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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistWed, Sep 12, 2018 11 min read

The Shocking Insights Uncovered During My Session At INBOUND 2018

Revenue Goal Attainmebnt

Session Attendees Unveil It’s Worse Than I Thought – You’re NOT Meeting Revenue Goals

Revenue Goal AttainmebntIt’s always risky when you ask the audience attending your talk to answer a question. If they give you the wrong answer, your talk can get off on the wrong track quickly.

My session on the final day at INBOUND 2018 started with me asking the 500 attendees to stand up and remain standing if they found a way to consistently hit their revenue goals.

Everyone stood up and agreed to answer my questions honestly. I actually asked them to raise their right hand and take an honesty oath.

Here is exactly what I asked them:

Remain standing if you hit your revenue goals at the end of 2017. Remain standing if you hit your revenue goals for the first quarter of 2018. Remain standing if you hit your revenue goals for the second quarter of 2018. Finally, remain standing if you think you’ll hit your revenue goals for the third quarter of 2018 (ending this month). reports that around 44% of companies are missing their revenue goals consistently. HubSpot research puts that number at 77%. But nothing could have shocked me more when I found just 44 people standing at the end of my impromptu survey (and four of them worked for Square 2 Marketing).

Out of the roughly 500 attendees for my INBOUND 2018 session, MORE THAN 90% admitted they are consistently MISSING their revenue goals. It's official: This is an epidemic, and we need to figure out why, what to do about it and start fixing it right now.

The good news is my session at INBOUND provided all of the attendees with a clear map on how to consistently hit your revenue goals month over month, a GPS that allows you to lock in your revenue goals and, finally, turn-by-turn directions on how to reach those goals.

Why Is Revenue Goal Attainment So Hard?

As I mentioned in my session, in our book and on our podcast, several factors are converging to make consistent month-over-month revenue attainment very challenging.

Factor 1 – The buyer journey is much more complicated. As HubSpot identified (and we agree), the funnel is dead as a model for sales and marketing. Instead of three stages, there are eight stages. All eight stages need to be understood, with the right tactics deployed, the right metrics identified and the right technology used.

Factor 2 – More people are involved in the decision-making process than ever before. Research shows that 6.8 people are involved in the average purchase decision, up from 5.4 just two years ago.

Factor 3 – Your prospects are inundated with content, opinions, perspectives and options. Content marketing, social media and the introduction of new tools have made everyone a content superstar. These same people are spraying and praying all over your prospects, contributing to them being overwhelmed, confused and distracted.

Factor 4 – More tactics exist for marketing and sales execution than ever before, making it challenging for marketers and sales pros to know what to do, when to do it, how to prioritize these tactics and what to expect in terms of results. For marketing alone, more than 50 tactics can be deployed across the entire buyer journey.

Factor 5 – Scott Brinker shows a graphic with almost 7,000 different technologies and software solutions for marketing and sales. How can anyone possibly evaluate, select, configure and integrate so many different options? Technology is supposed to make things easier, but right now its making driving revenue more complicated.

Factor 6 – Finally, prospects are expecting an amazing experience when they engage with you. Netflix, Amazon and Warby Parker are training our prospects to expect more from their B2B providers. If you’re not thinking like Netflix or Amazon, you’re going to get less-than-expected performance from your marketing and sales effort.

More steps, higher expectations and wildly distracted prospects means you have people in a cyclone, and its your job to clear the clutter, settle down the chaos and proactively move people from stage to stage strategically. Do this and you’ll be closer to hitting your revenue goals month over month.

But its going to take more than talking about it. It’s clear from the data uncovered in my session that what you’re doing isn’t working. You have to start approaching marketing, sales and how you work with customers differently, and you have to start that move today.

How A Map Helps You Hit Your Goals

I’ve been trying to find metaphors that help you understand what’s going on today in simple-to-understand terms, and one of the best is how you get from one place to the next place.

Basically, right now you’re working with directions. You know you want to go from Point A to Point B, so you ask for directions. You know how that goes, right? Rarely do those directions work perfectly and, in most cases, you only hear part of the details, you remember them differently and you constantly argue with your spouse. Rarely do you get there quickly, efficiently and without challenges.

The upgrade to directions is to get a map. Maps are better but still not perfect. They became outdated quickly, they are up for interpretation and they only offer a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional world. But they are better than directions.

So, let’s get out your map.

A good map is easy to read. It has landmarks, streets, a good gauge to help with distance and a legend to help you quickly know where you are and where you’re going.

We’re offering you a map. The Cyclonic Buyer Journey™ includes the eight stages of the new buyer journey; our tactical deployment methodology that places marketing, sales and customer service tactics into each stage; dashboards for each stage; and our technology map that applies stage-relevant software tools across each of the eight stages and the entire buyer journey.

Finally, a way to simplify something that is complicated. It’s easier to know what to do, when to do it and how to do it. Plus, you have the metrics to know how much progress you’re making toward your goals.

If you want to know more about how the map works, consider listening to Season 1 of Smash The Funnel  The Podcast. I talk with industry experts about each stage of the buyer journey in detail and discuss the strategy, tactics, analytics and technology associated with each stage.

Master The New Cyclonic Buyer Journey And Hit Your Revenue Goals. Join us for Season 1 of Smash The Funnel - The Podcast. Listen Here

You’ll never think about marketing, sales and customer service in the same way again.

How A GPS Makes It Scalable, Repeatable And Predictable

Maps are a bit old school. Who uses maps today? We’re way past maps, and the introduction of the GPS has revolutionized travel. Simply tell the GPS where you want to go and you get turn-by-turn directions that are 100% accurate most of the time.

Wouldn’t it be great to have that for revenue generation?

It’s finally here, and its called MAXG (Marketing Advisor for eXponential Growth). MAXG is an AI-powered recommendation engine that tells you exactly what to do and when to do it based on the goals you’re trying to attain.

This is a game-changer. Now, based on your data for your company and from your programs, MAXG will tell you exactly what you need to do to improve performance of your marketing and sales tactics. It’ll also prioritize those recommendations based on what is going to have the biggest impact and take the least amount of effort, allowing you to efficiently work on revenue growth.

MAXG gets smarter over time. It’ll see what recommendations produced the best results and learn from them. You’ll tell MAXG what recommendations you liked and what recommendations were the most helpful, and the system will learn. The more people who use MAXG, the smarter it’ll get.

MAXG will also tell you how you’re doing compared to other companies in your industry. For the first time, you’ll know if youre better, as good as or playing catchup when it comes the actual performance of your marketing and sales effort.

When you combine the map that clearly defines today’s buyer journey, overlay the ability to apply sales, marketing and services tactics, create-buyer-journey-stage-specific dashboards and build your tech stack based on the stages you’re focusing on, you get something truly special. Add MAXG and for the first time in history, you get the components of the revenue generation machine that produces scalable, repeatable and predictable revenue generation for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Next year, when we get together again at INBOUND 2019, many more people should be standing when I ask them about quarter-over-quarter and month-over-month revenue goal attainment.

Square 2 — Building The Agency You’ll LOVE!


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.