.
We all talk about it. But someone's finally gone and done it. Wrap your ears around this wonderful episode where we talk about some of the game changing ideas and commercial models from Jeff Lowe, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer at Smart Technologies. Jeff Lowe, thank you for joining us on the Tech Marketing Podcast.
You are the EVP and Chief Commercial Officer, is that right? Smart Technologies, that's, mm-hmm. So you were, you previously the CMO and you moved across to the co, if I've got that correct.
Jeff Lowe: That's, that's correct. I was the CMO for. Around eight years, and then when we dissolved sales and marketing into one team, myself and my co inventor of the UCE, we became co. CCO, Chief Commercial Officers, and so I've had that title now for three years.
Jon Busby: The, for many of our listeners, they wouldn't, may not be familiar with your UCE or Unified commercial engine approach. You tried to, you said you did it the fastest you've ever did it Yest yesterday? Yes. In 25 minutes, yes.
Could you do it? How, what's the shortest? You could do this in for our listeners. That doesn't mean that you missed your co, your conference
Jeff Lowe: call. I could do it in 10 seconds, but they would just leave you wanting more, which is. We didn't see a need to have sales and marketing, so we put them together into one team and totally changed 235 people's job titles in the process.
Jon Busby: 235 people. That's a staggering amount of people.
Jeff Lowe: Yeah. The change management of this is really something that we probably underestimated to put a mildly. In terms of, yeah, we're gonna reorganize the entire team that is customer facing, which is commercial sales, marketing support, customer success training, and we're gonna reorient them all into new jobs with new leaders and a new org structure across the world.
And I would say we started first seeing the green shoots of success, probably took us six, seven months. And then by the one year mark, we were convinced that we were on the right track with still a long ways to go. And so here we are, three, three years into it. And quite certain that we're on the right track and still working very hard at optimizing the model.
Jon Busby: The well. What kind of results have you seen then? What were those green shoots that you saw? Shoot up
Jeff Lowe: revenue sales. Yep. Up 40% in the first year since we did this from a demand gen perspective. Doubled. Wow. The one I'm most proud of, there's two that I'm most proud of though that I haven't got to yet.
One is lead acceptance rate. Because what to me that really shows is a collaborative team. So our, our sales accept rates that we tracked we're in the 50% range before the UCE. Mm-hmm. So imagine doing all that work and generating, and we generate in the area of 15, 20,000 leads a year. And now we've improved upon them since the UCE.
Imagine all that work and only half of the me even being accepted into the CRM system to even be worth a follow-up call. And, but that's where we were. And most of that is because, Human beings, no collaboration, not understanding of why I would care about this. So that's now sitting at 88%. Wow. So that's a huge increase.
I'm very proud of that one. 'cause that just really shows. Now we're a team because we're, and again, it's, it sounds very simple. Why don't we define, let's sit down and define what would I accept and what would be something that I would accept every single time? And let's go through the criteria together.
So whatever the criteria are for what we determine a lead, let's decide on that together. And then when something does come across my desk or into my, in my computer screen, I'm gonna accept it. 'cause I was part of the process of deciding what it was. The last one that I'm also very proud of is more of an HR perspective, but is team engagement.
It's culture. We had a strong culture before the UCE. High seventies, low eighties in terms of engagement scores those shot up to plus 90, 91 Wow. In the uc environment. So some people ask, and we've talked about the challenges of traditional career paths, do, do they go away? My identity was as a marketer, as a designer, as a sales professional, as a CSM.
So yes, there's some, there's, there's a lot of. Fuzziness in that and, and some worry. But what we found is having a more unified team, expanding the definition of team, broadens the career path perspective. So I'm no longer narrowed into this, is these are, this is my, these are my career options as a marketer.
Now, these are my career options as a commercial professional. I had no idea what the team does really in the. Helping our customers adopt our technology or helping our customers buy, I think I could. I'm interested in one of those. So we've seen lots of cross pollination. Yep. And so it's really expanded people's perception of what do I wanna do with my career?
There's a whole bunch of things that I could do out there, because customer facing roles, you need to be good at relationship skills, good with customers. That's true if you're in marketing. That's true if you're in sales, that's true if you're in customer support training. So it's been fantastic to see the cross pollination p people moving more laterally.
