B2B Sales & Marketing Exchange

Sigstr’s Justin Keller: ‘There’s A Bigger Story We Could All Tell Through Advertising’

Within any company, collaboration and communication are keto success, yet there is often separation among departments, like sales and marketingThe alignment of teams is crucial, and for that to come to fruition, company strategy must be cohesive and consistent.  

In this exclusive Q&A, Justin Keller, VP of Marketing at Sigstrsharehis insight on the importance of different teams working together to drive revenueand gave us a sneak peek into his session at #B2BSMX.  


Demand Gen Report: What does an ideal revenue team look like to you?  

Justin Keller: I think the entire company needs to be a revenue team, but marketing is really where all the revenue efforts are united. This means you need to have a bold and fearless marketing team because that’s a lot of pressure.  

Sales and marketing need to be best friends. They need to come to an agreement on who their ideal customer is [and have] a shared understanding of messaging and a feedback loop that allows each team to symbiotically improve without creating an adversarial situation. 

I think that situation is mitigated by having a smart, neutral finance or business operations person in the room. This is someone who reports on numbers and can provide a sober look at revenue performance throughout the entire funnel. 

Lastly, I’ve become pretty bullish on the outbound team rolling up into the marketing organization. Especially in account-based environments, outbound becomes one of the most powerful channels and can be a massive forcemultiplier if they act as a part of the marketing team.  


DGR: How are you creating a one-team mentality within your organization?   

Keller: It’s been a long process, but it’s happened very organically. We used to make commitments like “marketing will be responsible for 50% of revenue generation if sales can bring in the other 50%.” What happens then, though, is one group will have a weaker quarter than the other. Then, this quarterly antagonism sprouts up, and it becomes really hard to become equal partners through that. Co-owning one single revenue number together allows separate teams to cooperate, cheer each other on and slowly merge into one revenuefocused organization.  


DGR: What are you hoping to talk about during your session?  

Keller: I’ve been thinking about digital advertising a lot lately. For most B2B companies, if they’re going beyond brand-specific keyword targeting, they’re likely investing in some combination of display and social that, when combined, are going to comprise 54% of all U.S. ad spending. But, between frequent poor performance, attribution difficulties and challenges in personalization, it’s tough to justify the investment based on traditional advertising metrics alone.   

So, why is half of all ad spending going into these channels? I don’t know the answer, but I have hypothesisbecause there’s more going on than simple CPC metrics. Because there’s a bigger story we can all tell through advertising. Because we believe in our brands. I want to crack open the kinds of experiences we can create through a multi-channel approach and talk about a bunch of the proprietary data we’ve found on what makes an ad work. 


DGR: What trends and tactics do you think are impacting ABM evolution?  

Keller: I think we’ve hit a tipping point with ABM where it’s just becoming synonymous with “really smart marketing.” At this point, the acronym has been demystified and marketers are becoming more comfortable leaving a lot of the bad inbound-only habits they’ve collected behind. But I think the biggest pervading trend is that marketers are becoming responsible for revenue like never before. This is a great thing for marketers because it creates a deeper connection between us, our audience and the journey we want to create for them. 


DGR: What else are you looking forward to at the event?   

Keller: B2BMX is one of my all-time favorite conferences, hands down. Now that it’s being smooshed together with RevTalks and FlipMyFunnel for B2BSMX, it’s like B2B Lollapalooza. I can’t wait to learn from some of my favorite marketers, make new friends and explore the awesome venue that’s hosting it all! 

Justin will be leading a Lunch & Learn session titled “Remix Your Ad Strategy.” Check it out on Monday, August 12 at 1:00 PM.

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