Intelligent Marketer Podcast Episode 17: How to Align Sales & Marketing for Better Customer Engagement w/ Rachel Noble


What is the single most important point of focus throughout the entire sales cycle of a customer?


The most successful teams push customer engagement all the way through the sales cycle and understand that people like to be marketed to differently depending on which stage of the cycle they are in.

There’s a reason you’re not supposed to show up for a first date in a tux with a ring in your back pocket… it’s too much too fast!  The same principle applies to engaging your customers through your sales cycle.

Constant engagement from prospective new customers to repeat business requires a thorough understanding of your ideal customer profile and what they require at different points of the sales cycle.

In today’s episode of The Intelligent Marketer, we are joined by Rachel Noble, a Marketo Consultant from Digital Pi, to talk about successfully engagement through the sales cycle as well as Tech Stack integration challenges and the future of marketing!

Successful Teams

Rachel has found over the years that you really can’t separate engagement from the sales cycle, they go hand in hand.  

A lot of clients that work with Rachel at Digital Pi have specific revenue numbers in mind that they need to hit in order to meet their goals for the year.  Rachel steps in to demonstrate how they can reach these goals by focusing on true engagement from their ideal customers.

Successful teams start by very intentionally focusing on internal alignment.  Marketing, Sales Development Reps, Account Executives, and Customer Success Reps all need to be on the same page when deciding how to engage customers.  Weekly meetings with all of these people in the same room help to facilitate communication and to breed a culture where sales & marketing are supporting one another.

Rachel’s most successful client she ever consulted obsessed about finding out exactly what customers did and did not like about interacting with their company.  The company spent three full days in meetings to ensure that in all stages, from prospecting through landing repeat business, customers were engaging positively.  

They even pulled in one person from the Billing Team for their input on customer relations.  This might sound like there were too many cooks in the kitchen, but something as unexciting as billing can be can have a major impact on whether or not a client enjoys doing business with your company.  

This series of meetings helped Rachel’s client discover how to market to their customers at different stages of the sales cycle.  Tactics and content were generated specifically surrounding the different stages to help guide the customers through.

For example, starting customers off with Facebook ads and opportunities to see your brand as a thought leader in your industry through lead magnets allows them to begin to build trust.  Additionally, buying gifts for customers as a welcome or to demonstrate appreciation for them resigning serves to develop the relationship and keep them engaged!


Integration Challenges

Marketo allows for a complicated Tech Stack.  Some of the most intricate Tech Stacks include integration for SFDC, banner ads, direct mail, social platforms, sales calls, and even ordering & purchasing.  These stacks can be used to score leads, assist in determining how to best engage with prospects & customers, and to generate campaigns designed to get people excited about your brand.

This doesn’t mean there are not challenges and pitfalls to overcome when integrating a complicated Tech Stack.  More is not always better, and the “set it and forget it” mentality does not work. It is vital to be constantly reviewing your Tech Stack and deciding to drop software when it has become Shelfware.  

Be intentional about adding new software. Don’t just go along with the crowd if the latest and greatest software doesn’t match what you actually need to grow your business.

Chances are that you are dealing with large amounts of data as a marketer, and data integrity is massively important.  Integrating this amount of data can require you to hire a data hygienist to ensure you are left with high quality data.  If you don’t have deliverable email addresses, you won’t get your content in front of people!

Don’t be afraid to test different data vendors either before making a purchase decision. At Rachel’s previous company, they tested 30 different vendors before arriving at the right solution.  It’s just that important!

The Future of Marketing

To close out her time on The Intelligent Marketer, Rachel talked about the future of marketing; specifically, she spoke about predictive learnings, aligning sales & marketing, and defining success for future marketers.

Big Data, AI, Machine Learning, and various other types of predictive learning are still developing. These are all tools that can be used to expand your pool of prospects and help you match content with people who are actually interested in it.  These advanced predictive technologies can help you figure out who to reach out to and when, but your content still needs to be top notch. Advanced predictive learnings will not be a replacement for high quality content and a fundamental understanding of how to engage with your customers.

We talked about it at length above, but it is worth repeating.  Rachel views the alignment of sales & marketing as crucial to the success of engaging your customers, and that is not going away anytime soon.  It might sound old fashioned, but getting in the same room as one another and hashing out tactics, goals, and strategies can do wonders for both marketing and sales.


The Marketo conference this year had a theme of “Fearless”, and Rachel knows that word is vital to the success of future marketers.  As young marketers, the more you can throw yourself into the unknown with an attitude of adaptability and a tenacity for problem-solving, the better off you will be.  Marketing is moving so fast that if you wait around for answers to come to you, it will be too late; go seek out answers proactively!

This post is based on a Intelligent Marketer podcast with Rachel Noble. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to the Intelligent Marketer Podcast here. If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to the podcast here.


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