Modern marketers are drowning in metrics.
From site traffic to leads, paid acquisition to CPL and beyond, there’s no shortage of KPI to track and optimize. And, as more business leaders look to marketing to drive top-line growth, the trend shows no signs of stopping.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the house, the sales org is focused on just one thing: revenue.
Sales closed a deal? Revenue. Expanded an account 10x that previously just had a couple of users? You guessed it–more revenue.
Marketing, on the other hand, is so busy tracking and optimizing every metric besides revenue that the misalignment between the two teams not only makes sense–it seems downright inevitable.
“Formalizing more marketing KPIs distracts from the bigger goal of generating revenue. There’s lots of setting up dashboards, testing those data connections, and defining the KPI. But if you focus on revenue, you’ll automatically start asking questions about how to optimize your marketing for that outcome,” explains Sarah Siwak, Director of Marketing at Shyp.
Look, it’s not that we marketers don’t want to drive dollars. And it’s not that we don’t want to support sales in any way we can.
It’s that the narrative we tell about how we drive growth is too complicated. We end up obsessing over a host of metrics that are meaningless to sales teams, and apparently, do a poor job proving the value of marketing to CEOs.
Bottom line? We don’t need twenty different KPI to track the contribution of marketing and align with sales, we just need one: revenue.
Align Sales and Marketing Around Revenue
If your sales process doesn’t make it easier for customers to buy, then it’s broken.
If the way you do marketing doesn’t make it easier for you to reach the right people, then it’s broken.
Some things really are that simple.
For some reason though, in the world of B2B, we like to make everything very complicated.
Case in point? The B2B buying process.
Here’s what’s considered by many to be a “best in class” B2B funnel:
What does that process look like to you? To me, it looks painful.
It’s about as far away from the customer as you can get. And in today’s demand-driven world, that’s the worst place to find yourself.
See, success in the new world of B2B comes down to two simple things:
- The speed at which you connect with customers.
- How much friction you introduce into your buying process.
When sales and marketing align around revenue, it’s easier to eliminate the activities that slow you down and add unnecessary friction to the buying process.
Make Technology Work Harder So Your Prospects Work Less
If you’ve built complex buying frameworks, endless nurture campaigns, and been conditioned to believe that having a dozen KPI to track is an awesome thing, you might not want to abandon the traditional B2B buying experience.
But here’s why you should: Your customers don’t like it.
They don’t like filling out forms. They don’t like getting a million emails. And they don’t like endless phone calls.
What do they like? Getting what they want, when they want it.
Hold up, you might say–How do I simplify the buying process when previously I’ve had a million different steps designed to qualify and route prospects?
In a word? Technology.
If your product solves a real problem, and marketers are driving traffic to your site, chat with the people who visit.
Have a conversation and find out what they’re looking for. Use tools designed to enrich those conversations with the right information on the backend, so your prospects don’t have to provide it.
Use what you’ve learned about the people coming to your site to create more personalized marketing.
End result? Your customers will feel like humans, and less like leads.
It’s No Longer B2B, It’s B2H
‘B2B’ should really be called ‘B2H’, or business-to-human.
Why? Because B2B buyers are still just humans. And humans don’t like when things are complicated, painful, or slow.
Funny thing is, we keep forcing people through painful marketing funnels that ignore their preferences, and put our needs as a business ahead of theirs.
By being revenue-oriented, marketers are forced to focus on the activities that actually drive dollars, not meaningless KPIs. With that simple approach, we finally achieve alignment with our sales counterparts and get closer to our customers.