Global Excellence Awards 2018

Acquisition International - Global Excellence Awards 2018 139 20 Acquisition International - Issue 10 2018 Your Allies offers strategic and hands-on support through a team of experienced part-time marketing directors. Recently, we profiled the firm and spoke to Linsay Duncan who provided us with a detailed insight into the secrets behind their extraordinary success. orking inside their clients’ business, as sales’ closest ally as part of the senior exec team, the team at Your Allies transform their B2B marketing performance. From ambitious growing businesses to established corporates, their clients span software and technology, finance, service-based business and other B2B sectors. Your Allies helps by leading, by executing and by mentoring. Clients bring the firm in to build up their marketing function, to problem-solve, to boost performance and mentor their marketers. Common problems we tackle include lagging marketing performance, lack of clarity on results, demonstrating ROI, lead generation levels and poor storytelling. Linsay begins by going into further detail about the approach taken when working with a new client and how they ensure right from the start the outcome meets the needs of everyone involved. “The starting point is to gain a deep understanding of the problem at hand, or the objective we’ve been brought into address. Meeting and interviewing key stakeholders in the leadership team forms a key part of this first phase. We then immerse ourselves in the business, digesting business and sales strategies, plans and results; familiarising ourselves with the products and services; and getting to know the customers. From the get-go we partner up with sales, to understand their goals, their sales cycle and process, their key challenges, their perception of marketing and setting out what shared success should look like. “From this point where we’ve gathered input from all key stakeholders, and have a sound understanding of their business, we can press on with our recommendations and implement what needs to be done.” As for the key attributes that are essential to creating success within the industry, Linsay is keen to inform us how the team at Your Allies are able to stay ahead of the game is this ever-changing industry. “Companies set up to truly tune into their clients and their industry - or in other words who listen – are far more likely to succeed. Surprisingly there are many which remain internally focused, bragging Company: Your Allies Name: Linsay Duncan Web Address: Address: International House, 24 Holborn Viaduct, London, EC1A 2BN Telephone: 0203 137 3343 Transforming B2B Marketing Performance W 1808AI27 about the merit of their products rather than taking a ‘Customer First’ approach. Agility and the ability to be flexible can so be a huge contributor to staying ahead. Those businesses where it’s possible to adapt to new trends, industry changes or a new business direction.” When discussing the challenges and opportunities she has faced during her time at the firm, Linsay reflects on how these factors have affected the Your Allies. “Challenges which we come up against time and time again relate back to poor sales and marketing alignment. In the worst cases, we see turf wars between rival teams, complete with boundary disputes, non-existent communication and open hostility. Competition rather than collaboration. Of course, it does not have to be this way. A well-run Sales and Marketing function should be mutually supportive – an engine of growth at the very heart of your business. In all my decades of experience running high level B2B marketing, the best businesses and brands are those with perfectly aligned teams: shared goals, shared vision, and, yes, even shared rewards. “How we approach this is to start with a realistic diagnosis. We aim to get to the bottom of the numbers (what’s converting, what’s not, how well aligned measurement is between the teams), understand key relationships and focus the conversation on sales objectives – long before we propose marketing support that’ll tackle weaknesses and strengthen sales and marketing alignment.” Moving forward, Linsay signs off by envisioning what the future holds for the firm and the exciting plans which lie in the pipeline. “Looking ahead, our plans are to continue growing as we have these past few years, supporting a select group of brilliant businesses. Moving into 2019, we expect to see a couple of our clients making headlines with some market-shaking propositions, which we’re hugely excited about. Additionally, we’re also bringing in experienced sales expertise, meaning we can offer our same flexible support but to the sales and commercial side of our clients’ businesses.”