Aetna’s Shiva Mirhosseini: Metrics, customer-first thinking, can bridge the sales and marketing divide
While these teams sometimes speak different languages, a focus on growth can bind them.
As the number of martech companies putting out their shingles hits critical mass, many organizations are taking a look at how they can organize their sales and marketing teams to make the most of their stacks.
It’s not an easy task, says Shiva Mirhosseini, vice president of marketing technology and digital experience at health insurance giant Aetna. And that’s especially true in large B2B organizations.
“It’s two departments that by design should be working very closely with one another, but they’re completely different,” she said. “So they need a little bit of coaching in order to come together.”
According to Mirhosseini, who will be giving a keynote speech at the MarTech Conference in Boston about the convergence of marketing and sales technology in October, you can’t force feed a team structure. Rather, you need to find the right incentives.
“There has to be a greater cause and, for marketing and sales, it has to be a unified focus on delivering a delightful customer experience, which undoubtedly contributes to long-term growth,” she said.
For example, while marketers may be highly focused on metrics such as qualified leads, sales teams are far more interested in accounts.
Mirhosseini believes that customer data used by marketers could provide the “peripheral vision” for a business as a whole, while sales tech provides more objective data in the form of sales metrics, creating a complementary partnership.
“Marketing should be accountable for bringing insight and foresight to sales as it remains the frontline of – omnichannel — communication with the customer”, Mirhosseini said. “A progressive marketing and sales organization will unify its human and technology resources at the service of the human customer across their entire lifecycle.”
The bottom line, though, is a core focus on customers, and that needs to be baked in before arriving at any change in organizational structure.
Otherwise, “you become a slave to your own silos,” she said.
If you’re interested in learning more from Mirhosseini and other experts in the field, be sure to attend our Martech conference in Boston October 1-3, 2018.