With all the pressure on marketers to generate revenue, it is easy to become disheartened and lose steam. All it takes is a spark to reignite you. Imagine what 21 of those sparks at REVTalks will do for you? In this new blog series, “REVTalks Masters” we sit down with a few of the speakers from our upcoming event, the REVTalks TM taking place on August 12 & 13 in Boston.
These speakers have climbed the mountain. They and their team have figured out what works and what doesn’t. These interviews dive into their stories and hopefully will help you with your journey to revenue marketing.
Zack: How do you define business accountability for your organization?
Elle: Business accountability in B2B marketing is revenue accountability. It manifests itself in other ways: process efficiency and optimization, sales support and enablement, demand creation, but all of it essentially boils down to accountability for revenue creation and growth. This is largely a top down strategy marketing and needs to be aligned with the core business goals and the plans, programs. The investments we make need to be tied to outcomes that further those goals.
Zack: What is your role in business accountability at your organization?
Elle: At PathFactory, marketing is key part of the revenue engine. I am tasked with driving a considerable portion of pipeline and revenue. It really starts with being able to measure that impact so that I know if we’re successful and can course correct if we’re not. If the campaigns and programs we run are not serving our buyers in meaningful ways and enabling our sellers to be as effective as possible, then we are not being accountable for what is truly important to the business.
It’s easy for this to feel disconnected because revenue impact is really the product of lots of things, some little, some big, and the root of it all is tactical execution. You have to be constantly looking at the impact of the things you’re doing and optimizing for the desired results. But if you start with the business goals and align your plans, investments and metrics to those, you will always be accountable for what is important to the business.
Zack: How does business accountability change what you and your team have done?
Elle: It begins and ends with buyer-centricity and a relentless focus on enabling our buyers to buy. That is really the root of everything we do, it’s our true north. There is very little we decide to do that doesn’t have an outcome we have modeled or an end state we are trying to accomplish. That’s not to say that we don’t have fun and do lots of creative work, but it has to be buyer-centric. In a less accountable environment, you might see more random acts of marketing that aren’t as tied to the corporate goals.
Zack: What was your biggest discovery or realization when approaching business accountability?
Elle: It can be hard for everyone on your team to understand how what they are doing day-to-day ties back to the business goals and objectives. It’s really critical for everyone to understand the importance of their work, I think this is a key to helping people derive meaning from what they do. Being transparent about why we are doing certain things and keeping the team focused on the end goals is an important part of creating an accountable organization.
Zack: How do you measure your results for business accountability?
Elle: There are a standard set of metrics we look at weekly – some are tied to specific strategic projects that are all aimed at revenue growth and others are the standard KPIs we use to predict revenue success. These include things like funnel metrics, demand sources, campaign performance and other types of diagnostics like velocity and value. But we also have some metrics that we use to really understand how well we are engaging and enabling buyers: time spent with content, content performance by engagement. We use these measures to understand if we are creating information and assets that are relevant and useful to the prospects that want to evaluate us.
Zack: What are some barriers and accelerators you’ve experienced for business accountability?
Elle: None of this happens in a vacuum so it’s really the internal alignment between departments that can make or break a successful revenue engine. It’s a tale as old as time… if marketing and sales is not aligned, even the best set of campaigns, programs and content will fall short of delivering the outcomes you need. It truly is an interconnected, symbiotic system. If there are fundamental philosophical differences in how these groups approach things, it will be a barrier to success. On the counter, a deeply harmonious and interconnected organization can move very fast and see incredible results.
I think organizations can also get paralyzed. Business accountability needs to begin with strategy but without constant execution and iteration, there will be no progress. Some organizations get wrapped around the axle when it comes to setting strategy or translating strategy into action. If you can’t execute, you can’t improve. Data is important but you need to be comfortable with directionally accurate information or you will spend too long looking for perfection.
Zack: What advice would you give to approach business accountability?
Elle: In marketing, you can’t be disconnected from the business goals. You need to be supporting the critical outcomes that the business is trying to drive. This is largely a top down approach, so if you work in an organization that doesn’t see marketing as a critical factor to achieving those goals then you’re probably in the wrong place.
We would like to invite you to hear more from Elle Woulfe and 20 other revenue masters by joining us at the upcoming REVTalks conference. Each session will be an 18-minute Ted-Talks style presentation designed to inspire you to meet your revenue goals.