You’re probably asking yourself:
- Why is the sales organization held accountable but marketing is not?
- What tangible metrics is the CMO held accountable for?
- Do those metrics feed and align with our overall strategy?
- Does marketing drive and fill the funnel with an adequate supply of inquiries, leads and opportunities?
- How is sales supposed to hit plan if marketing is not getting the funnel filled?
Organizations today have the CSO and CMO tied together on driving the revenue number. Ironically though they are not aligned on how to work together too efficiently and effectively drive the organizations. There key areas of sales and marketing alignment include: Demand Generation, Lead Management and Opportunity Management. It’s a common problem that many organizations continue to struggle with.
3 things you can do immediately:
- Are you speaking the same language? Your probably saying to yourself, you’ve got to be kidding, I’m not an idiot, nor is my CMO. But, you might be speaking in foreign tongues. Having a language, with the specific definitions associated with each is critical to united success. Today’s savvy CMO is focused, tasked and measured on generating inquires and leads. But his language and definitions might be different than yours. CSO- what is your definition of an inquiry? CMO- what is your definition? Start with specific language and detailed definitions for each stage of the funnel.
Inquiry: A unique expression of interest with corresponding workable information.
Requirements: Information provided by a prospect that is not yet in the system. Does your organization have a definition and requirement for each of the stages in the funnel? If the answer is no, start here.
- Set the appropriate accountabilities and expectations of lead quality and quantity for each stage in the funnel. This is where the math happens- its calculating your current conversion rate at each stage, telling you the quantity necessary for overall success. You might not have all the answers or specific data for each stage today. Don’t wait, every organization has some of the various data points. Use what you have, and work to fill in the balance over time. This step creates the accountability and expectation on quantity and quality for each phase of the pipeline. Now build specific plans for hitting the quantity targets in each stage.
- Communicate, communicate and communicate. What type of cadence of review do you have with your CMO regarding the marketing contribution to the top of the funnel? Are you using analytical data to constructively review the funnel from top to bottom? How are you holding each other accountable for the specific parts of the funnel each of you own? CMO- are you generating enough inquiries, lead? CSO- is the sales organization working these opportunities in a timely and structured fashion. What type(s) of informal mechanisms are in place to garner feedback? Customer, Marketing, Lead Development Reps, and the sales organization. Continuous communication amongst all parties will provide for overall operating efficiency and effectiveness.
CSO and CMO- don’t let the fundamentals get in the way of mutually beneficial success. Speak the same language, set solid accountabilities and expectations, and communicate honestly and frankly about what’s happening. You’re both driving to achieve the same company target built a solid sales strategy.