6 Pillars Of An Ideal Revenue Team

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The overarching theme of the first-ever B2B Sales & Marketing Exchange is “Better Together.” We’re constantly pounded with E-bookswebinars and blog posts that drill in the message that B2B needs marketing and sales alignment to work. But for that to become a reality, we need actionable ways to get the entire revenue team on the same page and working together. 

Ahead of #B2BSMX, we caught up with Allison Snow, Senior Analyst at Forresterto hear about what constitutes an ideal revenue team in her eyes, as well as get a sneak peek into her upcoming session at the event. 

Demand Gen Report: What does an ideal revenue team look like to you?  

Allison Snow: I believe deeply that alignment trumps everything else. So, alignment to goals is number one. 

That means my ideal team is made of individuals that first and foremost can articulate their value to the organization in consistent language. If I kick off a meeting and ask that everyone writes down what their goals are for this month, this quarter and this year, I want to see consistent answers. If I ask further, “What will you do to support them? I want to see crisp answers. From there, there are six dimensions that need to reflect the marketing purpose: 

  • Technology: An ideal revenue team has a stack that is purpose-built for the mission. If the explicit path to revenue is cross-sell and upsell, the tech is optimized for that. If it is to acquire business that is predicted to be of high customer lifetime value, then the tech is optimized for that purpose. If it’s ABM, then it’s that.
  • Structure: The ideal team structure is also a function of purpose. But it’s obvious that traditional rigid, functionally siloed, slow-moving organization structures no longer cut it. A revenue team needs to be able to ignore the “boxes and lines” of hierarchical or team structure to achieve its goals — from informing the go-to-market strategy to addressing issues with sales effectiveness or even the competitive position of a product in the market.
  • Culture: Customers don’t stay stagnant, and neither can a revenue team. But sometimes bad cultures enforce a lack of dynamism. Revenue teams need signals from the organization that the whole culture is open to change, open to testing and, most of all, are champions of transparency. Those are scary things in many cultures, and revenue teams can’t thrive if those things aren’t celebrated.
  • Talent: Talent should also follow strategy. Organizations are tempted to check the boxes of roles they believe they need, but these have got to map to revenue imperatives. For example, if your revenue plan calls for deeper penetration of existing customers, a firm needs some talent that has experience in customer marketing and customer engagement. It’s not enough to say you’ve hired for demand gen and content and product marketing. The ideal revenue team is created with goals and strategy as the North Stars, not organizational blocks.
  • Metrics: A transparent organization will want to build a scorecard that reflects progress against its commitments. These six items work together harmoniously; if metrics reflect goals that you don’t have tech for or don’t have talent for, something is terribly broken. But a revenue team needs metrics that are realistic, yet aspirational. The ideal revenue team has a hand in defining them rather than just responding to them.
  • Process: The best revenue team in the world will still underperform if the organization doesn't have thoughtful ways to channel their energy. First, the ideal revenue team has defined access to the voice of the customer as close to “real-time” as it can get. It has reliable processes in place to understand campaign performance and the real drivers of customer engagement. It has processes in place to understand the reasons that customers are satisfied or frustrated, and it has processes in place to close the loop so that customer retention, loyalty and advocacy metrics continuously inform analytics like total addressable market, ideal client profile and customer lifetime value.

DGR: What does modern demand gen look like to you?  

Snow: At its most simple, it looks like this:  

  • A mastery of your organization’s core value proposition;
  • The ability to translate it to the needs, values and preferences of prospects and clients via channels they prefer; and
  • Messages and experiences prospects and clients will find compelling and persuasive.

Pretty simple, right?

DGR: What are you hoping to talk about at your session?  

Snow: My goal is to help revenue pros see artificial intelligence as a pragmatic way to get to know their customers better, rather than a full-on leap to automation. 

DGR: What else are you looking forward to at the event?  

Snow: People, people and people. And a few sessions, of course. 

Allison will be presenting a session in the Demand Gen Summit track titled “Maximum Visibility: Use Artificial Intelligence To Build Experiences That Persuade​.” Check out the session on Tuesday, August 13 at 3:20 PM.

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