And I, I think that's a big part of the engagement. But the other part is just a broader perspective on the business, and I can see my, I can see where I fit in the broader scale of the business versus I'm in this very specific role with a specific acronym that nobody really knows what it is except for my own team.
Sonia David: Yeah. One of the things that reminded me of when you were describing those pods and how you have all these various disciplines within the pods is it was almost like a management training program where you're seeing the full scope of what's going on in one part of the Infinity Loop.
Jeff Lowe: That's exactly right.
Yeah. Yeah. And it's educational for people, and I think you underestimate. Or overestimate how much people know about how things work in their own company mm-hmm. And what exactly that team over there does, or what that person over there does. So it's been amazing since we launched the UCE, how many times I've heard back of you.
I gotta tell you, I knew this person, Joe before, when he was in marketing and, but I, I gotta confess, I didn't really know what he did, even though he supported my region. You know what? He's actually incredibly smart and is really, and great guy too. So that didn't change. He's always been incredibly smart and he is always been a great guy.
Now you're on the same team and you're making these connections. It's the human dynamic, the things people are doing every day. By and large, they didn't change. What changed is the context of who's on my team.
Jon Busby: The it. One of my questions was going to be, have you seen people move across those career paths?
So that's obviously happened. Yeah, it has. Which I think is. One of the biggest wins for me having seen, talked about sales and marketing alignment. For decades. Right. Do you know if anyone else, any, has anyone either left smart and gone and done this in another company or has anyone taken the UCE approach and adopted it elsewhere?
Have you had any stories back to you to say, Jeff, look what we've done in this industry?
Jeff Lowe: No, there are few and far between. There's still, the biggest response I get back is that would never work in our company. It's a lot of it is because it is so much cultural change and it is so much about hierarchy and titles and teams and.
You really do need to be egoless in terms of, it doesn't matter who reports to who, we're just gonna do the right thing for the business. It sounds great. Mm-hmm. But it's really hard in practice to do so. I was just super fortunate to have a, a leadership team and a partner in the head of sales that had that mentality.
Now, She has gone off now and left smart and is building a UCE in the new company that she is at. Yep. Which is fantastic to see. Yep.
Jon Busby: So it's gonna happen. So you gonna, when's the book coming out? That's gonna be the, like you must be running a book on this.
Jeff Lowe: It's gonna, it's gonna be soon. It's gonna be soon.
It's, it's interesting. I have had requests to, to consult on this and or consultants ask me could I build a consulting practice around this. So there, there must be a business model in it somewhere.
Jon Busby: Mm-hmm. You've got the acronym, so you are halfway there. Yeah, that's right. The talking about your transition from CMO to CCO I.
I guess I've got two questions around this one, like how was that transition? We were talking earlier and you mentioned things like ebit R and yeah, you are the only. CMO that I've spoken to today that's even referenced that as a metric. Yeah. So I would say, I'm already seeing the commercial elements come into to that role, but how was that transition?
What's your memory of going from a CMO to a Co CCO?
Jeff Lowe: It's, it's interesting because on one hand you might say it probably wasn't too bad of a transition because I was a joint CCO for a couple of years and when we launched the U C E, we said no more sales, no more marketing. But you can look at myself and the head of sales.
As co inventors of the CCO and we're gonna be interchangeable. And we were to a large extent. I, I would be on calls and leading a sales conversation and my colleague would be on calls with the marketing team leading those conversations. But by and large, it was still, of course, my expertise is marketing, her expertise is sales.
So when I became the sole CCO, that was. A lot of, not soul searching, but it, that's a big move because all of a sudden that's the entire sales organization, training organization, supports organization, and my expertise is almost exclusively marketing. So when that happened, I was, oh wow, can I really do this?
But the great, the great news is, and I was just so fortunate to have incredible leadership team that's been working on this for a couple of years with me. Mm-hmm. I don't need to be an expert in sales. I don't need to be an expert in marketing. I'm, I really just need to be the person that is being the champion for bringing everybody together.
And I have done some sales stints in my career, so enough to be dangerous there. Mm-hmm. But I have to say, it wasn't a trivial thing saying, yeah, of course I can do this. It was, can I really do this? Because at my core, I've spent 30 years in marketing and I believe wholeheartedly in this concept. But what I've learned over the past six months or so is, uh, I don't need to be an expert in all the disciplines under the UCE.
