Morphing From Technology and Corporate Marketing to “Revenue Marketing” : Interview with Kay Kienast

Interviewer: Today I’m very pleased to welcome Kay Kienast. Kay is the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales Strategy for Large Enterprise Organizations at Xerox Corporation. She’s responsible for the global marketing and sales strategy for Xerox’s largest enterprise accounts in the technology and document outsourcing business. This is a multi-billion dollar business and has more than 15,000 employees. And Kay I must say not very many people have both marketing and sales strategy, so it’ll be very interesting to speak with you today.

Kienast: Well thank you Glenn. From a sales strategy perspective I would tell you if you think about it that the data is used to develop coverage models, which actually is the development, the base development of any sales strategy. So, that leads us to why data is so important to us.

Interviewer: Oh good, and you and I were talking earlier about how data and the data mart sits in the center of what you have created at Xerox.

Kienast: That is correct, and let me give a little context for this Glenn because if we look at any marketing automation solution it needs to serve both sales and marketing. It’s not a marketing function, it is a joint function, and it typically includes some seven tools. But, in the center of it is the brain of it which we call the data mart. Within the data mart you’ve got all of your information and your customers, what they’ve purchased, but hopefully you’ve got some models in that data mart, and those models, for example, tell you what the profile of your best customer is. So, what you pull in then, let’s say it’s all Fortune 1000 accounts, you run it against your model and you determine which of those best fit the profile that you’ve ascertained is your best customer profile. So, you’re not searching everywhere for new projects, you’re searching with those that typically will have the propensity to buy from you.

Interviewer: So, you’re taking historical information about customers and determining which are your best type of customers, so then you can match those against perspective customers?

Kienast: That is correct. And when you do that you’re typically matching in a profile those that your best customers buy a lot, and they buy frequently, and the value they buy is high. And some people call that an RFM analysis. So, we pull all that together in our model and we identify then these are the targets for us. Everything can’t be a target because it costs too much money.

Interviewer: Right.

Kienast: So, that goes back to then how do you lay that out in a framework for both sales and marketing to use. And so, we use a framework called RAD; retain, acquire and develop. And we’re taking our data, both customers and prospects and we’re putting it in that framework deciding then how do we cover it, but more importantly, we use that same data then for all issues related to demand and lead gen.

Interviewer: Um hm.

Kienast: So, you’re not creating a single entity that’s used just for marketing.

Interviewer: Okay, so talk a little bit about these seven systems that you refer to, at least what are the categories?

Kienast: So, in the center there is your data mart, and typically in the center also is your sales force automation tool. So, let’s say for ease it’s They’re sitting in the center with you Glenn.

Interviewer: Right.

Kienast: And you’re passing data back and forth because as you update data from where it’s coming from, from sales people; from marketing automation, whatever the case may be; everyone is using the most current data. So, besides those what surrounds that data mart? So, let’s talk about John Jones. John Jones is one of our prospects in France. We have to translate whatever campaign development that we’re doing, but we have to first look and say okay, has he ever bought anything from us? Is he in the acquire stage? Is he in the development stage? And we then have a separate set of information that would go to John Jones who is in France. So, if you look at it then we have to translate it. We have to understand in our campaign development that we’re not only giving people information in terms of where they are within our sales construct, but by type, so if their financial, if they’re a line of business we have three different sets of personas that we actually look at and say alright, and where are they in our construct, here is what information will be sent to them. So, not only are you not sending the same information to everyone, you’re looking at the sale cycle, where are they; you are looking at what vertical they’re in because that will drive how you talk to them.

Interviewer: Right.

Kienast: You’re looking at their titles because you can’t say the same thing to a finance person that you would say to, for example, a marketing person. So, these things really force you into a campaign development for automation tool.

Interviewer: Okay well let me just summarize what you said there. So, we look at verticals, so that we know that buying behavior can occur differently in verticals. And we look at title or personas, and you also talked about understanding where they are in the buying cycle itself. Can you talk a little bit about the data and how that data helps you understand where they are in the buying cycle?

Kienast: So, we would have placed them in our RAD model and either retain, acquire, develop. Most of these folks that you’re trying to acquire are going to be down in your acquire stage. Now, when you’re tracking them through the web through search, through any of our social media and through retargeting so that we understand where they are and what they’re looking at, and we can make some predictive analysis as to where they might be in their journey to purchase a particular item. So, we take that out of the data mart and begin to inform then our campaign automation as to what to do and how to do it.

Interviewer: Um hm.

Kienast: Now, let’s go back just one moment, because let’s assume now we profiled; we know where they are in the buyer’s journey, or thereabouts, because we have a model in the data mart that lets us know that. Then we would [00:07:42 – Inaudible] qualify them, budget, need, authority and time using telesales, or if they’re not going to have a project we would put them in some sort of nurturing queue.

Interviewer: Right.

