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Amber Armstrong on Prioritizing Trust & Clarity for Better Alignment

December 20, 2023

GTM Innovators episode 14 with Amber Armstrong

Operating a business without unified marketing and sales goals is like sailing without a compass: risky, directionless, and chaotic.

Marketing and sales leaders face the challenge of balancing different (and sometimes competing) priorities within their company – especially when there isn't agreement on the main goals. Misalignment leads to confusion, wasted effort, and missed chances to make a significant impact. And if your organization structure is complex, it can further intensify the issue. 

According to Amber Armstrong, regardless of how your organization is structured, marketing and sales teams should always share the same priorities. This shared understanding isn’t just about making things run smoothly within the team; it’s about enabling the entire venture to move forward cohesively and effectively. 

Amber Armstrong is the SVP and CMO of Salesforce Sales Cloud. She's passionate about applying art, science, and marketing and is committed to cross-business alignment. In the latest episode of GTM Innovators, Amber joined Mike Weir, G2 Advisor and former CRO, to discuss the strategies and tactics that make shared sales and marketing priorities a reality and the three key ways her team works toward effective alignment.

Achieving synchronized success

Let’s face it: sales and marketing have the same goal. They both want to drive business growth and increase revenues. Despite this, in most cases, sales and marketing operate in disparate silos, where they segregate information, success metrics, analytics, and all other data points. 

Amber shares how miscommunication between sales and marketing has existed in every organization she has been a part of. She believes it stems from the upfront misalignment around goals and the ill-defined responsibilities around driving those goals. 

"For organizations that are directly aligned to a set of products, taking an account-based marketing (AMB) approach is a successful way to drive the outcomes and alignment with the sales teams," she says. 

The sales and marketing teams can work together to optimize their resources. Marketing can pull the data and insights, and sales can provide the feedback based on customer interactions, resulting in synchronized priorities on which accounts they're going after and how. This paints a clearer picture and focuses the sales team on getting buy-in and alignment throughout the funnel.

But when many sellers operate at scale, marketing should drive influence and create focus among the sales team. "Marketing needs to act as an internal sales team essentially, ensuring sales represents products – whether or not they are solely focused on it – especially for multi-product vendors," says Amber.

“Marketing should operate with the lens of making things easier for sales, reducing friction between sellers and customers. That's the role of marketing, both in the early stage before the opportunity gets to the sales team, and after the sales team is already engaged with it.”

Amber Armstrong
SVP & CMO, Salesforce Sales Cloud

3 key tactics for driving alignment

Amber shares three critical programs she's leading at Salesforce to drive sales and marketing alignment. She emphasized the importance of thought leadership, leveraging organic traffic insights, and harnessing AI technology to enhance team collaboration and support.

1. Building thought leadership communities

The Salesblazer thought leadership program comprises a wide array of content templates and guides. It's a necessary part of Salesforce’s strategy because it aims to give back to their community - which includes people in varied roles like Salesforce admins, rev ops, sales ops, sellers, and sales leaders. The goal is to create helpful content for this community and offer it as a beneficial resource.

2. Driving organic web traffic

The second tactic involves generating organic traffic through effective content strategies. This enables them to connect with the right audiences and build their interest before a sales representative can engage them. By monitoring website traffic and analytics, they anticipate their potential customers' needs and interests, giving their sellers the advantage of knowing where to focus their efforts.

3. Generative AI capabilities and conversational insights

For the final strategy, Salesforce employs AI for "conversational insights," a tool to assess and understand seller-customer conversations. This service helps understand customer sentiments, perceptions of competitors, and other challenges faced during interactions. It also benefits the sales reps by using AI to summarize calls and automate task creation. 

AI technology strengthens the cohesion between sales and marketing, enabling both departments to understand customers better and support their needs.

Other learnings from Amber in this episode

Episode 14 of GTM Innovators with Amber includes other takeaways. Tune in to the whole conversation to learn about:

  • How companies can position these tactics to let sales teams find value in them
  • Which technologies Amber is using to enable these strategies effectively

Catch the full episode on YouTube to hear more from Amber. Subscribe to the GTM Innovators podcast for other insightful conversations with GTM experts - available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Amazon Music, and more.

GTM Innovators Podcast Click for GTM insights

The GTM Innovators podcast features candid conversations with leading B2B revenue and marketing experts. Tune in now to listen to this and other episodes!

GTM Innovators Podcast Click for GTM insights

The GTM Innovators podcast features candid conversations with leading B2B revenue and marketing experts. Tune in now to listen to this and other episodes!

Amber Armstrong on Prioritizing Trust & Clarity for Better Alignment In episode 14 of the GTM Innovators podcast, Amber Armstrong shares expert insights into how sales and marketing can align their priorities to drive growth.
Washija Kazim Washija Kazim is a Sr. Content Marketing Specialist at G2 focused on creating actionable SaaS content for IT management and infrastructure needs. With a professional degree in business administration, she specializes in subjects like business logic, impact analysis, data lifecycle management, and cryptocurrency. In her spare time, she can be found buried nose-deep in a book, lost in her favorite cinematic world, or planning her next trip to the mountains. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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