Sales and Marketing Alignment in Your Pipeline Economics

JOE MILLS

Video Transcript

One of the things we love to do with companies when we start working together is to define pipeline economics for your business. So for us, that means working back from revenue targets all the way through various conversion points along your funnel and understanding where does marketing have a key role to play inside of your business growth?

One of the other things that happens inside of that process, that’s been a real benefit is that we’re able to identify with our clients, where does the sales team pick up from marketing or vice versa? Maybe you have an organization that sells through a website conversion, a demo, a proposal, and finally a close. And you can start taking your conversion rates at each of those places and understanding is the sales organization responsible for this going well?

Is the marketing organization responsible for this going well? Or is there shared accountability for this particular metric? As you get clarity around that, what happens is your sales and marketing becomes much more integrated because they understand between one another: Here’s what I’m responsible for. Here’s what you’re responsible for. And here’s how we can help each other be successful in our work together.

So defining those pipeline economics becomes very, very important for the integration of your sales and marketing and the overall functionality of your revenue team as a whole. Now, one thing I just want to point out, one thing that happens a lot of times with marketers is in their desire to show business value and business impact — and I’m going to put myself in this bucket — we can make the slight error of aligning things to pipeline that really don’t have a direct impact on your pipeline economics.

Now I’m going to name a couple of foundational pieces that could be that way. It is likely that you have a website and you need to maintain your website and you need to update it regularly so that it continues to mirror what your business does and how it serves its customers. That is ongoing maintenance, foundational work that simply must be done. But saying that your website work is directly applicable to your pipeline is a bit of a stretch.

And I don’t recommend you try to make an attribution model that takes that into account, like what’s my ROI on my website? It’s kind of like, what’s the ROI of hugging your mom? You should just do it.

Same piece with brand redevelopment, right? Saying I redeveloped my brand, now look at all this attention I’m getting. Again, it’s just a little bit of a stretch. And if it feels in your gut, like your attribution model’s a little bit off and your pipeline doesn’t align with this piece of work, you’re probably on the right track.

So pipeline economics — really, really helpful for your organization. You can start to understand where the conversion points are, where sales and marketing have accountability, and really get clear with yourself about what are the activities that sales and marketing have to take on to make that number move in the right direction?

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