Predictions for 2017? This year will mark the beginning of the era of accountability.
Sales and marketing can no longer operate in the status quo environment where leaders and team members are unaccountable for their actions. Competitive organizations can’t tolerate the current reality where (according to CSO Insights):
- Just 42% of marketing generated leads are accepted and worked by sales
- Less than 60% of sales reps make quota
- The #1 sales execution challenge is the lack of qualified leads
To thrive in the coming year and beyond, marketing and sales must account for their activity, accept responsibility for revenue results and disclose results in a transparent way.
Why it's Important
- Be accountable for the quality of leads delivered to sales
- Be open to taking leads back and nurturing them until they are “sales-ready”
- Measure the impact of their investments by measuring revenue driven by that activity
- Be accountable for effective lead follow-up
- Work each and every lead to win/loss or return to marketing for nurturing
- Forecast realistically and accurately
In short, Accountability = Account-Based Marketing.
Account-Based Marketing, where sales and marketing strategically target high-value accounts, has accountability built in. The two organizations work together to approach decision-makers in a highly personalized, coordinated way, to move the account successfully through the pipeline. They use the right tactics, at the right time, with the right channels, to create the personal interactions that move the revenue-generation meter.
Chief characteristics of the accountable sales and marketing organizations of tomorrow are:
- Mutually agreed-upon market definition and segmentation is in place—to make sure all involved understand the organization’s customer acquisition goals.
- There’s a common lead definition between sales and marketing to avoid the you-never-follow-up-on-our-leads/you-never give-us-good-leads scenario that encourages irresponsibility (the opposite of accountability).
- Multi-touch, multi-media, multi-cycle processes are leveraged to multiply results.
- Full cycle nurturing of all leads are part of the process—to potentially triple sales results from marketing programs.
- A judicial branch, an objective authority that mitigates disagreements between marketing and sales, arbitrates situations where unqualified leads make their way to sales and/or sales chooses not to follow up on qualified leads.
- A Test-Improve-Measure culture continually elevates sales and marketing accountability and drives revenue.
Accountability is not about punishment or blame. It’s about helping others reach their goals through purposeful, sustainable action. It’s about end-to-end success. It’s almost 2017, and the new era of accountability is here.
You can reach Dan McDade at: www.pointclear.com