I just need to rely on my fantastic leadership team to continue to unite the team around the customer roles.
Jon Busby: What's interesting, so we've seen a lot of organizations adopt CRO role, the Chief Revenue Officer. Why did you choose C? Why do you choose the commercial as the middle letter there? Not revenue.
What was the motivation behind that?
Jeff Lowe: I think there revenue's just one piece of the puzzle and you get revenue at a certain point of time, but there's a whole bunch of work that goes into all the different steps in the customer's journey before they give you your revenue. Yep. And then of course, there's a whole bunch afterwards that happens in terms of are they using your products?
Are they, are they having any. Support issues with it, are they recommending it? So it just seems to be like a, a single point in time where they're where, but customers have a commercial relationship when they with a brand. So just more of an all-encompassing term. I think in some way. I
Jon Busby: think we were even debating this earlier, 'cause we were like, is this C customer or is it commercial?
So you've picked commercial, but it could, I mean from your description there, it could as well be customer.
Jeff Lowe: It could be customer and some people call it customer and even internally. And I'm okay with that. I
Jon Busby: think I, I just think it's a, it's fascinating just some of those different nuances. Coming back to this, I find this CRO role that we've seen emerging fascinating at the moment.
Mm-hmm. And a lot, in a lot of cases it's been the sales leader that has migrated into that role. So I think it's really telling that the marketing leader in this case, you, Jeff, has landed in, essentially in that position to lead both teams. Do you think the. With the change in the buyer journey with some of the other elements we've discussed at the conference today, do you, who would you say is best to, to what skillset set does that CCO really need to succeed?
Is it marketing led? Is it sales led?
Jeff Lowe: Yeah, it could be either. I think it's someone who is. Really savvy in how much the buyer has changed and how much how, and it's not, when we say the buyer, what we mean is the buyer group and how much digital is driving that, so that that could be someone with a sales background or a marketing background.
But that, to me, that's what it takes is to say it's fundamentally changed. And some of the research coming out right now is very threatening from a sales perspective. Things like. Most Gartner came out with this research that says, most customers have given a choice, would prefer not to deal with a sales rep at all.
And so the amount of times you get to have a human interaction with a customer are becoming. Fewer and fewer. So that doesn't mean though, that it's not important. It becomes even more crucially important to get those right. And being aware of that whole dynamic being on the front end of what I was talking about yesterday, which is how hard it is to be a customer.
And we've experienced, if you think about it, 'cause we all work in companies as well, and we all buy. Think of the last time you bought something as part of your company, how hard that was. Mm-hmm. And so just having empathy with that and saying how your role changes from not just. Being the best ambassador for your brand and your products and services, but actually being an ambassador for making it easier for a customer to buy something and reducing all of that spaghetti bowl of how complicated it is on them.
So it, that doesn't mean as, so it, therefore it's better to have a marketing person do that versus a sales, it's more of a mindset of, and a curiosity. Mm-hmm. Of not accepting the status quo for the profession of sales or marketing and saying, we, it's, we have to innovate. The, the customers have changed. We have to change too.
Jon Busby: The, that forest is stat is fascinating. I, it's one of my favorite, it's one of my most quoted stats at the moment. I think it's 40. They state 43% of customers prefer not to speak to sales. It may well be more than 50% now. Yeah. What are you doing at SMART as part of this model to. Change in light of groundbreaking stats like that from Forrester.
Jeff Lowe: A lot more investment in digital, really getting, there's a saying we have within smart, do you know where your customers learn and are you present where they learn?
Jon Busby: Which for a learning company is incredibly, it's, yeah, it's part of your, it's part of your purpose. That's awesome.
Jeff Lowe: It is. And then we also have, we also have a learn team.
So when I say becoming more digitally savvy, it doesn't just mean, so let's go increase our. Digital ad spend, for example. Mm-hmm. It's really analyzing the market and saying, where are our customers and how do they learn? Is it 'cause things like advertising and email? That may be one way, but there's a whole bunch of other ways as well.
Is it peer networks and influencers? How to what extent are, are search engines important? Which ones, what sort of things are they responded to? So we've, we're spending a ton of time on really getting inside. The digital journey and how do we insert ourselves mm-hmm. Into where our customers are. So we say meet them where they are, and then what's, what's the best way?
