The Secret to Generating Revenue: Sell More

Recently, Marketo launched an in-depth survey of B2B companies to see how well they are maximizing the return on their marketing dollars. The preliminary results are in, and they are very telling. So, how do the top performing companies achieve their results? For starters, they sell more.

Seems like a no brainer, doesn’t it?

But when I say they “sell more,” I don’t mean they “sell more products and services” (although they do). What I mean is that they “spend more of their time selling.” In fact, at top performing companies, sales reps spend 72% of their time selling, compared to 59% for average companies and 47% for the least mature companies.

Why is this? Simple: Top performers maximize revenue by ensuring that only the most qualified sales leads are passed from the Marketing department to the Sales department. When this happens, Sales spends more time following up leads from Marketing. When it doesn’t happen – that is, when Marketing delivers unqualified leads to Sales – the Sales reps quickly grow frustrated and decide to generate their own leads. So instead of spending their time selling, they spend their time prospecting on their own. Often, this means crawling through databases, creating their own marketing materials, and basically duplicating the work that’s already being done by the Marketing department. In short, when Sales reps spend their time marketing instead of selling, companies generate less revenue. On the other hand, when the Sales team focuses on selling to the high quality leads that Marketing delivers, revenue goes up.

RPM Time spent selling

The key here is that the Marketing department must deliver qualified leads. Without that, the trust between the departments breaks down. This requires the Marketing department to adopt lead scoring tactics to ensure they are qualified, and to work with Sales to come up with a mutually agreed upon definition of what constitutes a qualified lead. Leads with scores that don’t meet the criteria of that definition get recycled back into the marketing database for more nurturing, while leads that do get passed to Sales. This allows the Sales team to spend more of their time actually selling (and, to their delight, earning commissions) than if unqualified leads were passed. Not surprisingly, this is precisely what we found in the results of our survey.

This entire Sales-Marketing alignment strategy is called Revenue Performance Management, or RPM.

Feel free to read the preliminary results of our Revenue Performance Management survey for yourself.

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You can also take the survey to see how your organization stacks up against your industry.

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  • Jonathan London

    The subject is always relevant, and working on leads that are best qualified is obviously very important, BUT the biggest reason that salespeople don’t spend more time on selling is poor internal processes where they need to spend inordinate amounts of time working through the sales order and customer satisfaction process.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Jonathan,

    Thanks for reading! In our survey, we’ve seen that any time sales is doing something other than selling, revenue drops. Certainly, it’s an issue if the sales team is doing work that ought to be done by the marketing team before the sale. It may also be a problem is the sales team is doing work that ought to be done by a customer success team after the sale. The bottom line is that how you structure and staff your process is extremely important.

    Seth Resler
    Content Manager

  • data quality

    Those are some interesting statistics Seth and I wonder what you opinion is on the amount of time we spend on data
    . My old boss used to drum the importance of this into me and it has stuck with me.

  • Anonymous

    That’s a good question. Perhaps will include it in a future survey.

  • Marketing Gal

    I agree too many dead ends can be extremely frustrating. Great points and thanks for the share!

  • Pingback: A State-of-the-Art Strategy for Maximizing Your Marketing ROI: Get to Know RPM - B2B Marketing()

The Secret to Generating Revenue: Sell More

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