While it’s easier than ever to identify and reach your next potential customer, it has never been harder to engage with a prospect in a meaningful way. That was the common theme among speakers at ZoomInfo’s Growth Acceleration Summit, earlier this month in Boston.
The summit provided a bold call to action for harmonious workflows and strategies to propel cooperation. Seth Godin, keynote speaker and best-selling author, kicked off the two-day event by talking about the “connection economy.” The power of connection, he said, is ultimately the pulse that drives us forward. It’s also the overarching environment that permits the “four pillars” of connectivity–coordination, trust, permission marketing via relevancy of messaging, and the exchange of ideas–to blossom, he explained.
Godin encouraged attendees to unleash the artist within through connectivity and generosity, for only then will they possess what it takes to do something of meaning, something different. “All a purple cow is is remarkable, worth making a remark about,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jay Acunzo, host of the award-winning marketing podcast Unthinkable and former digital media strategist at Google, challenged attendees to drop the ordinary and pick up where no else left off.
“It has never been easier to be average,” Acunzo said. “If we don’t have an idea or an answer, we can find and follow everyone else’s. So can everyone else. And, so, too much of our work copies. It blends in or fades away in the minds of our audience. So, while it’s never been easier to be average, the question becomes, ‘What does it take be exceptional?’”
Acunzo also warned about the Information Age’s dark side: advice overload. “There are no secrets,” he conceded. “There’s only hard work done with the right intent.”
Thoughts On Alignment
Also a big topic at the summit: best practices vital for unleashing individual potential to eventually perfect team performance.
Cybereason CMO Mike Volpe, for one, described his approach to building a world-class marketing team, saying he learns “so much more about a marketer from their digital footprint, even more so than from their resume.” Volpe also stressed the importance of marketing and sales alignment, stating that “a good marketer understands the sales funnel, can process large amounts of data, and can see big picture goals.”
From the sales track, Trish Bertuzzi, CEO of the Bridge Group, and Patrice Greene, president of Inverta, role-played tough scenarios that sales and marketing executives face. Advising to ditch old thinking about sales and marketing “alignment,” the duo concluded that both functions need to spend less time focusing on KPIs and instead turn their attention to actual business results.
Greene called for both teams to ask one question: “What patterns can we identify that have correlated to the successful business outcome we’re looking for?” Bertuzzi piggybacked: “Before, marketing executed campaigns and sales waited for results. These days, sales teams should be active participants in the play strategy and have control of the impact and success.”
Now, one last takeaway of my own, also on the topic of alignment: The Age of Connectivity requires internal alignment. Whether you’re chasing revenue targets, implementing new technologies, or scaling your teams, nothing happens in a vacuum. You’ll need to lean on your counterparts to get the job done and make a difference.