Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes courtesy of Frank Donny, founder and CEO of Marseli, a marketing and sales analytics and performance measure software company. With 25 years of experience driving marketing and sales operations divisions within Fortune 500 and strart up organizations, Donny is responsible for the firm’s capabilities, software vision and services.
If you are a marketing leader involved in demand generation, you undoubtedly have had the following conversation with members of your marketing team, your inside sales group, or your field sales organization.
It’s the conversation where people are tossing around opinions and generalizations about performance measure, with little to no fact supporting the argument. It’s heated, confrontational, and many times happens in front of your peers or executives. No one wins. Everyone loses.
Here’s how you can eliminate the blame game and focus on efficient demand gen accountability:
- Create a service level agreement between marketing, inside sales, and field sales. This sales process development agreement should include goals, objectives, accountability, measurement criteria, lead scoring models, quality definitions, activity expectations (such as sales forecasting), and a whole list of other things that will bring all three groups together.
- Report all performance right inside of your customer relationship management (CRM) system. Open and expose all data to each team. It’s imperative that this happens in your CRM. Why? Because that is your database of record for managing your revenue engine and Sales needs to see it in their system. Not the marketing system.
- Communicate at all levels. Use reports in your CRM system where the facts reside — not Excel spreadsheets. Proof of performance resides in how leads are managed and flow from marketing, to inside sales and to your field sales team. If leads, opportunities and other critical information is not being updated or is not in your CRM system, it never happened.
- Work as one team. It takes a village to create $1 in revenue. Marketing, inside sales, field sales, operations, executives and many other village members need to come together seamlessly.
- Hold yourself accountable first. Yep, that’s right. Make sure you are holding up your end of the bargain and consult with your peers to determine the root of the frustration. Then look in the mirror and ask yourself the tough questions about why your peer is reacting the way that they are.
- Treat others as you would want to be treated. If you are a marketing leader, remember that the sales team is your customer. Treat them as such. If you are a sales leader, marketing can make or break your efficiency and revenue performance. They are a critical part of your ability to generate revenue. Treat them like a partner, as they are one.
Blame is easy. That’s why it happens so often. Integration is hard. That’s why it happens far less. Take the high road, which in this case may seem like the hard road. Implement the ideas in this post and you will go a long way toward not only eliminating the blame game, but to truly building a world-class revenue team that you are proud to be part of.
The main key lesson is leveraging facts — not opinion — when discussing performance issues with members of your revenue team. Opinions are debatable. Fact is not.
Looking to stop the finger pointing at your organization? Check out Eloqua's Sales & Marketing Alignment Resources.