ROI. MRR. ARR. Revenue. Cash Flow. Earnings. The bottom line. Whatever you want to call it, it’s what it’s all powered by the two teams that are devoted making people aware of your product or service and get them to think they need to buy whatever it is you’re selling. It’s call customer acquisition and it isn’t a new concept.
So why do so many companies with seemingly good ideas, products and concepts flounder around without ever reaching their full potential?
Enter growth marketing err… revenue generation, Chief Growth Officer, or whatever other trendy term we’re all changing our titles to feel the impact we have is more meaningful. At the heart of all of this is one thing: 100% alignment towards one goal. More customers for more money in the bank.
The finger-pointing, the misalignment of goals and objectives and sadly, the catty bickering name calling and general hostility between sales and marketing needs to MUST stop.
For too long the notions of sales and marketing have been too closely tied together and yet so drastically misaligned with each other, that for anyone on the outside looking in, it is laughable. Definitions of MQL to SAL to SQL and everything in between is a complicated mess that leads to no real accountability for anyone. What good is a marketing qualified lead if sales doesn’t “accept” it? How valuable is a sale if it can’t be attributed to a single source to replicate it and generate more leads like that?
We all try to live and die by our metrics but the metric we should really be counting here is the number of potential clients that are lost in the handoff between sales and marketing. The organizational structure of organizations has evolved over time to quite literally silo people and teams away from one another.
So why does this no longer work?
Buyer’s journeys are not linear. In fact, they look like more of a heart rate machine of someone that just found out they won the lottery, then promptly had a heart attack, only to be resuscitated by 300 volts of defibrillator power straight to the old cardiovascular system.
Given the notion that funnels are not linear and prospects can enter the funnel at any point, a siloed approach just simply does not work to deliver an effective and seamless experience for people you’re asking to buy your product.
So what are the steps to remove the organizational silos?
Every year about this time we make false promises to ourselves to better ourselves. Lose weight, volunteer more, read more, blah blah blah. Come February, these false promises lead us to a few regretful contemplations and then 11 more months of complacency.
For any business owner, founder or just anyone with a get shit done attitude, I challenge this year’s business resolutions to think outside the traditional notions you’ve used up until now and think about the structure of yourself and your business in a new way.
So, given a few assumptions that you have a semi-decent offering for customers, you have willing and capable people on your team and you yourself are ready (I mean REALLY ready) to throw the notions of your “sales and marketing teams” out the window, you have the foundations for a growth potential in 2018 you haven’t yet seen.
Here are the three ways to make a revenue, growth machine out of your company in 2018.
1) One team. One goal: There no longer be a need for a head of sales and head of marketing. There is no marketing manager that tinkers on the website or an SDR that hunts all day on LinkedIn, hoping to find people to chat with. The sales and marketing silos must die. And they must die hard. Just like we saw the shift from development and operations to dev-ops, we need to see the revenue engine at companies throwing coal in the same fire. The metrics for both teams matter and the sooner they are aligned, the sooner companies can start plugging leaks in their marketing and sales funnels.
2) Incentivize accountability: Since the beginning of time, sales has been directly correlated to quote numbers and adequately monetarily incentivized to reach said goals. Marketing has not. Marketing teams often find themselves in a tough spot, in that much of their work is not easily quantified. All this aside, you CAN make an incentive system that rewards each team for their contributions and lights a fire for everyone to truly collaborate and grow the business. Of course, all of this is contingent on marketing and sales teams both being held accountable for revenue numbers. You can’t really incentivize a marketing team to deliver better leads if their goals are around the number of leads they deliver. That will obviously lead to weaker leads, and more fingerpointing and bullshit. No thanks.
3) Be a David (in a world of Goliaths): If there’s one thing you can probably give credit to marketers for doing for the last couple centuries is introducing outrageously new concepts to the world of tired products, overused ideas and the “same old same old” way of living life. All the huge brands we look up to and idolize today started from some disruptive concept that was likely so controversial, they were laughed out of boardrooms. Use a marketing team’s natural creativity to push the limits of what your company can do, and don’t limit yourselves by riding on the coattails of your largest competitor.
As we dive headfirst into 2018 and everyone thinks about resolutions, changing for good, and how to make a difference in the world, think about how you can impact your own future with a new look on customer acquisition with true marketing and sales alignment.