For most sales organizations, July marks the time for quarterly business reviews (QBR). If you are on a standard fiscal year, you are at the half way point. The sales leader is usually deep into these reviews. He may or may not be pulling you, the Marketing Leader, into these meetings. If he has not, your marketing value is in jeopardy.
You’re asking yourself, “Why does the sales leader not see value in my efforts?” You have implemented lead generation with marketing automation. You’re now creating great content to feed your marketing automation. The content is driving leads because it’s responding to your buyer’s needs in his journey. The sales leader should see the value you’re providing in leads. But he/she does not.
What happens? When sales numbers are missed, marketing if often blamed. Budget reductions easily find their way to marketing. Dollars can easily shift out of your hands and into other initiatives. You don’t want this to happen.
How do you prevent this? Get engaged in generating revenue, and receive credit where it is deserved. Show the organization that you are the revenue generating machine. Do this by diving into sales QBRs with enthusiasm and active engagement. This is the perfect time to perform quarterly benchmarking to showcase marketing’s effectiveness. It’s also the time to engage in discussions with insightful contribution. Drive discussions with how Marketing can help Sales hit their targets.
The outcome of an engaged QBR marketing presence will result in improved working relationships. Any short comings can be addressed. This is the best time to be agile with adjustments to the marketing plan. Make new action plans to hit the next number. The sales leader will love the value you bring.
How do you get started? Leverage the Marketing Value QBR Checklist. It will help you actively engage in constructive QBR’s with sales. It covers common areas where marketing can impact sales. It does this through each stage of your customer’s buying process. It also lists discovery questions to help you identify areas to explorer. I’ll walk through an example from each one of the stages.
The Early Stage – The buyer’s early stage is the easiest way to deliver quick wins. One checklist item in the area to impact sales is “Prospecting Tools”. Discovery says, “What types of new prospecting activities are gaining traction with prospects?” The hottest prospecting tool right now is social selling. Prospects are highly influenced by referrals. Greg Alexander from SBI often reminds us with this quote: “Who you know is more important than what you know.” SBI’s latest research shows direct correlation between social selling and quota attainment. Marketing’s responsibility here is to provide sales with social selling guidelines and tools.
The Mid Stage – The mid-stage is the area to improve lead quality and increase consideration. One checklist item here is “Lead Management Process.” Discovery says: Would you prefer the level of qualification being tightened and fewer leads? Or vice-versa? What has been your experience with marketing delivered qualified leads? This is the optimal time to improve how the sales and lead management teams are communicating. Are there gaps to improve? Optimization in this area can push more leads into late stage.
The Late Stage – The late stage is the area to push the deal across the goal line. One checklist item here is “Preference Level Content”. Find out what new things the prospects are asking for? How can marketing increase the close rate with better sales support materials? The value marketing provides here is what wins the deal. Deliver a silver platter to the sales team and you will be valued for life. Everyone remembers who helps them make the number.
B2B Marketing leaders want to be a valuable asset to their organization. It’s not good to be perceived as a cost center. Do so and you’ll quickly be looking for another job. Deliver immediate value to your sales leader today by engaging in QBRs. Download and use the QBR Checklist to be prepared for a successful QBR.