We talked about the frequency of sales interactions, so how do you bridge that gap and get the sales team involved at the exact right time? And have that kind of seamless flow. How do your systems and data support that? That's a big part of it. Yep. Which again, is a bit of a work in process for us. But we say again, in a world where you don't have sales and marketing, you don't have sales ops, you don't have marketing ops, you have commercial ops, and you don't have a MarTech stack.
So we shouldn't talk like that. And again, that's controversial, right? You shouldn't have a marketing plan. You shouldn't talk about MarTech. You should talk about. Commercial tech, you should talk about commercial operations And, and so all of the data and systems that it takes to help the customer on their journey needs to be in one place.
And so we do have a leader of commercial operations and we're, it's like I said, a work in progress to stitch all that together and be a truly data and systems driven company around the. The customer jobs they're trying to do.
Jon Busby: It's two things that are going through my head on this one. Firstly, from a traditional sales and marketing perspective, right?
We've fall, especially in quarter driven companies, we fall into this trap of as soon as someone fills in the lead form, they hand across the sales. You have that 50% reject rate that we just talked about. Yeah. Yeah. So have you seen, because you are not looking at traditional roles anymore, have you seen.
Sales be more considerate with how they follow up with customers.
Jeff Lowe: A hundred percent. How has that changed? A hundred percent and be it's because they were involved upfront in what sort of things we're all going to agree to that's gonna come into the AM basket of a sales professional or someone who helps the customer buy.
So once you're part of the discussion upfront, like I say, once you get something in your, in Baskett then or in Salesforce that says Ping, you have a follow up. They're like, I agreed to this and this is great to see. Let's do more of those. So it's, it feeds on itself in terms of this is exactly what we talked about.
How do we do even more of this?
Jon Busby: And because you mentioned that 88% acceptance rate now. Yeah. That, that what we would typically probably could say like SAS sales. That's right. What has, have the other metrics changed further down the funnel as well? If you were to look at it from a tradit traditional perspective.
So have you seen not only sales acceptance, but. Those leads be in the right position. Just you've nurtured correctly. And has that been a result of that partnership? I call it a partnership. 'cause I'm still thinking the old power paradigm. Yeah, the, a result of that change in the model towards the UCE.
Jeff Lowe: Yeah, absolutely.
Sonia David: So you mentioned the pods, you talked about all, and that's, do you find that you need to synchronize amongst each of the pods? And how do you do that?
Jeff Lowe: Yeah, it's, it is a great question because on one hand, The pods are distinct. The reason there's not just one plan is because the pods are distinct, the markets are different, and you should only have a pod if the strategies are different.
Mm-hmm. Otherwise, you could just reduce the complexity and just have one plan. However, you's really helpful to have the pods understand each other's plans so they can learn from each other. So what we really encourage is for the pod leaders to spend time together as a cohort. And say, Hey, how is your pod going?
What are you finding is working great? What are you doing more of or less of that I can learn from? We do review the pod plans on a monthly basis with the entire executive team and senior leadership team, so that is the cadence in our company. And so these are long meetings. So four or five hour meeting where every pod goes through and presents their plan.
And again, that's not, here's my sales numbers. That is here is the holistic customer journey health for our pod. And what they have is they have a, it is a joint presentation from all the people that participate in that. So from the people who are helping the customer learn, the people who are helping the customer adopt.
But there's one person quarterbacking the call and that's the pod leader, but they're talking about everything from brand health to likelihood to recommend and everything in between. And so all the other six pods are sitting there listening and learning from what's going on in that region. So there's some things that we're doing more.
Casual and offline, if you will, by connecting people together saying Please learn from each other 'cause you have the exact same job. And that wasn't the case before. It was, 'cause we're in different countries all over the world. And a lot of times, again, teams didn't even know I. That there's other people that do my exact same job halfway around the world, that I might be able to learn something.
Mm-hmm. Because we just weren't organized like that. We didn't even have the same reporting structure and VP structure and so forth. So now it's exactly the same in these seven pods. And it's like you guys have the identical job, you have different strategies because your markets are different across the set, the
Jon Busby: seven.
