We had the chance to speak with Joanne Moretti, senior vice president marketing and sales enablement at Jabil, and hear about her thoughts on gaining executive support as a salesperson. Read on for a sneak preview of Joanne’s insights, which she’ll be sharing at our upcoming Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference, Conversations That Win!
Q. How have your past jobs prepared you for your role with Jabil today?
The organization I’m with now, Jabil, is relatively new to sales and marketing. Because of accelerated growth in the ‘90s and early 2ks, they saw exponential growth from a $2B company to an $18B company overnight. Today they need a new approach and a new go-to-market strategy to support their next era of growth, and my 25 years of experience leading product marketing, sales enablement and sales lend itself to this initiative for Jabil.
Q. What business problem or market opportunity are you most concerned with in your organization?
The pressures I face may be different than companies with a mature approach and who already embrace sales and marketing. The executives are now seeing the importance of proactively selling business value, because that’s how they want to be approached by suppliers, but my team and I need to work in a focused way at all levels of the company to get in this mode; i.e. “create opportunities versus react to them” as I like to say. Sales is the tip of the spear, but everyone in the organization needs to be aligned to deliver the customer-focused value proposition. Folks at Jabil are very smart and quickly grasp this top to bottom, left to right.
Q. What are you doing to equip your salespeople with the technology and skills to have conversations that win?
Our plan is to provide a one-stop-shop cloud-based, mobile-connected environment for the sales team to quickly access everything they need to be successful. We want to make it a contextual experience for the salesperson, as well, which means they get what they need at the right time in the sales cycle. I know I hated it when someone sent blanket memos out about a new something or other on the intranet. Intranets are dead as far as I’m concerned, and just-in-time enablement is key. This approach has improved productivity dramatically in my experience.
Q. In your presentation at our upcoming conference, you’ll be speaking about gaining customer executive support. What is the key here?
Brevity is key. You have to be able to articulate your value proposition in 5-8 minutes. You also need to be able to talk the language of finance and business and understand what’s driving their business. What are their key strategies and how are you mapping your solution to those strategies? It’s important to understand what’s standing between them and achieving their goals in order for you to quantify your value. And finally it’s important you pounce and be provocative in your approach before someone else does.
Q. How can someone effectively gain your support in a sales cycle?
If I get a call and a salesperson tells me that they have the best marketing tool on the planet, I hang up. But if a salesperson calls and says they understand that “Jabil is looking to improve share of wallet, and that we can help you transform an organization from a reactive organization to proactively positioning value propositions in order to improve share of wallet,” then they have my full attention. You see? They are speaking my language at that point and will get a meeting with me. I expect salespeople to do their homework and have the willingness to spend the time sitting down with my team and fleshing out the details. If someone can quantify the value and clarify how it will help my business, that’s how they can earn my support.
Q. What’s the #1 piece of advice you would give to your peers?
You need to understand your business strategy, and you need to establish your seat at the table. What are the goals and drivers for your company? Marketing and sales enablement is there to support your business and in order to succeed, you need to align and understand at all levels how exactly you can affect overall results and be willing to be measured accordingly.
Q. What are you looking forward to most at the Marketing and Sales Alignment conference?
I learn more every day, and I want to continue learning. If I were in a room where I think I know all of the answers, I’d go to another room. I’m looking forward to the conference because I really believe in the things I’ve learned from Corporate Visions, and I like hearing what my peers have to say.
For more Joanne, join us at our upcoming Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference, where she’ll be delivering a presentation called “I Sponsor NASCAR, Not Salespeople: How to Gain Customer Executive Support.”