Marketing Metrics

Earn a Seat at the Revenue Table – Part I

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Who is in charge of revenue at your company?

In most B2B companies, the Sales Department owns the revenue pipeline. Marketing may play a supporting role by supplying leads (that probably get ignored). But in these companies, Sales controls the revenue process and is accountable for top-line growth. As a result, Sales holds the most political power of any function.

In contrast, Marketing too often gets left out of the revenue process. I’ve seen companies where sales holds a weekly revenue call, and nobody from marketing is on the call. The executive leaders of these companies think of Marketing as a necessary but distasteful cost center, not a strategic asset that drives growth. As one marketer lamented in a recent CMO Council report, “My group is perceived by upper management as the people who do color brochures.”

Marketing is suffering from a crisis of credibility. Whether it is the perception that marketing exists solely to support sales to the view that all marketers are liars who exaggerate and twist the truth to sell their product, B2B marketing needs a makeover.

What can marketers do so they are seen as part of a machine that drives revenue and profits, not just the people who throw parties and buy swag? What can Marketing do to earn a seat at the revenue table? In Part II of this series, I will discuss how B2B marketers can do just that.