And would are the processes you, you say it's identical per part. Are the processes identical in Each processes are identical. So it really is just the content and the core of what they're doing that
Jeff Lowe: that, yeah, the approach. What's the strategy? Because imagine the strategic difference when you're dealing with somewhere where we're well entrenched and we're the number one market share leader, and we have deep penetration into so many of the different schools versus.
Here we are in a totally separate part of the world where we're just entering a new market and nobody knows who we are, and there it's a greenfield opportunity. And the com, the competitors are entirely different. Those strategies look very different. The underlying processes, the systems, the data, the how we talk about things, the same what we call Uber metrics, which is.
The metrics of how we define how well we're helping the customer at each stage in their journey. Those are all the same. And you talked
Jon Busby: about the importance of customer data throughout this. Yeah. And we saw that in one of the sessions before the workshop, before yours yesterday actually. How has your approach to customer data changed as you moved through the UCE?
What's, you mentioned a single source of truth. Yeah. Like how are you collecting that?
Jeff Lowe: Yeah. It's really simplified to a great extent because what you used to have in a silo world is you had. Data for the different parts of the organization. And it was in quite a bit of detail pages of PowerPoint or Excel.
And so what we did is we challenged people to say, no, we have basically five steps that we're trying to help the customer with. What if we could come up with five metrics? We challenged the team to say, could we just do five? And we almost got there, we got to eight. So we have eight metrics that we say, these are our Uber.
UCE metrics and then the same across
Jon Busby: every pod. Same across every
Jeff Lowe: pod. Okay. Same across though. It doesn't mean we don't have all sorts of other metrics, but these are the ones, and you talk about CFO alignment, CEO, alignment. These are the ones that they're expecting to see. Okay, so it's everybody is talking around things like share of voice as a proxy for brand health.
Likelihood to recommend incident satisfaction. That's a support. That's the Uber metric for support. Of course, the buy ones are. What you'd expect. Things like revenue and profitability, M qls, and sass. So those kind of, I think you still tracking mql? Still tracking. Still tracking. Okay. Yeah.
Jon Busby: But just using a different way of thinking about it.
That's right. Yeah. Did was customer support always? 'cause customer support I think is one of those most misunderstood Yeah. Elements of the marketing journey. I had, I actually had one client the other day say that she opens tickets before with perspective systems to see how quickly they respond as part of the journey.
Yeah. So it's, it can't be misunderstood, it can't be forgotten about. That your customers could, or prospective customers could be testing it. Was it always part of marketing or sales? Was it separate and it got consumed
Jeff Lowe: into the commercial? It was separate and it got merged into the UCE. And it's just a, to your point, such a critical Yeah.
And overlooked it's customer. A huge impact on your customer. Yeah,
Jon Busby: for customer data as well. It's a gold mine.
Jeff Lowe: Yeah. And you think of it again, the cu, the customer isn't thinking, okay, now I'm talking to a different part of smart. They're just calling smart. Or there's emailing smart 'cause they have a an issue or a problem, and then what an incredible opportunity that is depending on the line of questioning for.
A is through a customer centric lens to say, I'm glad we were able to help you with that. Now have you thought of this or have you seen this new, the latest advancements with regards to that. So again, that's where that cross pollination comes together. So you've
Jon Busby: seen upsell based on support tickets.
That's right. No, that, that, that's another metric that I think would be awesome to track is if you could show, hang on. Our support team are now driving revenue. Obviously it's not a support team. That would, that's the first time I've certainly heard of that. We've talked a bit about. The C-suite. So you use those eight metrics as your Uber metrics?
Yeah. Across the organization? Yeah. Just 'cause I'm curious, do they vary a lot per region based on, do you see a lot of variance per individual pod that you have to account for? I look at APAC as one example and they much prefer things in local language. Yeah. Latam actually, we were talking to someone and we actually do this in Africa, like they prefer leads over WhatsApp.
Like it's just how business is conducted. Yeah. So do you see quite a bit of variance in those and how. If you are reporting that back to the board, do they ever look at one region and say, that's not, obviously not performing as well just because of that difference?
Jeff Lowe: Yeah. Internally. Mm-hmm. You see a lot more variance than a board level presentation.
The board level presentation still tends to be at the, even taking those Uber metrics and ratcheting them up to regional profitability. And regional revenue growth. Sometimes we get into more of the conversations around things like health of the brand or support metrics or customer mm-hmm. Likelihood to recommend metrics, but it's in those sorts of things.
