Accountability for revenue is the new mantra at today's successful b-to-b revenue marketers. Accountability requires the capacity to generate sales-ready leads in a predictable, sustainable and repeatable way. It's a tall order, but achievable with the support of marketing automation plus a few other key ingredients.
The promise of marketing automation is that marketing will be able to produce qualified leads for the sales team to close, and so make a direct contribution to revenue. Not a bad promise, right? The catch is that it is not the technology that delivers the promise; technology is just the foundation. What facilitates effective lead generation via marketing automation is the right combination of skills, organizational structure, processes and strategy.
Here are some key roles that can help you accomplish this in your organiztion:
• VP-revenue marketing: This person is the strategic leader, laser-focused on revenue results directly attributable to marketing efforts. The role is akin to a VP-sales, since it concerns discussing and measuring the funnel, opportunities and conversions. Key skills include communications, funnel management and an understanding of sales processes.
• Business analyst: This becomes critical as you focus more on revenue metrics. Revenue marketing is a new competency based on the ability to consistently generate sales-qualified leads. Key skills here include analysis, testing protocol setup and execution, as well as the ability to optimize systems and programs—all in order to achieve the greatest and fastest revenue result.
• Power user/marketing technologist: Technology is the driver for sales-ready lead generation. It begins with CRM and marketing automation being tightly integrated. The power user is an absolute necessity for the team and works closely with the business analyst. (Make sure you invest in regular training.) Key skills of the power user include Web page coding, knowledge of marketing automation and a focus on detail.
• Nurture specialist: This person takes direction from the VP-revenue marketing, as well as analytics from the business analyst, best practices from the content and creative team, and information from the power user—all to design the most effective campaigns possible. This individual is obsessed with creating an intimate digital dialogue at all phases of the buying cycle and creating sales qualified leads. Key skills include a deep understanding of process flow, buy cycles, messaging for digital dialogues and online prospect behavior.
• Content manager: This individual is responsible for the content associated with campaigns, the currency of the digital discussion that can then be tracked and scored. The best content is the right message delivered at the right time to the right person, and moves the buyer forward in the lead-generation and qualification process. Key skills include messaging for digital dialogues, understanding buy cycles and online prospect behavior, and writing.
• Creative manager: Creative is not about how pretty something is, but how effective it is. The creative person needs to understand how the creative will be used and what action the campaign is trying to evoke. Key skills here include creative abilities and an understanding of online prospect behavior, buy cycles and sales processes.
• Telequalifying roles: Once you have a marketing qualified lead, that lead can be turned over to an individual to make a phone call to further qualify the prospect. Skills in telephone interaction and an understanding of the team's marketing automation solution are top recommendations here.
• Marketing operations: Just as the sales operations position is rooted in the ability of CRM to enhance the sales process, marketing is following a similar path with regard to marketing automation, Web analytics, social tools, content management systems, etc. These have created a strong need for people skilled in marketing operations. The marketing operations function tends to be more prevalent in large companies.
A review of these roles can help bring into focus how a marketing team's various abilities can coalesce, embrace revenue marketing competency and be accountable for revenue results in the b-to-b organization.
Debbie Qaqish is principal partner-chief revenue marketing officer at revenue marketing agency Pedowitz Group (www.pedowitzgroup.com). She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.