Building Sales & Marketing Alignment

How ‘The Pickle Boys’ aka Junior Lartey & Taylor Dahlem used a peer prospecting campaign to foster and grow alignment between sales and marketing.

Our Guest

Name: Junior Lartey

What He Does: Junior is “That One Pickle Guy.” He’s a Senior AE, Podcast Host, and a LinkedIn profile you should follow (if you’re into sales content).

Company: Pickle 🥒

How to Connect: Junior’s LinkedIn

Name: Taylor Dahlem

What He Does: A former full-cycle sales rep turned content guy, Taylor runs all things marketing at Pickle. He co-hosts Pickle’s podcast, How I Deal, with Junior.

Company: Pickle 🥒

How to Connect: Taylor’s LinkedIn

When you hear the words “sales and marketing alignment,” what image does it conjure?

📺 A Zoom meeting with the heads of each department hashing out strategy?

🎯 A carefully executed ABM campaign that hits target accounts with a succinct, powerful message?

⚙️ Tech that enables the two teams to work with one another in a seamless fashion?

How about memes?

Alignment is tricky. It means different things to different people. And in the case of our guests, Taylor and Junior of Pickle, it meant proving out and working closely together on a peer prospecting campaign.

Junior’s idea & execution + Taylor’s support & long-term strategy = a happy and healthy pipeline, strong brand identity, and the early phases of sales & marketing alignment.

We chat about the origins of Junior’s peer prospecting campaign, how he and Taylor work with and support each other, and what other campaigns lie ahead now that foundational alignment is set.

And yes, we talk about memes. Because they’re a lot more important than you might think.

Play Video

Key Takeaways

  1. Let’s lay the groundwork – what is “peer prospecting?”

  2. Junior – how and why did you start the peer prospecting campaign?

    • When did you make the decision to bring Taylor in? And what was that process like?

  3. What did Pickle produce from the marketing side of things to support Junior?

  4. If Taylor never got involved, what do you think would have happened to the campaign overall?

  5. Has this experience helped you run more coordinated campaigns? What has this done for the future of sales & marketing alignment at Pickle?

Top 3 Takeaways

📈 “If we don’t stop and make time for each other, Pickle’s not going to be successful.”

Sales and marketing folks are (presumably) working towards the same goals, but how they go about it is different. Marketing builds brand awareness and brings in leads, while sales builds relationships and closes deals…but there’s obvious overlap here. Marketing might not close deals and sales might not build a brand, but the two activities directly impact each other.

You’re better off working together than you are apart, and the team at Pickle has realized that. Offering up your time to help out your department counterpart can pay dividends in the long run.

📝 “Now we’re working on an additional piece of marketing content that all stems from this little campaign from a simple, quick idea.”

Here’s what usually happens after a successful sales campaign: Junior (the AE) makes a LinkedIn post with a few screenshots about the success of his idea. It gets solid engagement. Then it dies, and he goes back to being an AE.

In Pickle’s case, Taylor saw opportunity. Junior was collecting a ton of valuable data – competitor information, email addresses, identifying decision-makers…it’d be a shame to let that all go to waste. So on top of using Junior’s campaign to enrich data in their CRM, he began to write and promote articles based on the information Junior was pulling.

This was truly a win-win situation for them both. Recognizing that made alignment a heck of a lot easier.

💡 “I’m not the only one who’s come up with ideas…”

Alignment, and in this case content ideation & creation, is a two-way street. It can’t always be sales going to marketing with an idea/looking for support. Marketing can come up with ideas that they run by the sales team for confirmation/examples.

Taylor and Junior truly understand where each other excels.

Taylor looks to Junior for “the receipts” as he calls it. Can he confirm a hypothesis, provide email response screenshots, or add insight into a topic? Taylor is creating content for AEs, and as an AE Junior has a lot he can bring to the table here. And it’s a lot more personal than doing research online.

Junior looks to Taylor for polish and distribution. Having an idea is great, but knowing how to flesh that idea out and get it in front of your audience is better. Junior has a ton of insight that can not only help their audience, but drive sales (you know, his job). They’ve even done some post-mortem stuff and looked through old email responses to create new ideas and campaigns.

They look for win-win-win scenarios. Taylor gets a boost in web traffic, Junior gets a boost in credibility, and Pickle gets both.

Our Favorites

🖼️ “Nothing communicates quite like a well-designed meme.”

This might not be universally true, but it is for Pickle. This is a great example of Taylor and Junior knowing their audience – something that was much easier to do when they collaborated on projects together. Alignment not only helps you create a cohesive message, it helps you target the right people with that message.

Want to see the Spiderman meme that started it all? Pickle’s peer prospecting breakdown is here.

🎙️ Just do it.

“The ‘How I Deal’ podcast was an evening of him and I texting back and forth, and the next day I had a logo.”

It’s that easy…kind of (we don’t want to give away all of the podcasting secrets). The birth of Pickle’s podcast is a great example of what can happen when sales and marketing are aligned – and when those departments (or people) are fully bought in.

“This is a badass idea, let’s deploy it” should be a lot more common than it is. Be supportive! Even if you think it might fail (just hold back the “I told you so” language).

🏆 Build internal champions.

Just like you build a champion as a salesperson, you have to build champions internally. Make friends with people in other departments, share the stuff you’re working in, and get them to buy in to your ideas.

Remember to look for win-win-win scenarios! Help yourself, your champion, and the organization as a whole.

Final Thoughts

Hey listener – AJ here 👋

This is the quote that really stuck with me in our conversation with Taylor and Junior:

“You can deploy fast, you can move fast, when there is alignment between sales and marketing.”

For Pickle and other small teams, alignment is a no-brainer. But at larger organizations where it can be difficult to build champions in other departments, building alignment is tough.

But the benefit outweighs the effort 100% of the time.

If you can deploy quickly, you can pivot quickly. And for a lot of organizations, the ability to pivot and try new things is a huge blocker to success.

Whether it’s with a different department, with your reps/manager, or with leadership, alignment can help you plan and execute ideas at a pace previously impossible.

Like Taylor (and definitely no one else ever) said, sometimes you have to just do it.

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