The CMO’s Guide to Driving Impact in Year 1


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CMO’s report a honeymoon period of six to twelve months before they ‘own’ the result. Impacting a marketing team’s output in that short period of time requires a quick start. How long is your honeymoon?

B2B CMO’s are expected to deliver hard Lead Generation metrics:

  • Quantity of Sales Qualified Leads to the sales force
  • Marketing contribution as a % of Pipeline Opportunities
  • Marketing contribution as a % of Revenue

In many cases the CMO inherits a transitional marketing team not set-up to drive revenue. The clock turns as day-to-day marketing execution pulls the CMO into a reactive mode. Making the transformation to revenue contribution requires time and a solid plan. The path to success for year a B2B CMO’s year one includes:

  • Generate quick wins to build momentum
  • Assess the marketing team level of talent, capabilities and technology
  • Develop a roadmap to deliver on revenue contribution

The quick wins will build credibility with sales and the CEO.

Buckle your Chin Strap – 3 Quick Wins for a Fast Start

Build momentum by identifying quick wins. Execute the wins by canceling bloated, non-impact tactics. Leverage the dollars and manpower resources to drive quick wins. This action of canceling a non-performing program sets the right tone for the team. It also propels the team forward by focusing the staff on impact assignments.

Focus on wins that positively impact the ability of the sales force to Make the Number. In year one, this is the lowest hanging fruit to generate momentum. This will build credibility with sales at the corporate level all the way the field.

Three quick wins to build momentum and drive results:

1.) Infuse the Sales Process with Buyer Insights

Allows a sales team to sell the way the customer wants to buy.

  • Selling in a different way based on a specific understanding of the way buyers buy
  • Higher close rates and reduced cycle times due to alignment with the buyer

Role of Marketing:

  1. Participate in expert panel sessions to map the buyer’s process to the sales process
  2. Validate expert panel suggestions through the lens of audience research
  3. Develop external audience-centered sales aids (Case Studies, product comparison grids, etc.).

2.) Social Prospecting Guidance

A modern prospecting methodology that fills the funnel with opportunities.

  • Generates meetings with decision makers inside of your target prospects
  • Frees sales from day-to-day dependence on marketing for leads

Role of Marketing:

  1. Training and quick reference guidance on social selling best practices
  2. Company profile text and support to create LinkedIn profiles
  3. Introduction and referral templates for InMail, Email and Connection messages
  4. Nurture content for LinkedIn status updates

3.) Buyer Process Maps

BPM’s are a sales tool that maps the decision-making process used to purchase a product or service.

  • Provides the sales team a blueprint so they can get into deals early enough to win them
  • Increases win rates through Buyer and Seller alignment

BPM Breakout jpeg resized 600 resized 600

Role of Marketing:

  1. Facilitate the creation of BPM, and/or manage the selection of a consulting firm who specializes in developing Buyer Process Maps
  2. Vet the prototype in the field through audience interviews and field observation
  3. Contribute company and/or 3rd party executed audience research to validate BPM findings

These three buyer-centered tools work in concert together. Social Selling provides expanded access to decision makers. The Buyer Process Map gives sales insights to get into a deal early. The BPM and sales process together give sales the highest probability to win.

CMO’s who deliver one of these options in their first six months gain momentum. CMO’s who deliver all three in their first year become transformational leaders.

Marketing Team Assessment & Roadmap

Review the capabilities and best practices of world class marketing organizations. Carefully study your team’s performance against the benchmark capabilities. First and foremost is your team’s ability to drive effective Demand Generation results.

Assess the team each month for the first three months. This iterative approach allows you to look for evidence of gaps. Ideally turn to a sales and marketing consultancy to increase your visibility.

Leverage the assessment tool at the bottom of this blog to evaluate your team. In addition, the CMO should ask direct reports to self-assess their areas. Involve your direct reports in comparing their assessment to that of the 3rd party. Request plans to close the gaps in waves of execution that occur over 6, 9 and 12 months. The planning should be performed internally by the teams impacted as well as through the 3rd party consultant.

At the six month milestone, present your team’s assessment to the CEO. Recommend your course of action for immediate and year-end steps. Include longer term year two high-level plans as well. This proactive approach will yield the following benefits:

  1. Drive in-year impact to help sales make the number
  2. Generate budget investment
  3. Execute proactive measures to build a powerful revenue contribution marketing team

In Summary

Perform your assessment by downloading the free Marketing Assessment – Demand Generation Capability Tool. To receive this tool Sign-up here to receive the tool and see what top organizations are planning in 2014.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Vince Koehler
Vince is a demand generation thought leader with more than 16 years of industry and professional services experience. He has been chartered with "filling the funnel" for organizations to keep sales resources productive in driving systematic growth. A sample list of Vince's engagements include: Colgate, CITGO Petroleum, GE, Yellow Freight, and Roadway Express.


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