The 2015 “Smarketing” plan

OK, OK…this might be a tacky headline that brings to mind Pappa Smurf but it represents exactly what I want to say:


In my September 11th post called “How To Get 2015 Budget Approval” I presented a Table of Contents (provided by a client) for a plan that not only got acceptance but also received the requested 24% increase in budget over prior year. Why? Two simple reasons. First, this plan was a business case for what, how, why marketing could move the number. Second, it fully baked in how to work with sales. Let’s take a closer look.

Elements of a “Smarketing” Plan:

  1. Marketing uses key initiatives from sales as input to build key programs. Let me give you an example of how this can go wrong. A few years ago I was consulting with a global company and marketing’s rallying cry was to get as many net new logos as possible. This was an important element of growth for the company so they built programs to focus on this objective. However, analysis of lead conversion from MQL to close was abysmal and represented a huge waste of time, money and effort in marketing. What happened? This was NOT a key initiative for sales nor was any compensation aligned to new new logos for the sales team. Sales reps in this company made as much money on renewing existing customers as they did trying to close new customers…so where did they spend their time? You bet it was on the many, many renewals they worked.
  2. Marketing and Sales use the same numbers for forecasting/creating business cases. Marketing needs to take a key initiative from sales and create a vibrant business case through programs they can build, execute and measure. Let’s say a key initiative of sales is to launch and sell a LOT of a new product/solution. In getting to the top line revenue numbers, they assume a certain close rate of opportunities, let’s say it’s 31% for a current client (this would be an up-sell). As a marketer, when you go to create your business case for programs you will not only focus on programs for current customers, but you should also use the same opportunity to close rate (31%) to calculate opportunity to close for MQLs created by marketing. IF you disagree with this close rate, you need to state why. AND, if sales uses a different closing rate for new customers, you need to use that calculation as well. This calculation helps you also if you have a goal of contributing a certain portion of the pipeline and closed business from marketing leads.
  3. Marketing and Sales have an enabling org structure and compensation plan. One company I worked with did a beautiful job of aligning sales and marketing around a structure and a comp plan. Patty Foley-Reid at IronMountain made a conscious effort to do this every year. She called it “mirroring” the sales organization and whatever plans they had for the year, she aligned her marketing team both from an organizational structure and a comp structure. Patty also had the same quota number as the sales about alignment!

These are just a few ways you can create your 2015 Smarketing plan…what else have you done? I’d love to hear about it!

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About Debbie Qaqish
Debbie is a nationally recognized thought leader, innovator and speaker in Revenue Marketing with more than 30 years of experience applying strategy, technology and process to help B2B companies drive revenue growth. She is the author of the award winning book – “Rise of the Revenue Marketer,” Chancellor of Revenue Marketing University, and host of Revenue Marketer Radio (WRMR). Debbie has been at the forefront of the marketing automation phenomenon, first as a beneficiary, and now as an advocate and expert. She is a frequent speaker and writer on topics related to Revenue Marketing transformation, leadership, change management, sales and marketing alignment, ROI, content, organization, talent and marketing operations. She coined the term “Revenue Marketer” in 2011. As a principal partner and chief strategy officer of The Pedowitz Group, Debbie is responsible for developing and managing global client relationships, as well as leading the firm’s thought leadership initiatives. Debbie is also PhD candidate and her dissertation topic is how the CMO adopts financial accountability in an e-marketing environment.

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  • Posted by Debbie Qaqish
  • On 06/18/2015
Tags: marketing automation, smarketing, marketing plan, sales plan

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