The next interview conducted in this thought leadership series on sales and marketing alignment is with Kelly Kucera, VP Marketing at SYSPRO.
SYSPRO is a leading global Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software provider targeting key manufacturing and distribution industries.
1. Demand generation succeeds due to an “integrated funnel” marketing approach
2. Content connects the journey of prospects through top, middle and bottom of funnel
3. Fully integrated sales & marketing plans ensure that silos do not form and shared goals are achieved
4. Industry verticalization facilitates the ability to speak the customer’s language
US Marketing Team
While the US marketing team’s focus is predominantly demand generation for the regional sales and channel partners, SYSPRO USA also manages regional social media, case studies, brand compliance and corporate campaigns in collaboration with their corporate offices and global channel partners.
Kelly’s approach to marketing programs is to marry top of funnel content (brand awareness) with middle of funnel (value proposition) and bottom of funnel conversion tactics (e.g. solution messaging). Kelly summarized the approach as funnel marketing and managing the intersection of earned and paid media content. Kelly expanded on this point to state that the goal is to implement an integrated sales & marketing plan eliminating silos and developing shared priorities and goals.
Digital Marketing Emphasis
Kelly said that, due to COVID, last year’s in-person events had to be replaced with effective digital efforts. This is driven mostly with brand amplification efforts via paid digital, webinars and strategic content. They deliver thought leadership and other content through a PR agency but also largely through their own channels like blogs, webinars and co-marketing programs.
Industry verticalization is important in order to be able to speak in the customers’ language. Kelly said “… when positioning value proposition, we are talking about pain points and solutions to those pain points. We will always want them tailored so that customers feel the message is speaking to them.”
Kelly also discussed how buyer intent behavior is a key aspect of a demand generation plan. Her teams invest effort in capturing and understanding what competitive advantages and vulnerabilities may exist in their competition. With this information, and in combination with intent signals, they then aggressively pursue competitive knock-out campaigns. This is a highly successful program that illustrates the close ties between the SYSPRO sales and marketing teams.
SYSPRO targets mid-market companies in the areas of manufacturing and distribution. Their differentiation is based around their expertise and how it aligns to the depth & breadth of their customers’ business in both products and services. This is demonstrated by the industry-specific case studies they have gathered over time. This expertise permeates their entire organization – including their sales team.
Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
While the landscape is always evolving, Kelly said that SYSPRO buyer personas are interested in growth, operational efficiency, integrated reporting and digital transformation. This means engaging with folks in the finance and accounting groups in addition to contacts in manufacturing and operations management, as well as reaching the C suite. SYSPRO stays on top of their target personas with active survey & market research efforts to help drive feedback loops.
Sales & Marketing Alignment
SYSPRO aligns their sales and marketing teams with shared metrics like net new revenue, number of leads and marketing contribution to pipeline. The marketing team takes a data-driven approach to serving their sales team. The two functions meet regularly to review campaign progress and strategize on new opportunities. This attention to detail is used to constantly refine processes and programs. Marketing attends weekly sales pipeline reviews. Marketing also routinely evaluates conversion rates on MQLs to SQLs to opportunities. The team sits in on QBRs with the sales team and partners. They refer to this coordinated effort as “smarketing” to represent the involvement of both sales and marketing.
Kelly closed our time together by explaining the importance and continued investment SYSPRO USA is making in customer lifecycle management as driven by their Chief Customer Officer. Understanding the entire customer journey is critical to SYSPRO’s continued success.