Kienast: So again, all along the way we’re using the data mart information coming in and out to inform us where are they in the buying cycle, what did they touch, what are they looking for? And we’re moving these folks in and out of our RAD model as they go along the journey with us. So, think of acquire and then develop, so acquire, they’ve purchased something from us. But now, we need to develop [00:08:16 – Audio Break]. We need to cross sell and upsell whatever they initially purchased. In the retain we need to make sure that we provide loyalty programs through marketing automation in conjunction with sales that actually make them feel like not only did they buy a lot from us, but we value them as a customer.

Interviewer: Um hm.

Kienast: So, if you think about that kind of schematic with the data mart and sales force in the center and marketing working with sales all along the way it’s not just about when we’re doing in demand and lead gen, it’s when we’re planning that sales strategy as well.

Interviewer: Well, you know I’m really glad you brought that up because there’s a phrase a lot of marketers use which is, handing off a lead to sales. And, we don’t believe in that. We believe that what marketing does is it introduces a relationship to sales and then it maintains that relationship with sales going forward. It sounds like you believe in the same approach.

Kienast: Well, we do and it starts back with what some people will call sales operations, territory planning.

Interviewer: Um hm.

Kienast: And territory planning is based on data, everything in the data mart. It’s not based on we think we in this particular geographic territory we’ve got 10 folks we should call on. That may be a complete waste of time Glenn, because they don’t match the profile of your best customer.

Interviewer: Right.

Kienast: So, why spend the time and money hunting with them just because they’re in your geographic location for a rep.

Interviewer: Right.

Kienast: So, this data mart and the data around it, informs not only your coverage, but the automation, how you track it, and it should inform sales as to where those customers are as well, because it’s moving in and out of for example. So, both marketing and sales at the same time know where a customer is and what they’ve done. They’re also some tools that allow the sales force to see everything that’s gone out if you’re using particular animation tools.

Interviewer: Right.

Kienast: So, they can augment that conversation when it’s appropriate with that customer.

Interviewer: Um hm.

Kienast: So, for me this is a sales and marketing combined effort to put people in the pipeline on a buyer’s journey that meets the needs and sells to them in a way they want to be sold to.

Interviewer: And you’re really integrating, it sounds like, at the sales rep level enabling them to be part of this process, enabling them to add to whatever it is marketing is doing. And, I would imagine you also have a focus on making sure they have the right tools and information to be effective in that augmentation.

Kienast: Wow that is such an important statement Glenn and you couldn’t spend enough time talking about it. But, a couple of things we found out is that sales people are not going to multiple sources of information. They go into one tool, whatever tool you’re using. So, let’s keep using our generic tool; and they want to find everything they need to service a customer or to hunt for a customer.

Interviewer: Um hm.

Kienast: So, we tend to put everything that’s needed in

Interviewer: Um hm.

Kienast: And allow them to see where that customer is or groups of customers, or role that up so that management can see it as well.

Interviewer: Interesting, interesting, so it becomes a – it’s not the data repository, but it is an information hub for the sales organization.

Kienast: Yes, and they know that we’re feeding it with new fresh data on a daily basis, so it makes it more relevant. You know, the reason I have been told that a lot of people are having trouble with their sales CRM tool is that they use it for reporting, they don’t use it to actually [00:12:12 – Audio Break] the sales force. So, the definition for us is put in Salesforce whatever the sales person needs and whatever is relevant for them to use to move customers along that buying journey.

Interviewer: Yeah, you are really plugged into helping that sales organization be more effective, that’s pretty impressive.

Kienast: Well, it’s not about marketing. It’s all about serving a customer the way they want to be served. You know, I hear that every day from the sales people. And it’s hard when you are a marketer not to slip into it’s all about marketing. So, if it’s all about that customer then it makes it a little easier for you to say okay, what does sales need, and by the way they’ll tell you often, often, often what they don’t have that they need. So, finding ways to do that cost effectively, and so that it’s not just great big masses of data for them they have to be able to know I can go here for competitive; and I can search on it by phrase, or I go here to look at who the officers of a corporation are and what they’re latest 10-Q, 10-K has been; all that needs to be in whatever CRM tool you’re using for sales.

Interviewer: Right, good. Talk to us a little bit about analytics and given that you are very data driven how do you leverage analytics? What do you do with the analytics? What are you looking for, and how do you help both marketing and sales be more effective based on the analytics?

Kienast: Well, there are different kinds of analytics Glenn. So, if I look at analytics for sales it will be a different group of information than if I look at it for let’s say a demand and lead gen program. But, they all need to come together, and that’s the conundrum. So, if you’re looking at the sales pipeline and you can see the leads that you’re putting in that pipeline big cautions arise. Are they moving through the pipeline? Are they not? How long have they been in each stage of your sales cycle? Can you look at the beginning of a quarter and determine are you going to make your number for that quarter or not? Those are the kinds of models that I would see in the data market help those sales and marketing. And one of our competitors stands with the head of sales, the head of marketing stand together and let the corporation know at the beginning of a quarter based on these models in the data mart are we going to make the quarter likely. Now, that gives both parties, sales and marketing time to adjust what they’re doing if we’re not going to make the quarter.

