MarTech Interview with Margaret Wise, Chief Growth Officer at ClickDimensions

While considering the use of marketing technology, what are some of the core repetitive functions that marketers should always automate? Margaret Wise, Chief Growth Officer at ClickDimensions shares a few thoughts:


What inspires you about B2B marketing and sales, how has your journey been through these years?

I love the opportunity to help businesses drive growth by creating better experiences. Many companies are still adjusting to the fact that B2C experiences are driving B2B expectations. Their competition includes their direct industry competition, but it also equally includes the competition for their customers’ attention and expectations. A company that spends thousands or millions of dollars a year with its manufacturing provider expects a heightened level of personalization and service that mirrors that of consumer interactions driven by companies like Dominos and USAA. They expect ease of doing business, transparency and personalization. 

I have always aligned with companies that offer high-value solutions and services in my career spanning CRM solutions and implementations to MarTech & CX digital agency services, and now ClickDimensions. I’m passionate about serving the midmarket and bringing high-quality, accessible and affordable solutions to companies that don’t have the deep pockets and bench of a company like Amazon. 

A favorite phrase of mine is “We aren’t saving lives, but we are saving businesses.” Helping businesses grow increases opportunity for their employees, customers and communities.

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We’d love to hear more about your role at ClickDimensions, a few takeaways from your first year as Chief Growth Officer?

There are three key takeaways I have from my first year at ClickDimensions.

  1. There is a massive level of need within the SMB and midmarket to offer robust solutions that smaller companies and teams can be successful using without expensive consultants or large teams. There is a gap between many start-up point solutions that fill in the MarTech Landscape and the enterprise solutions that simply don’t have a TCO that makes sense for a smaller team. I’m proud of how ClickDimensions helps meet that need with marketing technology for customers in the Microsoft ecosystem. 
  2. Success requires adoption, not just implementation. Customers should create adoption plans vs. implementation plans. Understand how you’ll get past the initial setup and into the adoption of multiple use cases within the solution. Customers who align that thinking to a plan to grow their marketing maturity see a much higher ROI.
  3. ClickDimensions has a team that is incredibly passionate about customer success. We have an internal mantra, ‘We Are Who We Serve.’ We are perfectly suited to serve the midmarket because we experience the same challenges as our customers. We leverage our experiences in many ways to deliver better solutions to our customers. 

Through your time in the B2B marketing-sales environment, what types of processes/strategies and MarTech-SalesTech have you often used to drive better output?

While I have always been focused on technology, I embrace that you must have a strategy supporting your use of technology. You must also be sure that strategy connects to measurable goals. You must also communicate that strategy to your team regularly. Finally, you must have a cadence of review and continuous improvement so your strategy, process and use of technology don’t become stale.

This ties back to the concept of having an adoption plan versus an implementation plan. From early in my career, I would advise customers to over-invest in training and include year 2 and 3 training in their 3-year TCO planning. I would now update that advice to include regular strategy and technology reviews. I don’t advocate chasing the ‘shiny new object’ in technology, but selectively adopt innovation that makes sense for your strategic goals. 

When considering the use of technology, I’ve always focused on automating repetitive actions in marketing and sales. What can ensure your team spends their time on the highest value activities?
As a leader, I also leverage tech to help manage and inspect the health of our pipeline by looking at the relationship and activity index of our opportunities. Using technology to review data frees up sales leadership time to focus on coaching.

In a digital-first marketing and sales environment, what does it really take for marketers and salespeople to drive customer value and impact while focusing on keeping healthy pipelines?

The most important thing to note about driving value and impact in a digital-first marketing and sales environment is that many of the most basic and reliable pre-pandemic sales and marketing tactics will never be effective again. The pandemic accelerated the shift to digital and remote, and we’re never going back. In fact, companies who don’t adapt quickly enough to meet their buyers’ digital-first preferences will end up with unfulfilled quotas, insufficient pipelines, and profits well below expectations – a revenue reckoning. 

However, there’s a path forward for teams looking to drive customer value and impact while focusing on healthy pipelines.

  1. Regenerate demand. Your funnel strategy must shift in time with the customer journey. Focus on growing and diversifying lead sources and on prospecting activities to influence the buyer’s journey. 
  2. Scrutinize pipeline. As you increase your focus on pipeline creation, make sure you have consistent standards on how a qualified opportunity is defined.
  3. Unify sales, marketing and tech teams. In today’s landscape, it’s critical that sales, marketing and IT departments function as one to create and execute plans that solve overall revenue objectives. This means driving collaboration and fostering unity among key players to help shape strategy and streamline operations. 
  4. Strengthen revenue operations. Businesses must work to strengthen the technology and data that supports revenue operations. Conduct a technology audit to identify any existing gaps and establish a single source of truth for data for all teams connected to revenue operations.

