Marketing Requires Culture Change: Here’s Why & How To Do It


The B2B space is constantly changing. With change comes the need for a change in the culture of marketing teams. Matt Heinz recommends in this presentation that marketing and product teams combine forces to better grow products.


Matt Heinz is the President and Founder of Heinz Marketing, a company created to help clients focus their business on market and customer opportunities, then execute a plan to scale revenue and customer growth.


“Some of the changes are some of the defensiveness, some of the fear and trepidation, some of the holding on to the status quo we see in many companies isn’t because people don’t want to change. They’re afraid of what will happen if they fail”

“Find ways you don’t have to be best friends with the people you’re collaborating with on a regular basis, but find opportunities to get to know them as people find opportunities to go get a cup of coffee share a meal, share an adult beverage, create some shared experiences, the team you’re going to work with. We give more empathy and grace and dig in deeper with people that we have a stronger connection to.”

Key Points

  1. Focus on building real relationships 
  1. Have empathy 
  1. Collaborate between teams 

Key Points

Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for joining my session for the chat funnels conference. It’s a pleasure as always in an honor to be a part of so many other great speakers and great topics. We spent a lot of time talking about why it’s important to drive change in the way that we do marketing and sales. We talk about moving from lead base to account based programs. We talk about tighter coordination between sales and marketing efforts. We talk about changing from just generating as many leads as possible to focusing on the right things. And oftentimes when we do this work, which is important work, we focus on the process. We focus on the playbook. We focus on definitions of what it means to be a qualified lead or a qualified opportunity. We focus on things like it doesn’t matter that someone fills out a form anymore, but can you identify them across the web? If you engage someone in a conversation on your website, and they never really fill out a form but you learn something about their interests and their intent that matters, in terms of finding out whether they’re ready to move forward. And that’s a different set of expectations for what demand looks like. And then what we found in working with companies on building predictable pipelines into their businesses and implementing these playbooks implementing these new definitions of what success looks like. We’re finding that underneath all of this, and foundationally critical to all of this, there is a focus on change in culture that needs to exist. So I want to talk a little bit today about change management, and why change management is an important thing to be proactive about enabling in your organization. You know, over the years, as we’ve seen companies move from lead base to account based, we’ve seen people’s jobs change, we’ve seen people that had focused on the most possible leads the lowest possible cost, all of a sudden that metric isn’t as important as it used to be. You may be willing to spend three times as much on a lead, that actually is a better higher converting lead or a prospect that actually represents a more qualified account. Not all leads are equal. Some are actually worth more than others. And so the math we use to define that has changed. So think about the digital marketing manager who has always focused on the lowest possible cost per lead or most output. Now you’re telling them I actually want you to spend more money per lead and generate fewer leads. Rationally this all might make sense if you have an account base and a very targeted program. But the person, the individual, the human you’re asking to make that change may approach that change with a perspective of fear. They may approach that change as thinking that wow, my job just changed. Am I going to be good at this new job? Am I going to know immediately what levers to pull? Am I gonna be expected to know what I’m supposed to do right away? And so some of the changes are some of the defensiveness, some of the fear and trepidation, some of the holding on to the status quo we see in many companies isn’t because people don’t want to change they’re afraid of what will happen if they fail. So a key part of change management is changing the way you’re asking people to operate or what you’re asking them to be measured on. A key part of that change management is an acceptance of the stumbles along the way. It’s recognizing and saying up front, we realize we’re changing the rules here. We’re realizing we’re asking you to do something differently. It’s okay to do that. And this is for the individual’s role as a part of change management. I think it’s also important to recognize that as we now ask organizations to work more closely together in an account oriented approach to go to market, you no longer can just work in marketing silos no longer within departments in marketing, can you work in silos. We’re seeing ample evidence and research that shows that those organizations that take an omni-channel approach to their marketing are those that are seeing the most success, and that means you’ve got tighter coordination between your email efforts and your events, efforts and your social efforts and your PR efforts. So that tighter level of coordination is going to require a far more complex set of participation and collaboration across those teams just within marketing. So that’s going to take time. Now let’s say you’re doing an account oriented approach to the general go to market and you’ve got that marketing team and now has to work with sales. And so no longer does marketing just on the top of the funnel and sales on the bottom. Now we have marketing owning the majority of work at the top of the funnel sales, maybe doing the majority work at the bottom, but there are roles for each team and those target large target account deals. There are roles for each team at every stage and orchestrating those and coordinating those is really important and very difficult. Let’s not let’s not under process, how critically important and incredibly difficult that can be. The organizations that are doing the best right now with change management as they embrace these more complex efforts are those that accept that there’s going to be some chaos, except that there’s going to be a lot more complexity here. And figure that out, and work through that and know that you’re not immediately going to get it right a company called demand metric did some research recently a couple years ago now but the data still has holds up for me where they looked at the the integration or the the correlation between the the levels of detailed integration of sales and marketing systems and the likelihood that those organizations were hitting their numbers and what they found was a direct correlation. They said the more complex and the more integrated sales and marketing systems were, the more likely they were to hit their revenue numbers. But what was interesting about that data to me is that it didn’t go from no integration to minimal integration, a moderate to advanced. It went from no integration to an effective integration to a minimum to moderate to advance and it still went up. So basically, what this is telling me is if you embrace the complexity of sales and marketing teams working together, and you assume that this is we’re going to have to change and we’re going to be willing to go through, you’re going to go you potentially could go from no integration to ineffective integration. Before you start to move your way up into the positive state. And this is a really important point because I think a lot of times this will see departments that haven’t necessarily always worked together, face it marketing, and I’ll put myself in that boat as well. I’m a lifelong learner. We are sometimes perceived as the arts and crafts department, by the sales team. The rest of the organization by the board. Just because we decided one day in a meeting or because we read a book or a blog post that we want to be revenue responsible doesn’t mean the rest of the organization believes us. So we have work to do to help the sales organization and the rest of the organization, see if we can be revenue responsible revenue producing parts of the organization. So those two teams don’t necessarily work together super Well, historically, we have to fix that that’s part of the change. But overall, I talked about a few ways that you could actually drive and support this change. Effort tactically, you know, the, the moves we’re seeing towards companies investing in plg product led growth imply this level of change as well. Now we have marketing teams working closely with the product team. The roadmap is no longer separate. The product roadmap is no longer separate from what marketing is doing. You can’t say well, we’re going to launch a bunch of stuff. And then hey, what are you going to do with that? You’ve got marketing motion in the product moving forward.

