The Separate Marketing And Sales Departments Should Be Collapsed Into A Revenue Team
Now that buyer behavior has changed, it is time for the internal workings of our sales and marketing teams to change, too. Marketing and sales have long existed in a dysfunctional way. Marketing says sales doesn’t follow up on their leads, and sales says marketing generates bad leads. CEOs have been mediating this argument for years. It must be exhausting.
Give it up. Inbound marketing and inbound sales finally offer the methodology to break down those barriers and create a single revenue team responsible for only one thing: revenue. Now those petty arguments evaporate because it just doesn’t matter anymore. All of your prospects want a seamless experience that starts when they visit your website (marketing) and ends when they sign your paperwork (sales).
Want to ensure you hit your revenue goals this year? Here’s how you transform your marketing and sales team into a single revenue team.
Start With An Inbound Strategy Plan
Don’t worry about roles, people or departments yet. Instead, focus on building a solid plan. Yes, you need this. Even if you have a marketing plan, you need an inbound marketing plan and an inbound sales plan, too. I know you don’t have this.
Let’s be 100% honest with each other. You’ve never created an inbound strategy plan before, so don’t trick yourself into thinking you can do one now. They are much more complex than and actually include components not found in traditional marketing plans.
Since you’ve never done this before, get someone to help you. Make sure they have a lot of experience doing this. Include your entire team in this process. Once you get this done for 2016, you’ll have the template and the process to do this in 2017 and beyond. It will become the blueprint, road map and recipe that helps you actually hit your revenue targets. You need this to be comprehensive and well thought out.
I’ll go even further and say that if you skip this, shortcut it or do it improperly, you’re going to be setting your company up for lower-than-expected results and delays in the lead gen you need to hit your goals. If you miss a critical component, you might actually cripple the entire effort. We have seen it over and over again.
Connect The Plan To Your Funnel Analytics
For the first time in history, marketing can be accountable to numbers. Sales has always been accountable to the top-line revenue number, but now marketing and sales can be held cooperatively accountable to every number. The key here is knowing those numbers.
Marketing and sales are a science. I can look at your funnel right now and tell you exactly how much revenue you’ll generate. These are NOT sales projections (like: this has a 50% chance of closing, so count 50% of the revenue toward our projection), which rarely come true. This is a mathematical calculation.
In many cases, companies have unrealistic and unattainable revenue goals based on their math. Their website gets far too few visitors, they get almost no leads, they have a marketing budget of $2,000 a month and they have one salesperson, but they want to generate an additional $4 million in revenue this year. Not happening.
There is a direct correlation, mathematically, between the number of leads you need to fill up your funnel and the investment you need to allocate to marketing. Big goals need bigger investments. Smaller, more modest goals can get by with lower levels of investment.
Inbound marketing allows us to know the impact that more blogging, more content, more emails, more website optimization, more social promotion and more influencer outreach have on the performance of the top-of-the-funnel metrics.
Inbound sales provides us with the same insight on the bottom of the funnel. Better sales process, more content in the sales process, video in the sales process and email nurturing campaigns all contribute to higher close rates, shorter sales cycles and bigger customer values. Stop hoping, stop guessing and start calculating.
You See Actual Performance Data In Real Time
If your funnel analytics are aligned with your overall revenue goals, the next step is to execute your inbound marketing and inbound sales tactics. Immediately, this produces real-time data to make subtle adjustments mid-program.
This is completely different from legacy marketing, in which you ran ads for three months and then guessed at whether they had any impact on your business months afterward. Or, you spent $50,000 to attend a trade show and then wondered, "What did we get out of this, and do we need to do it again?"
Everything is quantifiable. Everything is 100% transparent. Everything is up for testing. Regular testing and optimization of the program ensure that you do better next month than you did this month. Once you start thinking and working like this, you see small but incremental improvements month over month.
A 10% increase in website traffic for a site with 1,000 visitors a month over 12 months delivers a 214% increase in visitors. Instead of 1,000 a month, now you get over 3,000 visitors a month. This simple improvement could literally triple your inbound lead flow without doing anything else. Now double your conversion rate, and you get a 6x improvement in lead flow. Welcome to inbound marketing.
Apply the same set of tactical improvements to your sales effort, and you get the revenue impact you’re looking for. More of those leads close, and they close more quickly and for a higher average dollar. Welcome to inbound sales. You should see how getting these to work together as a seamless workflow process makes total sense and is the future of how you’ll take your business to market.
Your prospects will appreciate it, too. They’ll refer you more, and more quickly, and even prospects who don’t chose you will refer you because your sales process was so helpful and remarkable.
Before you know it, you’ll be fielding calls from other companies asking you what you’re doing and how you do it. Now it’s up to you. Do you help them out or keep the secrets to yourself? Either way, you have the Revenue Machine you’ve always dreamed of for your company.
Start Today Tip – Today, all you have to do is make the strategic decision to go all in on inbound. Change is hard. This is going to confuse your people, and it’s going to force you to change what you do. But it’s also progressive, and it’s the future of sales and marketing. The sooner you do it, the faster you’ll see results. Yesterday, I wrote about your options if you think inbound is not for you. There aren’t any good ones. All of the legacy marketing tactics are becoming less and less effective every single day. Today, make the decision to go all in on inbound and get started tomorrow.
Square 2 Marketing – Inbound Results Start With ME!
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.