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How can B2B marketing and sales teams navigate their way through 2022 better than before?

B2B buyers have been migrating towards digital-first interactions long before the pandemic. This shift was inevitable because it’s how we buy things for ourselves in our consumer experiences. However, this shift created several new realities for B2B buying and selling.

For marketing and sales teams to navigate 2022 better than before, there are five important things to know about today’s buyers and their mindset.

  1. Every interaction is a calculated investment in time from someone who is increasingly busy and accustomed to getting what they want immediately.
  2. Prospects believe they can find any information they need on the internet and want to do research and exploration on their own, without the interference of a salesperson with ulterior motives.
  3. When they can’t find what they want or get overwhelmed with the universe of information, buyers want a concierge to help them get the information they need rather than search the web. And they want that concierge immediately. 
  4. Prospects would rather not spend time educating a seller; however, they do want confirmation that the seller understands their objectives.
  5. Buyers don’t want to repeat themselves to people or a computer, and they don’t respond well to conflicting messages.

These considerations have been increasing in importance for the past few years, but they have become even more important because of the most significant change to business practices brought on by the pandemic: the mass adoption of virtual meetings. 

We’d love to hear a few thoughts on your views on the global MarTech industry and predictions for 2022!

I have five industry predictions as we look ahead to the rest of 2022. 

  1. MarTech will continue evolving into RevTech. As the CMO role gains more accountability for driving revenue, MarTech will need to evolve into stronger attribution, prediction and analysis of pipeline activity and outcomes.
  2. RevTech leaders will need to think of each step of the customer journey in terms of the goals of the action (or job to be done) in the context of the customer need vs. the organizational process.
  3. There will be increased adoption of tools to drive scale in 1:1 selling activities, evolving from using technology for scale in 1:many selling activities.
  4. AI will no longer be considered a stand-alone concept but slowly permeate into each component of the tech stack.
  5. Marketing teams will lean heavily into blending external resources (contractors, agencies, partners) into internal teams to continue forward momentum during ‘The Great Resignation.’

Some last thoughts, takeaways, digital marketing and MarTech thoughts, tips and best practices before we wrap up!

I think it’s an interesting time to be in marketing and sales. The pandemic permanently altered the DNA of both functions, and teams today are left to think creatively and lean on new tactics to be effective. If I had to share a few tips and best practices to leverage in 2022, it would be these four.

Focus on the customer. As we’ve already discussed, personalization in today’s marketing and sales landscape is critical. If it wasn’t already, your focus should be on the customer. Talk to them. Take the time to truly understand your buyer and how their customer journey has shifted in today’s digital-first era. 

Prioritize data. Specifically, prioritize clean, enriched data that provides actionable insight. This is the key to knowing your customers and interacting with them in a personalized, micro-segmented way. 

Realistically re-evaluate your pipeline. Today, decision-making is slower and more consensus-based. Existing customer relationships have been leveraged to the max in the last 18 months. New business is stalling due to a lack of face-to-face interaction, especially in non-tech industries. Be prepared for longer sales cycles, and plan accordingly. 

Embrace technology and plan ahead. Many teams have permanently adopted hybrid work models—plan for a remote-first era of internal management of employee relationships, partnerships, prospects and customer interactions.

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ClickDimensions Launches Managed Marketing Services for CustomersClickDimensions is a leading marketing platform for Microsoft Dynamics, with more than 3,700 customers around the globe and a partner network that spans 76 countries today. As The Marketing Cloud for Microsoft Dynamics™, ClickDimensions is redefining how marketers work and attain results with the only unified marketing technology, analytics and services platform in the market – all made exclusively for and natively built within Dynamics.

Margaret Wise is the Chief Growth Officer of ClickDimensions, the leading marketing platform for Microsoft Dynamics. She has more than 20 years of experience helping companies leverage and attain results from their digital customer experience platforms. As an early influencer in the CRM space, Wise has a keen understanding of the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem, marketing technology and strategy. Most recently, she served as Chief Revenue Officer for Arke, a leading digital marketing services consultancy. Prior to that role, Wise served as VP of Sales for Zero2Ten (now Alithya), a globally recognized Dynamics partner.

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