We hear a lot about how Revenue Marketing™ impacts marketing, but what does it mean to sales?
I have been learning about the four stages of the Revenue Marketing Journey™, and I find myself looking back at my career in sales and comparing how these various stages apply to my journey as a sales person. I marvel at how this journey has changed the way I do business.
When I first began my sales career, I was in high school selling office equipment. There was no Internet at the time (yes, I’m that old!) and my time was spent calling companies from the yellow pages. There was a marketing department, but sales had no contact with them and they did not provide us with any leads. This type of environment would be considered the Traditional Stage of Revenue Marketing, where companies are focused on branding and measured on cost and activities. In this stage, there is no alignment between sales and marketing.
In my first post-college job, I sold advertising. We had an email system and if we had a special offer, marketing would email the entire database about it, whether relevant to their particular needs or not. I would occasionally receive leads from marketing, but there was no pre-qualification done on the leads and, most of the time, they were not a productive use of my time. This corresponds with the Lead Generation Stage of the Revenue Marketing model, where companies use email, activities are very tactical, marketing is focused on generating leads and viewed as a cost center, and sales and marketing are barely aligned. In both of these stages, I spent a lot of time on introductory calls and educating the prospects.
As my career progressed, so did technology (yeah!). I am very happy to say that in my current sales role, my company and my personal marketing efforts are very synonymous with the Demand Generation Stage. We use marketing automation (MA) and a CRM system that are bi-directionally integrated. In addition to a strategic marketing team that works closely with the sales team, I also plan my own micro-campaigns utilizing MA. Marketing provides me with leads that I’m excited to receive – and that turn in to sales! These leads tend to be very qualified and the prospects are very familiar with our company and our offerings. We utilize detailed reporting, focused on historical data that gives me valuable insight into the prospect’s behavior. This has allowed me to be both more strategic and more effective in my communications. To further sales and marketing alignment, both teams have revenue-based comp plans.
My company is almost to the point of forecasting revenue through marketing efforts and thus, will be in the Revenue Marketing Stage. This means marketing will continue to send great leads and help me to meet, or exceed, my sales quota. I am working for a company where marketing can now produce repeatable, predictable and scalable revenue.
As a salesperson, I am thankful for this progression. It leverages efficiencies on so many levels and let’s me focus on what I do best…..SELL!