Alignment between sales and marketing has been one of those topics over the past decade where nearly all B2B organizations recognize it is a priority—and typically think they are taking steps to address it. But few have had measurable goals or models to track how their teams are progressing.
To help bring greater accountability around alignment to this issue, SiriusDecisions introduced an Aligned Accountability Framework during its Summit last month. In a presentation titled “Building The Aligned, Accountable B-to-B Organization,” Jay Gaines, CMO, and Megan Heuer, VP Research at SiriusDecisions, shared some background insight on how the new framework was created and how they envision it being activated by clients.
The new Aligned Accountability Framework provides guidance for helping companies define, prioritize and measure key strategic initiatives and activities across different functions of the organization, with key categories falling under:
- Milestones; and
Underscoring the need for greater accountability around alignment, a poll of the audience during the session at Summit found that only 28% said their organization currently uses a structured set of metrics to drive accountability, while 21% said they did not and 52% said they “sometimes” do.
While many companies once struggled with obtaining metrics around performance across teams, Gaines explained a bigger issue now is deciding which metrics are most relevant to supporting key business goals—especially transformative initiatives.
“What we tried to do with this framework was to create both the structure for being able to define what the metrics are, as well as criteria for defining what those metrics are, and then also bringing into it the framework the concept of perspective,” Gaines explained. “Metrics and data are great, but if they lack perspective they are kind of meaningless.”
In another poll of the audience, only 51% of attendees said their organization currently uses benchmarks to put performance into perspective.
“Having a clear roadmap for what to measure to understand progress towards goals and understand performance impact at a team, function and individual team member level is key,” Gaines added. “That way each team is clear what they are supposed to do, as well as how it will be monitored and measured. It is a critical part of being a data-driven organization.”
While the framework formally debuted at the Summit in Las Vegas, Jay Gaines, Gaines explained that SiriusDecisions had been actively working with 10 to 12 different client companies for several months before the frameworks were unveiled. “We shared some of the new frameworks in advance with clients and they have been testing the models. We were able to apply some of their best practices into the finished product. It is really important that these models can be actionable for the average company, so field testing and applying real world models was crucial.”
Because performance data is a key component of the accountability framework, SiriusDecisions also introduced its new Command Center, which gives clients on-demand access to benchmark comparisons against peer companies, based on 15 years of benchmarking data SiriusDecisions has compiled. Gaines explained that SiriusDecisions has piloted Command Center for several months, and he expects the comparative data will help provide executives with a dashboard view of key metrics, and also add perspective for both sales and marketing around shared demand management goals.