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I need marketing ot generate enough leads for sales to hit their targets. How many do you need? A lot.

Years ago I had this fabulous mentor, a demand generation expert Fred Isbell, who taught me to focus on the most important activity in marketing - closed deals. 

I realize that most marketing people are reluctant to commit to a revenue target because so much of getting the deal closed is outside their hands. However, I learned early in my career at Oracle that sales, marketing, and product teams all have to be aligned in order for the company to be successful. And boy was Oracle a master at that and reaped the reward of 12 consecutive years of doubling to just shy of $1B which is no small feat. 

The product team has to produce a compelling product. The marketing team has to distill the value proposition to garner prospects and to convert those prospects into sufficient opportunities for sales. And the sales team has to close deals. All business leaders agree these are fundamentally the right activities yet I’m surprised at how often they don’t have an aligned methodical approach to driving these key activities so that they have confidence in achieving their revenue targets. The typical conversation goes like this: 

“What’s your booking target?” $10M

“What’s your average deal size?” Well, it depends on …. (uh, oh)

“How many qualified opportunities do you need to meet your target?” Um…… (red light and sirens are now blaring in my mind)

Maybe it’s my engineering background but as soon as Fred showed me the way to work backwards from my booking targets to identify how many leads I needed to generate and how many people I had to engage with to generate those leads, the lightbulb went off for me! Using a process supported by the marketing funnel we had a quantitative and visual way to calculate, track, and report our results to stakeholders across all functions.

Now you have a “model” to reduce the risk and uncertainty of achieving your booking targets. Over time, I’ve expanded this methodology to account for: customer mix (repeat, new, and referral customers), industry mix, product/services mix, line of business/product mix, YoY planning, and sales vs marketing generated contribution. 

Armed with that information, we can now plan your marketing activities to align with your revenue targets. Once you start executing on your marketing plan, your measurements along with anecdotal feedback from customers and your sales team will guide course corrections to ensure you remain on track. 

Of course there are many other characteristics that lead to a successful marketing team that can repeat and scale marketing including: creative branding and campaigns, authentic messaging, marketing technology (MarTech) that allows you to measure, execute, and scale your marketing activities to name just a few. 

Breaking through the noise of all the possible marketing activities that you could or should be doing so you can focus on the right activities to achieve your goals is where we can help. I’m very fortunate that Fred, who is a demand generation wizard, is joining me at Breakthrough the Noise, to help companies like yours to achieve your revenue targets. 

If you need help to develop a marketing plan that reduces your revenue risk, let’s talk!