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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistTue, Dec 22, 2015 7 min read

Inbound Marketing Prediction #13: Agencies Now Responsible For Revenue

You Want An Inbound Marketing Agency Focused On Revenue

Inbound Marketing And Sales Equal Revenue GrowthTaking responsibility for revenue is like the kid game Hot Potato. No one really wants to be responsible. Marketing blames Sales, Sales blames Marketing, and agencies generally want nothing to do with it.

However, in 2016, the inbound marketing agency is going to be in a better position than most to impact revenue, be accountable for revenue and help businesses drive revenue up and to the right.

The key to taking responsibility for your revenue is fully embracing both inbound marketing and inbound sales.

Here’s how to expect your marketing team to be accountable for revenue.

Strategically Build A Revenue Team

Whether you have an internal marketing team or external agency team, you need to graduate from two separate teams (Sales and Marketing) to a single Revenue team. Thats one team, reporting to one person, responsible for one number: revenue.

Progressive marketing agencies should be happy to be part of this team, and access to the Sales team should be viewed as a way to extend their coaching and guidance. This also gives Sales the opportunity to provide feedback on the quality and quantity of leads directly to Marketing, who should be able to quickly adjust their efforts to improve both quality and quantity.  

Give Your Inbound Marketing Agency Access To Sales

The ability to help close the leads that Marketing is generating is critical in today’s world, where the buyer is in charge. We’ve seen this time and time again. We’ve been able to generate leads for clients, but they’re not able to close those leads.

Top-tier inbound agencies are offering sales enablement services that help clients close the leads Marketing is creating faster, for more money and at a higher rate.

These services include the sales process redesign to take into consideration the changing buyer behavior, the creation of new sales tools that help salespeople educate instead of sell, and training that teaches salespeople how to use social media to connect with top prospects.

Create A Strategic Click-To-Close Experience For All Prospects

Letting your marketing team (internal or external) work on the full set of experiences your prospects are getting might be the smartest move you’ll make in all of 2016. Today, people are buying from companies that give them a remarkable experience.

From the very first time they hear about your company to their first interaction with your website, through all of their educational downloads, right up to their first conversation with a salesperson and the moment they decide your company is the right choice for them, this entire experience needs to be strategically mapped out and architected – the same way Disney does it at their theme parks. No touchpoint is left unattended.

This means that when the prospect moves from marketing-qualified lead to sales-qualified lead, the salesperson who picks up the prospect can’t downshift into sales mode, as the experience to date has been educational. Thats a recipe for disaster. Instead, the educational experience has to continue in a very deliberate and strategic way. Salespeople must continue to guide their prospects through their personal buyer journey, helping them, educating them and advising them as best they can so your prospect makes a solid purchase decision.

Adopt A Realistic Time Horizon For Impact And Results

This strategy shift within Sales and Marketing is not going to produce results on the first day. This is a long-term strategy shift. The implementation of inbound marketing and inbound sales is a marathon, not a sprint. The results will be realized only after all the elements of the program are in play. A new search engine-optimized website, ongoing content for search, ongoing content for conversion, content publication with social media amplification and the appropriate sales process adjustments are all REQUIRED to see sustained, predictable, repeatable and scalable lead generation and revenue realization.

Take a minute to read that line again, please ...

A new search engine-optimized website, ongoing content for search, ongoing content for conversion, content publication with social media amplification and the appropriate sales process adjustments are all REQUIRED to see sustained, predictable, repeatable and scalable lead generation and revenue realization.

So, as you get into this, recognize that this is going to be how you market and sell to prospects for the rest of your life. Cold calling, trade shows, advertising and direct mail are not going to see a resurgence. You’re making a strategic decision to build an inbound Revenue Machine for your business that you’ll be working on every single month.

Once you get this strategic perspective on Sales and Marketing, you’ll realize (just like most of the clients do) that this is the only way to connect with new prospects, nurture current prospects, turn those prospects into leads and then eventually help those leads so that they decide they want to hire your company.

If you want Marketing to be accountable for revenue, make the strategic commitment to moving toward an inbound approach to both sales and marketing. In 2016, start building your Revenue team to include people working on both inbound sales and marketing initiatives.

Start Today Tip – You’re going to need people who are up for the challenge. Again, whether they’re internal or external, your Revenue team needs to be capable of impacting both inbound marketing and inbound sales performance. Then, they need your strategic direction to dig in and get dirty, revising sales processes, teaching salespeople new tactics, providing the educational content and, most importantly, building out that click-to-close experience for all of your new prospects. If you know the old way isn’t working, what do you have to lose in 2016? Move to inbound and see your revenue rise month over month.

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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.