'cause the levels of maturity of the markets are so different where you see huge swings, like when you talk about, uh, brand share of voice in APAC versus the Eastern United States. There's a huge difference there, but those differences are expected. The big thing is we use a traffic light system for all the metrics, so it's.
Yes, there's gonna be some variation, but we're not really looking like comparing pod variances as much as we're looking at traffic light indicators of what did you expect? Yeah. And what is your result? Yeah. So is it red, yellow, green? Yep. That's the way we look at it.
Jon Busby: Yep. Yep. And so, you know, one, like you say, one share of voice in one place, in one region can be wildly different to another, but you're not using the same thresholds to measure.
Jeff Lowe: Right. When it comes to things like demand generation, to your point, there's all sorts of different tools and platforms that resonate totally differently in different parts of the world, but that's again, where the local expertise of the Learn team comes in because the Learn team is resident in, in that area and assigned to that pod.
And so it's not a blanket approach of. We're gonna use this particular platform, or th this particular type of email or WhatsApp versus this social media platform. The regional learn representative for their, for the pod is embedded within that, making those decisions.
Jon Busby: That's fascinating. So the, I was having, like I say, you've been, the UCE model has been referenced a lot when we've been talking across this table today.
I would put it, if you were looking at lots of organizations, I'm gonna put. And our listeners won't be able to see what I'm doing in my hands. But on one side you've got your traditional marketing and sales silos. On the other side, I'm gonna say we've got UCE, like where is, do, do you think u c e is the optimal way, and what advice would you give to any organization looking to start that journey?
Jeff Lowe: Yeah, it's a, it is a great question because it's, it's a big step that we've taken and I can definitely see that it's very hard. To entertain that in a lot of companies, mostly for cultural and political reasons. I don't think people by and large disagree with the premise because everybody almost, I can't think of anybody I've talked to that says, no, I disagree.
They should be separate. People agree that I. They ideally would be together, but it's just really hard to do. But that said, there are some things that I think a anybody could do to take steps towards that direction or just with the mindset. Yeah, of if you believe in the mindset of the customer doesn't see sales or marketing or service and support, they just see your brand.
Then one thing is one of the first steps we took, which was to say, what are the customer jobs? Or customer steps in the journey. And what proxy do we use for that? So in our case, we use this Infinity Loop. Mm-hmm. But it doesn't have to be, it can be whatever, because they're all fairly similar, right?
Mm-hmm. And whose job is it to help the customer with that particular step? And just go through your journey and say, have a discussion. Get a cross-functional team together and say, whose job is it to help the customer with that job? And then if you want to go even a step further, Start going through your team member, but it doesn't need to be a threatening it.
It's, it's, it's, it doesn't need to be a threatening part, but it's just super interesting to go through. Let's go through our team and say what role, what job that the customer is trying to do. Does this person most support when they wake up every morning? And for a lot of the people, it's one particular role.
They help the customer learn. They help the customer buy, they help the customer adopt. For other people, it's, they're an overlay. They're not dedicated to one step. They're in all steps. A creative director or a designer, for example, someone who's working on brand consistency, by the very definition, they're at all steps.
But what gets really interesting is where you, if you go through a hundred employees and you map them to customer roles, and you get 20 that are saying, okay, these people all. When they wake up every day, they help the customer learn. Do they know that the other 19 people are doing that too? Like, and just, wouldn't it be amazing if, now in our case we said, wouldn't it be amazing if they all were part of the same team and that's what the UCE is.
But if you don't have to take it that far, then to say, we all are helping the customer with the same step in their journey. So what can we learn from each other so we make sure it's even more powerful and that we're not. Duplicating any effort here. So
Jon Busby: that's before you change any roles. Before you change any roles, what can you do to bring those people together and get 'em to
Jeff Lowe: realize, yeah.
'cause let's look at our team through a customer lens, what we're trying to do to help them, and how many people on our team, or whose responsibility is it to help the customer with these discreet steps, use whatever model you'd like for the customer journey. Mm-hmm. And I just think that's a fascinating
Jon Busby: discussion.
