Revenue Marketing Radio Podcast: Kelly Dickson, Marketing Operations and Inside Sales Leader, CommScope

Revenue Marketing Radio Podcast: Kelly Dickson, Marketing Operations and Inside Sales Leader, CommScope


Marketing and Inside Sales Partner to Orchestrate the Customer Life Cycle

As more companies adopt a customer-centric strategy, creating a holistic view and understanding of the entire customer life cycle is mission critical. In order to accomplish this initiative, marketing is partnering with other groups inside the company that touch the customer in a significant way. One such group is inside sales.

We recently interviewed Kelly Dickson, Global Revenue Marketing Operations Manager and Inside Sales Leader at CommScope to learn her secrets of success in this new collaboration. Kelly brings a unique perspective in having run both marketing operations and now inside sales. We discussed how she:

  • Implemented the charter of a global marketing operations department
  • Defined the customer life cycle
  • Switched from marketing to sales
  • “Skilled up” the inside sales team to work with marketing

The Rise of Marketing Operations at CommScope

Kelly is a 6-year Revenue Marketing veteran having began her journey and CommScope’s journey in 2012 with an implementation of Marketo and SalesForce. As marketing grew in sophistication, marketing operations grew as a natural extension. At CommScope, the charter of marketing operations is to drive business through technology and process development and optimization. Marketing operations aligns to marketing and company goals and as the goals of the business changes, so do the goals of the marketing operations team.

The Definition of Customer Life Cycle at CommScope

For too long, B2B marketers have had the responsibility for only a sliver of the customer journey – mostly the awareness stage. As a result, marketing was largely responsible for passing MQLs to sales with the hope that sales would actually follow up. You already know where this story is heading – lack of follow up and lack of conversion. In the early days of Revenue Marketing, this process was referred to (and still is) as the lead life cycle. A better name for it should be The Leaky Faucet because it is so consistently problematic.

In 2016, CommScope decided to address their leaky faucet by re-defining the customer life cycle from end to end and as part of a continuous relationship. Kelly shared that gathering representatives from every part of the company, sitting them in a room for one week and designating one poor soul to play the role of the customer was the best thing they ever did. From this exercise, a single definition of the customer life cycle was created and all the roles and responsibilities for customer engagement was defined. This new definition created the foundation for a big change in how inside sales was deployed and operationalized.

The Switch to Inside Sales

More frequently than ever before we are seeing Revenue Marketers assume responsibility for some part of the sales organization. With this new responsibility comes new insights for both the Revenue Marketer and the sales organization. At CommScope, the revamping of the customer life cycle exposed a gap that the inside sales group could fill. To run this group around this new goal, it just made sense for Kelly to take on the role. She knew the systems and the value that marketing could bring to inside sales achieving quota. Kelly learned to think, plan and execute through a sales lens and the sales team learned how to use the intelligence and systems provided by marketing to improve their performance. It was a win-win.

“Skilling-Up” the Inside Sales Team

Kelly was challenged with having to train a team of new employees to the company as well as the seasoned veterans. She customized the training on product knowledge, lead life cycle management, use of CRM and social selling accordingly. While not all were enthusiastic, most agreed the new approach was pretty amazing. Six months into the initiative the inside sales teams have adopted all the processes, walk and talk the language and are now teaching outside sales some of the key aspects.


Kelly is passionate about the power of understanding, documenting and operationalizing customer-centricity across all groups of the company. Her best advice is to GET IT DONE! Don’t delay and involve every part of the organization!

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About Debbie Qaqish
Debbie is a nationally recognized thought leader, innovator and speaker in Revenue Marketing with more than 30 years of experience applying strategy, technology and process to help B2B companies drive revenue growth. She is the author of the award winning book – “Rise of the Revenue Marketer,” Chancellor of Revenue Marketing University, and host of Revenue Marketer Radio (WRMR). Debbie has been at the forefront of the marketing automation phenomenon, first as a beneficiary, and now as an advocate and expert. She is a frequent speaker and writer on topics related to Revenue Marketing transformation, leadership, change management, sales and marketing alignment, ROI, content, organization, talent and marketing operations. She coined the term “Revenue Marketer” in 2011. As a principal partner and chief strategy officer of The Pedowitz Group, Debbie is responsible for developing and managing global client relationships, as well as leading the firm’s thought leadership initiatives. Debbie is also PhD candidate and her dissertation topic is how the CMO adopts financial accountability in an e-marketing environment.

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  • Posted by Debbie Qaqish
  • On 08/10/2017

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