Last updated: April 22, 2021
Outfunnel CEO and co-founder, Andrus Purde, recently joined marketing titans Yaagneshwaran Ganesh and Manish Nepal on the ABM Conversations podcast. They chatted about the revenue marketing journey, Andrus offered some insight into how Outfunnel approaches revenue marketing, and shared his thoughts on why revenue accountability isn’t a widespread thing yet.
If you’re not into podcasts (or maybe you’ve lost your headphones, perhaps you recently purchased an iPhone 12 and didn’t get any in the box), don’t worry. We’ve gone through and gleaned the key pointers for B2B marketers and provided them in written form below. You’re welcome!
#1 Decide if your dinner party (marketing team) needs structure
Andrus must really love dinner parties as he has used it as an analogy before (previously, it was in the context of email marketing and dinner parties). He once again returns to the dinner party theme when Yaag asked Andrus to describe how the sales and marketing relationship is organised (or, rather, isn’t) at Outfunnel:
“I think about company structure like I think about dinner parties”, Andrus says.
“If you have 3 friends come over you don’t really need a big plan. Just get some food, get some beers, and you’ll have a great time. But if you’re planning a dinner party for 100 people or 500 people, then you need to do much more than just get some beers”, he explains.
“It’s the same thing, I think, with teams. If you’re doing a startup with 3 people you know, you don’t need much structure. But if it’s 100 people or 500 people, then the org chart and planning become much more important”.— Andrus Purde
Right now, Outfunnel is at 9 people so things are comfortably within the range of a cozy home party, as opposed to a big, formal dinner that needs a lot of planning and structure. So, Andrus’ focus, first and foremost, is making sure Outfunnel has the best people and not really worrying about structure too much.
#2 Take revenue responsibility
One of the biggest questions that comes up whenever there’s a discussion about revenue marketing is: “Why don’t more marketers take revenue responsibility?”.
Andrus points to a couple of key issues:
“Maybe the person in charge of sales or marketing is not senior enough to realise that it has to be done” he posits.
But looking at things broadly, Andrus believes the problem may simply be one of tradition and old fashioned thinking.
“For many companies, even in 2020, they just have an old fashioned view about the buyer journey, from the time when sales and marketing were still in silos and didn’t have to work together”, Andrus suggests.
There’s definitely a lot happening in terms of educating sales people and marketers, with resources like Yaag’s revenue marketing book and of course this podcast. But still, old fashioned views persist.
Yaag gives some practical advice for getting started with revenue responsibility.
Asking the right questions is the first step in turning the invisible contributions into the visible attributions.
#3 Move your team along the path to revenue marketing nirvana
In most cases, you can’t flip a switch and have your organisation fully embrace revenue marketing. Instead, Andrus sees this as a 4-level revenue marketing journey:
- The need for leads. Marketing is generating leads and handing them off to sales.
- You’re getting *some* leads, but you’re still doing lots of manual work to support the customer journey.
- Leads are now coming in at a decent pace, most of the journey is automated, but sales and marketing is still siloed.
- Sales and marketing are looking at ROI together, communicating goals and performance, and business is coming in predictably
It’s not a “one and done” kind of thing. The process doesn’t stop once you reach level 4. Having hit that holy grail of predictability and consistency, you need to keep working at it.
“We’re always in motion, we’re always changing because the market is changing, and the customers are changing,” says Andrus.
“It’s an ever-repeating cycle, where sometimes you think you’re golden and then you get kicked back to level 3 or 2 even, if the market or target audience changes”, he continued.
#4 Lead, or follow, but never get complacent
Even if businesses aren’t consciously leveling up towards complete revenue marketing, most have at least progressed from one stage to another. But they often get stuck.
As to why this is, the most correct answer is, as always, it depends. But Andrus is a lot more helpful than that, pointing to education and leadership being two of the main barriers.
“It’s either a lack of awareness that there’s a better way or…people who are involved are not mature enough to either step up and lead or to follow. Often sales and marketing are adjacent to each other, one doesn’t report to the other and there’s no revenue function, but there’s a sales function and a marketing function”, he explains.
“One of these two leaders needs to either step up and lead, or be happy to follow and let the other party take the initiative”.
Then, there’s complacency.
A company may have been doing well enough doing things a particular way, perhaps certain channels working really well for them. So they end up settling for “good enough” rather than trying to do better and preparing themselves for potential shifts in the market.
#5 Keep data, and people, in sync
Sales and marketing integration is absolutely necessary for revenue marketing to work. So, the first tip focuses on learning and getting sales and marketing to come together in a practical sense. Outfunnel does this with monthly retrospectives, where both sales and marketing are analyzed as a whole.
Andrus explains it like this:
Have an overall sales and marketing retrospective, rather than doing these in isolation. Or if for some reason in your company this has to happen separately, at least have “guest visitors”, so, someone senior from marketing visiting the sales retro and vice versa.
Andrus’ next tip is a practical one and all about data:
“Make sure sales and marketing data are together, make sure they’re really synced up”, he advises.
“And not with a manual import once a week, but real-time synced up using modern sales and marketing tools, whether that’s Outfunnel or Hubspot to bring it all together, that doesn’t matter. The important thing is that the tools automatically sync up the data”.
And last but not least, revenue marketing isn’t just about money, deals, and tools.
“It’s really people who have to make it happen”, says Andrus.
Companies struggle to adjust to a revenue marketing approach, in large part, because of awareness and leadership, both of which can be looked at as people problems.
“There should be no expense spared on training the people you have so everyone understands why you do it and how to do it. And, at times, I think it’s necessary, although painful just to let people go who don’t get it and hire new ones who really embrace revenue marketing thinking and actioning”.— Andrus Purde
Yaagneshwaran has come up with a 4-step process that aims to align sales and marketing data, as well as the people. It’s called the GAME model, which stands for Gather —> Agree —> Map —> Execute.
You can read more about the GAME model on Yaag’s blog.
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