It it's what, what you've done here, and this is fa, so coming from. So I'm obvious I'm a digital marketeer by trade, so I am used to using UX tools like the Jobs to Be Done framework. Yeah. Which we would look at a website and say the customer is coming in to open a support ticket. They're coming in to learn more about this particular product.
And what you've essentially done in the UCE model is personified, if that's even right. That job's to be on framework down to the organizational level, which when you look at it, I can see, I can certainly see the friction that it might cause and it's almost, I can also see some people look at it going, it's just oversimplified it.
But I think that simplicity benefits the customer in how clear and concise everyone's role is, which I think it's just fascinating how we, we talk in strategy and building CMS and all this kind of stuff. The jobs to be done. But taking it down to the organizational level, it's it the pleasure in it. Is the simplicity.
Jeff Lowe: Yeah, that's right. And there's another thing that I think would be a step towards a commercial mindset, which is what's the plan? Okay. So if you take a, a regional plan, for example, or a plan for a product mm-hmm. At your company and say, what is the strategy here? How are we gonna win? And. Not the marketing strategy, not the sales strategy, not the support strategy, but what are we trying to accomplish?
So what I think most everybody knows is what are the goals? 'cause so I've got this, this product area or this region of the world, and I know that I have to hit these numbers so I know the what. So let's talk about the how and then plug in. The different techniques. So if I'm a marketer at that table, or I'm a a sales leader at that table, or I'm coming from the customer support for that table, where does my key initiatives plug in?
Because probably what you have is you have three or four separate plans there. Mm-hmm. But what is the plan? And what if without making it overly complicated, could you come up with two or three or four strategies for the region or for the product? How are we gonna win? So we see we've got the, what we need to do, what's our approach overall?
And then what are the accountabilities of the marketing team, the sales team, and the support team? That doesn't need to be a reorg, that doesn't need to be, change the team names to learn by adopt what that is. Bringing everybody together saying we all have a common accountability to a single plan and there's nothing stopping anybody, any teams from doing that.
- That effort. And then that's something you could take to the CFO or the CEO saying, we got together as a cross-functional team in the spirit of customer centricity and we took all of our greatest hits and we put them into one record and this, and we've come up with a joint customer focused plan. So that's, to me, a huge step in the direction of UCE without saying, Hey, we're gonna blow it all up and reorganize our entire team.
Jon Busby: So I've got our final question that we've asked everyone. Okay. It's a difficult one. Okay. If you're ready, I'm ready. In five words or less, what advice would you give a future CMO or CCO to achieve success? Like how would you summarize it in five words or less?
Jeff Lowe: Organize around the customer.
Jon Busby: It's so simple.
I'm sat here being like, why are more people not doing this? It just, it makes so, so much sense. I can't wait to get an update next year. Yes. 'cause obviously this is your second year you've been presenting this Yes. At the ANAs. Yeah. So I think we, are we gonna see Sonya? Are we gonna see Jeff back next year to give an update on what the next evolution is?
Sonia David: Absolutely.
Jeff Lowe: Because yeah, we wanna know what the future of the UCA is and we are. It is rapidly changing, like we feel like. We definitely made the right decision on this, and we're always evolving and improving it. It's, it's not something that's done and we're off to the races and it's quote unquote fixed, not even close.
Mm-hmm. It's, but we have seen the results. We've talked about some of the results. The team is very enthusiastic about it, and so we will continue to evolve and. And make changes and make, hopefully make it more simple for both, for our team and for our customers.
Sonia David: Yeah. And hopefully we'll see some other organizations trying to copy that model.
Mm-hmm. And they'll have their own stories next year. That would be great. That would be like
Jeff Lowe: the, yeah, even just a couple of these simple steps that I Absolutely. I talked to. Pull together a meeting and do a mapping to your jobs to be done. Yeah. Or do a mapping of what if we had one plan that we all contributed to, and just to see where that gets you.
Jon Busby: I see. A workshop. Yeah. Yeah. I, I see a workshop, a book, a speak, a couple of speaker deals. It's okay. No, that's it. Jeff, it's been a pleasure to have you on the Tech Marketing podcast today, and thank you very much.
Jeff Lowe: It's been my pleasure. Anytime.
Jon Busby: Thanks for tuning in for another episode of the Masters of B2B Marketing in association with the ANAs, looking for more insights.
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