Building Transparency and Trust Between Marketing and Sales

4 minute read

Upland Admin

Two years ago, the company I worked for was acquired by FactSet. As a result, I joined the FactSet marketing team, a much bigger and more mature marketing structure. Moving from a company of 150 people to one of 9,000, I knew I needed to observe and shift the way I was used to managing marketing.

At the time I arrived, the marketing team used a project management system developed in-house. Unfortunately, the technology had become outdated and could not give us the kind of flexibility, collaboration, transparency, or performance analysis we needed.

On the other hand, the content development process was scattered across many teams and we lacked a coordinated global marketing content hub. We decided to create a marketing content team, with the mission to centralize and scale content creation and to promote and educate on FactSet’s solutions and expertise, both internally and externally.

How We Built Transparency and Trust

To do so, we decided to adopt a full content operation and upgrade to a modern system capable of supporting it. At the time, some of our top-of-funnel content pieces were created without connection to an overall marketing or content strategy.

Take our blog, for example. All of the content we published there focused on blog growth targets rather than business growth targets. We were growing our base of blog subscribers, but was that helping to grow our customer base? We didn’t know. So we got to work on aligning it and all of our content around a core set of messages and strategies.

Getting aligned made life a little harder for everyone involved, I’ll admit. We all had to change the way we planned, executed and collaborated with one another. In our new model, when we get a request for a particular content piece, we have a team of specialists from the campaign side and from the content side working together to assess the request. They talk to the product and sales teams and then build the appropriate plans together.

Doing things this way definitely requires more coordination, but the effort is worth it.

Although sales and marketing worked well together before, they didn’t enjoy the same kind of partnership we are able to create today. This approach provides total transparency—and with it, greater trust.

We’ve also brought transparency into how we work with the strategic business units that build our products. Now we work with them seamlessly on campaigns for both new products as well as existing ones.

Where We Are Today

Over time, our content operation is expanding to include new content types. Today everything from product brochures and sales enablement content to the work of our new social media team is all in the same system.

Our new system provides data that wasn’t available before: We can see how content engagement is growing and which assets people are using. This insight allows us to better prioritize and understand which asset types are favored by our teams. For example, a heavily used sales deck is more important to keep up-to-date than asset types that aren’t as in-demand.

We’re also able to look at our content holistically and identify quick wins that we may not have thought about.

Combining the data with the growing number of content types is where what we’re able to do becomes very powerful. With multiple combinations of products, marketing needs to be able to give someone in charge of an entire product line a complete story. We need to say: There are this many events coming up that feature your solution, this many content pieces in place, this many under development, and so on. With a fully transparent content operation, we can be confident that we’re sharing a complete picture.

Our goal was to smooth things out between sales and marketing, and we have achieved that. But we have done something more than that, too. We’re building a foundation of trust that’s growing to serve the whole organization.


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