With Maria Velasquez, Director of Demand Generation at Feroot Security
Maria Velasquez, Director of Demand Gen at Feroot Security, speaks about sales and marketing alignment. She shares what to consider when looking for a new role, the importance of SLAs in marketing, and actually getting sales buy-in.
Maria Velasquez is the Director of Demand Generation at Feroot Security. She co-hosts the Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing Podcast and is co-founder of the Cybersecurity Marketing Society. She started her marketing journey with aventri (formerly etouches) before joining Feroot Security.
Are there different types of marketing ops professionals?
Originally MOPs roles were very much admin, a service function of the marketing team. Now there is a movement within the MOPs world that no, we’re not just the service tickets unit. We can very much be part of those strategy talks. If we are part of strategy talks early, we can avoid so many delays in campaign building or even strategy building and execution later down the road.
You need the strategists from MOPs at the table to tell the dreamers on the marketing team what might not be possible on the current tech stack that we have. Or that they have a great idea but it can’t be done with what we have today so if you want that, we’ll have to get something else. Sometimes there’s a workaround, but sometimes there isn’t.
MOPs should be very much part of the strategic team within the marketing function. That’s part of what makes them special.
What do you think about SLAs between sales and marketing?
They're a great first step and at least defining and documenting our thoughts onto paper bBut they can be the life or death of a sales and marketing alignment. You have to be very careful with how simple or complex you want to go. That depends on the size of your teams and the existing relationship between sales and marketing.
If you're doing it very early on, it would be cool to do it together and right. Then the sales leadership feels like they're part of it and they can champion it across to their team. If the sales leader doesn't believe in it, they’re not going to care if their team isn’t changing the lead status of a rejected MQL.
I like to think of it as just a documentation of the entire journey from what marketing does to generate leads, what it does to nurture it, and how it qualifies it. It can cover the sales and marketing handover, which is a very critical point. It also helps to document what marketing expects the sales team to do with MQL that they've been handed.
It's really nice to have that entire process documented. Then you can start to see what part of the process needs to be addressed and improved. It also gives the chance for an open loop of feedback from the sales team on what marketing is doing.
How can you make sure you have buy-in from sales?
I tell sales we have something in place. These are the repercussions if we don't actually follow it. Your demo requests are gonna fall through the cracks. You're going to lose out on revenue. If you put it in that context for a salesperson, they pay attention and do something about it.