About 50 practitioners, panelists and sponsors gathered to chat about Sales and Marketing Alignment at the Silicon Valley Go To Market Dojo on 10/24.  The food and the discussion were excellent, and a special thanks to our night’s sponsor, DWCC Global.

Panelists BJ Bushur, Jim Wilson, Franco Azini and Craig Hooper brought some amazing insights, even if they were haunted by the clown lurking behind them thanks to the Halloween decorations from gracious host UserTesting.  Some of the highlights included:

Our panel discussed sales and marketing alignment, despite the scary clown lurking in the background, who was rumored to be the CEO of one of the attendees!

  • All four panelist agreed that Sales and Marketing Alignment was both something to do, and something to achieve.  Franco, who currently runs sales ops for Xactly, pointed out that this goal is always moving forward, and there is always more to do.
  • Jim, who is an operating partner at Costanoa Ventures,  provided a great framework when he emphasized that alignment really had to be along 3 dimensions, Strategy, Planning and Execution.
  • BJ, founder and Sales Optimization Architect at Foundation6, talked about how critical metrics were and the need for regular, ongoing communication and consensus.  Especially around the “Ideal Customer Profile”
  • Craig, founder and CEO of DWCC added how to move from early market to scale, how important it was to make sure that marketing was defining and communicating, and enabling sales to tell the right story, and how important customer value was.

All of the panelist seemed “aligned” on some other key items, including the importance of “street cred”, domain expertise, and customer intimacy for marketers.

The Dojo crowd had great questions on topics ranging from metrics, to analytics, to organizational challenges, like CMOs and Sales leaders who don’t get along, building trust and commitment, and what to do when the sales leader all of the sudden is running marketing too.

At the end, Frank summed it up nicely, when he said the number 1 skill that marketers need to align with sales is EMPATHY.  This was a great summary comment for a panel that while they believed heavily in analytics, metrics and technology, still seem to place a greater emphasis on communications, team work, and integrity.

Hopefully this summary captures some of the key highlights, but to really get the most out of these meet-ups, you have to be there.  And I hope to see you on December 5th for our next meet up where we will be chatting 1:1 with vArmour CEO Tim Eades, on what it takes to lead.  For more info on meetups, workshops and other cool stuff, visit and join the growing community at www.gotomarketdojo.com


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