We’re more halfway through 2023, and the time has come to stop accepting the old setup between marketing and sales where marketing hates sales and sales hates marketing. I’m so over this, and you should be too.
If you want to hit your revenue goals, you have to blend marketing, sales and even customer service into one revenue team with one goal – your monthly revenue number.
This might seem like a big challenge. You might have old-school salespeople or just a crew who is dead set against working together. But you have to lead them out of the dark ages and into the light.
Good news – we’re going to give you a road map of exactly how to get your teams aligned so that you hit your revenue goals.
Since it’s a road map, let’s use a road trip as our metaphor.
Today, no one would take any trip without an itinerary or plan. Even a simple flight comes with a confirmation number, a flight number and timing of the departure and arrival.
If you’re taking an even more complicated trip, like a European vacation with transfers, multiple stops and tours, you’re going to have a dossier that documents all the details.
Getting your marketing, sales and customer service teams aligned is one of the more challenging things you’re going to do in business. This is especially true if your teams have historically worked independently. But when you get the notion to make this move, start by getting a plan in place. Ask questions like:
While the plan doesn’t need a 40-page document, you do need the broad-brush strokes considered and resolved with some specific goals, objectives, actions and expected outcomes.
With a plan on the table, your first step should be to get someone assigned to run the new team – someone who is accountable and responsible for the company hitting or even exceeding your revenue goals.
I like to bring a plan to the table when I put someone new in charge, but you could provide your new team leader with your plan and let them adjust it, add to it and build it out to their satisfaction.
I don’t recommend hiring someone new into a role without at least some idea of how they’re going to deliver their expected results.
Plus, with your new revenue team leader in place, you can now continue the trip and the steps we’ve outlined below.
By the way, this role is typically called chief revenue officer (CRO), although some companies call this role the chief customer officer (CCO). Another slightly different perspective on this is what we call the Rainmaker. EOS® teaches companies that you need a Visionary and an Integrator.
We’re suggesting that in addition to the Visionary and Integrator, the new role of Rainmaker rounds out the three leaders necessary to get companies to grow aggressively in 2023.
It’s almost impossible to align these three teams without technology. There’s too much to automate and analyze, and it’s too hard to design a process without the right tools supporting the effort.
Marketing automation, website CMS, CRM, sales and customer service tools are all going to make almost every aspect of revenue generation easier and more efficient when they’re built on a single platform.
This allows data to seamlessly move across the user base within the same platform.
Now everyone on the team is empowered with the right set of tools to create an experience for your prospects that’s tops in your industry.
The better your team is at creating this experience, the more visitors will turn into leads, the more leads will turn into sales opportunities, the more sales opportunities will convert to new customers, the higher your close rate and the shorter your sales cycle.
The data, analytics and automation that comes with these tools gives your team the best chance to build and execute a revenue generation machine that drives revenue up and to the right.
With the leader in place and the tools platform spun up, it’s time to bring these three teams of people together as one.
In our book, Fire Your Sales Team Today!, we suggested you fire your entire sales team and then rehire them into different roles. I’m tempted to provide a similar piece of guidance here. Fire everyone in the marketing, sales and customer service teams, and instantly rehire them as part of the revenue team.
It’s very challenging to hit aggressive revenue goals with three disparate teams with three different leads, three different technologies, three different sets of goals and three different departments.
You have to blend them together immediately.
Once they report to the same person and share the same goals, they’re going to start working completely differently and thinking completely differently.
If you want to get aggressive and you still go into the office regularly, consider seating all these people together in one area of your office.
You can make a handful of additional moves regarding how this new team is going to work together, but we’ll circle back around to that in the sixth stop on this road map.
One of the best ways to get a new team to work together is to provide a new, exciting project that they can rally around.
The project we like to recommend companies tackle is the mapping of your prospects’ buyer journeys. Since this involves both prospects who have and haven’t engaged with sales as well as customers, it’s the perfect project for this new team.
Every company needs every touch point in the buyer journey to be documented and remarkable.
Specifically, we suggest the Cyclonic Buyer Journey™ framework we use at Square 2, but any buyer journey model is going to bring these three teams together to work on a project that will benefit each of their areas once you move from strategy to execution.
