It Might Sound Like A Subtle Difference, But It’s Like Comparing A Baseball Team To A Symphony Orchestra
Sixteen years ago, when I was the VP of marketing for a $25 million up-and-coming software company, everyone talked about integrated digital marketing. Today, I couldn’t even tell you what that meant, because it feels like so much has happened over the past decade. So much has changed, and the pace of change has accelerated since then.
What I do know is that today’s revenue generation needs much more than an integrated approach; it needs an orchestrated approach. A baseball team is integrated; you have different players on the field with the right of combination of skills. The pitcher throws hard, the outfield is fast and the infield has range. You have guys who hit for average, others who can steal a base and then the power hitters in the middle of the lineup. You need them all to win, but they provide individual contributions over the course of the game.
Want to grow revenue? You’re going to need much more than the baseball team model. What you’re going to need is to start thinking like you’re building an orchestra. Each musician can, on their own, be the best at playing their instrument. But to create that wonderful symphony, they all need to be perfectly synchronized for hours.
Here’s exactly how to use the orchestrated model to rebuild your own sales execution and digital marketing effort if revenue generation is your goal.
You Need The Best Musicians
You won’t get beautiful music if your strings section is filled with a handful of B-players. No matter how great the rest of your orchestra is, if this section (or even one of the players) isn’t high quality, the entire product suffers.
The same holds true for marketing and sales. You need the best people in all of your roles. If you’re building an internal team, you need A-players in all of the seats. If you can’t find or afford to hire the best people for your internal team, consider looking for A-players in external agency teams.
The advantage agencies have is their teams are highly experienced. High-quality agencies invest heavily in training their team members and they have a vested interest in continually keeping their people up to speed on the latest and greatest methods. This is something you can take advantage of, especially when you consider that matching this can be challenging and expensive.
You Need To Practice Incessantly
The best orchestras practice constantly – hours and hours every single day, week after week, month after month, even when the orchestra is performing. The practice keeps everyone sharp and keeps the orchestra running like a well-oiled machine. You should think about marketing and sales in a similar way.
Your internal teams can practice on your company. Marketing people can run tests and experiments, learning from their failures. Salespeople can try new methods, new tools, new scripts and new communication approaches with your prospects. But you’ll always be limited by the availability of opportunities like this at your company.
Agency people have the opportunity to practice on a wider variety of different companies in different industries and with different specifics associated with their experiences. They get exposed to a wider variety of opportunities due to the nature of their client work. I’ve always believed that the best marketers and sales consultants are the ones with the most experiences. The more experiences you have, the more expertise you gain.
You Need A Conductor
Even the best orchestra would sound horrible without a conductor to lead the group. No matter how skilled the players are, without a leader they would be out of sync and doing their own thing, instead of following the leader.
Being a conductor requires a unique skill set. These people need a vision for what the music is supposed to sound like when it’s perfect. A conductor needs to be a perfectionist and adept at adjusting the musicians in real time to make sure the music sounds like the composer intended. Sound familiar?
Who is your conductor? Is it you? Is it your chief marketing officer (CMO)? Is it your VP of sales? Is it a marketing manager or director of demand generation? Or is it a part-time person who has other responsibilities, too? Whomever it is, in each of these scenarios it doesn’t sound like the same person who leads the symphony orchestra, right? If your results are underwhelming or consistently below expectations, this might be a good place to look. You might not have the conductor you need to create beautiful music.
This is also where an agency can be strong. Agencies typically have a number of conductors whose specialty is leading client engagements and making sure that all aspects of the execution get delivered flawlessly day after day. If you never looked at your situation like this, today might be the day to think a little differently about how you need to deploy sales and marketing.
You Need The Perfect Configuration Of Instruments And Musicians
Musicians are important but so are the instruments and the selection of instrument types. The composer has a vision for the music, and there is a difference between an acoustic violin and an electric violin. Picking the right instrument for the type of music desired is just as important as finding a skilled violinist.
So many tools are available to help you generate more leads, to identify more sales opportunities and to then close those opportunities. When you look at everything in a revenue specialist’s tool kit today, you’re looking at over 50 different tactics or techniques to consider using. Knowing what to use when and how to tweak it for a company’s specific use case requires experience and training.
Remember, an entire technical aspect of musical instruments exists, including keeping them tuned, serviced and sounding perfect. Experts spend years as apprentices to learn how to take care of these instruments. My friend, who is a piano tuner, spent years working with his father to learn the craft. Tuning the marketing and sales tactics has a lot in common with the skills it takes to keep musical instruments sounding their best.
The Music Provides The Plan, Guidance And Playbook
You can’t talk about a symphony without talking about the music and the person who wrote the music.
This is the strategy, the plan and the playbook that each musician follows religiously. They can’t improvise, they can’t freelance and they can’t interpret what the music should be. For the concert to be amazing, they have to follow the notes on the page — to a T.
If you don’t have a plan, if you don’t have playbooks, and if your marketing and sales teams can’t look at the strategy and know instantly what to do, when to do it and how you expect them to do it, you won’t ever have the perfect execution you’re expecting. You’ll never have that beautiful music you’re waiting to hear.
These is a big difference between how you get music for your orchestra and how you get a revenue generation plan for your company. You can license the music and know it’s going to be incredible because Bach composed every note. You can’t buy a plan for your company. You’re going to need to build that plan, and it should feel like you’re creating every note, every pause, every stanza and every chorus of every song in your symphony.
Again, your best path to success is to work with someone who has extensive experience building plans like the one you need for your company.
When you compare what it takes to win a baseball game versus what it takes to provide audiences a remarkable symphony concert, it should become obvious the differences associated with today’s sales and marketing execution.
While you’re thinking about this, consider the impact of having one weak player on the diamond and having one weak player in the orchestra. One weak baseball player might not even touch the ball in a nine-inning game, and he’s only going to bat once every nine times. But if your flutist is weak, your entire symphony could be ruined before the first song is even finished.
Marketing and sales is so interconnected, and your prospects are so tuned into their experience with your company, that every single note you play during their buyer journey is critical to getting them to pick you over your competitors.
Square 2 Marketing – Revenue Is Earned Through Experience, Methodology And Insights!
Posted By Author Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist
Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.