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Turning Up The Volume On Revenue Marketing at REVTalks

  • Written by Kim Ann Zimmermann, Managing Editor
  • Published in Revenue Strategies

REVTalks logoRevenue marketing impacts a number of initiatives — sales and marketing alignment, demand generation and lead management, just to name a few.

The Pedowitz Group recently brought together a number of senior marketing executives for targeted discussions about the topic of ROI and how it relates to the various aspects of marketing. The event, titled REVTalks 2014: The Revenue Marketing Summit, was modeled on the popular TEDTalks, which offer short presentations with focused themes.

“There is a lot of talk about technology and its impact on revenue, but what we’ve found missing from the discussion is how to achieve the promise of technology,” said Debbie Qaqish, Principal Partner and Chief Strategy Officer at The Pedowitz Group. “Technology is not the magic. It is the enabler of the magic.”

Qaqish noted that the concept of revenue marketing is changing the marketing function. “We have to move the needle from talking about marketing as a cost to connecting it with revenue.”

The Value Of Training

Training partners and employees is a critical component of revenue marketing, said Michelle Chiantera, Senior Director of Americas Field Marketing at Cisco. “Revenue marketing is about marketing getting itself inserted into the conversation early on, showing the value that they can bring, driving the costs down and ultimately being a contributor to the business. The area that has grounded us in revenue marketing is training.”

Chiantera noted that it was important to get partners on board with revenue marketing, as 80% of sales are generated through the channel. “What we did was start with our own marketing organization. They then acted as evangelists, taking the revenue marketing story to partners to get people motivated and excited.”

Motivation was a key element of success, Chiantera said. “The channel partners had to feel like this was a fresh and innovative approach. We had to do it in a way that didn’t feel like it was yet another ‘marketing’ thing they had to do.”

It was important to start off with a few key groups to demonstrate success, Chiantera explained. “We’re a sales-driven organization, and they had a bit of a ‘show-me attitude.’ We picked a few geographies and showed them how revenue marketing can help generate more leads and establish a more predictable process. We had to let them know that they can count on marketing to deliver.”

Chiantera said that marketing had to set goals and share them with the entire organization as a way to build trust. “This past fiscal year was the very first time marketing set a goal to drive a certain number of sales-qualified leads. We put a stake in the ground.”

The Payoff Of Sales And Marketing Alignment

Meagen Eisenberg, VP of Demand Generation at DocuSign, shared how her company has made strides in improving sales and marketing alignment. She focused on three steps: Building together, transparency in results and habitual communication.

“To start, sales and marketing has to build processes and technology together,” Eisenberg said. Some initiatives that sale and marketing need to collaborate on include:

  • Understanding the entire lead life cycle
  • Jointly defining and accepting waterfall conversion metrics;
  • Creating and iterating lead scoring methodology; and
  • Developing the content menu and roadmap together.

Creating a structure for sharing results can help organizations build trust and show transparency, Eisenberg said. “You need to set up a model for communicating what is working and what is not, and double down on what is working. Transparency and sharing results gains trust and help you learn from your mistakes.”

Quick and continuous communication is the third pillar of a successful relationship between sales and marketing, Eisenberg noted. “You have to be able to communicate at Twitter-like speed what marketing is doing and always have a feedback mechanism.”

Assembling A Team Of Rock Stars

Liz McClellan, VP of Field Marketing at PGi, a provider of web meeting and collaboration technology, said making necessary adjustments to your marketing team is important to achieving revenue marketing success.

“As a leader of a revenue marketing team, you have to get the DNA of the team right,” McClellan said, noting that you have to be willing to move employees into different roles to achieve the right balance.

Revenue marketers cannot be chained to their desks, McClellan explained. “You have to be in the trenches, attending conferences and visiting prospects with sales.” She added that marketers should set goals about the number of interactions they have with customers.

Like Eisenberg, McClellan emphasized the need for transparency. “You’ve got to share with finance and product marketing, for example, how you are spending the company’s money. It helps immensely when building credibility.”

Click here to view some of the highlights of the REVTalks.