How Sales & Marketing Alignment Helped Criterion Conferences Revolutionize Their ROI

Sales and marketing misalignment is a common issue that keeps altogether too many B2B companies from realizing their true lead generation and conversion potential. Fortunately, with the right digital tools, it can also be fairly simple to solve! Here’s how Criterion Conferences used Pardot to fix their sales and marketing alignment problems once and for all.

Need qualified leads? Start by aligning sales and marketing.

Criterion Conferences is a B2B2C (Business to Business to Consumer) events company, focused on learning and development for senior executives. In their business, it’s essential for their marketing teams to be able to generate a high volume of qualified leads through email and digital ad campaigns. Those leads are then transferred to the sales team, which works to convert them.

To accomplish all of this as seamlessly as possible, it’s essential for Criterion’s sales and marketing teams to be clearly aligned. Their company has discovered that the level of alignment they need is easy to achieve using Pardot, which their teams use together to score and grade leads, build nurture journeys and campaigns, craft landing pages and forms, and so much more.

Sales and marketing shouldn’t be seen as competitors.

Before they turned to Pardot, Criterion Conferences was facing a number of challenges. They’d grown their business on a customer relationship manager they’d built themselves, with many bespoke systems and processes.

Their sales and marketing departments were actually seen as competing revenue drivers, not complementary business units meant to work in tandem. As such, there was no alignment, and many people throughout Criterion were confused about the role marketing was really meant to play in the business.

Digital transformation is key to sales and marketing collaboration.

Due to all of these issues, Criterion Conferences decided it was time to invest in digital transformation. After shopping around for marketing automation vendors, Criterion chose Pardot because of its seamless integration with Sales Cloud. Still, at the start, there was a learning curve: the team wasn’t initially sure how to fully leverage the powerful platforms.

With a little time and practice, though, the teams at Criterion discovered that these new technologies could actually facilitate organizational change and bring new wins to the business. By integrating marketing with both outbound and inbound sales, they gained end-to-end visibility and attribution across sales — establishing a spirit of collaboration and shared understanding between the three departments.

Sales and marketing alignment = social media success.

In the year after implementing new alignment between sales and marketing, Criterion Conferences saw a 25% increase in revenue. By integrating Pardot with Zapier, the company was also able to reinvent its LinkedIn advertising campaigns.

They started engaging with audiences on the platform in a new way: through lead gen forms that serve audiences relevant content, double-opt them in, and immediately marketing-qualify engaged leads in real time. Before this integration, Criterion had been losing money on LinkedIn advertising… but immediately afterwards, they quadrupled their LinkedIn return on investment!

With sales and marketing aligned, you can start planning future innovations.

Andrew Savage, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Criterion Conferences, says that the company is now “looking to go even further with our nurturing, to develop a journey model that can determine if we can take certain prospects from end-to-end without sales involvement — or push them out to sales, when they may need help to move them along the funnel.”

Savage also says that the sales and marketing teams at Criterion are “loving the integration with Lightning,” and that they are looking forward to “any [data-based] developments that further insights into segmentation and intelligent automation.” The new updates to Einstein are also of interest, as Savage says they’ll enable “a more agile lead scoring approach that adapts quickly to engagement.”

Make sales and marketing alignment simple with Pardot.

Without sales and marketing alignment, B2B companies can’t generate and convert leads as effectively — it just doesn’t work. After all, the departments should complete each other, not compete with each other.

As Criterion Conferences discovered, sales and marketing alignment is best achieved through cloud-based digital solutions like Pardot, which seamlessly enable open communication and understanding between teams, and easily integrate with other cloud software. That way, you can quickly eliminate confusion and miscommunication — making it simpler than ever to focus on mutual sales and marketing success and start planning future wins!

Read more about sales and marketing alignment here.

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