Interviewer: Um hm.

Kienast: So, I’d like to be able to back that up and do that every six months so that we have a little more time to affect that, but at the moment that’s where we would be marching to.

Interviewer: That’s pretty powerful with it based on your predictive models you can make a pretty strong connection between marketing and sales activities and what that you expect that pipeline to look like at the end of the quarter.

Kienast: Exactly, now that is something that you’re going to work on. You have to have a minimum of 18 months of data, and your predictive models need to be at least a year old to be able to get to that point Glenn.

Interviewer: Um hm.

Kienast: But, you have to start somewhere and if you start with the objective that this is for sales and marketing and it’s a joint methodology to increase the revenue based on how a customer wants to buy you’ll do something differently than if you say its marketing automation, or it’s the salesforce CRM tool.

Interviewer: Um hm.

Kienast: So, it’s a very different objective that you have to be mindful of. If you’re in a large corporation you have to be mindful that the web is playing a huge part, as well as your display search and you’ve got to be mindful of how you include that and what that means.

Interviewer: Um hm. Can you give us an example?

Kienast: So, for example, if we were looking at these things we would be targeting and retargeting on one side of the marketing automation stack for marketing, but we would sending them back to the web. We would be still trying in a cost effective manner to get more information to them that they want cost effectively. And we would be looking at those search terms from an analytic standpoint, and now you know you’re bidding on them on a constant basis. You’re looking at what performs and what doesn’t perform.

Interviewer: Um uhm.

Kienast: So, that’s a lot of analytics if you think about it. We’ve got sales analytics; we’ve got web analytics; we’ve got campaign analytics. And so the first thing I would tell you is somehow you’ve got to get that all into one dashboard just those things that you know make a difference. You can drill down later, but get a high level of all of that together so the data can inform you.

Interviewer: Yeah, that’s interesting you bring up a dashboard. There are a lot of new technologies that have come out to help with that dashboard or data visualization layer to pull all this together so that we can figure out what should we really be focused on and what does it tell us when those numbers are not moving in the right direction.

Kienast: So, if you think about the marketing automation tools today whatever one you use they’ve got a dashboard. You know you’ve got a dashboard with your web. You know that you’re going to need something like Radianc6 for social media. You know that you’ve got a dashboard then for some sort of campaign development; so putting all that together is the trick, because if you have all these separate dashboards you can never see the whole picture.

Interviewer: Right exactly.

Kienast: And you’re just going crazy with all these analytics trying to figure out what it means.

Interviewer: Right.

Kienast: And then the second point that I would tell you is that analytics take time. For you to really understand what’s the most two or three meaningful things that will tell you whether you’re going to make your revenue for the quarter you’ve got to have some data over a period of time, and you have to be honing that so you understand what those key triggers are that led you to where you got to.

Interviewer: Wow. I feel like we could talk for a long time Kay. There’s a lot more we could drill on, but you’ve given us a really nice overview of how to connect marketing with sales at a systems level and at a process level. Here’s your last question. Where do you see the future going in the next one or two years if you had sufficient budget to support where you wanted to take this?

Kienast: Don’t we just love that budget thing? (Laughter) All of us don’t love that budget thing. What’s going on is there’s been a sea change. It started with customers saying I want to buy differently, and that’s what we all have to lock on and understand. They do their research and they make a determination now, even within large accounts, as to who they want to see. And once they’ve done that then they see only those people. And those are affected by what you have on the web, what the press, the media, the add/loss all of those things have an effect as to who they want to see. But, I would tell you we’ll see more and more automation in place. Right now we’re looking at 70% of the sales cycle is done before a sales person gets in. I think we’re going to push that to the outer limits because it’s more cost effective Glenn.

Interviewer: Right.

Kienast: We will always need sales people, but right now we’ve changed it because customers have changed their buying behavior. So, I would imagine that with marketing automation this will get pushed to the edges where sales will be used in closing, but marketing has done a lot of work up front to assist them.

Interviewer: Wow, very interesting, yes we’ve seen to support that some budgets are being reallocated from sales organization over to marketing and how some of that is even being driven by sales, because they recognize they need that marketing support.

Kienast: I think that is a more mature organization. Most of us have grown up Glenn where marketing is beginning to play, we call it revenue marketing, at the revenue table.

Interviewer: Right.

Kienast: But, for most of us that’s scary both on the sales and marketing side.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Kienast: And particularly if you think about where your executives have come from. Most of them have either come from large sales organizations, engineering, but the model has never been that we need marketing automation, and that it will replace parts of the sales cycle. So, this is a huge conundrum and a sea change for all of us in corporate America.

Interviewer: Well, personally, I’m excited about it. We see this change happening in all of our clients, and we’re very excited to be helping them with it. Well, Kay thank you so much. This has been extremely helpful and I’ve learned a lot.

Kienast: Well thank you Glenn. As always I learn a lot from you.

Interviewer: Alright, talk soon.

Kienast: Alright bye, bye.