By now, everyone knows what gets measured gets done, and this new combined team needs to have a combined set of numbers, key performance indicators (KPIs) or a shared scorecard.
The team should be measured on the successful attainment of the goals in this new scorecard, which includes four to seven important quantitative numbers that the team agrees are the true measure of success.
If we start at the top, revenue goal attainment must be part of the scorecard. This is a number that should be tracked weekly, but the team should be measured on goal attainment monthly. From there, I’d recommend a collection of numbers related to the three teams and revenue goal attainment.
For example, the number of leads marketing generates should contribute to the number of sales opportunities the sales team is working on. I’d include both.
I’d also include the retention rate, because the more you retain customers, the higher your revenue numbers. New revenue from current customers is also important to measure. Again, customers already love you, so the customer service team should be good at getting them to buy new products or services and spend more money.
Finally, to get the sales team thinking more strategically, I’d add closing rate, sales cycle days and maybe average revenue per new customer. These are all high-level metrics that everyone is now responsible for and working together on.
One of the best ways to bring people together is with a weekly revenue team meeting. This meeting runs at the same time on the same day every week.
It also follows the same agenda. A moderator runs the meeting while a scribe keeps notes and documents everything. By rotating these roles monthly, everyone gets a chance to participate in the meeting execution.
Here is the agenda we recommend. It follows the EOS L10 meeting format that’s proven to be both highly efficient and effective:
The segue is a brief transition into this meeting. It includes everyone sharing one personal and one professional piece of good news.
The scorecard review is a brief review of the scorecard we discussed above. If the numbers are green, there is not much to review. If they are yellow or red, they need to be identified and moved to the Identify, Discuss and Solve (IDS) section so that those underperforming areas get attention.
The rock review section is a quick review of the rocks or quarterly initiatives. If they are on track, there is nothing to do. If they are off track or challenged, they need to be identified and moved to the IDS section so that those underperforming areas get attention.
The opportunity review is where the sales team is discussing deals that are close to closing and what could be done to get those over the finish line.
The to-dos section is about tasks that were assigned in the previous meeting. Again, if all the to-dos are done, there is nothing to do. But if there are challenges, they need to be identified and moved to the IDS section so that those underperforming areas get attention.
The IDS section is where the team digs in and talks about the challenges facing the team or any individuals. These issues should be ranked based on priority, and you should try to get through as many as possible.
During the IDS section, ask probing questions so that everyone understands the issue in the same way and then works to create a set of to-dos, tasks or actions that can solve the issue for good.
Finally, rate the meeting on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the best) and close out the meeting.
This is going to help your new revenue team bond, form lasting connections, trust each other and get the most important work done so that your company hits its revenue goals every month.
In just a few weeks, your team will love the format, be flying through the meeting and, if done correctly, be making improvements to your revenue efforts every week.
Finally, if you really want your new revenue team to flourish, consider giving them a revenue generation system to operate. You already have systems for hiring, firing, paying people, purchasing, finance and other areas of the company. It’s always amazing to me how few companies have a system for generating revenue.
You can design, install and support a revenue generation system in several ways. But one of the easiest is to use a system that’s already been proven to work – one that has been deployed and successful at a wide range of companies and is supported by a company in the business of teaching other companies how to generate revenue.
One example of this type of system is RGS™. This is the same system used by Square 2 clients for over 20 years, and now it’s available for companies to use inside their own organizations.
To learn more about RGS, visit this page on our website. It’s stocked with content and videos along with a description of the system and how you could learn to use it for your company.
Before we wrap up, I wanted to leave you with one extra stop on the road map to an aligned revenue effort. One mistake a lot of companies make is thinking that alignment is a one-and-done exercise. It’s not.
No matter what steps you take to drive alignment between marketing, sales and customer service, recognize going into it that it will take ongoing optimization, upgrades, adjustments and alterations before you have something you can really lean into.
Don’t be discouraged. Follow your scorecard as a guide to measure your progress. Be obsessive with improvement and make regular tweaks to everything you’re doing as part of your revenue generation system until you feel like it’s running in an optimized way.
Even at Square 2, we are constantly adjusting our own execution of a revenue generation system, and we’re rewarded with improved performance over time.