So how tightly are those teams working together? This is a lot of change for a lot of organizations.

 So what can you do to be ready for this? What can you do to be successful with this? So I think a couple things first, of all, I would encourage you, at the beginning of this process, have an Amnesty Day and allow people on the team that are going to have to work together or change or do whether it’s changing the work that they’re doing changing their objective changing and working with teams across the aisle sales product, what have you allow given amnesty day for people to share how they feel about it, and share maybe how they feel about the other side? I’ve done this in workshops with sales and marketing leaders. It’s been quite cathartic for sales to be able to say, well, here’s how I perceived marketing in the past and for marketing, so yeah, well, here’s what I perceive you guys do or don’t do with our leads. We’re all going to be better. But let’s put on the table the things that have concerned us or frustrated investment past. This can work across departments and marketing as well in terms of thinking about, you know, the reasons why collaboration and participation hasn’t worked in the past. So get it out, write it down and decide to move forward together as a more cohesive unit. Also agree on objectives, right? Make sure you understand what you’re all working towards. And I would argue vociferously, that marketing and product should have objectives that are probably more closely tied to sales. Now you can have leading indicators get in there. If you say I’m focused on pipeline and not focused on closed deals, then you might focus on things that just generate pipeline and don’t necessarily get closed deals. There’s a factor they’re thinking about, duration, or likelihood to buy or active buying cycles right away. That could change the type of pipeline you generate. So precisely the same objectives really matter. I’d also encourage you to get detailed on what change is going to require. It’s one thing for marketing and sales and product to get in front of kickoff. And say together, we’re all in this together. We’re going to change and we’re going to be focused on revenue. That’s all fine and good. Give it the Tuesday test. What would Tuesday look like if this change had been implemented successfully. What would Tuesday look like if all of your marketing departments worked together on a truly sustainably omni channel approach? What happens if you have sales and marketing working more closely together Tuesday morning, like come up with a couple scenarios and give it a stress test against your current limitation or your pending playbook. A lead is generated and 10 signals identified who follows up with it when and what happens after that. Right. So think about how much you need to have a pretty detailed level of playbook that actually can be implemented in a reasonable fashion. Don’t worry about automating that or scaling that until you have the playbook and have done the Tuesday test to say Have we checked all these boxes do we agree on what the next step should be? You may spend some time with some of your counterparts working through some pretty detailed execution steps. But this is what it’s going to require to make sure to get changed to stick. I encourage everyone to embrace a level of empathy and patience with the people on the other side. Remember I said it’s very likely you’ll go from no integration across teams to being ineffective as part of the process in many cases and know that you may screw up your counterparts unintentionally with the best of intentions. Right? But have some empathy and patience for the process and know what’s going to take some time. More real quick before we finish up what I said I would say over communicate. Figure out the channels that are gonna work best for you. It may not be long email strings and tons of different emails. Plan on sort of having some huddles with the teams you’re working with more frequent huddles in the beginning so you can work out the kinks. I personally like Slack groups as a way of sort of having friends all in one place to be able to do some alerts. I also love that slack. Now as a button, I can press this and do a quick huddle. I can pull people together and the audio only format works really well. So over communicate as you manage to change. And last but not least, I would say focus on building real relationships. Find ways you don’t have to be best friends with the people you’re collaborating with on a regular basis, but find opportunities to get to know them as people find opportunities to go get a cup of coffee share a meal, share an adult beverage, create some shared experiences, the team you’re going to work with. We give more empathy and grace and dig in deeper with people that we have a stronger connection to.

Easier said than done sometimes and this takes time. It doesn’t work for everybody but I would encourage you to lean into the relationships that will make this collaborative process that will make working through the complexity and sometimes the chaos of getting this coordination done a lot better. And just know that you know it’s easy sometimes to write a process to orchestrate some steps in marketing automation or CRM or your ABM platform. You know, we can knock out a playbook pretty easily implementing that, putting that into motion across a number of people that have not had to work that closely together and have not had to work in that level of collaborative nature before will take some time. Focus on the culture change and the change of management is going to be part of this process. I promise you it is going to benefit your organization. It’s going to benefit your people. It’s going to benefit your employee retention rates, and it’s also going to benefit your results. Thank again chat funnels for letting you be a part of this. It’s been exciting. This is a passionate thing for me to talk about sort of change management and what this means is organizations so thank you again so much for watching. Enjoy the rest of the event. Look forward to seeing you next time.