A new Top 10 process helped eliminate frustration, surface pressing needs, and align sales and marketing

If you’ve ever worked at a Software as a Service (SaaS) company, you may have heard stories of Sales and Marketing teams not getting along. But why is this the case? Both groups share the same goals: evangelizing product benefits, landing flashy new clients, and growing existing relationships.

The disconnect, however, arises from the different ways the two groups work to achieve these goals. For example, Sales works to win customers one at a time. Marketing works to win customers at scale. As companies grow, the silo effect takes hold, and collaboration starts to suffer. It doesn't take long for teams to fall out of alignment and for frustrations to mount.

Sales and Marketing: In and Out of Sync

When I think about Sales and Marketing alignment at FullStory, it’s clear some things are working well. For instance, we're usually on the same page when we go to market with new features. We have a regular “pit crew” meeting where stakeholders from our Sales, Marketing, and Hugging families join forces to address challenges and explore areas where we can work more in sync. Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) help us gain visibility into the projects that other FullStory families currently have on their plates.

A few months ago, though, we realized some of our existing ways of working together weren’t actually working.

For instance, at many companies, Sales relies on Marketing to create new collateral to use throughout the sales process, and FullStory is no different. However, we lacked an efficient process for taking stock of these requests and prioritizing them. A seller might swing by the Marketing area to share an idea or request. Maybe they’d drop a Slack. Or they might even create a card in our project management platform asking for a new piece of content to be created. No matter how it surfaced, our lack of process made it hard to get a sense of how important any given request was, assess the type of impact it would have on sales overall, and assess the urgency of one request relative to another.

We needed a bionic solution—one that would scale with the demands of Sales and Marketing.

Reflecting on this problem, I realized that the solution might already exist. It’s called Top 10. Maybe you’ve heard of it.

Here’s How We Used Top 10 to Align Sales and Marketing

Our Product family already uses the Top 10 process to log customer feedback regarding which features are the most important. Periodically, we vote on which fixes should be prioritized. You can see how this played out with our recent Screen Resolution Breakdown release.

Given the success of Top 10 on the Product side, could Sales and Marketing adopt it, too? The only way to find out was to try.

At the beginning of the quarter, members of our Marketing team gathered some of our account executives (AEs) in a conference room to make our own Top 10 list. We talked through collateral ideas and asked questions such as:

  • How many prospects would you send this document to?
  • Would this existing piece of content meet that purpose?
  • Which of these ideas will have the greatest business impact?

At the end of the meeting, we voted on the ideas (using Post-Its on white boards) and the top priority quickly became clear.

The Top 10 process gave us a handy list of the best ideas, vetted and prioritized. Additionally, it created empathy between Marketing and Sales (a key ingredient in all good relationships!).

Now both Sales and Marketing can look to the future with confidence their needs will be shared and satisfied.