February 23, 2022

How CMOs Can Redefine the Path to Revenue with Intent and Engagement

Mariana Cogan
How CMOs Can Redefine the Path to Revenue with Intent and Engagement

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Modern marketers are all facing the same challenge right now: pressure to deliver more revenue with fewer resources – and they are struggling to keep up with growing expectations. But with more than 60% of the buyer’s journey happening online, it can feel impossible to drive that kind of change.

And CMOs are feeling the pain first. Just ask our own CMO, Mariana Cogan

“You have to deliver more revenue without increasing your cost,” Cogan says, “so you constantly have to be more efficient and effective at how you do things. That’s the problem CMOs are solving for.”

Adding to the challenge, the tools CMOs traditionally count on just aren’t fast enough to deliver the performance needed.

“You need to deliver pipeline really fast, especially digitally,” Cogan says. “And regretfully, most of the traditional toolkit of the CMO is too focused on the long term. They have brand, storytelling, launching campaigns. These can all take months. And right now, the board wants CMOs printing pipeline in a month.”

If you’re relying on the same old tactics to deliver on rising expectations, you will fall short. Modern revenue leaders are redefining the road to revenue with an approach that leverages data, technology, and actionable insights.

Connecting Digital Threads to Uncover the Fastest Path to Revenue

In a digital world where buyer engagement is so scattered, leveraging all of the valuable data that comes from various platforms and tools is not just a “nice to have” anymore. It’s mission-critical – and it powers your revenue engine. For many enterprises, a big missing piece of the tech stack puzzle is a tool that unifies all of the data to provide actionable insights, so they can better fuel the tools that help teams drive better business outcomes. That’s where People.ai comes in.

“As I’m trying to create more revenue and pipeline,” Cogan observes, “the only way to be able to produce more is through digital transformation — that is, leveraging technology to solve people’s problems.”

But the toolset isn’t the only thing that needs to “transform.” To rise to the new challenges they face today, CMOs need to use these new tools to also transform their own processes. 

“It’s really about how do you build a revenue, operations, and intelligence engine,” notes Cogan. “This is a way bigger conversation than a campaign.”

So, how does that transformation begin? It’s more intuitive than you may think: According to Cogan, start by simply identifying the challenges holding you back from performing as well as you want to be right now. In her previous role as SVP of Marketing at industrial technology giant PTC, Cogan tackled three key areas to begin.

“I was going to have to find a way to work smarter, not harder. I had three major challenges:

  1. I was casting the net too wide
  2. I didn’t have customer insights, so I was flying blind, and…
  3. I wasn’t meeting customers where they were.”

By using new tools to address these new challenges, CMOs combine intent with sales engagement, analytics with action. The goal? To redefine their processes and deliver remarkable results that elevate the impact of marketing. Here’s how Cogan did it, step by step:

  1. Narrowing the net with intent

All great marketing efforts have a true understanding of the buying group. But Cogan took it a step further by drilling down into buyers who were primed to purchase now with account-based marketing intent data.

Account-based marketing starts with intent. Using tools like 6sense or Demandbase, CMOs gain unprecedented visibility into their target audience’s behavior. With access to behavioral information, marketing teams can begin to measure “intent,” or, why their tracked audience is interacting with their content. 

Intent gives teams insight into the dark funnel so they can better focus their efforts on the right accounts.

  1. Winning customer insights with account engagement

Intent is a start, but it isn’t enough. Even prospects that behave in similar ways may respond differently to your approaches. This is when sales engagement data becomes essential. “Intent doesn’t have account planning, in a sense. Intent doesn’t really have the historical data. It can’t tell you who you’re engaging with and who you’re not engaging with.” 

But when Cogan automated and surfaced sales data entry with help from People.ai’s tools, she suddenly had access to all the information she required on how customers were behaving and what they responded to. 

“6sense and cookies can get you intent, but engagement is much more involved,” Cogan says. “Either your reps are manually entering data and like 60% of it gets lost, or you have a tool like People.ai that’s catching all of it.”

When Cogan started capturing all of this engagement data, she found a way to use it alongside the intent data she was already collecting to… 

  1. Meet customers where they are

Improved intent and account engagement functionalities accelerate ABM when they’re expertly combined. “By adding account management to intent, you really know how to close deals,” Cogan states. “With intent and sales engagement, you can see both who you’re interacting with and who you should be interacting with at all times.”

When CMOs have intent and engagement data presented side-by-side within their CRM, they have a readymade, reliable plan for delivering the pipeline their board needs as soon as possible. 

“When you have high intent and low engagement, it makes the life of a CMO easier, because you can very easily deliver pipeline there,” Cogan says. 

​​After leveraging People.ai to build their pipeline printing machine, Cogan’s team quickly delivered incredible results:

  • Sourced 75,000 new GDPR-compliant contacts into their CRM
  • Identified the buying unit on more than 10,000 opportunities and linked key personas to increase win rates
  • Produced an actionable playbook to accelerate ABX that generated $20 million dollars in pipeline, including $13.5 million in pipeline for PTC’s IoT and Augmented Reality segments in the first six months of operation.

This approach won the SiriusDecisions 2020 Program of the Year award.

If you have big pipeline goals this year and want to operationalize intent and sales engagement at your enterprise, get in touch or explore all the ways People.ai helps marketing teams measure what matters and lead strategic growth.

Learn all of the ways People.ai can  drive revenue growth for your business